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UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez - Nov 21 🇺🇸


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Saturday 21st November. Back on PPV. Back at the APEX in Las Vegas.

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PPV MAIN CARD
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez- Flyweight Title

Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia - Flyweight Title

Mike Perry vs Tim Means

Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo

Shogun Rua vs Paul Craig

ESPN PRELIMS
Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval

Joaquin Buckley vs Jordan Wright

Antonina Shevchenko vs Ariane Lipski

Daniel Rodriguez vs Nicolas Dalby

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 
Alan Jouban vs Jared Gooden

Kyle Daukaus vs Dustin Stoltzfus 

Sasha Palatnikov vs Louis Cosce

 

I’ve seen so much negative shite talked about this card and I really don’t get it. They showed a little graphic at UFC 254 running down the card and the reaction I’ve seen on social media was almost 100% bad. Seen a couple of twats even saying cack like ‘worst card ever?’ Am I missing something? I think this looks fucking ace myself. Seems like now unless you’ve got a ‘star’ headlining, a card is considered crap. But Figgy and Shev are always worth watching no matter who they’re up against. And this undercard is pretty fucking great, no? 

 

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Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez headlines. Seen some whinging about this as main event but, while admittedly it’s not the strongest, balls to it. It’s not a bad fight by any stretch and it’s a chance to see Figgy do his thing and I’m always good with that. This was supposed to be Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt originally but Garbrandt got injured. That was shaping up to be a bit of a grudge match as they were both having pops at each other on Twitter and stuff. But while the buildup would’ve no doubt been more entertaining, I’m not convinced the actual fight would’ve been any better or more competitive than this one. And Perez is more deserving anyway. Remember, Cody would’ve been making his first cut to Flyweight and walking straight into a title shot. And that’s after coming off one win following getting KO’d 3 times in a row previously. I know the top contenders at 125 aren’t exactly setting the PPV world alight but was Cody going to make that much of a difference to where he should just leapfrog the lot of them? Nah, fuck him and his wafer chin.

Anyway, onto the matter at hand. Figueiredo is the new King at Flyweight. He claimed the crown after handing Joseph Benavidez his arse twice this year. The first time somewhat controversially due to missing weight and a clash of heads. The rematch in July was as clear cut as it gets though. He put a right beating on little Joey. It was a completely dominant performance and he battered Benavidez standing and then choked the piss out of him.

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There was a video going around after the fight that captured Benavidez as he woke back up and he let out some type of scream like he was waking up from a horrible nightmare. Which he kind of was actually. You wouldn’t often use the word ‘scary’ to describe a man who probably can’t get on most of the rides at Alton Towers but Figueiredo is a scary man. He’s loving life with the belt as well.

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He’s legit. Really dangerous striking, which again isn’t typical of a Flyweight. And if goes to the ground, he’s a BJJ black-belt as well. 19-1 record, 16 finishes with a nice mix of both knockouts and submissions. Only loss was a decision to Jussier Formiga last March, but he’s rattled off 4 wins since, and finished his last 3.

Perez is a good fighter in his own right, although I felt Brandon Moreno should’ve probably got this title shot over him. Seems like a lot of the divs on social media only follow certain divisions and names but just because you don’t know Perez doesn’t mean he’s shite. He’s 24-5, he’s only lost once in his last 12 fights (to Benavidez) and in his last fight in June he won via leg kicks inside a round;

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The guy he beat? Jussier Formiga. So there’s logic there. He’s dismantled the one guy who has a win over Figgy, and convincingly. I think Formiga would’ve definitely got the shot if he’d won that fight so I guess it’s only fair that Perez gets it now. Good stuff. From what I’ve seen of both I’d expect Figueiredo to come out on top. He’s dialled in right now and I just think he’s got a bit too much for Perez but stranger things have happened. Should be exciting however long it lasts.


 

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Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia. Much like the main event, it’s no blockbuster. But again, like Figgy, I love Shevchenko so I’m always happy to watch her fight. Maia isn’t the most appealing challenger but what can you do when Shev’s just schooling contenders left and right?

