Knockdown Daily 9/16/21: Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo Trilogy Bout Set For December

The third title fight between flyweights Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo will go down later this year

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Knockdown Daily. For the first time in a while, today’s issue is actually a busy one. There’s a lot to cover this morning, including big news in the UFC flyweight division and a preview of tonight’s CFFC event.

News

UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno To Face Deiveson Figueiredo In Trilogy Bout At December 11th Card

UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno will continue his rivarly against Deiveson Figueiredo on December 11th, facing him in a trilogy bout at a UFC pay-per-view event.

The fight is expected to take place at UFC 269, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN. The bout joins a card that does not have a confirmed location at the moment.

Moreno and Figueiredo’s third meeting comes just a day short of a year after their first bout. They initially met in December 2020, where they fought to a majority draw after a five-round scrap. Back then, Figueiredo was the champ and Moreno was in his first UFC title appearance.

The first fight between the flyweights was made on short notice, filling a gap that UFC had in their PPV schedule in 2020. They had both previously fought just a month prior, where Moreno secured his title shot with a win against Brandon Moreno, and Figueiredo defended his belt with a first-round victory over Alex Perez.

Due to the close draw outcome of their first matchup, the flyweights were booked to meet again in June 2021. Moreno came out with a submission win in this instance, stopping Figueiredo in the third round with a rear naked choke to become the new champion.

While many considered Alexandre Pantoja next in line for a title fight at this stage, he did not get the late 2021 bout due to reportedly claiming he would not be ready to compete this year, per ESPN.

The flyweight title fight joins what is a stacked final PPV of the year. UFC Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes is currently expected to face Julianna Pena at the event, and a lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier is also reportedly in the works for the card.

Report: Flyweight Veteran Joseph Benavidez Retires From MMA

UFC and WEC flyweight veteran Joseph Benavidez has retired from MMA after over a decade of competition at a high level, per a report from Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie.

Benavidez, 37, reportedly removed himself from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool, making him ineligible to compete in the UFC. He was withdrawn from the promotion’s online roster on Wednesday as well.

Benavidez has yet to comment on the news. Megan Olivi, UFC broadcaster and wife of Benavidez, posted a relevant update via social media.

“Retirement adventures are gonna be fun,” said Olivi in a Tweet that Benavidez was tagged in.

The majority of Benavidez’s career has come against some of the top 125-pound fighters in the sport.

Benavidez turned pro in 2006 and made his debut on a big stage two years later when competing for DREAM.

Benavidez joined WEC in 2008, where he would attain five wins and two losses. Both defeats came against Dominick Cruz, with one of the bouts being a title fight.

Benavidez joined the UFC roster in 2010 after WEC merged with the promotion.

He would compete on the UFC roster for a decade, challenging for the UFC Flyweight Championship four times during his career.

Benavidez has fought 19 times at flyweight in the UFC, more than anyone else in the history of the division.

He is retiring after a three-fight losing streak over the past year-and-a-half. He lost twice in 2020, being finished in title fights against Deiveson Figueiredo.

His last fight was in March of 2021, where undefeated prospect Askar Askarov earned a unanimous decision win over him.

Former UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson To Meet Rodtang Jitmuangnon In MMA and Muay Thai Exhibition

Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship has announced a trio of big fights for their 10th-anniversary card on December 5th, including an exhibition bout between former UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson and prolific Muay Thai aficionado Rodtang Jitmuangnon.

The fight was announced by ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong in an interview with The MMA Hour on Wednesday.

Johnson and Rodtang will compete under a special ruleset that shifts between MMA and Muay Thai rules in each round. While the first and third rounds of the four-round contest will happen under Muay Thai rules, the second and fourth rounds will take place under the promotion’s MMA rules.

ONE’s MMA gloves will be used for all rounds, and each round will be three minutes long.

Johnson is coming off his first loss in ONE, which was a title shot against Adriano Moraes in April. He had previously picked up three wins since joining the promotion in 2019.

Rodtang is ONE’s 135-pound Muay Thai Champion. He has gone undefeated in the promotion since joining their roster in 2018.

Two title fights were also reported for ONE Championship’s December 5th card.

Competing for the first time since 2019, 145-pound champ Bibiano Fernandes will face rising ONE fighter and former UFC talent John Lineker.

Looking to defend his 155-pound belt for the first time, Thanh Le will meet undefeated grappling expert Garry Tonon.

Dakota Bush Tests Positive For COVID-19, Replaced By Brandon Jenkins On September 18th UFC Card

Saturday’s UFC “Fight Night” event will proceed with a slight change, as Brandon Jenkins has stepped in and replaced Dakota Bush in a lightweight bout against Rongzhu. News of the new matchup was first reported by Nolan King and Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie.

Bush announced his departure from the card on Wednesday, revealing that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“This is a hard one for me to swallow,” said Bush via Instagram. “I will keep you all updated on what is next.”

The fight was scheduled to be Bush’s second UFC appearance. He lost his promotional debut in April, dropping a decision to Austin Hubbard.

Jenkins is joining the UFC roster on a three-fight winning streak. He had a strong showing just last month, scoring a flying knee knockout over Jacob Kilburn in a non-tournament bout in PFL.

Now with a new opponent in place, Rongzhu will be searching for his first UFC win. He lost his promotional debut in April against Rodrigo Vargas.

Preview

CFFC 100: Kamchybekov vs. Smith

Since forming in 2006, Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) has become one of the more prominent regional MMA promotions in the United States. The promotion has hosted many big talents, including names like Aljamain Sterling, Paul Felder, Anthony Smith, Katlyn Chookagian, and more.

CFFC will celebrate its 100th event on Thursday night. Continuing their expansion throughout the country, the promotion will make their debut in Tampa, Florida, when heading to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel for CFFC 100.

In the main event of the evening, CFFC Lightweight Champion Zulkarnaiyn Kamchybekov will look to defend his belt for the first time when fighting Blake Smith.

A full preview of the card can be read here.

Here’s the lineup:

Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Bout 1: Lucas LaRue (1-1) vs. Itso Babulaidze (2-2) (Amateur Welterweight)
Bout 2: Jesse Romano (2-1) vs. Andres Davalos (2-0) (Amateur Catchweight 160 lbs)
Bout 3: Vashawn Pope (6-0) vs. Carlos Martinez (5-0) (Amateur Middleweight)
Bout 4: Quintin Bray (0-1) vs. William Rentz (0-0) (Lightweight)
Bout 5: Brandon Moran (0-0) vs. Adam Amano (0-0) (Featherweight)
Main Card (8:00PM EDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 6: Brandon Murphy (0-0) vs. Dave Romano (0-0) (Lightweight)
Bout 7: Brandon Lopez (3-2) vs. Charlie Radtke (3-3) (Welterweight)
Bout 8: Michael Dufort (7-3) vs. Troy Gerhart (8-4) (Lightweight)
Bout 9: Paris Artis (4-0) vs. Feraris Golden (3-1) (Lightweight)
Bout 10: Jason Eastman (6-3) vs. Andrew Richardson (4-0) (Flyweight)
Bout 11: Zulkarnaiyn Kamchybekov (5-1) vs. Blake Smith (5-2) (CFFC Lightweight Championship)

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