On Saturday night, UFC looks to crown their third flyweight champion in the promotion’s history. The main event sees a rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez to find who that new 125-pound champion will be.
Along with the title fight is 11 other bouts set to happen from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Follow along here for live coverage throughout the evening.
Preliminary Card (5:00PM EDT / 1:00AM GST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 4:00AM GST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 12: Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) vs. Joseph Benavidez (28-6) (Vacant UFC Flyweight Championship)
Figueiredo Chokes Out Benavidez To Become New Flyweight Champion
A brutal one-round performance from Deiveson Figueiredo was enough to become the new UFC Flyweight Champion, stopping Joseph Benavidez late in the round with a rear naked choke.
Benavidez showed his toughness through his performance, enduring lots before being choked unconscious near the end. Figueiredo scored three knockdowns with punches in the round, nearly getting Benavidez with a rear naked choke on a previous occasion to the fight-ending sequence.
“I knew that my time was gonna come, and this was my time,” said Figueiredo’s translator in the post-fight interview.
The fight was a rematch from February which Figueiredo won with punches in the second round. The vacant flyweight belt was not given to Figueiredo following that performance since he did not make proper weight for the competition.
The UFC Flyweight Championship had been vacant for a while, as previous champion Henry Cejudo was stripped of the belt in 2019. As the first holder of the belt Demetrious Johnson held the belt for numerous years, the win from Figueiredo makes him only the third UFC Flyweight Champion in history.
Johnson, the inaugural champion, praised Benavidez after the match concluded.
“Your still a legend joe b,” said Johnson on Twitter following the fight.
Bout 11: Jack Hermansson (20-5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (16-5) (Middleweight)
Hermansson Stops Gastelum Early With Heel Hook
Bouncing back from his main event loss from last September, Jack Hermansson got a first-round victory over Kelvin Gastelum via heel hook in just over two minutes.
“I thought that he would disengage and stand up, actually,” said Hermansson after the fight, admitting that he didn’t expect the fight to go the way it did.
After the fight, Hermansson called out the winner of next week’s main event which features fellow middleweights Robert Whittaker and Darren Till.
Hermansson’s previous fight saw him get stopped by Jared Cannonier with punches in the second round.
Gastelum moved to three-straight losses in the UFC following the heel hook submission. He has yet to bounce back since a loss last year against now-UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya in a five-round battle.
Bout 10: Marc Diakiese (14-3) vs. Rafael Fiziev (7-1) (Lightweight)
Fiziev Wins Over Diakiese
Rafael Fiziev won a decision over Marc Diakiese on the main card of the show. The striking battle between the two fighters saw Fiziev perform his best in the first two rounds.
Diakiese picked up the pace in the final round, causing a very close battle on the feet near the end.
Bout 9: Ariane Lipski (12-5) vs. Luana Carolina (6-1) (Flyweight)
Lipski Scores Kneebar Victory
A sudden win went to Ariane Lipski, who caught Luana Carolina on the ground with a kneebar in the first round to win.
Lipski got the kneebar after Carolina threatened a heel hook as Lipski was on her feet. The fight was Lipski’s second UFC win, evening her four-fight UFC record.
The matchup between Lipski and Carolina was booked twice before, with their May and June iterations being scrapped due to COVID-19.
“I’ve been training since February,” said Lipski in her post-fight interview.
Bout 8: Alexandre Pantoja (22-4) vs. Askar Askarov (11-0-1) (Flyweight)
Askarov Remains Undefeated
A close flyweight battle kicked off the main card, as Askar Askarov got a decision win over Alexandre Pantoja. The fight which saw back-and-forth striking and impressive scrambles on the ground.
Now with three fights in the UFC, Askarov has remained undefeated as a professional. The loss for Pantoja was his third in the UFC through nine fights.
Bout 7: Khadis Ibragimov (8-2) vs. Roman Dolidze (6-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Dolidze Has Explosive Debut
In his UFC debut, Roman Dolidze stopped Khadis Ibragimov with a knee to the head in the first round. The win was the seventh in Dolidze’s MMA career as he remained undefeated.
