UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2 will take place at UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Sunday, July 19 at 10am AEST.
The UFC Flyweight Championship is up for grabs when Deiveson Figueiredo fights Joseph Benavidez in a rematch from their February 29 fight.
In the co-main event, we see Jack Hermansson fight Kelvin Gastelum in a Middleweight bout.
Here are our best bets and predictions for UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2 on ESPN.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Joseph Benavidez
The vacant UFC Flyweight Championship is on the line after the pair were set to fight for the title back in February. Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) missed weight which meant he was ineligible to win the title and only Joseph Benavidez (28-6) could win the belt. In the second round, Figueiredo had the upper hand to end the fight via TKO.
Figueiredo enters the bout following a positive test earlier in the month. Add in the fact that he missed weight last time and there are questions marks about whether he enters the fight 100 per cent.
Now that the negatives are out of the way, we can focus on the positives. Figueiredo secured a takedown in their first fight where he also locked in an armbar submission. Grappling and submission are a strong area for Figueiredo as he averages 1.86 takedowns and 2.27 submissions per 15 minutes.
The odds for both fighters to win look right. I am not confident whether this fight will have a stoppage or go the distance either. I have a strong lean towards Figueiredo winning but will settle for Over 2.5 rounds.
Jack Hermansson vs Kelvin Gastelum
This Middleweight clash looks great on paper and the co-main event could steal the show. Jack Hermansson (20-5) stands 6’1” and will have a reach advantage of six inches over Kelvin Gastelum (16-5, 1NC) who stands 5’9” but packs a punch.
Hermansson has won four of his last five fights with his most recent a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier back in September. On the other side, Gastelum suffered a unanimous decision loss against UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 236 followed by a split decision loss to Darren Till at UFC 244.
Both men have beaten Jacare Souza in the past couple of years with Gastelum knocking out Michael Bisping in 2017.
It is hard to go past the massive reach advantage in this fight with “The Joker” being able to jab at Gastelum without fear of being touched back. Hermansson lands almost 25 significant strikes per round and isn’t as accustomed to absorbing them with a very low 1.77 significant strikes absorbed per minute (or nine per round).
In addition to striking, Hermansson averages 2.38 takedowns per 15 minutes and has won five fight via submission in addition to 11 knockouts. His all-round skill set, and reach advantage should see him victorious over Gastelum.