UFC Fight Night 172: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 Predictions


The UFC is back with its 3rd fight card on Fight Island in a weeks span. Headlining the card is a rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez for the vacant Flyweight Championship. The Flyweight title should Figueiredo’s after he defeated Benavidez in the initial fight for the vacant belt, but he missed weight, deeming him ineligible. Figueiredo has made weight however and destined to repeat the result fro, the first contest. Benavidez though, is probably staring at his last chance for UFC gold and will shore up his game to win at any cost. This should be a fun one.

UFC Fight Island 2 Main Card On ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):

125 lbs. Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez for vacant flyweight title – I’m kind of back and forth with this one. In the first fight, I had Figueiredo based on his power and Benavidez’s iffy chin nowadays. However, Benavidez looked pretty good in the first round plus on the feet, landing lots of volume. Then came a few head clashes, and ultimately the knockout blow by Figueiredo and hammer fist to finish it. I believe if Benavidez can make it past the first three rounds, he’s going to win a decision on sheer volume. My concern though again is his chin. And it’s exposed for mainly the entirety of the feet because Figueiredo is so strong for this weight class and has solid takedown defense. His punching power is such a threat too, especially early on the feet. While, I am concerned about cardio and getting outpointed, I’m just not sold on Benavidez avoiding a power punch. So with that, give me Figueiredo winning via knockout.

185 lbs.: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Jack Hermanssonn – I’m not sure about this fight. I believe Gastelum is best suited in the Welterweight division, but is tough task for anyone in the Middleweight division. He’s beaten a lot of veterans, perhaps fighters out of their prime. However, Hermansson’s resume kind of follows that path too. The difference in this fight for me is weather Hermansson can get this to the ground. I believe Gastelum is the better striker and has the speed edge for sure. If Gastelum gets taken down, Hermansson should grind out a decision. However, I’ll go against my better judgement and side with Gastelum keeping this on the feet for the majority of the fight. In the end, I believe Gastelum wins via late TKO.

155 lbs.: Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev – I’m not sold on Diakiese yet, but I’m not even close to being sold on Fiziev now. I believe Diakiese is going to be smart in this fight, using distance and well timed takedowns to control the pure striker Fiziev. In the end, I foresee Diakiese’s wrestling and top control leading to an eventual submission victory.

125 lbs.: Luana Carolina vs. Ariane Lipski – While Carolina can win this on sheer output, I believe Lipski is going to edge this fight using distance and landing the harder shots. I’m not confident on this one, but Lipski has vast experience and she needs to keep righting the ship after an abysmal start to her UFC tenure. So with that, give me Lipski via decision.

125 lbs.: Askar Askarov vs. Alexandre Pantoja – This is going to be an exciting back and forth fight. I’m leaning Pantoja, given that I see him as the better striker and I slightly the edge him in the grappling department. He’s also got power, durability and a killer instinct to go for the finish. Askarov though has the cardio edge and in the later rounds, given the pace of this fight, could prove to be the difference here. In the end, I expect scrambles galore and a tired Pantoja just edging this one out via decision.

UFC Fight Island 2 Main Card On ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):

125 lbs. Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez for vacant flyweight title

185 lbs.: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Jack Hermansson

155 lbs.: Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev

125 lbs.: Luana Carolina vs. Ariane Lipski – While Carolina can win this on sheer output, I believe Lipski is going to edge this fight via using distance

125 lbs.: Askar Askarov vs. Alexandre Pantoja

UFC Fight Island 2 ‘Prelims’ Undercard On ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):

205 lbs.: Roman Dolidze vs. Khadis Ibragimov – Right of the gate side, I’m siding with Dolidze. Ibragimov has shown me the ability to come out strong early, but fade really hard late. He looks to have power, but thus far hasn’t finished anyone in his two UFC bouts. Ibragimov’s most recent fight against Ed Herman was pretty disappointing, given he lost to an aging veteran. So with that, give me the powerful Dolidze to outlast Ibragimov’s initial burst and win this via late TKO.

150 lbs.: Grant Dawson vs. Nad Narimani (catchweight) – Dawson is a stud wrestler and grappler, whom just needs to sharpen his striking to make the ultimate leap of being a force at 145 lbs. Narimani is a good boxer with good wrestling himself. However, the wrestling of Dawson will be just too much for him to deal with. In the end, I see Dawson locking up his third submission victory in the UFC.

155 lbs.: Joel Alvarez vs. Joe Duffy – It’s kind of odd to me that Alvarez has yet to attempt a takedown thus far in his UFC tenure. Of his 16 wins, not only has he finished all his opponents, but he’s submitted 14 of them. However, Duffy is a submission wizard himself, so I’m not quite afraid of that. I’m more so concerned over Duffy’s mentality. He’s fought once in almost a three year span and hasn’t tasted victory in over three years. While I believe he gets the job done, by landing with a shy more volume than Alvarez, it’s definitely not a lock as the odds indicate. I believe we are in for a close one here and I wouldn’t be surprised if Alvarez wins, but I’m going with Duffy to bounce back with the decision nod.

135 lbs.: Montel Jackson vs. Brett Johns – I believe that Jackson is a future contender in the division. He’s physically imposing and has a strong wrestling attack. His striking is improving and he’s got some power for sure. My concern is cardio. Come the third round, he’s clearly lost steam. Against a guy like Johns, that’s going to be his downfall in this fight. Johns is a cardio machine, who pushes a fast pace. He’s got a solid overall game, but leans more so on his wrestling. His takedown defense is usually stout, as prior to his last fight, he was sitting at around 79%. In that span too, he fought guys like Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz. In the end, while it’s feasible Jackson can win on the heels of two strong rounds, I believe the pace in this fight is going to have a tide change late in the second. I believe Johns steals the round and the fight in the third, en route to a decision victory.

