After their first meeting failed to crown a new UFC Flyweight Champion, Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez will rematch on Saturday night in the headlining spot of a UFC “Fight Night.” Here’s a preview of the 12-fight card set to happen from “Fight Island,” also known as Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Preliminary Card (5:00PM EDT / 1:00AM GST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 1: Sergey Spivak (10-2) vs. Carlos Felipe (8-0) (Heavyweight)
Kicking off the card is a heavyweight battle between the debuting Carlos Felipe and Sergey Spivak. Filipe, an undefeated Brazilian will return to MMA as his last matchup came from 2017. His opponent, Spivak, has lost two of his three UFC bouts in his run. His most recent fight was a loss, as the Moldovian fighter was not favoured on scorecards against Marcin Tybura.
Bout 2: Davi Ramos (10-3) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (14-2) (Lightweight)
Attempting to bounce back from his first UFC win, Arman Tsarukyan will return to face Davi Ramos. Tsarukyan lost his UFC debut to Islam Makhachev, bouncing back shortly after with a decision over Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Ramos has more experience in the promotion with four wins and two losses thus far. A similar foe in Makhachev handed Ramos a loss in his last fight, breaking the four-fight streak he had before.
Bout 3: Malcolm Gordon (12-3) vs. Amir Albazi (12-1) (Flyweight)
A double debut will happen on the prelims as Malcolm Gordon faces Amir Albazi. The story with this fight is an interesting one as both fighters came in to replace someone else. Tagir Ulanbekov was pulled from the card before, with Gordon taking his place in a bout against Aleksaner Doskalchuk. But, Doskalchuk had to withdraw as well, with Albazi taking his place, making this a whole new matchup.
Gordon is a real stoppage-heavy fighter, with only two of his 15 professional bouts having gone the distance. He brings a four-fight winning streak with him to the fight. Albazi has fought in high-level promotions such as Bellator and Brave CF. His most recent fight was a submission victory last November against Ryan Curtis.
Bout 4: Brett Johns (16-2) vs. Montel Jackson (9-1) (Bantamweight)
Recent outings from Montel Jackson have been successful as the bantamweight has racked up three UFC wins in a row. With that, the rising fighter is matched with the much more experienced Brett Johns on this show. Johns won his last fight with a rear naked choke against Tony Gravely. He lost twice before, but to highly regarded bantamweights Pedro Munhoz and Aljamain Sterling. This fight was originally scheduled for a card in April, but due to COVID-19 it had to be moved.
Bout 5: Joel Alvarez (16-2) vs. Joe Duffy (16-4) (Lightweight)
UFC veteran Joe Duffy will attempt to snap a two-fight losing streak for the first time on Saturday when he faces Joel Alvarez. The Irish fighter who has fought seven times in the UFC made his return in 2019 against Marc Diakiese. A decision that did not favour him moved him to two consecutive losses. Alvarez has only fought twice in the UFC, with his debut in 2019 being a loss. He has recovered since, as a stoppage performance over Danilo Bulluardo earned him his first win in the promotion.
Bout 6: Grant Dawson (15-1) vs. Nad Narimani (12-3) (Catchweight 150 lbs)
Finishing off the prelim portion of the show is a catchweight bout between Grant Dawson and Nad Narimani. Dawson has had an explosive start in the UFC. First scouted through TV series “Dana White’s Contender Series,” Dawson has went on to pick up three UFC wins. His most recent was his shortest yet, tapping Darrick Minner with a rear naked choke in the second round. Narimari had a good start in the UFC as well, although he got his first loss in his last bout, dropping to Mike Grundy.
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 4:00AM GST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 7: Khadis Ibragimov (8-2) vs. Roman Dolidze (6-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Having struggled out the gates in his UFC run, Khadis Ibragimov will be given a third chance in the promotion when he faces Roman Dolidze. Ibragimov, a former M-1 Light Heavyweight Champion lost his two UFC outings in 2019. He now fights the undefeated Dolidze, who will be returning after a year-and-a-half of absence from competition.
Bout 8: Alexandre Pantoja (22-4) vs. Askar Askarov (11-0-1) (Flyweight)
Undefeated Askar Askarov will return on the main card against Alexandre Pantoja. Askarov’s last fight was his first UFC win, defeating Tim Elliott via decision. His previous fight was his UFC debut, where he went to a draw against Brandon Moreno. Pantoja’s last fight was a stoppage victory over Matt Schnell, which was a bounce back from a loss to Figueiredo, who main events this card.
Bout 9: Ariane Lipski (12-5) vs. Luana Carolina (6-1) (Flyweight)
Two flyweights who just got their first UFC victories will compete on the main card. The first is Ariane Lipski, who struggled through her first two UFC bouts. She picked up her first win in November, prevailing over Isabela de Padua. Now, she faced Luana Carolina, who is coming off of a successful UFC debut win against Priscila Cachoeira. Carolina is one of the many fighters that was found through TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
This fight was scheduled for both May and June before, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, it landed on this card.
Bout 10: Marc Diakiese (14-3) vs. Rafael Fiziev (7-1) (Lightweight)
Coming back from his first UFC win, Rafael Fiziev will take on the much more experienced Marc Diakiese. Fiziev’s last fight was a win against Alex White via decision. Diakiese is currently riding the momentum of two wins from 2019.
Bout 11: Jack Hermansson (20-5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (16-5) (Middleweight)
Two highly touted middleweights in Kelvin Gastelum and Jack Hermansson will meet on UFC’s card on Saturday. Gastelum lost twice in 2019, albeit against tough opponents. A challenge for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship didn’t work out when he battled the now-champion Israel Adesanya. After that, a split decision went the way of Darren Till in November.
Hermansson is coming off of a loss too, as his last fight was a headlining bout to Jared Cannonier. Cannonier won the fight in the second round, finishing it with punches. Before the loss, Hermansson had four wins in a row.
Bout 12: Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) vs. Joseph Benavidez (28-6) (Flyweight)
The headlining bout sees a do-over between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez. Their last meeting, like this one, had title implications, however, a champion was not crowned. This was because Figueiredo, the fighter who won the fight, did not make the weight limit to make him eligible to win the belt.
That was not the only controversy surrounding the fight, as afterwards Benavidez claimed a headbutt caused him to get stopped in the second round.
That’s all now in the rearview mirror as the fighters get a chance to run it back. Benavidez has consistently been a high-level flyweight dating back to his days in WEC. Before his loss in February, he had three wins in a row.
Figueiredo’s short yet eventful UFC run has seen him get seven wins through eight fights. He has a three-fight winning streak coming into this bout that includes a guillotine choke win over Tim Elliott.