What’s next for Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez after UFC Fight Island 2?

Deiveson Figueiredo, Joseph Benavidez
Image Credit: @ufc on Instagram (photographer not listed)

In the main event of UFC Fight Island 2, Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez had an immediate rematch for the vacant flyweight title.

The two fought back in February, where it was Figueiredo who won by second-round knockout. Yet, the Brazilian missed weight and there was a headbutt that impacted the stoppage.

So, ahead of the rematch both said they wanted to finish the other guy. But, it was Figueiredo who did just that scoring a first-round submission win to become the new flyweight champion.

Now, following the event, here is what I think should be next for Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez.

Deiveson Figueiredo

Deiveson Figueiredo proved the first fight was no fluke. There was a ton of controversy after UFC Norfolk. But, the Brazilian proved on Fight Island he is the better fighter.

Figueiredo started the fight landing a big right hand that dropped Benavidez and went on to drop him two more times in the round. He also had two very tight rear-naked chokes, but the third was the one that sealed the deal.

Now, for the Brazilian’s first title defense, he has options. The three names that come up are Alex Perez, Brandon Moreno, and Askar Askarov.

Askarov won on the card and is undefeated, while Moreno is 2-0-1 since returning to the UFC. Perez, meanwhile, is on a three-fight winning streak and all could very well make strong arguments as to why they are next.

But, the most logical option is doing Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Alex Perez, and on the same card, have Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov rematch. The two fought back last September to a draw. Having the two rematch, allows Perez to step in while having them on the same card sets themselves up to face the winner of Figueiredo-Perez.

Joseph Benavidez

Joseph Benavidez said post-fight he knows he won’t get another title shot but doesn’t want to end his career like that.

So, it appears the 35-year-old will fight one more time before hanging up his gloves. When he retires, Benavidez will go down as one of the best but ultimately went 0-4 in UFC title fights, including one being by split decision against Demetrious Johnson.

In his career, he has notable wins over Henry Cejudo, John Moraga, Eddie Wineland, Jussier Formiga, twice, and Alex Perez among others. There is no question he should be a Hall of Famer, but in his final fight, the UFC should give him a favorable matchup so he can retire on a win.

Looking down the flyweight rankings, there are some options for Benavidez like Alexandre Pantoja, Kai Kara France, or Rogerio Bontorin. But, a logical next fight for the 35-year-old is to take on Raulian Paiva. The Brazilian is on a two-fight winning streak. But on paper, Benavidez would be favored to end his career with a win.

Regardless, even without a belt, Joseph Benavidez is still one of the best to ever do it at 125-pounds.

What do you think should be next for Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez?

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