UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2 Preview

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Ahead of the latest UFC Fight Night, Jeff Fox presents his betting tips including some live underdogs.

Joseph Benavidez fighting in the octagon

First, let me start off with a mea culpa for this past Wednesday. I’m sorry. I really am. UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Ige was a complete failure in terms of my betting advice, as I was only 4-7 for the event, and hit on no underdogs.

But today’s a new day, and the UFC is still enjoying the sunny fun times at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, with another event scheduled to go down this Saturday. So, let’s dust ourselves off and get back on that gambling horse and pick some winners for UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2.

As the ‘2’ in the title hints at, this card is topped off with a rematch. What’s strange is it is a rematch for the same vacant title the original fight was for this past February. In their initial fight for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship, Deiveson Figueiredo knocked out Joseph Benavidez in the second round after an errant headbutt dazed Benavidez. However, the Brazilian failed to make championship weight for the fight, as he weighed in at 127.5 pounds, 2.5 pounds over the flyweight limit, so he wasn’t eligible to win the belt.

Hopefully, there won’t be such an issue this week, as Figueiredo has stated as much, and we end up with someone wearing the belt at the end of Saturday’s card. My bet is that Figueiredo (5/12*) will be the one with the championship gold around his waist. While Benavidez won round one of their initial encounter, I think Figueiredo’s power will once again carry the day here (as well as him being the bigger and younger of the two).

Hermansson v Gastelum

The semi-main event is also a very good matchup in top middleweight contenders Jack Hermansson and Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum challenged for the interim version of the middleweight title in April of 2019, losing a tough battle against current champion Israel Adesanya. He followed that up by losing to Darren Till last November, making it over two years since he’s tasted victory in the octagon. I’ll be going with Hermansson in this fight as he’ll be the much bigger fighter (four inches of height and six inches of reach) – Gastelum really should be back competing at welterweight but doesn’t seem to have the discipline of dieting down. ‘The Joker’ also is a superb grappler, which should allow him to counter the strong wrestling of Gastelum. You can get the Swede-Norwegian as a slight favourite on the MansionBet board at 5/6.

Roll the Dice on Some Live ‘Dogs

If you want to roll the dice and go for some live (hopefully) dogs on Saturday, I’ve got a few in mind. Luana Carolina is at 21/20 for her women’s flyweight battle against Ariane Lipski. I like Carolina because she’s a volume striker and Lipski gets hit a lot in her fights (she actually gets hit more than she hits her opponent on average). Keeping in the flyweight ranks, but over on the men’s side, I’m considering Askar Askarov at 8/5 against Alexandre Pantoja. Pantoja tends to only lose to the very elite of the division, making him the division’s de facto ‘gatekeeper’. But I believe Askarov has the skills to be a future title contender – guess we’ll see on Saturday night.

Hail Mary Underdog!

Care for a huge, Hail Mary underdog? Then look no further than Joel Alvarez at 53/20 against ‘Irish’ Joe Duffy. While Duffy has the high level experience in his favour, Alvarez will be much bigger and much younger than him when the cage door shuts (actually, for that matter, as well as before the door shuts, and after the match, and so on) and Duffy has been very inactive over the past few years due to injury. Worth a gamble.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Jeff Fox offers expert insight into the world of MMA & UFC betting from his years of experience in the industry. His work has appeared in publications such as SI.com, St Louis Post-Dispatch, SLAM, Fighters Only Magazine & FIGHT!, among many others. Jeff shares his UFC betting tips with MansionBet readers on a weekly basis.
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