UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 Predictions
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez
It’s only been a few months since these two last fought for the belt, with Figueiredo emerging victorious by TKO in the second round. However, there were issues with the result, as firstly the Brazilian had made himself ineligible to win the title due to missing weight, while there was also a clash of heads prior to the fights conclusion that some believe played a part in the result.
And so now they are back to do it all again, and there’s been another issue during the build-up as Figueiredo tested positive for coronavirus prior to coming to Fight Island, despite already having had Covid a couple of months ago, but it appears there was an issue with the testing and he’s since been given the greenlight to compete.
Benavidez has always been one of the leading lights in his weight class, losing out only to elite competition, but though he’s still in great shape, at 36 there’s signs that he’s perhaps not as sharp as he once was, and Figuereido appeared to be dealing well with him both on the feet and the mat in their last outing.
Benavidez remains well-rounded, vastly experienced and with his strong cardio he’ll be hoping to push a high pace and take the fight to the later rounds in the hopes that Figueiredo will start to wilt.
That’s certainly possible, but Figueiredo is wielding big power and will be riding high on confidence after their last encounter, so as the covid-19 issues haven’t affected him too much I think he can pose problems for Benavidez again and will find a finish in the third round via strikes.
Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo wins by TKO in Rd3 – Bet Now
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Jack Hermansson
There’s a big size advantage for Hermansson heading into this fight, standing 4” taller than Gastelum and also having a 6” reach advantage too.
Those are tools that Hermansson uses well with rangey, yet still aggressive striking that he’ll hope will keep Gastelum at bay, but he’ll need to be careful as his stocky, compact opponent covers ground quickly and packs a real punch with his fast hands.
Hermansson also fights well on top with brutal ground and pound using his long limbs for leverage and also is a submission threat too, though Gastelum is also a very good wrestler and his low center of gravity will make him difficult to get down.
This should prove to be a hard fought fight and both have a good chance to emerge victorious, but I think Gastelum can shut down Hermansson’s ground game by using his wrestling defensively, and on the feet his speed advantage will allow him to dart inside at times and take advantage of the holes in his aggressive opponent’s defense to land the bigger blows and earn a decision victory.
Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum wins by decision – Bet Now
Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev
This should be a fun one between two dangerous strikers, with Diakiese being significantly more experienced in terms of fights, opposition and cage time.
Diakiese has learned with that experience too – bouncing back from a three-fight losing streak to win his last two fights while showing better use of distance management and movement to go with his already extremely potent, versatile striking, while also utilizing a surprisingly respectable ground game too.
Fiziev is no pushover though and he’s a naturally aggressive striker, so he’ll be hoping to pressure Diakiese and give him little room to operate his flashy offense.
Still, while Fiziev has had some notable success putting opponents away on the regional circuit, he’s not been going up against strikers of Diakiese’s caliber, and with ‘The Bonecrusher’ having shored up some holes in his game I think he can get the better of Fiziev on the feet here and mix in some takedowns too if required on his way to a second round TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Marc Diakiese wins by TKO in Rd2 – Bet Now
Luana Carolina vs. Ariane Lipski
There was some interest in Lipski when she first came into the UFC after a nice run in the KSW promotion, but back-to-back losses against Joanne Calderwood and Molly McCann took the wind out of her sails, though she’s since earned a decision win to get back on track.
Meanwhile, Carolina earned a decision win over Priscila Cachoeira in her debut, but we’ve still to see what she’s really made of when going up against a better standard of opposition.
Neither fighter has been overly impressive so far, but I think Lipski may have a higher ceiling overall and can hold her own on the feet here while also working spells of control on the mat to help narrowly win rounds, but she’ll need to be careful not to be taken down herself as she’s weaker off her back.
Prediction: Ariane Lipski to win by decision – Bet Now
Askar Askarov vs. Alexandre Pantoja
If Figueiredo hadn’t tested negative for Covid-19 then Pantoja had been earmarked to step in as his replacement for the card’s main event title fight, which gives an indication of the UFC’s regard for his skills, though on the other hand, Askarov comes into this one as an unbeaten fighter in 12 pro fights.
Pantoja is best known for his dangerous submission skills, but he’s also heavy-handed too and has demonstrated that with first round finishes in his last couple of UFC victories.
Askorov is a capable striker, but I could see him being outgunned there and he’ll have to go to his solid wrestling base, while he’s also had a penchant for producing submissions on the regional scene.
Overall though I think Pantoja can give him problems wherever the fight goes and will emerge with a second round submission victory.
Prediction: Alexandre Pantoja to win by submission in Rd2 – Bet Now
UFC Fight Night Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Roman Dolidze vs. Khadis Ibragimov
Grant Dawson vs. Nad Narimani
Joel Alvarez vs. Joe Duffy
Montel Jackson vs. Brett Johns
Malcolm Gordon vs. Amir Albazi
Davi Ramos vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Carlos Felipe vs. Serghei Spivac
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Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.