MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 255, a five-round UFC flyweight title fight between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and challenger Alex Perez. The event takes place on Saturday, November 21 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Deiveson Figueiredo (-300)
Figueiredo (19-1) is the UFC flyweight champion. The 32-year-old Brazilian joined the UFC in 2017 and he has since gone on to post a brilliant 8-1 record in the Octagon with two wins over Joseph Benavidez plus victories over the likes of Alexander Pantoja, Tim Elliott, and John Moraga. His only loss in the UFC came against veteran Jussifer Formiga. Figueiredo may only weigh 125lbs but he packs a massive punch. This is a fighter who possesses incredible knockout power despite being small in stature. He also has a vicious submission game on the ground. If you want to point to flaws in his game, Figueiredo lost the fight with Formiga after getting outwrestled. He has shored up that part of his game in recent fights but it’s something to remember when breaking down his fights. Still, how do you bet against the champ right now after his two devastating wins over Benavidez?
Alex Perez (+250)
Perez (24-5) is the No. 4 ranked flyweight contender. The 28-year-old American is 6-1 since joining the UFC in 2017, with wins over the likes of Jussifer Formiga, Jordan Espinosa, and Jose Torres. His lone loss in the Octagon came against Joseph Benavidez. Since then, he has won three straight fights. Perez is actually the more experienced MMA fighter in this matchup as this is his 30th pro fight. He has been around for a long time and is finally coming into his own as a title contender. There’s a reason the UFC picked Perez over the others. It’s because he has the tools to win the title. He has the striking, the grappling, and the finishing ability to pull off the upset. He got the chance to fill in for the injured Cody Garbrandt and now let’s see what Perez does with the opportunity.
Fight Breakdown: I love this fight. Figueiredo has been a special talent since joining the UFC as we’ve never really seen anyone with his ability to viciously finish fights at 125lbs before. But Perez is no slouch either, and he has looked fantastic in the UFC. Both of these guys have had one bad performance in the Octagon — Figueiredo against Formiga and Perez against Benavidez — and the funny thing is, the other man holds a victory over the man who beat his opponent. I’m very high on Figueiredo, but I’m very high on Perez as well. That’s why I think the moneyline is getting a little out of control now. The odds opened at 2-to-1 for the champ and the line is now 3-to-1 and climbing. Although I am picking Figueiredo to defend his belt, the odd on Perez are tempting enough to take a shot on the underdog in a fight that’s closer than the odds indicate. Either way, I don’t see the fight going the distance between these two finishes. With his huge KO power, I have to go with Figueiredo for my pick, but it’s a dog-or-pass situation as far as placing a wager on the line goes.
Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo wins via TKO