Deiveson Figueiredo says he ‘closed the casket’ on Joseph Benavidez

Deiveson Figueiredo, Joseph Benavidez
Image Credit: Screenshot from UFC's YouTube

On UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi last weekend, Deiveson Figueiredo earned the flyweight with a win over Joseph Benavidez. He already headed back to his home turf of Brazil on Sunday afternoon accompanied by his new UFC belt.

Figueiredo and Benavidez first fought back in February, where it was Figueiredo who won by second-round knockout. However the Brazilian missed weight, so he didn’t claim the flyweight belt.

In their rematch, Figueiredo wanted to finish his rival for good, and he did that with a first-round submission win to become the new flyweight champion.

In an interview with MMA Fighting, the flyweight champion discussed his one-sided victory against Benavidez, how it went according to his plan and why he wants to fight the former champion, Henry Cejudo next.

“That’s what I planned, I made weight,” he said. “I spent the whole day in the room breaking down the fight, what could happen, how I would dominate him in the cage and I saw myself shutting every door in all areas.”

According to Figueiredo, he accurately predicted Benavidez’ strategy and found the best way to counteract his offence which resulted in victory.

“He would definitely come out with the same pace from the first fight, come in with the same volume of strikes and for me to stop this I would have to counter with my elbows,” he said.

“He always comes with his head down, he even head-butted me in the first fight and then said I head-butted him, so this time I did not use my head to defend his headbutts, I used my elbow,” Figueiredo added. “And that’s how I managed to get him down and submit him, he was a bit out with the elbows, so I used the opportunity to end the fight.”

Deiveson Figueiredo did praise his flyweight rival for his strength and stated that he defended his position, but Benavidez’s efforts weren’t enough to defend himself from a loss.

“I knew that when I got the first knockdown he’d lose [awareness] of what was happening inside the cage and I’d be able to do whatever I wanted with him,” Figueiredo said. “And it happened. I knocked him down three times. His soul wasn’t in his body anymore. And then I took what was left and closed the casket.”

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