Fighter Betting Trends: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2

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UFC Fight Night Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2: These two fighters meet for the second time in 2020. This time, barring any unforeseen weight or health issues, the UFC Flyweight gold will be on the line. Before you bet the fight, check out the current active fighter betting trends for this championship bout. 

Men’s UFC Flyweight Title Bout

Current Odds:
Deiveson Figueiredo -196
Joseph Benavidez +180

The Battle for Flyweight Supremacy

The flyweight belt hasn’t been held since Henry Cejudo announced that he would relinquish it back in December of 2019. Benavidez and Figueiredo met in February of 2020 for the vacated UFC Flyweight championship, however, the bout ended up only being a title fight for Joseph Benavidez, as Deiveson Figueiredo failed to make the championship weight limit. Benavidez got his title shot but was stopped by TKO in the second round. A clash of heads caused a large cut on Benavidez’s head, which created a slight distraction, which allowed Figueiredo to land the knock out blow that ended the fight. Five months later, with hopes that both fighters make weight, we will finally get to see a new UFC Flyweight Division champion crowned. 

Joseph Benavidez – Betting Trends

Since 2008, Joseph Benavidez has a straight-up betting record of 20-6 for +4.76 units profit. Benavidez has finished 5 of 16 fights inside the distance over the last 8 years. Meanwhile, since 2013, betting Joey B fights to the ‘Under’ has been profitable, as 6 of his 13 fights have gone under the total – for a profit of +3.32 units. Benavidez has had fights end by stoppage either by way of a win or loss, in 7 of his last 16 fights. Needless to say, if you’re going to be backing Benavidez, taking him to win by decision is the wrong way to go. In fact, bettors who have straight bet Joey B to win by decision since 2012 have gone 7-9 for a loss of -2.12 units.

However, backing his opponent to win by decision is an even worse investment. Since 2012, bettors who have faded Benavidez by either way of decision or even inside the distance have gone 2-14 for at least -5 of lost profits. At the end of the day, in the latter stages of his career, Joey B isn’t going to be putting on any five-round technical clinics. What we are going to see from him is going to be short and sweet. From here on out, the value is on backing Benavidez straight-up, or inside the distance. Banking on a decision victory is out of the question for Benavidez, at this point of his career.

Deiveson Figueiredo – Betting Trends

Deiveson Figueiredo has had a marvellous run in the UFC since his debut in 2017. Over the last three and a half years, Figueiredo has gone 7-1, with five of those wins coming by way of stoppage. Bettors who have backed Figueiredo ‘Inside the Distance’ have enjoyed a 5-3 record for +9.98 units profit. While even backing Figueiredo straight-up has earned a 7-1 record for +6.29u profit. Figueiredo has gone to decision just three times in his eight-fight UFC career, two of those being victories and the one decision loss, his only in the UFC. Bettors who have backed ‘Fight Doesn’t Go the Distance’ have gone 5-3 for +3.33 units profit, while the ‘Under’ has gone 4-4 for +2.95 units profit in Figueiredo’s UFC career.

All signs point to the value point for backing Figueiredo is on the ‘Inside the Distance’ line or the straight-up money line. It’s also probably a smart bet that the fight won’t reach the scorecards, as the Under and ‘Won’t Go Distance’ props have been profitable in his fights as well. 

UFC Men’s Flyweight – Division Betting Trends

While the ‘Over’ hits at a 58% rate (18-13) in the UFC Flyweight division over the last year and a half. The ‘Under’ has actually been the side that’s been profitable when betting a total, going 13-18 for +2.89 units since 2019. Although no total line is currently set on this fight, implied probability says that any ‘Under’ in the flyweight division at +138 or better, is a value bet to be making.  

The Favorite has won at a 61% rate in the UFC Flyweight division since 2019, going 19-11-1. Although backing the favourite has not been profitable (-0.56 units). If you’re riding the trends, the favourite has been the probable side to take over the last year and a half. 

Toe to Toe

As per ESPN, Deiveson Figueiredo contracted COVID-19 while training in Brazil over two months ago. On July 11th, Figueiredo once again tested positive for COVID19. However, after a second administered test, Figueiredo tested negative as a carrier of the virus and was cleared to fly to Abu Dhabi. 

