A solid pair of flyweight championship fights glow on the marquee on the main card of UFC 255 as Deiveson Figueiredo makes the first defense of his championship on the men's side, while Valentina Shevchenko attempts to continue her dominant run as women's flyweight champ on Saturday night. Those two bouts cap off the pay-per-view main card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
This card has some intriguing bouts scattered across the undercard, including the human highlight reel Joaquin Buckley fresh off his show-stopping knockout in October when he returns on the prelims. But the main card has just as much juice. The polarizing Mike Perry is back in a featured bout when he takes on veteran Tim Means, and MMA legend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua gets his rematch with Paul Craig to open the show.
Every bout on this card has some importance to its divisional race as fighters jockey to get into title contention amid the 11 different weight classes. Let's take a look at every fight on the card, from the main card on pay-per-view. Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
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Paul Craig -175 vs. Mauricio Rua +150, light heavyweights: This fight is a rematch of a November 2019 split draw between the two. After a 3-6 stretch from 2011 to 2014 that began with losing the light heavyweight championship to Jon Jones, Rua (27-11-1) found a second life in his career, going 5-1-1 since. That stretch began and ended with fights against longtime rival Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, with Rua's most recent fight being a split decision win over Nogueira in July to set up the rematch with Craig. Craig (13-4-1) is 5-4-1 in the Octagon, but will enter the cage on a three-fight unbeaten streak, including the draw with Rua. In his most recent fight, Craig scored a submission win over Gadzhimurad Antigulov. Craig has won 12 of his 13 career victories via submission, with the other win coming by knockout. The bout with Rua is the only time in Craig's career that he has seen the judges' scorecards.
Cynthia Calvillo -260 vs. Katlyn Chookagian +210, women's flyweights: Calvillo (9-1-1) has had one of the most interesting UFC careers on the active roster. In her eight fights inside the Octagon, four have been fought at a catchweight after one of the two fighters missed weight. In two cases, it was Calvillo who was guilty of coming in heavy. She also tested positive for marijuana metabolites in her lone loss, a decision against Carla Esparza. In her most recent fight, Calvillo fought at flyweight for the first time since entering the UFC, beating former title challenger Jessica Eye. Chookagian (14-4) is also a former title challenger, losing to division champ Valentina Shevchenko by TKO in February. After rebounding with a win over Antonina Shevchenko, she suffered another TKO loss, this time at the hands of Jessica Andrade. Chookagian does hold a win over Jennifer Maia, who will challenge Shevchenko for the title in the night's co-main event.
Mike Perry -150 vs. Tim Means +125, welterweights: Perry (14-6) is a heavy-handed welterweight who has won 11 of his 14 career victories by knockout. Despite a willingness to stand and trade with anyone in the division, Perry has only been finished in two fights, with his four other losses coming on the scorecards. After starting his career 11-1, Perry has fallen on hard times, running up a record of 3-5 in his previous eight trips to the Octagon. His most recent win was a decision victory over Mickey Gall in a fight where Perry was cornered by his girlfriend. Means (30-12-1) is a longtime UFC veteran, though he has not found much consistent success in the Octagon. He has a 4-5 record since 2017, but has only lost back-to-back fights once. Twenty-four of his 30 career wins have come via stoppage.
Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1400 vs. Jennifer Maia +800, women's flyweight championship: Shevchenko (19-3) is one of the most dominant champions in the UFC. In her UFC career, she has only lost to Amanda Nunes (twice), the greatest fighter in women's MMA history. The second fight with Nunes was a close split decision for the bantamweight title. After that loss, she returned to the flyweight division and won the championship two fights later, beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the then-vacant belt. She has barely been challenged in her three title defenses since winning the title, dominating nearly every minute of each fight.
Maia (18-6-1) is a former Invicta FC flyweight champion. In her three UFC fights, she holds a 3-2 record. Two fights prior to receiving her title shot, Maia lost to Chookagian. That was the second straight fight where Maia had missed weight. Maia rebounded from the loss to Chookagian by submitting Joanne Calderwood in a fight where Calderwood chose to remain active rather than wait for the title shot she had earned as the No. 1 contender in the division.
Deiveson Figueiredo (c) -300 vs. Alex Perez +240, flyweight championship: Figueiredo (19-1) will be making the first defense of the championship he won in a battle for the then-vacant belt by submitting Joseph Benavidez. That was the second fight between the two for the vacant title after Figueiredo missed weight in their initial bout, rendering him ineligible to win the title despite winning the fight by knockout. Figueiredo's lone loss came to Jussier Formiga in March 2019 and he is riding a four-fight winning streak since that loss. In 19 career wins, Figueiredo has a near split on method of stoppage, with nine knockouts and seven submissions.
Perez (24-5) has suffered just one loss in his UFC career, losing to Benavidez by TKO. Interestingly, while Figueiredo has wins over Benavidez, who beat Perez, Perez's most recent win was over the lone man to beat Figueiredo in Formiga. Perez is entering his fight for the title riding a three-fight winning streak. He has finished 50% of his professional victories, with five knockouts and seven submissions.
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