Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo collided for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship in the main event of UFC Fight Night Norfolk, with Benavidez losing via second round TKO.
An accidental headbutt took place between Benavidez and Figueiredo moments before the finishing sequence and Benavidez says that headbutt played a role in how the bout ended.
“If the head butt didn’t happen, I feel I was getting in a good groove,” Benavidez told TSN (via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “I obviously won the first round, and I think it was only a matter of time before I continued to get to my groove, continued to find more shots, continued to find even more takedowns. I mean, the guy was very springy and strong at the beginning, but the head butt altered everything. I didn’t know where I was after the head butt. I mean, right as it happened, I didn’t even – it was one of those things that rattled you so bad, I wasn’t present. I clearly just walked straight backwards with my hands down, and I rubbed my eye as the guy that was trying to finish me was right in front of me. A focused, present fighter, that wouldn’t have happened. I didn’t really know what had happened or where I was. So yeah, that was 100 percent the beginning of the end. I didn’t know where I was, that led to him swarming me and punching me, which yeah, for him, the fight wasn’t stopped, he saw blood, and he saw me obviously rocked and did what he thought he’d do.”
Figueiredo did walk away victorious at UFC Fight Night Norfolk, but he didn’t win the flyweight title after missing weight for the encounter.
It all may not be so bad for Benavidez in the end, as both Figueiredo and UFC President Dana White seem interested in putting a rematch together for the vacant UFC Flyweight Title.