Featherweight Fireworks? UFC Fresno Preview, Breakdown & Analysis


Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez

In another exciting featherweight bout that seems to be flying under the radar, Knight, a young and relentless pressure fighter will meet Benitez, an improving southpaw striker and a The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Latin America alumni.

After losing his UFC debut to Tatsuya Kawajiri in 2015, Knight rattled off four straight victories over the likes of Jim Alers, Dan Hooker, Alex Caceras and Chas Skelly, finishing Caceras with a submission and Skelly with a TKO, while proving to be an exciting fighter in the process.

His winning streak was halted by veteran contender Ricardo Lamas this past July, but at 25 years of age, Knight has a ton of talent and a ton of upside.

Using high-volume striking, forward pressure, and a slick ground game, Knight, a rangy competitor, is a tough out for anyone in the division. He can, however, be hit, and that’s likely where Benitez will find his best chance at scoring a victory.

Since moving to the famed American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California, Benitez has improved his striking. He possesses power and likes to use his left round kick as well his left cross. However, he’s just 3-2 in the UFC, suffering a stoppage defeat to Andre Fili in 2015 and a decision defeat to Enrique Barzola in his most recent fight this past May.

In the end, I’m not sure Benitez will be able to hang with Knight. I feel as if Knight will use his pressure and striking to hit Benitez before finishing the fight on the canvas.

Prediction: Jason Knight def. Gabriel Benitez via second-round submission