UFC on ESPN+ 27: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo takes place on Saturday night in Norfolk, Virginia, where a new champion will be crowned in the men’s flyweight division.

Former double champion Henry Cejudo vacated the 125 lb title as he is set to defend his 135 lb strap against Jose Aldo in May. 

This card is intriguing for a couple of reasons with one being the title fight and another being that there will be two matchups in the women’s featherweight division.

In the main event, 35-year-old Joe Benavidez will get his third shot at UFC flyweight gold against the dangerous Brazilian, Deiveson Figueiredo. 

Figueiredo has finished 14 of his 17 wins with a near-even split of KO/TKOs and submissions. 

In Benavidez’s first two title fights, he just so happened to run into arguably the most dominant champion ever in the UFC: Demetrious Johnson. In the first fight, the two went to war for the inaugural flyweight title fight in which Johnson got the decision. A few months later, they ran it back, and Benavidez was knocked out in the first round. 

Benavidez is currently on a three-fight win streak, and Figueiredo has won two in a row after suffering his first loss to Jussier Formiga. 

Figueiredo has been on record saying that he is looking for the knockout because of Benavidez’s trash talk. One thing is for sure, this will be a high-octane, action-packed title fight.

Women’s featherweight top-contender Felicia Spencer will take on Zarah Fairn, and both women are coming off of a loss.

The Canadian “Feenom”, Spencer, suffered her only loss to former champion Cris Cyborg and Fairn of France was submitted by Megan Anderson at UFC 243. With a limited list of names on the women’s featherweight roster, it would be fair to think that Spencer may be next in line for Amanda Nunes at 145 lbs. with an impressive win Saturday night.

In the other women’s featherweight bout, the aforementioned Anderson will take on undefeated UFC debutant Norma Dumont. Brazil’s Dumont will be at both a 5” reach and height disadvantage. Anderson is from Australia but now trains under the tutelage of “The” James Krause at Glory MMA in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. 

Another one of Krause’s students, Grant Dawson, will also fight on the main card. The 14-1 prospect has gone 2-0 since earning his way into the UFC by way of the Contender Series in 2017. Both wins came against The Ultimate Fighter Season 27 winner Mike Trizano and TUF Season 22 veteran Julian Erosa. Darrick Minner will be making his UFC debut against Dawson in his 35th professional fight. 

Other notable storylines:

  • “Violent Bob Ross” Luis Peña takes on Steve “Mean Machine” Garcia, with Garcia fighting on short notice to save the fight for Peña. Garcia won by finish on the Contender Series, but failed to make weight and did not get a UFC contract at that point. Most recently, Garcia fought Team Elevation’s Chepe Mariscal at LFA 80 in January where he also missed weight.
  • Tom Breese is set to fight Contender Series veteran Brendan Allen in a middleweight bout. Breese has twice been a scratch on the day of the event, most recently against Ian Heinisch last March for a reported anxiety attack.
  • Another Contender Series veteran, Aalon Cruz, makes his UFC debut against fellow debutant Spike Carlyle on the prelims. Cruz earned his contract with an explosive flying knee drew a visceral reaction from UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby.
  • In twelve total fights scheduled for the night, eleven different countries are being represented.

-Jordan Kurtz is a founding member of Comments From The Peanut Gallery and The MMA Plug and can be followed on Instagram at @CommentsFromThePeanutGallery and @TheMMAPlug303