With 3 titles already on the line, UFC 259 adds another bout between top flyweight contenders, which makes this card one of the most entertaining that we have seen on paper in the last few years. Joseph Benavidez has never struggled to stay at the top of the division but his next test might be one of his toughest to date. He faces the undefeated Askar “Bullet” Askarov.
The man known as “Bullet” has not had an easy road to the top, facing Brandon Moreno in his first UFC contest. Askar managed to drag Moreno to a split draw in one of the best 3 round fights we have seen in the flyweight division, he then faced Tim Elliot and Alexandre Pantoja dominating both to earn unanimous decision wins. If this resume wasn’t impressive enough, he is also deaf but he doesn’t let this stop his determination to become champion. Though this may seem a disadvantage for him not being able to hear his corner, he has explained that it helps him stay concentrated when it comes to being locked in the cage.
Looking to rebound after 2 back to back losses to the current champion, Joseph Benavidez has everything to gain in this matchup but also everything to lose. Being a long time competitor in the sport with multiple title matches, Joseph Benavidez looks to make one last statement in his career. Although saying that his chances for another title shot are improbable, with an impressive performance against the undefeated Askarov and a possible change of champion in a match we know will be competitive later on this year in Figueiredo vs Moreno 2, could we see one last run for gold for the mixed martial arts vet?
The Style Matchup
This is one of the most intriguing matchups to make at 125lbs and with everything on the line for both fighters, we couldn’t be more excited to see how it will play out. Askar Askarov is a freestyle wrestler and can absolutely dominate on the ground, the way he sets up his takedowns is perfect to make sure he takes minimal damage on the feet although Benavidez’s ground game is not to be slept on. Joseph has more submission wins (9) than KO/TKO (8) and is not afraid of showing his jiu-jitsu against possibly the division’s most dangerous grappler. The biggest threat for Askar Askarov to look out for is the speed of Joseph Benavidez. And with him holding the title for most KO/TKO victories at flyweight, another finish by strikes is not something to be ruled out.
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