A stable pair of flyweight championship fights glow on the marquee on the principal card of UFC 255 as Deiveson Figueiredo makes the primary protection of his championship on the lads’ aspect, whereas Valentina Shevchenko will try to continue her dominance as ladies’ flyweight champ on Saturday night time. These two bouts cap off the pay-per-view essential card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
This card has some intriguing bouts scattered throughout the undercard, together with the human spotlight reel Joaquin Buckley’s recent off his show-stopping knockout in October when he returns on the prelims. However, the principal card has simply as a lot of juice. The polarizing Mike Perry is again in a featured bout when he takes on veteran Tim Means, and MMA legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will get his rematch with Paul Craig to open the Show.
Each of the fights on this card has some significance to its divisional race as fighters jockey to get into title competition amid the 11 completely different weight courses. Let’s check out each battle on the cardboard from the principal card on pay-per-view.
Paul Craig -175 vs. Mauricio Rua +150, gentle heavyweights: This battle is a rematch of the November 2019 lower up draw between the 2. After a 3-6 stretch from the year 2011 to 2014 that started with shedding the heavyweight title to Jon Jones, Rua (27-11-1) discovered a second life in his profession, going 5-1-1 since. That stretch started and ended with fights in opposition to longtime rival Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, with Rua’s most recent battle being a lower up selection win over Nogueira in July to rearrange the rematch with Craig. Craig (13-4-1) is 5-4-1 inside the Octagon; nevertheless, they will enter the cage on a three-fight unbeaten streak, along with the draw with Rua. In his most recent battle, Craig scored a submission win over Gadzhimurad Antigulov. Craig has obtained 12 of his 13 career victories by means of submission, with the other win coming by knockout. The bout with Rua is the one time in Craig’s career that he has seen the judges’ scorecards.
Cynthia Calvillo -260 vs. Katlyn Chookagian +210, girls’ flyweights: Calvillo (9-1-1) has had one of many important, fascinating UFC careers on the vigorous roster. In her eight fights contained within the Octagon, Four have been fought at a catchweight after one in every of many two fighters missed weight. In two situations, it was Calvillo who was accountable for coming in heavy. She moreover examined optimism for marijuana metabolites in her lone loss, a name in opposition to Carla Esparza. In her most recent battle, Calvillo fought at flyweight for the first time since moving into the UFC, beating former contender Jessica Eye. Chookagian (14-4) generally is a former title challenger, shedding to Valentina Shevchenko by TKO in February. After defeating Antonina Shevchenko, she suffered one different TKO loss, this time by the fingers of Jessica Andrade. Chookagian does preserve a win over Jennifer Maia, who will take downside Shevchenko for the title inside the night time’s co-main event.
Mike Perry -150 vs. Tim Means +125, welterweights: A heavy-handed welterweight, Perry (14-6) has obtained 11 of his 14 career victories by knockout. No matter a willingness to face and commerce with anyone inside the division, Perry has solely been accomplished in two fights, collectively together with his Four completely different losses approaching the scorecards.
After beginning his career 11-1, Perry has fallen on onerous events, working up a doc of 3-5 in his earlier eight journeys to the Octagon. His most recent win was a name victory over Mickey Gall in a battle the place Perry was cornered by his girlfriend. Means (30-12-1) is a longtime UFC veteran, although he has not discovered so much fixed success inside the Octagon. He has a 4-5 doc since 2017; nevertheless, he has solely misplaced back-to-back fights as quickly as. Twenty-four of his 30 professional wins have come via stoppage.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia, girls’ flyweight championship:
Shevchenko (19-3) is doubtless one of the dominant champions inside the UFC. In her UFC career, she has solely misplaced Amanda Nunes (twice), one of the best fighters in girls’ MMA historic previous. The second battle with Nunes was an in-depth lower up selection for the bantamweight title. After that defeat, she stepped back to the flyweight division and grabbed the title two fights later, defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the then-vacant belt. She has hardly been challenged in her previous three title defenses since profitable the title, dominating virtually every minute of each battle.
She was dominating just about every minute of every battle. Doc. Two fights earlier to receiving her title shot, Maia misplaced to Chookagian. That was the second straight battle, the place Maia had missed weight. Maia came back from the defeat against Chookagian by submitting Joanne Calderwood in a battle the place Calderwood has chosen to remain vigorous fairly than anticipating the title shot she had earned as a result of the No. 1 contender inside the division.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Alex Perez, flyweight championship: Figueiredo (19-1) will most likely be making the first safety of the championship he obtained in a battle for the then-vacant belt by submitting Joseph Benavidez. That was the second battle between the two for the championship after Figueiredo missed the weight of their preliminary bout, rendering him ineligible to win the title, no matter profitable the battle by knockout. Figueiredo’s lone loss acquired right here to Jussier Formiga in March 2019, and he is driving a four-fight profitable streak since that loss. In 19 career wins, Figueiredo has an in-depth to chop upon the methodology of stoppage, with 9 seven submissions and knockouts.
Perez (24-5) has suffered only one defeat in his UFC profession, shedding to Benavidez by TKO. Curiously, whereas Figueiredo has defeated Benavidez, who has wins over Perez, Perez’s most up-to-date win was to beat Figueiredo in Formiga. Perez is moving into his battle for the title, driving a three-fight profitable streak. He has accomplished 50% of his expert victories, with five knockouts and seven submissions.