RESULTS | UFC Fight Island 2 – Figueiredo sleeps Benavidez to claim vacant flyweight title
IF there was any doubting it before, there can be no questioning now that Deiveson Figueiredo is the undisputed flyweight king, after defeating Joseph Benavidez for a second time at UFC Fight Island 2 this weekend.
It was the Brazilian’s fourth-consecutive win, and came just five months after putting the perennial American contender away via TKO, but being deprived of the belt having missed weight.
>> SCROLL for full results and performance bonuses
He filed his name under the vacant championship rank this time, with the result now seeing Benavidez hold an 0-4 record in UFC title fights, and making it three champions he boasts two losses against, after Demetrious Johnson and Dominick Cruz.
The quick, powerful, and accurate Brazilian again made light work of his veteran opponent, dropping him three times within an action-packed first round, and getting the job done via rear-naked choke after a series of submission attempts.
To the credit of Benavidez, he fought the position valiantly and made Houdini-like escapes from some incredibly compromising chokes, but could only withstand the onslaught for so long.
It made for difficult viewing as his eyes rolled back upon falling into unconsciousness, but only cemented his status as a true fighter with enormous heart.
Jack Hermansson was another to make quick work of his ranked adversary, submitting former interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum in Round 1 via heel hook.
‘The Joker’, now 21-5 returned to the winners list in emphatic style, ducking under a flurry of Gastelum punches to land a takedown, before getting to work on the American’s legs.
After Gastelum survived an initial entanglement, Hermansson would not let slip on his second attempt, snatching up the hold once again to yield a tap from his opponent.
There were six decisions scattered across the card, and one of the more impressive distance victories came from Rafael Fiziev, who put on a striking clinic against the dangerous Marc Diakiese.
Fiziev, a coach at the famed Tiger Muay Thai, put his range of kicking skills on full show with some brutal shots to the body of his English adversary, all of which echoed through the empty Fight Island arena.
The 27-year-old easily took the first two rounds and withstood a late Diakiese surge, now improving to 2-1 in the UFC and 8-1 overall after going down in his promotional debut.
In the sole women’s matchup on the main card, Ariane Lipski lived up to her ‘Queen of Violence’ moniker with a brilliant kneebar finish of compatriot, Luana Carolina.
The Brazilian flyweight was on the hunt early, stalking her opponent before putting her down with power, resisting a calf slicer to eventually wrench up a savage kneebar and have Carolina reeling in pain.
The result sees Lipski improve to 2-2 in the UFC after a 0-2 start, with perhaps the weight of her legend prior to entering the promotion slowly lightening.
Rounding out the main card, Askar Askarov edged fellow flyweight contender and title fight back-up Alexandre Pantoja in a razor thin decision full of eye-catching scrambles.
Still undefeated, it was Askarov’s 12th professional win, and was earned though rallying in Round 2 and 3.
The accomplished grappler used his chain wrestling to wear of Pantoja, surviving an onslaught of early submission attempts to go on to tire the Brazilian and leave him with no real options on offence.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
Deiveson Figueiredo  def. Joseph Benavidez  | Technical submission (rear-naked choke) 4:48 Rd 1
Jack Hermansson  def. Kelvin Gastelum  | Submission (heel hook) 1:18 Rd 1
Rafael Fiziev def. Marc Diakiese | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 29-28, 29-28
Ariane Lipski def. Luana Carolina | Submission (kneebar) 1:28 Rd 1
Askar Askarov  def. Alexandre Pantoja  | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
Roman Dolidze def. Khadis Ibragimov | TKO (knee and punches) 4:15 Rd 1
Grant Dawson def. Nad Narimani | Decision (unanimous) 30-26, 30-27, 29-27
Joel Alvarez def. Joe Duffy | Submission (guillotine choke) 2:25 Rd 1
Brett Johns def. Montel Jackson | Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Amir Albazi def. Malcolm Gordon | Submission (triangle choke) 4:42 Rd 1
Arman Tsarukyan def. Davi Ramos | Decision (unanimous) 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
Serghei Spivac def. Carlos Felipe | Decision (majority) 28-28, 29-27, 29-27
KO/TKO – 1
SUB – 4
DEC – 6
FOTN: Fiziev vs. Diakiese
POTN: Figueiredo, Lipski