Joseph Benavidez gets quick turnaround fight vs. Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 233
The future of the flyweight division is “murky,” according to UFC President Dana White, but this much is clear: UFC 233 has another 125-pound fight.
It’ll be a quick turnaround for Benavidez (26-5 MMA, 13-3 UFC), who this past weekend defeated Alex Perez by first-round TKO at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale. Afterward, Benavidez made a plea to change the narrative on the status of the flyweight division.
“The commentary – I’m just trying to change it,” said Benavidez, who’s No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings. “Everybody’s like, ‘When’s it leaving? Is this the last fight? Are they still doing it? Are you going up (in weight)?’
“Why aren’t people talking about how exciting it is? We’ve got a pound-for-pound champion in T.J. (Dillashaw) coming down to our weight to fight an Olympic champion who just beat the greatest ever. I have a win over Henry (Cejudo). T.J.’s an ex-teammate of mine. The story’s there. The skill is obviously there, as much as in any division.”
Figueiredo (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), ranked No. 8, last fought in August at UFC Fight Night 135, defeating John Moraga by TKO to remain undefeated. Three of his four UFC victories have been finishes.
With both fighters in the top five of the official UFC rankings, it stands to reason that the fight was booked with protection in mind. In the UFC 233 main event, bantamweight champion Dillashaw is moving down to challenge Cejudo for the 125-pound belt. In the event Dillashaw fails to make weight, the UFC could turn to either Benavidez or Figueiredo as a backup.
The current UFC 233 lineup includes:
- Champ Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for flyweight title
- Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler
- Islam Makhachev vs. Francisco Trinaldo
- Paul Felder vs. James Vick
- Yana Kunitskaya vs. Marion Reneau
- Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski
- Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Cortney Casey
- Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
- Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
For more on UFC 233, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.