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A frightening woman. 19-3 record now, 13 finishes. Her only blemishes in the UFC have been the 2 decision losses to Amanda Nunes but, even then, they were close and that was before Val found her ideal weight class at 125lbs. Since she’s dropped to Flyweight she’s been ridiculously dominant. Absolutely butchered poor Priscila Cachoeira in her debut at the weight and she’s gone from strength to strength since with wins over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche and Katlyn Chookagian. She’s just so good technically and makes so few errors that it’s hard to see who can solve the puzzle out of the current crop. Jennifer Maia is a former Invicta champion. She’s been on the UFC roster since 2018 and I’ve never had an opinion on her one way or another. Her fights just come and go and I barely notice. Nothing outstandingly impressive or bad about her, just...unremarkable, I guess is how I found her. She’s 18-6-1 now and she is coming off a nice win over Joanne Calderwood in August. A real strong performance where she looked dangerous in the striking and then got the first round submission. It was the first time she’d really made a statement kind of performance. Given the lack of fresh challengers left for Shevchenko, it was obvious she was probably getting the next shot. And literally within minutes of Maia winning the fight, Shev tweeted this;

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Even as polite as that is, it still seems threatening coming from Shevchenko and it must’ve kind of ruined Maia’s celebratory mood knowing in the back of her mind what’s to come.

I just can’t see Maia getting anything done here. There’s always the old ‘puncher’s chance’ but when we’re talking about 125lb women, that’s a little less likely. Beyond that, I just see Shev being her usual sniper-like self and taking Maia apart like a surgeon. She’s several steps ahead of everyone in the division at the moment and I can’t see anyone on the horizon who can stop her reign of terror. Jessica Andrade just came up to Flyweight and looked lethal against Chookagian, so I’m guessing she’ll be next. That’ll be fun but again, just can’t see it ending well for her. I think we’ll have to wait for that inevitable Superfight with Zhang Weili to see someone potentially provide a real test for Shevchenko but even then, she’d be coming up in weight and I still wouldn’t be confident in her chances.

 

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Mike Perry vs Tim Means. Under any other circumstances I’d be happy enough with this. But we were meant to be getting Perry vs Robbie Lawler. Then when Lawler got injured, the likes of Kevin Holland and Belal Muhammad called Perry out. Would’ve been up for either of them, Holland especially. There was also guys like Niko Price, Michel Pereira, Matt Brown or Carlos Condit who could’ve slotted into this spot nicely. I enjoy watching Means but it feels a bit underwhelming. Still, should be a decent enough fight. I can see people picking Perry here just because he’s more well known and mouths off a lot but really, he’s not that good. And while Means is no world beater, on paper he’s got more tools and ways to win this fight. Only problem is he has a tendency to get drawn into a scrap and that could play right into Perry’s filthy woman beating hands. Hoping Means throttles the cunt but I’m about 50/50 on it.

 

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Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo. Yeah, not in love with this one. Neither are bad fighters but I just don’t enjoy watching either of them much. Chookagian has typically been more of a dull point striker and Calvillo is more of a grappler who’s kind of forgot that grappling is her bread and butter in recent fights. It’s a bit of an odd one actually because Lauren Murphy has claimed on Twitter that she agreed to fight Calvillo in a #1 contenders bout in December, then they swerved and went with this instead. That fight would’ve made more sense really. As uninteresting as Murphy or Calvillo would be as challengers to Shevchenko, at least they’re both coming off wins. Chookagian got bashed in a round by Jessica Andrade just a few weeks ago.

 

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Shogun Rua vs Paul Craig 2. The rematch everyone’s been waiting for! Well, not quite but it makes sense and it should be fun. They fought on the São Paulo Fight Night last November and went to a draw.

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No real recollection of the fight, to be honest. It was on one of the more forgettable cards of 2019 so it didn’t get talked about much at the time and I’ve not watched it back. Might give it another look before this rematch and see how I scored it. Either way it’s unfinished business and neither had an obvious next opponent so why not settle it? Shogun has since beat Little Nog in their fun third fight in July and Craig submitted Gadzhimurad Antigulov the same night. It lined up nicely.

