- The vacant UFC flyweight title is on the line in the main event of UFC Fight Night 169 (Saturday, Feb. 29th)
- Can Joseph Benavidez finally become a UFC champion?
- See the betting preview for the main and co-main event and odds for the main card below
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is in Norfolk, Virginia, this Saturday, Feb. 29, for UFC Fight Night 169 where a flyweight title fight headlines the card.
In the main event, perennial contender Joseph Benavidez battles surging Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant flyweight belt. The co-main attraction pairs Felicia Spencer against Zarah Fairn dos Santos. Spencer could earn a featherweight title shot with a win.
The main card airs live at 8:00 PM. ET. The table below shows odds for the entire main card, followed by best bets for the event.
UFC Norfolk Odds
|Zarah Fairn dos Santos||+525||+575|
All odds taken Feb. 24.
Will Benavidez Finally Become a UFC Champion?
Joseph Benavidez (28-5) has been the second-best flyweight ever since the division was created. He fell short to Demetrious Johnson twice which kept him from getting another shot but he did beat Henry Cejudo who would go on to beat Johnson and then vacate the belt.
Benavidez is on a three-fight winning streak and coming off a TKO win over Jussier Formiga at UFC Minneapolis. In his career, he has notable wins over Cejudo, Formiga (twice), John Moraga, Ian McCall, Ali Bagautinov, and Eddie Wineland among others.
Deiveson Figueiredo (17-1) is on a two-fight winning streak and is a very impressive 6-1 inside the UFC. In his last fight, he earned a first-round submission win over Tim Elliott. Before that, he beat Alexandre Pantoja to get back into the win column after losing to Formiga.
In his career, he has notable wins over Moraga, Jarred Brooks, and Joseph Morales among others.
This should be a very exciting fight between two finishers at flyweight. Both Benavidez and Figueiredo look to stop their opponent every time they step into the Octagon and the oddsmakers have the line set right with Benavidez as a slight favorite.
Benavidez is the better wrestler and the more technical striker, but Figueiredo has knockout power and only needs one punch to end the fight. In his last fight, he also showed off his slick jiu-jitsu game so he causes a lot of problems for Benavidez.
In the end, I believe Benavidez will keep this fight on the feet with a few takedowns here and there and use his technical striking to piece up the Brazilian and earn a decision win to become the new UFC flyweight champion.
Pick: Joseph Benavidez (-127)
Benavidez vs Figueiredo
Spencer Could Earn a Title Shot With a Win
Felicia Spencer (7-1) is coming off her first professional loss in the co-main event of UFC 240 where she dropped a decision to Cris Cyborg. It was an impressive performance for the Canadian in just her second UFC fight.
In her UFC debut, Spencer shocked many with a first-round submission win over Megan Anderson. Spencer is the former Invicta FC featherweight champion and believes a win here gets her a title shot against Amanda Nunes.
Zarah Fairn dos Santos (6-3) made her UFC debut last time out and was submitted by Anderson in the first round. It was her first fight in almost two years after fighting in the European regional scenes. In her career, she has proven she has knockout power but has no real notable wins as the level of competition has not been good.
This is very weird matchmaking as Spencer submitted Anderson in the first round and then Anderson went on to submit dos Santos in the first round in her next fight. But, that is what you get when there are only four or five featherweights on the roster.
I think Spencer will go for a takedown early and submit dos Santos in the first or second round. But the odds are high so perhaps you look for props on Spencer winning by submission or the fight not going the distance instead of taking her straight up.
Pick: Felicia Spencer (-825)
Other UFC Norfolk Picks:
- Magomed Ankalaev (-215): Ankalaev looks like a legitimate threat at light heavyweight and although Cutelaba has done well against strikers, I believe the Russian’s power will be too much and he’ll earn a TKO win.
- Megan Anderson (-215): Megan Anderson is the better fighter here and should be able to use her striking to win a decision, but she’s been inconsistent in the UFC, so I’d stay away from this fight.
- Grant Dawson (-380): Grant Dawson is one of the best prospects in the UFC and Minner is taking this fight on short notice. I think Dawson will earn a stoppage win.
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