UFC Fight Island 2 is in the books. A card that saw debutants take their first steps under the promotion and saw a new Flyweight Champion crowned. Let’s look at the takeaways from the event.
1. Figueiredo is the Real Deal
The power Deiveson Figueiredo possesses in his hands for a Flyweight is scary. Saturday night, the Brazilian cemented himself as the Flyweight king. The last outing between Figueredo and Benavidez ended controversially with the indication of a headbutt causing Benavidez to stall then lose the fight.
The performance by Figueiredo in the rematch was the performance of a Champion considering everything he went through to get to Abu Dhabi. Figueiredo had many obstacles to overcome and he handled them like a true professional.
The Brazilian seemed to not be fazed by Benavidez once during the short time they were in there. Benavidez was dropped multiple times by the crisp hands of Figueredo and out-positioned to finally falling victim to a rear-naked choke.
Figueredo climbed to (19-1) with four consecutive wins. He has shown he can finish the fight standing and on the ground. It’s going to take something special to stop him.
2. Kelvin Gastelum’s Downward Spiral
Just over a year ago, Kelvin Gastelum was causing problems and testing Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. Now, he has found himself stuck in a rut. Gastelum fell victim to a 78-second heel hook from Jack Hermansson.
The UFC title seemed within touching distance at the start of 2019 for Gastelum, but tough losses to Adesanya, Till and now Hermansson make that feel like a lifetime ago.
Gastelum and his team need to be strategical on what fight they accept next. Four losses on the bounce can be devastating to bounce back from.
3. The ‘Queen Of Violence’ Ariana Lipski Lives Up to the Name
Ariana Lipski had everybody at the arena and watching live squealing from the edge of their seats with her nasty kneebar in the first round. She absolutely destroyed Luana Carolina’s leg 88-seconds into the bout. The scream of Carolina shows how devastating the submission was.
After suffering two losses in her first two UFC bouts, Lipski has recovered well now, snapping Carolina’s 6-fight unbeaten streak and starting her own.
4. Rafael Fiziev Shows What Thailand Can Do to a Man
Rafael Fiziev picked up a ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus with Marc Diakiese after displaying an incredible striking clinic. The way he was piecing his work together was beautiful to watch. Many of his students at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket would have been tuning in to watch their Coach go to war, and boy did he deliver.
Fiziev had fans ecstatic when he entered the MATRIX on Saturday night after pulling of lightning-quick reflexes and astonishing acrobatics to avoid a potential KO from Daikiese. The Lightweight division needs to keep their eyes on this man.
5. Roman Dolidze Sends a Message to the Light Heavyweight Division
Georgia native Roman Dolidze sends a huge statement to the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. Khadis Ibragimov thought he had slipped out the way of an oncoming head kick from Dolidze.
Dolidze turned what looked like a head kick and improvised, connecting a knee straight to the jaw of Ibragimov leaving him stunned and the fight been called.
The 32-year-old recorded his 7th professional win, keeping his 100% finish record intact.
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