It will likely be a difficult weight cut for Figueiredo, who is going to be dealing with the mandatory 48-hour quarantine when he arrives at Yas Island. Due to this, Figueiredo won’t be able to get his last few days of workouts before weigh-ins. The biggest question mark of this fight will be behind the overall health of Deiveson Figueiredo. Even if the weight cut is a success, the mental aspect of the weight cut might be taking away from his overall focus of the fight, which could have undue effect on his performance.

Beyond the health aspects of things, the mental aspect is also a large factor here as well. Figueiredo was a sizable underdog in the first fight against Joseph Benavidez, who had all the pressure on him going into that fight. Now, Figueiredo is the -200 favourite and is being asked to repeat, if not better the performance he had vs Benavidez in their first meeting. These are pressures that any normal MMA fighter would likely allow affect them. The question, again, will be if Figueiredo allows these distractions to seep in. 

As for Joseph Benavidez, the mental hurdles that he had to overcome in the first fight seemed to have had an effect on his overall game. While the narrative has suggested that this could be the last of Benavidez’s title chase in UFC. There is still ample evidence to support the notion that Joseph Benavidez belongs in the UFC Flyweight division, the question of him being title worthy or not will be answered this Saturday. 

How it could play out – Benavidez

For Benavidez, the key to success in this fight will be his ability to keep Figueiredo off-center. He will need to apply his footwork skills early on in the fight, to get Figueiredo in that crouching position rather than up-right. By doing this, Benavidez will prevent Figueiredo from drawing him in and will be able to dictate the fight at his own pace. What Benavidez doesn’t want to do is get into a brawling match with Figueiredo, because even if he is able to survive, it will only lead to a more instinctual style of fighting. These uncalculated and unnecessary risks that Benavidez took in the first fight were likely due to his overall fears of the knock out blow looming. The striking power of Figueiredo caused Benavidez to act in desperation. This was simply how much Benavidez respected, and outright feared Figueiredo’s striking power. In order for Benavidez to win, all of these mental quirks will need to be nullified, and 90% of those quirks come down to mental preparation. While It is highly probable that Joseph Benavidez will be mindfully prepared for this second fight, it is still a question of whether or not he can get over the moment, and squash those mental hurdles.  

How it could play out – Figueiredo

As for Figueiredo, he is overall a rather small guy at 125 but is very hard-hitting for the Flyweight division. He is the type of fighter that likes to be pushed to back and enjoys when the fight is brought to him because that’s when he catches his opponents when they are most vulnerable. This was definitely the case against Joseph Benavidez in their first fight. Figueiredo was able to get Benavidez out of that calculated comfort zone, got him chasing the fight and being overly aggressive. Which is exactly where Figueiredo wanted the fight to go. Figueiredo is at his best when he sits back and waits. He finds his most powerful and effective strikes when countering his opponent’s entry points, especially when he’s backed against the cage. Figueiredo has a great ability to drawback to create pressure and slide off of his opponents to create space, which in turn sets up a trap for the big power strikes he’s capable of. Figueiredo has great footwork when under pressure and is able to sidestep his opponents and turn against the cage when his opponent comes forward. Again, this pressure and release game is exactly what happened with Benavidez in their first meeting. When you watch their first fight, at no point was Figueiredo ever really effected by Benavidez’s striking. Figueiredo was mostly absorbing all of Benavidez’s power punches, with exception to a few body shots and leg kicks. As of a matter of fact, the majority of the damage that Benavidez was inflicting on Figueiredo was via his legs, which is something that will need to be utilized in tenfold if Joey B hopes to have any success in this second title fight.

We won’t really know forsure until we see these fighters the weigh-ins and face-offs, where or not Figueiredo is healthy and fit to compete in a UFC title fight. Until we know forsure, it is still very much up in the air. If Figueiredo is healthy, it is very probable that he gets the job done, in a similar fashion as he did in their first meeting.

Best Bets

Deiveson Figueiredo (Inside the Distance) +100
Figueiredo/Benavidez u3.5 (-120)

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Al Mac is a Canadian combat sports writer specializing in betting odds and historical betting trends. Follow on Twitter @AlMacOdds

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