Joseph Benavidez has competed in the UFC for as long as the promotion has offered the flyweight division. The veteran says it's his time to reign as its champion. He gets that opportunity on Saturday by facing Deiveson Figueiredo in the main event of UFC Fight Night 169 in Norfolk, Va. The 12-bout showcase features the main UFC Fight Night 169 card starting at 8 p.m. ET and concludes with this battle of contenders for the vacant title.
The top-ranked Benavidez (28-5) fought for the first-ever UFC flyweight title in September 2012, losing a split decision to Demetrious Johnson. His third title shot requires getting past the third-ranked Figueiredo (17-1), a former Jiu-jitsu champion. Benavidez is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Figueiredo is a +130 underdog in the latest Benavidez vs. Figueiredo odds. In the co-main event, Felicia Spencer (-800) takes on Zarah Fairn dos Santos (+550) in a women's featherweight fight. Before making any UFC Fight Night 169 predictions of your own, make sure you hear what SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up nearly $18,000.
Just last week at UFC Fight Night 168, Marley told SportsLine members to support hometown favorite Dan Hooker (-150) against Paul Felder (+130) in a matchup of rugged ranked lightweights in the main event. He reasoned that Hooker's slight edge in overall skill would be the difference, and a fifth-round takedown likely gave the New Zealander the edge in a split-decision victory. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night 169 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He's only sharing those selections here.
Benavidez vs. Figueiredo preview
Marley knows both fighters will be eager to take advantage of an opportunity that they likely didn't believe would materialize this quickly, and Figueiredo might owe Benavidez a debt of gratitude for making it happen.
Benavidez defeated Henry Cejudo in a 2016 non-title bout and has won three of his four fights since. The 35-year-old Texas native won Performance of the Night for his second-round stoppage of second-ranked Jussier Formiga last June.
But he faces a daunting challenge from the rising Figueiredo, who has four stoppages among his six UFC victories. The 32-year-old Brazilian submitted Tim Elliott in their October bout. His decision win over Alexandre Pantoja in June earned a Fight of the Night accolade. You can see Marley's full Benavidez vs. Figueiredo picks here.
Top UFC Fight Night 169 predictions
We'll share one of Marley's UFC Fight Night 169 predictions here: He is backing Luis Pena (-275) to get his hand raised against Steve Garcia (+245) in a lightweight clash.
Garcia (11-3) will make his UFC debut following a strong run in other promotions, including a 4-2 mark in Bellator. The 27-year-old New Mexico native has three consecutive stoppages among four straight victories.
Pena (7-2) has split his first fights with the UFC, with both of his losses coming against contenders. The 26-year-old Arkansas resident is looking to bounce back from a split-decision loss to Matt Frevola in October.
"Pena is better everywhere, aside from maybe power, and he will have an even bigger edge on the ground," Marley told SportsLine. "I like him to get a clear win."
How to make UFC Fight Night 169 picks
Marley also has strong picks for Benavidez vs. Figueiredo, Spencer vs. Fairn dos Santos and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night 169 card. He's also backing one "relentless grappler" who will win most striking exchanges too. Get every pick for every fight on the UFC Norfolk card at SportsLine.
Who wins Benavidez vs. Figueiredo? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night 169, all from the expert who's up nearly $18,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out.
UFC Fight Night 169 odds
Joseph Benavidez (-150) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (+130)
Felicia Spencer (-800) vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos (+550)
Magomed Ankalaev (-190) vs. Ion Cutelaba (+165)
Megan Anderson (-225) vs. Norma Dumont (+185)
Grant Dawson (-420) vs. Darrick Minner (+335)
Luis Pena (n/a) vs. Steve Garcia Jr. (n/a)
Gabriel Silva (-130) vs. Kyler Philips (+110)
Tom Breese (-135) vs. Brendan Allen (+115)
Sergey Spivak (-120) vs. Marcin Tybura (+100)
Jordan Griffin (-140) vs. TJ Brown (+120)
Aalon Cruz (-175) vs. Spike Carlyle (+155)
Ismail Naurdiev (-140) vs. Sean Brady (+120)