Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo defeated American Joseph Benavidez by a technical submission in the first round to win the UFC flyweight title on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
The 32-year-old recorded three knockdowns before a rear naked choke ended Benavidez’s night after four minutes and 48 seconds of the fight – the main contest of the latest UFC ‘Fight Island’.
“I’m the guy that everyone wants to beat and I’m the guy everybody is looking at,” said Figueiredo.
The contest was thrown into jeopardy last week when Figueiredo produced a positive result for Covid-19, but subsequent tests came out negative.
Asked if he thought the fight should be rescheduled, he said: “I’m a guy who doesn’t give up, ever. I had to overcome those hurdles to get here. This is something I had to do.”
Elsewhere, British lightweight fighter Marc Diakieselost by a unanimous decision of 30-27 29-28 29-28 to Kazakhstan’s Rafael Fiziev. Both men were given $50,000 each after their contest was declared Fight of the Night.
Afterwards, the 27-year-old – nicknamed “Bonecrusher”, tweeted: “Sometimes enough isn’t enough, I’ll be back. I can do so much better.”
Irish fighter Joe Duffy announced his retirement from MMA after his first-round submission defeat by Spaniard Joel Alvarez. It was the 32-year-old’s third straight loss.
“I think it’s time to realise that I haven’t got what it takes any more,” Duffy, who ends with a 16-5 record, posted on social media.
Wales’ Brett Johnsdefeated American Montel Jacksonby unanimous decision – 29-28 29-28 29-28 – in the bantamweight category.
England’s Nad Narimaniwas beaten by American Grant Dawson by unanimous decision in their catchweight (150 pounds) contest.
The 33-year-old from Bristol was dominated by Dawson for much of the contest with the judges scoring it 30-26 30-27 29-27.
This was the second of the four UFC Fight Island contests to be held at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.