UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo Preview

 

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo will air on February 29, 2020, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Preliminary Card (ESPN+)

ISMAIL “THE AUSTRIAN WONDERBOY” NAURDIEV (19-3-0) vs SEAN BRADY (11-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Naurdiev brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Brady brings striking and jiu-jitsu. A similar style; Naurdiev is more well-rounded. His grappling is more aggressive along with his ground-and-pound. Brady will try to defend, but not be able to withstand Naurdiev’s strength. My prediction: Naurdiev wins via submission in Round 3.

AALON CRUZ (8-2-0) vs SPIKE “THE ALPHA GINGER” CARLYLE (8-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Cruz brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Carlyle brings striking, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Carlyle is well-equipped with grappling, but Cruz possesses great defense. He will make it difficult for Carlyle to use his grappling by keeping the fight standing. There he will pressure Carlyle while scoring critical points. My prediction: Cruz wins via unanimous decision.

JORDAN “THE NATIVE PSYCHO” GRIFFIN (17-7-0) vs TJ “DOWNTOWN” BROWN (14-6-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Griffin brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Brown brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Almost identical in style; Griffin shows better athleticism. He will be more accurate with his attacks and land a few takedowns. Brown will try defending, but will not be as accurate as Griffin. My prediction: Griffin wins via unanimous decision.

MARCIN “TYBUR” TYBURA (17-6-0) vs SERGEY “POLAR BEAR” SPIVAK (10-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Tybura brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Spivak brings striking and sambo. Tybura is great with his jiu-jitsu and looks to be his main weapon in this fight. However, Spivak’s sambo is far superior to Tybura’s jiu-jitsu. He will defend against all of Tybura’s takedown and land his own in return. He will out grapple Tybura and use ground-and-pound to take Tybura out. My prediction: Spivak wins via knockout in Round 2.

LUIS “VIOLENT BOB ROSE” PENA (7-2-0) vs ALEX MUNOZ (6-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Pena brings kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Munoz brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are well-rounded, Pena is a better grappler. His wrestling will give him a great advantage over Munoz’s jiu-jitsu. Munoz will try to grapple with Pena, but will not prevail. My prediction: Pena wins via submission in Round 1.

BRENDAN “ALL IN” ALLEN (13-3-0) vs TOM BREESE (11-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Allen brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Breese brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both bring their techniques; Breese appears to be more well-rounded. He will use his boxing to weaken Allen before taking him to the ground. He will then use his wrestling to wear Allen down more until the very end. My prediction: Breese wins via unanimous decision.

Main Card (ESPN+)

GABRIEL “GABITO” SILVA (8-1-0) vs KYLER “MATRIX” PHILIPS (6-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Silva brings striking and grappling. Philips brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are new and look to shine in the organization. They bring their techniques; Philips seems to be a better grappler. He will use his jiu-jitsu to take control of the fight. Once he does he will not give Silva any edge and continue his reign of assault. My prediction: Philips wins via unanimous decision.

GRANT “THE PROPHET” DAWSON (14-1-0) vs DARRICK MINNER (24-10-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Dawson brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Minner brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Minner’s experience looks to give him the advantage in this fight. However, Dawson is fast and accurate with his attacks where Minner has been decreasing in his fights. Dawson will catch Minner right away and bring him to the ground. There he will out grapple him until he forces him to quit. My prediction: Dawson wins via submission in Round 1.

MEGAN ANDERSON (10-4-0) VS. NORMA DUMONT (4-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s featherweight division. Anderson brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Dumont brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both bring techniques; Anderson is much more aggressive with her striking. Her Muay Thai will prove too much for Dumont right away. Dumont will try to defend and escape, but Anderson will not let her. My prediction: Anderson wins via TKO in Round 1.

ION “THE HULK” CUTELABA (15-4-0, 1 NC) vs MAGOMED ANKALAEV (13-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Cutelaba brings striking, sambo, and wrestling. Ankalaev brings striking, sambo, and wrestling. With both being great grapplers this fight will no doubt be decided on who is better. Cutelaba brings a great combination of sambo and wrestling, but not as good as Ankalaev’s. Ankalaev will be able to counter all of Cutelaba’s grappling and maintain control of the fight. Cutelaba will try to gain control, but will not be able to do so. My prediction: Ankalaev wins via submission in Round 3.

FELICIA “FEENOM” SPENCER (7-1-0) vs ZARAH “INFINITE” FAIRN DOS SANTOS (6-3-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the women’s featherweight division. Spencer brings kickboxing, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Dos Santos brings striking and grappling. These two female fighters look to show what they have in this fight. Dos Santos possesses striking and grappling abilities, but not as much as Spencer. Spencer will use her kickboxing to weaken Dos Santos before taking her to the ground. Once on the ground, she will transition to her jiu-jitsu and out grapple dos Santos with ease. My prediction: Spencer wins via submission in Round 1.

#1 JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ (28-5-0) vs #3 DEIVESON “DEUS DA GUERRA” FIGUEIREDO (17-1-0)
This is a five-round main event for the vacant flyweight championship. Benavidez brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and wrestling. Figueiredo brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are well-rounded in every way and look to prove why they are the next king of the flyweights. Benavidez’s wrestling is elite and appears to be all he needs to take Figueiredo out. However, Figueiredo brings wrestling of his own mixed with jiu-jitsu. This will be enough to overpower Benavidez’s wrestling and gain him control of the fight. He will use some ground-and-pound to weaken Benavidez more until the very end. My prediction: Figueiredo wins via unanimous decision.

*UPDATE*
On Friday morning, ESPN reported that Deiveson Figueiredo did not make weight at weigh-ins. He was 2.5 pounds over. The maximum weight for the flyweight division is 125 pounds. Joseph Benavidez did make weight at 124.5 pounds.

This means that Figueiredo cannot win the flyweight title if he wins on Saturday. Benavidez with a decision can claim the title and 30% of Figueiredo’s purse.