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|(C) Deiveson Figueiredo||-305
|(C) Valentina Shevchenko||-1430
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(C) Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez – Flyweight Championship
Deiveson Figueiredo (-305)
(C) Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia – Women’s Flyweight Championship
Valentina Shevchenko (-1430)
Mike Perry vs Tim Means – Welterweight Division
Tim Means (+120)
Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo – Women’s Flyweight Division
Katlyn Chookagian (+195)
Mauricio Rua vs Paul Craig – Light Heavyweight Division
Paul Craig (-177)
|UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez Information|
|What||UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez|
|Where||UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|When||Saturday, November 21, 10 PM EST|
|How to watch||UFC Fight Pass, PPV,Watch on ESPN+ here!|
Joining the UFC in 2017, Deiveson Figueiredo won four straight before suffering the first loss of his career against Jussier Formiga in 2019. He recovered from the loss by winning two-straight and was put up against Joseph Benavidez to fight for the flyweight title vacated by Henry Cejudo. Figueiredo won the fight via TKO but unfortunately had missed weight, making him ineligible to win the title. The UFC set the two men up for an immediate rematch. Figueiredo would make weight for the second fight and would once again defeat Benavidez – this time by first-round rear-naked choke this past July. The win earned him a performance of the night bonus.
This Saturday night will mark his first title defense, which was originally slated to be against the former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. Unfortunately for the challenger, he was forced to pull out due to a torn bicep injury.
The 32-year-old Brazilian champion stands at 5 ft. 5 in. tall and has a reach of 68 inches. Known for his explosive speed, Figueiredo can also compete on the ground, holding a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He trains with his own team at Team Figueiredo. Fighting professionally since 2012, he is currently ranked as the number-14 best pound-for-pound fighter on the UFC roster.
After a loss to Joseph Benavidez in 2018, Alex Perez has won three-straight, including a win in the bantamweight division against Mark De La Rosa. Following that fight, he defeated Jordan Espinosa via a first-round arm-triangle in January of this year. His biggest win came next, as he defeated the only man to defeat Deiveson Figueiredo: Jussier Formiga. Perez fought Formiga at UFC 250 this past June and won via TKO in the first round, earning him a performance of the night bonus.
Perez stands one-inch taller than the champion but will be at a three-inch reach disadvantage. The 28-year-old American fighter trains with Team Oyama out of California and he has been competing since 2011. Known mostly for his grappling and wrestling, Perez is currently ranked as the number-four flyweight in the UFC.
A stat we’ve gotten used to here at WSN.com, Valentina Shevchenko will indeed enter Saturday night’s event as the biggest betting favorite on the card. The odds have the champion as a minus-1430 favorite to Jennifer Maia’s plus-790.
Shevchenko has won her last five fights in a row, a stretch that included winning the vacant flyweight title as well as defending it three times – two of those three defenses coming via spectacular knockouts. Shevchenko has lost only twice under the UFC banner, both of those losses coming against UFC double-champ Amanda Nunes, although many believe Shevchenko earned the decision in their second bout.
Standing at 5 ft. 5 in. tall and having a reach of 66.5-inches, Shevchenko has proven herself to be one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC. She trains with Tiger Muay Thai out of Thailand under coach Pavel Fedotov. The southpaw holds a second-dan black belt and master of sport in taekwondo, a master of sport in boxing, muay thai, and kickboxing, as well as a black belt and master of sport in judo. Fighting since 2000, Shevchenko also holds a professional kickboxing record of 57-2 and has eight gold medals in the women’s muay thai world championships. She currently ranks as the number-two pound-for-pound women’s fighter.
Although Maia has only gone 1-1 in her last two fights, here she is fighting for the title. It’s clear that Shevchenko has been cleaning out the division. With that said, Maia is no easy fight. She holds notable wins over the likes of Alexis Davis, Roxanne Modafferi (twice), and most recently defeated the woman many saw as Chevchenko’s next challenger – Joanna Calderwood. The Calderwood fight took place this past summer with Maia winning via first-round armbar submission.
Maia will stand one-inch shorter than the champion and will be at a 1.5-inch reach disadvantage as well. The 32-year-old Brazilian fighter trains in her home country with Chute Boxe Academy and holds black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as muay thai. She has been fighting since 2009 and currently ranks as the number-three flyweight in the division.
Mike Perry is an absolute whirlwind to keep up within and out of the cage. It’s his wacky persona that seems to keep him employed by the UFC despite going 3-5 over his last eight fights. He went 1-2 in 2019, including a two-fight losing streak, but has gone 1-0 in 2020 as he defeated Mickey Gall via unanimous decision this past June. Perry was originally slated to face Robbie Lawler this Saturday but Lawler was forced to pull out of the fight, citing an undisclosed injury.
Mike Perry stands at 5 ft. 10 in. tall and has a reach of 71 inches. After much public criticism against gyms and coaches, Mike Perry currently trains with just his girlfriend Latory Gonzalez. He was famously linked to Jackson-Wink MMA in the past. He has cited that he will be cornered by his girlfriend and a friend “who is not a fighter” for this fight Saturday. UFC middleweight Darren Till infamously placed a bid to corner Perry during Perry’s “auction” to corner him but didn’t seem to make the cut.
Mike Perry returns this weekend.
His corner, per his manager Abraham Kawa, will be his (pregnant) girlfriend and a long-time friend of his who isn’t a fighter.
Darren Till did not make the cut.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 16, 2020
Perry holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has been fighting since 2014. He is currently unranked.
Tim Means has been fighting in the UFc since 2014 and, although he doesn’t have the most stellar record, his experience should prove to be paramount over a fighter such as Mike Perry. Means is 3-3 across his last six fights, most recently defeating Laureano Starpoli via unanimous decision this past August.
Means will stand four-inches taller than Perry and will also possess a four-inch reach advantage over his opponent. The 36-year-old trains with Power MMA under head coach Tom Vaughn. He has been fighting since 2004 and is a former King of the Cage lightweight and welterweight champion.
After a stretch that saw Katlyn Chookagian go 5-1 she was offered up a title shot against the flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, last February. She would ultimately succumb to the champ, losing via TKO in the third round at UFC 247. She bounced back in her following fight, defeating the champ’s sister Antonina Shevchenko by unanimous decision this past May. She most recently fought in October, welcoming the former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade to the flyweight division. Andrade would TKO Chookagian in the final minute of the first round.
The 31-year-old fighter stands at 5 ft. 9 in. tall and has a 68-inch reach. She currently trains with the Renzo Gracie Combat Team and holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie himself. Fighting professionally since 2012, Chookagian ranks as the number-2 women’s flyweight and the number-12 women’s pound-for-pound best fighter.
After a stretch in the strawweight division that saw Cynthia Calvillo struggle with the weight cut, she made her return to the flyweight division. On June 13, Calvillo took on former flyweight title challenger Jessica Eye and earned a unanimous decision victory. Calvillo is riding a three-fight winning streak (with one draw mixed in) and has lost only once in her professional career.
Standing at 5 ft. 4 in., Calvillo will be at a height disadvantage of five inches. She will also have a four-inch disadvantage when it comes to reach against Chookagian. Calvillo currently trains out of California with the American Kickboxing Academy and has been fighting since 2010. She entered the flyweight rankings at number-4 after defeating Eye and is considered the 10th-best women’s pound-for-pound fighter on the UFC roster.
There is one draw on Mauricio Rua’s professional MMA record and it came against Paul Craig – his opponent this Saturday night. The two fought for the first time in late 2019 and the judges scored it a split-draw. Prior to that fight, Rua had defeated Tyson Pedro via TKO and following the draw, defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via split-decision this past July.
The 38-year-old Brazilian stands at 6 ft. 1 in. tall and has a reach of 76 inches. He has seen and done it all in the world of mixed martial arts and is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and former PRIDE Grand Prix winner. He currently trains out of his home country of Brazil with Universidade Da Luta and mixes in work with Kings MMA. Fighting since 2002, he holds a black prajied in muay thai as well as a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Antonio Schembri. He is currently ranked at number-14 in the light heavyweight division.
Like his opponent, Paul Craig was coming off of a win before stepping into the octagon with Rua the first time. He had defeated Vinicius Moreira via rear-naked choke last September. Also like Rua, Craig followed up the split-decision performance with another win, submitting Gadzhimurad Antigulov this past July. Both of those submission performances earned him post-fight bonuses.
The 32-year-old Scot will stand 2.5-inches taller than his opponent Saturday night but will share an equal reach of 76 inches. He, too, trains out of his home country, working with the Scottish Hit Squad. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Marcos Nardini and all five of his UFC wins have come in the form of submission. He has been fighting professionally since 2013.
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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.
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