135 lbs.: Malcolm Gordon vs. Amir Albazi – These are two debuting talents in the Flyweight division, whom are fighting up a weight class. Gordon is coming off a spectacular submission victory over highly regarded and formerly undefeated Yoni Sherbatov. Meanwhile Albazi rebounded from his first career loss to the talented Jose Torres, by winning by a quick submission over Ryan Curtis. As for a prediction, I’ve got Albazi. I feel like both have good overall games, and I can envision the scrambles in this fight being bonkers. However, Gordon appears to have durability concerns. Albazi should be able to exploit that given his high pace and win this fight via TKO.

155 lbs.: Davi Ramos vs. Arman Tsarukyan – This is an intriguing fight, as Ramos is a decorated BJJ practitioner and Tsarukyan is a prospect with excellent wrestling. I believe that Ramos is at a disadvantage here though, as his striking isn’t as polished as Tsarukyan and the only way he wins this fight is by taking down Tsarukyan. I just don’t see that happening. Tsarukyan has solid takedown defense, which has only really been penetrated by one of the better wrestler’s in the UFC in Islam Makhachev. In the end, Tsarukyan shrugs off the grappling of Ramos and picks him apart on the feet en route to a decision.

265 lbs.: Carlos Felipe vs. Serghei Spivac – Felipe is an undefeated prospect, and hasn’t fought in three years due to popping for a banned substance under USADA. Other than having power, their is very little information to go on. Spivac on the other hand is a competent striker, whom is more keen to getting the fight to the mat with his wrestling. From there, he’s a solid submission game, with six of his ten games coming via that. Make it seven, as I see Spivac getting this fight to the mat over and over and submitting a tired Felipe.

UFC Fight Island 2 ‘Prelims’ Undercard On ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):

205 lbs.: Roman Dolidze vs. Khadis Ibragimov – Right of the gate side, I’m siding with Dolidze. Ibragimov has shown me the ability to come out strong early, but fade really hard late. He looks to have power, but thus far hasn’t finished anyone in his two UFC bouts. Ibragimov’s most recent fight against Ed Herman was pretty disappointing, given he lost to an aging veteran. So with that, give me the powerful Dolidze to outlast Ibragimov’s initial burst and win this via late TKO.

150 lbs.: Grant Dawson vs. Nad Narimani (catchweight) – Dawson is a stud wrestler and grappler, whom just needs to sharpen his striking to make the ultimate leap of being a force at 145 lbs. Narimani is a good boxer with good wrestling himself. However, the wrestling of Dawson will be just too much for him to deal with. In the end, I see Dawson locking up his third submission victory in the UFC.

155 lbs.: Joel Alvarez vs. Joe Duffy – It’s kind of odd to me that Alvarez has yet to attempt a takedown thus far in his UFC tenure. Of his 16 wins, not only has he finished all his opponents, but he’s submitted 14 of them. However, Duffy is a submission wizard himself, so I’m not quite afraid of that. I’m more so concerned over Duffy’s mentality. He’s fought once in almost a three year span and hasn’t tasted victory in over three years. While I believe he gets the job done, by landing with a shy more volume than Alvarez, it’s definitely not a lock as the odds indicate. I believe we are in for a close one here and I wouldn’t be surprised if Alvarez wins, but I’m going with Duffy to bounce back with the decision nod.

135 lbs.: Montel Jackson vs. Brett Johns – I believe that Jackson is a future contender in the division. He’s physically imposing and has a strong wrestling attack. His striking is improving and he’s got some power for sure. My concern is cardio. Come the third round, he’s clearly lost steam. Against a guy like Johns, that’s going to be his downfall in this fight. Johns is a cardio machine, who pushes a fast pace. He’s got a solid overall game, but leans more so on his wrestling. His takedown defense is usually stout, as prior to his last fight, he was sitting at around 79%. In that span too, he fought guys like Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz. In the end, while it’s feasible Jackson can win on the heels of two strong rounds, I believe the pace in this fight is going to have a tide change late in the second. I believe Johns steals the round and the fight in the third, en route to a decision victory.

135 lbs.: Malcolm Gordon vs. Amir Albazi – These are two debuting talents in the Flyweight division, whom are fighting up a weight class. Gordon is coming off a spectacular submission victory over highly regarded and formerly undefeated Yoni Sherbatov. Meanwhile Albazi rebounded from his first career loss to the talented Jose Torres, by winning by a quick submission over Ryan Curtis. As for a prediction, I’ve got Albazi. I feel like both have good overall games, and I can envision the scrambles in this fight being bonkers. However, Gordon appears to have durability concerns. Albazi should be able to exploit that given his high pace and win this fight via TKO.

155 lbs.: Davi Ramos vs. Arman Tsarukyan – This is an intriguing fight, as Ramos is a decorated BJJ practitioner and Tsarukyan is a prospect with excellent wrestling. I believe that Ramos is at a disadvantage here though, as his striking isn’t as polished as Tsarukyan and the only way he wins this fight is by taking down Tsarukyan. I just don’t see that happening. Tsarukyan has solid takedown defense, which has only really been penetrated by one of the better wrestler’s in the UFC in Islam Makhachev. In the end, Tsarukyan shrugs off the grappling of Ramos and picks him apart on the feet en route to a decision.

265 lbs.: Carlos Felipe vs. Serghei Spivac – Felipe is an undefeated prospect, and hasn’t fought in three years due to popping for a banned substance under USADA. Other than having power, their is very little information to go on. Spivac on the other hand is a competent striker, whom is more keen to getting the fight to the mat with his wrestling. From there, he’s a solid submission game, with six of his ten games coming via that. Make it seven, as I see Spivac getting this fight to the mat over and over and submitting a tired Felipe.

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