The fight was somewhat slow paced before the stoppage as both fighters were in a feeling-out process.
Ibragimov has failed to get his first UFC win through three bouts now.
Bout 6: Grant Dawson (15-1) vs. Nad Narimani (12-3) (Catchweight 150 lbs)
Dawson Gets Fourth-Straight UFC Win
Grant Dawson showed a spectrum of powerful striking and grappling en route to a unanimous decision win over Nad Narimani. The win continues Dawson’s successful UFC run which has been four-straight wins.
Dawson spent the first two rounds dominating on the ground, with the final round being a striking battle that he controlled. After the fight, Dawson mentioned that he wanted to focus on striking once they hit the final round.
“We’re coming out here for the finish,” said Dawson after the fight, not being satisfied that he went to scorecards.
Narimani competed in his fourth UFC fight, getting his second loss.
The fight was a catchweight at 150-pounds.
Bout 5: Joel Alvarez (16-2) vs. Joe Duffy (16-4) (Lightweight)
Alvarez Catches Duffy Early
Joel Alvarez added another submission to his win column on the prelims when he caught Joe Duffy early with a guillotine choke. The fight was a short one, as Alvarez capitalized on a takedown from Duffy by putting in the choke from the bottom position.
Alvarez’s performance was his return after a year-long absence from MMA. He moved to two consecutive wins in the UFC.
Duffy now has lost his past three fights.
Bout 4: Brett Johns (16-2) vs. Montel Jackson (9-1) (Bantamweight)
Johns Gets Decision Over Jackson
Putting on a wrestling clinic in the later half of his fight, Brett Johns was able to get a scorecard victory against Montel Jackson.
The second and third round of the fight saw Johns land numerous takedowns. While Jackson was able to get up from many, Johns kept pressing forward with more. The first round was the best for Jackson, who was able to score with strikes on the feet and ground.
“To be honest guys that was a dire performance,” said Johns after his fight, being critical of his outing. “It was a bit of a grinding performance.”
Jackson had a three-fight streak of wins coming into this matchup.
Bout 3: Malcolm Gordon (12-3) vs. Amir Albazi (12-1) (Flyweight)
Albazi Wins UFC Debut With Triangle Choke
Amir Albazi’s UFC debut was a strong one, tapping out Malcolm Gordon with a triangle choke in the first round.
Before the stoppage, Gordon was on his back with Albazi in full mount. Gordon was able to sweep the position and take full guard on top, but at the same time Albazi slipped in a choke.
“I’ve been doing these triangle chokes since I was 14 so this is just another day for me,” said Albazi in his post-fight interview.
Gordon and Albazi both took their bouts on short notice, as they replaced Aleksander Doskalchuk and Tagir Ulanbekov. The fight was also Gordon’s first UFC appearance.
Before the UFC fight, Albazi had previously competed in big promotions like Brave CF and Bellator.
Bout 2: Davi Ramos (10-3) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (14-2) (Lightweight)
Tsarukyan Puts On Show En Route To Decision
A prelim fight for Arman Tsarukyan acted as a perfect showcase for the Armenian’s striking as he won his bout against Davi Ramos via unanimous decision. The battle saw Tsarukyan out-strike Ramos on the feet through all three rounds with perfectly timed singular shots and combinations.
The fight was the second win in the UFC for Tsarukyan. Ramos, a now seven-fight UFC competitor took his second loss in a row.
Bout 1: Serghei Spivac (10-2) vs. Carlos Felipe (8-0) (Heavyweight)
Spivac Picks Up Majority Decision
Kicking off the show, heavyweight Serghei Spivac picked up a majority decision win over Carlos Felipe. The third round was the most dominant for Spivac, as the Moldovan fighter pummeled Felipe with strikes on the ground.
After the decision was announced, the fighters got into a dispute in the octagon, exchanging some words.
The fight was the UFC debut for Felipe, who had his eight-fight undefeated streak broken. Spivac evened his UFC record with the fight, bouncing back from a loss in his last matchup.