This is by no means the most enticing pay-per-view card the UFC has ever put together, but the storylines sure are prevalent. UFC 255 is set to commence on Saturday night in Las Vegas with a pair of title fights on the marquee. In the main event, Deiveson Figueiredo makes his first defense of the flyweight title when he takes on Alex Perez. Plus, women's flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko is back when she takes on Jennifer Maia in the co-main event.
Figueiredo might not be a household name yet, but the reigning flyweight champ has all the flash and style to become a crossover star with another big win in the main event. The 32-year-old has just one loss in his professional career -- a 2019 unanimous decision to Jussier Formiga -- and has finished his last three fights in thrilling fashion. Perez is no slouch in his own right as the challenger has just one loss since 2016 and has been dominant since earning a contract through Contender Series. Perez is 7-1 with five finishes over that span.
Both champions are sizable favorites to retain their titles, but we've seen crazier things happen in this sport. Plus, there's some more fun fights on the undercard. Legend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is back in action when he faces Paul Craig in a rematch from a year ago. Rua has a 5-1-1 record since 2015 and the two fought to a draw in 2019. Plus, women's flyweights are on the undercard as well when Cynthia Calvillo takes on Katlyn Chookagian.
Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride. Let's take a closer look at the rest of the card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
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UFC 255 fight card, odds
- Deiveson Figueiredo (c) -280 vs. Alex Perez +230, flyweight championship
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1600 vs. Jennifer Maia +900, women's flyweight championship
- Mike Perry -110 vs. Tim Means -110, welterweights
- Cynthia Calvillo -240 vs. Katlyn Chookagian +200, women's flyweights
- Paul Craig -175 vs. Mauricio Rua +150, light heavyweights
- Brandon Moreno -180 vs. Brandon Royval +155, flyweights
- Joaquin Buckley -240 vs. Jordan Wright +200, middleweights
- Antonina Shevchenko -160 vs. Ariane Lipski +135, women's flyweights
- Kyle Daukaus -330 vs. Dustin Stoltzfus +260, middleweights
- Alan Jouban -150 vs. Jared Gooden +125, welterweights
- Daniel Rodriguez -330 vs. Nicolas Dalby +260, welterweights
- Louis Cosce -490 vs. Sasha Palatnikov +370, welterweights
With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer, co-host of "Morning Kombat"), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor) and Michael Mormile (producer).
UFC 255 picks
|Figueiredo (c) vs. Perez||Figueiredo||Figueiredo||Figueiredo||Figueiredo||Figueiredo|
|Shevchenko vs. Maia||Shevchenko||Shevchenko||Shevchenko||Shevchenko||Shevchenko|
|Perry vs. Means||Perry||Means||Perry||Perry||Means|
|Calvillo vs. Chookagian||Calvillo||Calvillo||Calvillo||Calvillo||Calvillo|
|Craig vs. Shogun||Craig||Craig||Craig||Craig||Shogun|
Campbell on why Figueiredo will win: There will be no easy outs for Figueiredo in his quest to build a flyweight title reign. Even though former bantamweight king Cody Garbrandt pulled out with an injury, red-hot Alex Perez expects to be a formidable out having won 7 of 8 inside the Octagon and fresh off a pair of stoppage wins. While both are well-rounded, Perez's preference of standing and trading could lead to his downfall as Figueiredo brings more firepower to the dance and seems ready to destroy anyone who steps in front of him.
Brookhouse on why Figueiredo will win: Perez is a talented fighter with the ability to get a finish against almost anyone at 125 pounds. That said, Figueiredo is the better finisher and slightly more dangerous both on the feet and on the ground. Perez will likely look to push the pace, and that means he'll be putting himself directly in danger of falling victim to Figueiredo's power as Joseph Benavidez. Figueiredo doesn't let people off the hook and Perez is likely to find that out on Saturday night.
Campbell on why Shevchenko will win: The good news for fans of the women's flyweight division is that the pool of talent to challenge dominant champion Valentina Shevchenko is slowly getting deeper. The bad news is that Saturday's challenger, Jennifer Maia, doesn't appear any more likely than the recent threats to Shevchenko's crown to actually give her a competitive challenge. Maia's best chance for success will come on the ground but getting Shevchenko there will be difficult. Expect another surgical effort from the champion.
Brookhouse on why Means will win: This fight feels very much like a toss-up. Means is a durable fighter and Perry's power hasn't managed to get him finishes in recent outings. Perry looked solid in his most recent fight against Mickey Gall, but between dealing with domestic violence allegations and again choosing to be cornered by his pregnant girlfriend and a friend (who is not a fighter), it just seems like there's no stability to how he is approaching the fight game. Means will have to work for it, but he's a capable enough fighter to manage to grind out a couple of rounds for a decision win.
Who will win Figueiredo vs. Perez, and how exactly will each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 255, all from the incomparable expert who's up more than $21,000 on MMA picks and has nailed 24 of the last 32 UFC main events.