UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo preview

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February 18th, 2020

Destiny awaits Joseph Benavidez, but whether or not that destiny is a long-awaited title win or a shocking end to a five-year unbeaten streak is yet to be determined. Deiveson Figueiredo figures to be a stern challenge to the man many believe has been too patient in his pursuit of a flyweight title. BetAmerica previews this exciting match between two surging brawlers ahead of their Feb. 29 showdown.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo odds

Joseph Benavidez
Deiveson Figueiredo

Figueiredo is the best fighter Benavidez has faced

Though Benavidez has been on top of his game for a while, the flyweight division isn’t teeming with talent to expose his fading skills. Figueiredo figures to be the best opponent Benavidez has faced relative to this stage of his career, but we’ll be sure to see what Benavidez has left in a title fight he’s been overly patient for. Perhaps more than ever before, he’s facing an opponent who theoretically holds advantages in every category except experience and sentimentality.

Figueiredo's speed and strength are huge assets

In a straight up fight, Benavidez would get clobbered by Figueiredo who is simply too fast and and too strong in the stand up. That raw aggression can be diffused with patience and ring generalship, which Benavidez should have an advantage in, but there is little doubt that these two are going to come to blows. The longer this stays in close quarters, the likelier it will be that Benavidez gets lit up by a flurry of shots.

Skill vs. will

It will come down to a veteran’s skill vs. an upstart’s will, and while the saying usually goes "mind over muscle," Figueiredo is all wrong for Benavidez. Five rounds is too long for Benavidez to keep a fighter like Figueiredo off-balance without catching any heat. He’ll have to get inside to force him back, and Figueiredo won’t let him dictate the pace at any point.

Figueiredo should have plenty of opportunities to close the distance and lower the boom on Benavidez, who will valiantly try to outfight the younger foe as the rounds pile up. Expect Figueiredo to wrap things up with a barrage of blows in the third, becoming the flyweight champion in the process.

MMA free pick: Figueiredo (+120)

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