Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (19-1, 9 KOs, 7 SUBs) will defend the 125-pound title against Alex Perez (24-5, 5 KOs, 7 SUBs) at UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card airs live on pay-per-view starting 10pm ET. In the co-main event, women's flyweight champion and pound-for-pound great Valentina Shevchenko (19-3, 6 KOs, 7 SUBs) will make her fourth title defense against veteran Jennifer Maia (18-6, 4 KOs, 5 SUBs). Get the latest UFC betting odds, money lines and betting analyses for the card at the online sportsbook.
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Deiveson Figueiredo (19-1, 9 KOs, 7 SUBs)
In nine UFC appearances, Figueiredo has lost just once, dropping a close 2019 decision to Jussier Formiga. He's not just winning either - the Brazilian racked up six finishes in eight UFC wins, which is an insane finishing rate for a flyweight. What's scary for opponents is that Figueiredo has serious killshot power and a lethal submission game. Ask Joe Benavidez about this: in back-to-back fights, Joe B was knocked out in the first encounter, then choked out in the followup. In case you forgot, Benavidez has been a top 2 flyweight for the better part of a decade, and was only stopped one other time in 35 fights.
Figueiredo is a physical monster for this weight class - he's so big that he's really struggled to make the 125-pound weight limit. Though he comes from a grappling background, Figueiredo's power makes him a natural knockout striker. The Brazilian tends to fight in bursts, using his explosive athleticism to exact irreparable damage before opponents realize what's happening. A calculating fighter, the 32-year relies more on these big moments than chasing volume. That's not to say he isn't aggressive, as Figueiredo is comfortable stalking foes and forcing them to go first. To be honest, Figueiredo could just bully his way to wins against most of the flyweight division.
Alex Perez (24-5, 5 KOs, 7 SUBs)
Like the champ, Perez has only tasted defeat just once inside the octagon, to the aforementioned Benavidez. Not a good sign if you actually subscribe to MMA math (you shouldn't), but here's a plot twist: Perez is coming off a win over Formiga - the last man to beat Figueiredo. Because that fight was inexplicably buried on the main card, a lot of folks didn't get to see Perez score the rare leg kick TKO. Yes, Perez literally just chopped at Formiga's leg until he fell and couldn't get up. The win extended his win streak to three, capping off wins over Mark De La Rosa and Jordan Espinosa. In a thinning flyweight division, that's enough for a title shot.
Perez is something of a bully as well, though he isn't quite the tank that his opponent is. His game is all about pressure, and Perez never stops working or grinding. The difference between him and the champ is that the 28-year old is nowhere near as dangerous a finisher. Still, his power has to be respected and he’s an above average grappler. Perez could easily come out ahead in the scorecards as he's a much more aggressive striker. This won't be an easy night for the champ.
Significant Striking Stats
Strikes landed per minute: Figueiredo 2.43 / Perez 4.69
Striking accuracy: Figueiredo 52% / Perez 48%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Figueiredo 2.15 / Perez 3.27
Striking defense: Figueiredo 55% / Perez 61%
Takedowns per 15 minutes: Figueiredo 1.86 / Perez 3.2
Takedown accuracy: Figueiredo 50% / Perez 50%
Takedown defense: Figueiredo 58% / Perez 87%
Submissions per 15 minutes: Figueiredo 2.27 / Perez 1.16
Imagine if Yoel Romero fought in the UFC during his athletic peak. I bring that up because Figueiredo is much like a miniature version of Yoel, but better. In addition to being a physical specimen who can do massive damage quickly, Figueiredo also has the cardio to keep forcing the issue for 25 minutes. While the price isn’t cheap, it's a solid play for a fighter that has major advantages in several key areas.
UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez Card & Odds
Flyweight Title - Alex Perez +235 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo -293
Women's Flyweight Title - Jennifer Maia +812 vs. Valentina Shevchenko -1500
Flyweight - Brandon Royval +154 vs. Brandon Moreno -186
Light Heavyweight - Mauricio Rua +147 vs. Paul Craig -176
Women Flyweight - Katlyn Chookagian +207 vs. Cynthia Calvillo -255
Welterweight - Tim Means +123 vs. Mike Perry -147
Middleweight - Jordan Wright +210 vs. Joaquin Buckley -259
Welterweight - Jared Gooden +118 vs. Alan Jouban -142
Middleweight - Dustin Stoltzfus +243 vs. Kyle Daukaus -303
Women's Flyweight - Ariane Lipski +130 vs. Antonina Shevchenko -157
Welterweight - Sasha Palatnikov +300 vs. Louis Cosce -386
Welterweight - Nicolas Dalby +243 vs. Daniel Rodriguez -303
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