Joseph Benavidez gets another chance to show he’s amongst the best flyweights in the world when he tangles with Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 28 in Brazil. Benavidez will be looking to make it three straight victories, since losing a close decision in a title clash against current champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson at UFC 152. Benavidez, like most Team Alpha Male members as of late, is on a roll, showing improved striking under the tutelage of coach Duane Ludwig. He looked dynamic in a two round dismantling of Darren Uyenoyama in his last fight.
Formiga is just 1-and-1 in his UFC stint so far. He followed up a TKO loss against John Dodson, by registering a decision victory over Chris Cariaso in his last Octagon appearance. He’s a jiu-jitsu ace who has seven submissions in his 15 victories, most of those finishes by way of rear naked choke. His striking certainly can’t stand up to Benavidez’s precision and force, as Formiga has yet to score a knockout in his professional career.
This one seems pretty clear cut when speculating on how it will likely play out. Benavidez will try to utilize his strong striking game to pick apart his opponent and look to avoid being taken down. If it goes to the ground, Benavidez can still be effective with his ground and pound, if he’s able to achieve dominant top position. Formiga will desperately want to take Benavidez to the ground and stay on top of him in order to nullify his striking advantage, and to put his jiu-jitsu skills to full use in the hopes of getting a finish via submission.
Benavidez has definitely given the appearance of being a man on a mission since his loss to “Mighty Mouse,” and he knows another strong effort may get him that rematch. It’s likely that Benavidez’s more diverse offensive skill set and power will prove to be too much in this one.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports