The UFC’s two flyweight divisions get a significant showcase this weekend.
Deiveson Figueiredo will defend his flyweight title for the primary time towards Alex Perez in the principle occasion of UFC 255 on Saturday in Las Vegas. Within the co-main occasion, dominant UFC girls’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will put her belt on the road towards Jennifer Maia.
For Figueiredo, it is an opportunity to reshape the division in his picture, following an extended reign by all-time nice Demetrious Johnson and a a lot shorter one from Henry Cejudo. ESPN has Figueiredo ranked No. Eight in its MMA pound-for-pound rankings. In ESPN’s flyweight rankings, Figueiredo is No. 2 (behind Johnson), and Perez is No. 5.
If the pay-per-view is bought, all fights from UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez might be obtainable to observe on ESPN+.
• Deiveson Figueiredo (c) vs. Alex Perez
• Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jennifer Maia
• Mike Perry vs. Tim Means
• Katlyn Chookagian vs. Cynthia Calvillo
• Mauricio Rua vs. Paul Craig
• Brandon Moreno vs. Brandon Royval
• Joaquin Buckley vs. Jordan Wright
• Antonina Shevchenko vs. Ariane Lipski
• Daniel Rodriguez vs. Nicolas Dalby
• Alan Jouban vs. Jared Gooden
• Kyle Daukaus vs. Dustin Stoltzfus
• Louis Cosce vs. Sasha Palatnikov
Watch the entire card on ESPN+
Figueiredo (19-1) beat Joseph Benavidez through first-round submission in July to win the flyweight title. It was his second straight win over Benavidez, however the title was not on the road in February as a result of Figueiredo missed weight. Figueiredo, 32, has received 4 straight fights and is Eight-1 within the UFC. He has 16 stoppages in 19 professional wins, flipping on its head the notion that flyweights do not end fights.
Perez (24-5) has received three straight and 11 of his previous 12 fights. The California native is filling in for the injured Cody Garbrandt, the previous bantamweight champion who was supposed to maneuver to flyweight and problem Figueiredo at UFC 255. Perez, 28, is coming off a first-round TKO of Jussier Formiga through leg kicks at UFC 250 in June.
In the meantime, Shevchenko will try to additional her legacy within the co-headliner. “Bullet” is ESPN’s No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound girls’s MMA fighter. At flyweight, Shevchenko is ranked No. 1, and Maia is No. Four.
Shevchenko (19-Three) has received 5 straight fights. The Kyrgyzstan native has misplaced to just one girl within the UFC: Amanda Nunes, the present girls’s bantamweight and featherweight champion. Shevchenko, 32, has three profitable flyweight title defenses and is taken into account among the finest technical strikers — man or girl — within the sport.
Maia (18-6-1) has received three of her previous 4 bouts. The Brazil native is coming off a first-round submission win over Joanne Calderwood in August. Maia, 32, is the previous Invicta FC girls’s flyweight champion.
Additionally on the cardboard, Mike Perry meets Tim Means in a battle of all-action welterweights, girls’s flyweight contenders Katlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo face off, and MMA legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua meets Paul Craig in a rematch of a break up draw from November 2019.
Combat in progress:
Welterweight: Daniel Rodriguez (13-1, Three-Zero UFC, -325) vs. Nicolas Dalby (18-Three-1 1 NC, 1-Zero 1 NC UFC, +265)
Welterweight: Alan Jouban (17-7, Eight-5 UFC) defeats Jared Gooden (17-5, Zero-1 UFC) by unanimous determination
Alan Jouban, proper, almost acquired a end on the finish of the third spherical, however the veteran settled for the choice over Jared Gooden. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Jouban put the squeeze on a guillotine choke. He swept into mount and it appeared like Gooden was both on the verge of tapping out or going unconscious. Then, the bell sounded, signifying the top of the combat
No, Jouban did not get the end he tried extremely onerous for. However he did earn a unanimous-decision win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) over Gooden in a welterweight bout. It was the primary time Jouban, a preferred veteran, has competed since April 2019.
Superb combat!!!!! And each fighters tremendous respectful on the finish. Love that 🙏🏽 #UFC255
— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) November 22, 2020
The bout itself was a really entertaining one. Jouban attacked properly with an attractive straight left and good kicks to the physique from the southpaw stance. Gooden, although, was in a position to take up all of these pictures and reply with highly effective boxing. Jouban’s proper eye was broken due to a conflict of heads within the first spherical and it appeared unhealthy by the third spherical. However Jouban nonetheless did greater than sufficient to win.
The second spherical is what separated Jouban. Relatively than loading up for haymakers like Gooden did, Jouban was content material to land a jab, that straight left and a few onerous kicks to the physique and legs. A number of occasions, Jouban let free with combos that landed. Gooden got here again within the third to land some onerous proper arms. However Jouban snared Gooden’s neck in a scramble and nearly completed within the closing seconds with a guillotine.
Jouban, 38, has received two of three however has dropped three of 5 altogether. The Louisiana native, who lives and works as a mannequin in California, was as soon as thought-about a welterweight contender. Gooden, a 26-year-old Georgia resident, got here in on a three-fight successful streak. This was Gooden’s UFC debut.
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Middleweight: Kyle Daukaus (10-1, 1-1 UFC) defeats Dustin Stoltzfus (13-2, Zero-1 UFC) by unanimous determination
The 6-foot-Three Kyle Daukaus, proper, used his attain benefit in beating Dustin Stoltzfus. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Daukaus acquired again on observe after struggling his first profession defeat in his UFC debut in June, getting the higher of a combat that largely was contested with the fighters chest-to-chest towards the cage.
Daukaus, a 27-year-old out of Philadelphia, acquired the higher of the exchanges on these sporadic events when the fighters have been at distance, using the lengthy attain that comes along with his 6-foot-Three body. However largely, this was a clinch fest, and Stoltzfus’ greatest weapon in these tight exchanges was dropping for a leg lock, which he did a few occasions to flee bother.
However the 29-year-old Stoltzfus, who is also a Pennsylvania native, couldn’t produce sufficient offense to maintain Daukaus away from him. In consequence, he noticed a 10-fight successful streak finish in his UFC debut.
Two judges scored the bout 30-27 and the opposite had it 30-26.
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Welterweight: Sasha Palatnikov (6-2, 1-Zero UFC) defeats Louis Cosce (7-1, Zero-1 UFC) by third-round TKO
Sasha Palatnikov, proper, punches Louis Cosce throughout an thrilling opening combat of UFC 255. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Palatnikov acquired smashed with combos within the first spherical and was almost completed. He took two onerous strikes beneath the belt. But, one way or the other, the debuting UFC fighter ended up not solely along with his hand raised however with a end.
Palatnikov stopped Cosce through TKO at 2:27 of the third spherical in a welterweight bout to open UFC 255. The bout was a warfare of attrition. Cosce beat Palatnikov up within the first spherical, which was one of the thrilling rounds of the yr in MMA. Each males have been bloody by the top.
What a begin to #UFC255!!!
— Steve-O (@steveo) November 22, 2020
Cosce caught Palatnikov with punches whereas Palatnikov was in the midst of a entrance roll within the first spherical. Palatnikov was making an attempt to flee, but it surely did not work. Cosce poured it on from there, touchdown big combos. Palatnikov managed to outlive the onslaught — and truly come again with massive offense within the first. He landed onerous elbows and a wild spinning again fist earlier than the shut of the preliminary 5 minutes.
“I knew, he is a muscular man,” Palatanikov mentioned in his postfight interview. “If he [gives you] just a few massive pictures and may’t drop you, he’ll get drained. … If I get hit, I get woken up.”
Palatnikov was the aggressor the remainder of the best way. He did take up two low blows — one within the second and one within the third — however persevered by them. After the latter groin shot, Palatnikov got here again from a pause within the motion to rock Cosce with an enormous proper hand. He then slammed Cosce with punches on the bottom till referee Chris Tognoni stepped in to name it.
Palatnikov, 31, is the first-ever Hong Kong-born fighter in UFC historical past. The Syndicate MMA product cashed as a +400 underdog. Cosce, a 25-year-old California native, earned his manner into the UFC through a first-round TKO win over Victor Reyna on Dana White’s Contender Sequence in August.
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Nonetheless to return:
Males’s flyweight: Deiveson Figueiredo (c) (19-1, Eight-1 UFC, -280) vs. Alex Perez (24-5, 6-1 UFC, +240)
Girls’s flyweight: Valentina Shevchenko (c) (19-Three, Eight-2 UFC, -1600) vs. Jennifer Maia (18-6-1, Three-2 UFC, +900)
Welterweight: Mike Perry (14-6, 7-6 UFC, -130) vs. Tim Means (30-12-1 1 NC, 12-9 1 NC UFC, +110)
Girls’s flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian (14-Four, 7-Four UFC, +220) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1, 6-1-1 UFC, -260)
Gentle heavyweight: Mauricio Rua (27-11-1, 11-9-1 UFC, +155) vs. Paul Craig (13-Four-1, 5-Four-1 UFC, -175)
Males’s flyweight: Brandon Moreno (17-5-1, 5-2-1 UFC, -180) vs. Brandon Royval (12-Four, 2-Zero UFC, +160)
Middleweight: Joaquin Buckley (11-Three, 1-1 UFC, -240) vs. Jordan Wright (11-Zero, 1-Zero UFC, +200)
Girls’s strawweight: Antonina Shevchenko (Eight-2, 2-2 UFC, -160) vs. Ariane Lipski (13-5, 2-2 UFC, +140)
(c) = defending champion