Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez UFC Fight Night Odds, Prediction, Pick: Bet the Favorite In the Flyweight Title Rematch
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Deiveson Figueiredo celebrates after defeating Joseph Benavidez.
- The updated betting lines for tonight's main event list Deiveson Figueiredo as a -230 betting favorite vs. Joseph Benavidez (+185 odds) and the over/under at 3.5 rounds.
- The two flyweights will battle for the 125-pound belt on Saturday's UFC Fight Night in a rematch of their 2019 matchup.
- Sean Zerillo analyzes tonight's matchup along with his betting pick to win below.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez Odds
|Figueiredo odds||-230 (BET NOW)|
|Benavidez odds||+185 (BET NOW)|
|Over/Under||3.5 Rounds (-106/-125)
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Venue||Yas Island, Abu Dhabi|
Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo will battle for the UFC’s vacant Flyweight title in Saturday Night’s main event on Fight Island – a rematch of their Feb. 29 bout, when Figueiredo won by second-round knockout.
Figueiredo missed weight before that fight, however, which is why the belt remains vacant, and Benavidez gets a chance at redemption in what could be his final title shot.
The popular American has fought for a championship four times between the UFC and WEC, losing to Dominick Cruz (2010), twice to Demetrious Johnson (2012, 2013) and Figueiredo. He is one of the most accomplished MMA practitioners never to hold a title and time is running out for the 35-year-old veteran — careers end in a hurry for smaller fighters, as opposed to heavyweights.
Will Benavidez finally be crowed as champion after his 35th professional fight, or does the larger and more powerful Figueiredo present too tricky of a stylistic matchup for Joe?
Deiveson Figueiredo Odds History
|Date & Opponent||Opening & Closing Odds||Results|
|2/29/20, Joseph Benavidez||+135, +120||W|
|10/12/19, Tim Elliott||-210, -205||W|
|7/27/19, Alexandre Pantoja||-105, +100||W|
|3/23/19, Jussier Formiga||-175, -180||L|
|8/25/18, John Moraga||-135, -185||W|
The betting market pegged Figuerido as a live underdog before the first matchup, and it has pounded his moneyline again before the rematch, moving him from a -150 favorite (implied 60%) at open to -230 (implied 69.7%) as of writing.
Joseph Benavidez Odds History
|Date & Opponent||Opening & Closing Odds||Results|
|2/29/20, Deiveson Figueiredo||-165, -175||L|
|6/29/19, Jussier Formiga||-165, -155||W|
|1/19/19, Dustin Ortiz||-380, -285||W|
|11/30/18, Alex Perez||-195, -105||W|
|6/9/18, Sergio Pettis||-260, -250||L|
The betting market has taken the other side from Benavidez, after open, in six of his past seven bouts – dating back to his December 2016 fight against Henry Cejudo (opened -260, closed -235).
32 is the average age for Flyweight, and Benavidez is three-years past that threshold – while coming in off of a knockout loss just 4.5 months ago to the same fighter – and at 35, he would become the oldest fighter to claim a title at welterweight or below.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||10:21||11:30|
|Date of birth||12/18/87||7/31/84|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.54||3.53|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.76||2.55|
|Take Down Avg||1.81||1.50|
Unlike last time, Figueiredo had no issues making weight – and he will be eligible to win the Flyweight belt on Saturday.
Even after missing weight, he rehydrated well before the last fight and looked like a Bantamweight competing at the Flyweight level. Figueiredo has a definite size and strength advantage over Benavidez, even before you factor in height (+1 inch) and reach (+3 inches).
The Brazilian is an incredibly accurate (52%), patient, and powerful striker, who is happy to eat shots from his weaker opponents to put himself in position to fire off huge counters – which explains his negative strike differential (-0.22) compared to Benavidez’s positive strike differential (+0.98).
Benavidez is technically the better defender (63%), but Figueiredo was both more elusive and more accurate in the first matchup.
And the Brazilian attempts submissions (2.36 per 15 minutes) at the highest rate in Flyweight history.
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Figueiredo’s Path to Victory
If the second fight plays out the same way as the first fight, I think Figueiredo figures out how to put Benavidez to sleep again.
In February, Benavidez dictated the early pace. Still, it wasn’t long before Figueiredo was pushing him back towards the cage, which forced Joe to circle the octagon repeatedly and lunge in to try and close the distance with combinations.
Every time he lunged in, he dropped his hands.
Figueiredo was out-landed in the first round, but none of the shots he took appeared to do any damage – he merely absorbed them while walking forward and looked for the openings Benavidez was giving him.
In the first-round grappling exchanges, Figueiredo was the stronger man and had a deep armbar locked in that Benavidez was able to escape from.
The Brazilian still lost the first round on volume, but he appeared to be fully in control of the proceedings, and it wasn’t long before he left as the winner:
You can partially blame the knockout on the head butt, which proceeded it – Benavidez started spurting blood from his temple immediately and had likely suffered a concussion even before taking a clean right hand to the face. Still, his hands were also down consistently, and it was only a matter of time before a decent shot from Figueiredo scored a knockdown.
Benavidez’s Path to Victory
Benavidez is going to need to win the fight on durability, stamina, and volume. In February, he won the first round 10-9 on all three scorecards, and the striking metrics point to him out-landing Figueiredo throughout a five-round battle.
Benavidez doubled-up Figueiredo in that first round, landing 31 of 60 strike attempts, compared to 15-of-28 for the Brazilian, and if he can maintain that pace for at least three rounds, and avoid getting knocked out for the entire fight, he has a strong chance to leave as the winner via decision.
But he needs to make some adjustments and clean things up after the last bout – especially his defensive hand placement when throwing naked kicks.
Benavidez needs to constantly stick and move and look to chip away at Figueiredo’s legs and body to tire him out – the American has fought for five rounds before and likely has the better conditioning.
He also needs to use his excellent scrambling abilities to get back to his feet quickly and avoid any submission attempts which could either swing a round or end the fight – which potentially mixing in a few takedowns of his own in the later rounds.
I’m most concerned about Benavidez’s age – 35 is old for a flyweight – and chin, after getting knocked out just a few months ago. Perhaps Benavidez should have taken more time off to recover following multiple concussions – and Figueiredo will undoubtedly have opportunities to test his opponent’s chin.
Figueiredo vs. Benavidez Betting Pick
The crowdsourced projection for this fight makes Figueiredo a 75% favorite, implied odds of -300 – so there is about a 5.3% edge on the favorite compared to his current moneyline at -230 (implied 69.7%).
Interestingly, before the first encounter, the crowd picked Benavidez at nearly an 80% rate – so the recency bias is quite strong.
I expect a binary outcome here – anticipating Figueiredo to win inside the distance, or Benavidez to win on the scorecards if he can survive, and there is a way to bet on both props and ensure a profit if one of them comes through.
However, based upon the projections, I cannot recommend betting on Benavidez by decision at +325 when I would set those odds closer to +515.
The only winning method prop on the board that offers value is Figueiredo by KO/TKO or DQ (+135), which I projected at -145 (implied 59.2%) – and although I hate betting on the same result to happen again, it is still the bet that is priced most incorrectly, in my opinion. You can bet it down to even money (+100).
The projection sees the fight finishing inside the distance 74% of the time, implied odds of -285, so betting the No – To Go the Distance (-190) offers about 9.5% of line value.
I’ll keep my bet on this fight small — Benavidez is an all-time great whether he wins a title or not, and he offers a pretty clear path to victory. Still, Figueiredo just looked significantly bigger and stronger in the first fight, and Joe is likely to decline from both a speed and durability standpoint at his age.