(#1) DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO AND (#2) JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ REMATCH FOR VACANT UFC FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ON UFC FIGHT ISLAND
(#6) vs. (#7) KELVIN GASTELUM
(#4) ALEXANDRE PANTOJA vs. (#7) ASKAR ASKAROV
UFC® continues its run of shows on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with a vacant flyweight championship bout that will see No. 1 ranked contender Deiveson Figueiredo rematch No. 2 Joseph Benavidez. In an exciting clash of middleweight contenders, No. 6 ranked Jack Hermansson takes on No. 7 Kelvin Gastelum. All events on UFC FIGHT ISLAND are the result of a partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: FIGUEIREDO vs. BENAVIDEZ 2 will take place Saturday, July 18 at Flash Forum on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. The main card begins at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT in English and Spanish on ESPN+. The preliminary card will kick off at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (English and Spanish). The event will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance.
Figueiredo (18-1, fighting out of Soure, Pará, Brazil) scored a controversial TKO win over Benavidez in February, but was deemed ineligible for the vacant championship due to missing weight. Arguably the hardest hitting flyweight on the roster, Figueiredo holds spectacular victories against Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja and John Moraga. Figueiredo now looks to do right by his second title opportunity and prove his win over Benavidez was no fluke.
Considered by many to be among the greatest fighters to never win a UFC championship, Benavidez (28-6, fighting out of Las Cruces, N.M.) has a fresh opportunity to make his dream a reality. Over the course of his tremendous career, he has earned impressive victories against Jussier Formiga (twice), Henry Cejudo and Tim Elliott. Benavidez now hopes to even the score with Figueiredo and capture the UFC flyweight championship.
Known for his heavy ground-and-pound attack, Hermansson (20-5, fighting out of Oslo, Norway) has proven to be as tough and gritty as they come at middleweight. Victorious in four of his last five outings, he has netted exciting wins over Jacare Souza, David Branch and Thales Leites. Hermansson now aims to re-assert himself as a title threat by taking out another former UFC title challenger.
Winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 17, the resume of Gastelum (16-5 1NC, fighting out of Yuma, Ariz.) features the top names at middleweight and includes a classic five-round battle against champion Israel Adesanya. He also holds sensational wins over Michael Bisping, Jacare Souza and Tim Kennedy. Gastelum now hopes to continue his climb up the ranks by taking out Hermansson.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- In an exciting lightweight bout, Marc Diakiese (14-3, fighting out of Doncaster, England) meets Rafael Fiziev (7-1, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by way of Phuket, Thailand)
- Ariane Lipski (12-5, fighting out of Curitiba, State of Paraná, Brazil) aims to build off her most recent win when she takes on Luana Carolina (6-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
- In a pivotal flyweight contenders’ bout, No. 4 ranked Alexandre Pantoja (22-4, fighting out of Arraial Do Cabo, Brazil) squares off with unbeaten No. 7 Askar Askarov (11-0-1, fighting out of Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia)
- Undefeated Roman Dolidze (6-0, fighting out of Odessa, Ukraine) makes his UFC debut against Khadis Ibragimov (8-2, fighting out of Saint Petersburg, Russia)
- Grant Dawson (15-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) meets Nad Narimani (12-3, fighting out of Bristol, England) in a 150-pound catchweight bout
- Joe Duffy (16-4, fighting out of Donegal, Ireland) returns to take on Joel Alvarez (16-2, fighting out of Asturias, Spain)
- Brett Johns (16-2, fighting out of Swansea, Wales) goes for another highlight-reel finish when he takes on Montel Jackson (10-1, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.)
- UFC flyweight newcomers collide when Malcolm Gordon (12-3, fighting out of London, Ont., Canada) squares off with Amir Albazi (12-1, fighting out of London, England)
- Davi Ramos (10-3, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) meets Arman Tsarukyan (14-2, fighting out of Krasnodar, Russia, by way of Phuket, Thailand) in a battle of gritty lightweight grapplers
- Heavyweights kick off the evening when Carlos Felipe (8-0, fighting out of Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil) squares off with Serghei Spivac (10-2, fighting out of Chisinau, Republic of Moldova)
UFC will then wrap up its first series of events on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: WHITTAKER vs. TILL on Saturday, July 25.
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
A full line of UFC FIGHT ISLAND products, including t-shirts, hats, water bottles, tote bags, and more are available now on UFCStore.com
UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 318 million fans and 102 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to nearly one billion TV households across more than 175 countries. UFC’s athlete roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 65 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC was acquired in 2016 by global entertainment, sports and content company Endeavor, along with strategic investors Silver Lake Partners and KKR. UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.
About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi:
The Department of Culture and Tourism conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.
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