The worst case scenario for the UFC flyweight division just unfolded.
After failing to make weight on Friday thus voiding his chance to become 125-pound champion, Deiveson Figueiredo ultimately finished Joseph Benavidez by second-round TKO following an accidental clash of heads and then a devastating right hand that ended the fight.
Following the fight, the Brazilian apologized for failing to make championship weight while adding that his mission on Saturday night wasn’t about winning the title but rather putting on a show for the Norfolk audience.
“Guys, please, forgive me for not making weight,” Figueiredo said following his win. “I was always a professional in the promotion, but it happened. Next time I will make weight. I promise you that. And I said I was going to give you guys a show tonight, and I gave you guys a show.
“I’m not here for the belt, I’m here to give you all a show. The belt isn’t going (home) with me today, but I’m sure, if it’s God’s will, it will come to me. It will come.”
Deiveson Figueiredo finished Joseph Benavidez in the second round at #UFCNorfolk pic.twitter.com/km8IIjsjeb— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 1, 2020
It was a chaotic fight from beginning to end with Figueiredo nearly catching Benavidez with an armbar during an early scramble in the opening round. For a moment it looked like Benavidez’s arm was possibly broken but instead he just showed off his incredible flexibility as he found a way out of the submission.
Benavidez then came back for the remainder of the round as he began trading punches in furious exchanges with the heavy-handed Brazilian.
It appeared that Benavidez’s confidence was soaring as he came firing in the second round but disaster struck after he clashed heads with Figueiredo and blood immediately began pouring out of his forehead. With Benavidez rattled, Figueiredo pushed forward and blasted him with a right hand that mashed the three-time UFC title contender square in the face and sent him crashing to the ground.
Figueiredo followed up with a few more shots until referee Dan Miragliotta came into stop the fight at 1:54 in the second round.
It was an impressive performance but Figueiredo missing weight means that the 125-pound title remains vacant with an uncertain future for the flyweight division without a champion. As for Benavidez, he’s now 0-3 in title fights in the UFC and he was understandably upset in the aftermath of his loss.
“I feel like this isn’t real right now,” Benavidez said. “I’m in some freaking nightmare honestly. Life’s tough like that.”