 


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Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Why this isn’t on the main card I don’t know. This could be a #1 contender fight as well actually. Unless they’re going to persist with Garbrandt jumping the queue, which they might well do. This should be good though. It has no reason to be anything less than ‘good’ and serious potential to be ‘great’. Moreno is a typical Mexican scrapper. 17-5-1 and coming off wins over Jussier Formiga and Kai Kara-France. Really exciting to watch. Royval is new to the UFC but he’s already a favourite of mine in just 2 fights. He’s 12-4 overall with 11 finishes and has stopped Tim Elliott and Kara-France so far in the Octagon. The Kara-France fight at UFC 253 in September was tremendous. This is one of those fights that you just know is going to be chaos wherever it goes.

 

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Joaquin Buckley vs Jordan Wright. OK, I’m expecting this one to get some decent buzz around it, purely because of Buckley and THAT knockout in his last fight...

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Still hasn’t gotten any less crazy to me. Proper video game stuff. That was only October 10th. Not surprised Buckley wants right back in there though. Capitalising while his name is still hot makes sense. He’s 11-3 with 8 knockouts. It’s not all about that kick either, although I get why that’ll be the focus. He looked really good on short notice against Kevin Holland before that. He got stopped but I think a few of us commented after that one that he looked like he’d be worth keeping an eye on. I definitely think people will be now. Wright is 11-0 with 1 No Contest. Stopped Ike Villanueva with ease in his UFC debut in August and fought in LFA and on Dana’s Contender Series before that. Don’t know much about him other than he’s nicknamed ‘The Beverly Hills Ninja’. He’s going to have to earn the ‘ninja’ moniker against Buckley.

 

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Antonina Shevchenko vs Ariane Lipski. This might be decent. Not going to pretend I’m counting the days or anything but it’s not a bad little fight. Pretty cool to see both Shevchenko sisters fighting on the same card. Antonina isn’t anywhere near the force her little sister is but she’s a seasoned fighter in her own right. She went 39-1 in Kickboxing and won a bunch of titles. In MMA she’s gone 8-2 and she’s coming off a one sided loss to Katlyn Chookagian in May. She’s not a bad fighter but she just seems to lack power and she’s not taken to the grappling side of things like Valentina has. And at 35 years old, she’s probably past the peak anyway. Lipski is 26, 13-5 in MMA and was a former KSW Flyweight champion in her native Poland before signing with the UFC. I’d been underwhelmed by her first few fights in the Octagon but then she went and did this in her last fight in July...

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A fucking kneebar counter off a calf slicer attempt. I know Knockout Of The Year talk is all the rage and Joaquin Buckley’s got that sewn up for 2020. Submission Of The Year never seems to be much of a thing but Lipski’s kneebar has got to at least be in the conversation if there is any.

 

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Daniel Rodriguez vs Nicolas Dalby. This fight has come together late due to both men’s original fights falling to bits. Rodriguez was supposed to fight Bryan Barberena on the Felder vs RDA card. Glad they’ve found him a fight quickly. He’s a guy nobody is talking about but maybe we should be. He’s 13-1 with 11 finishes and he’s on a 9 fight win streak with UFC finishes over Dwight Grant and Tim Means. Not bad going at all. Could potentially be a bit of a darkhorse. Dalby was meant to face Orion Cosce on this card. He’s usually worth a watch. A BJJ brown-belt with a MMA record of 18-4-1-1. Former Cage Warriors Welterweight champ. Took Darren Till to a draw back in 2015 in a cracking forgotten fight. Had that bloodbath with Ross Houston in Cage Warriors last year which got him back in the UFC. Beat Cowboy Oliveira on his return. He’s coming off a quick submission defeat to Jesse Ronson in July now though. Really solid fight, especially given that it was patched together due to pullouts. 

 

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Alan Jouban vs Jared Gooden. Where’s Jouban been? Forgot all about him, to be honest. He last fought in April 2019. Seems like longer. He’s 37 years old now apparently. I want to see the birth certificate. I wouldn’t serve him fireworks. Dude must have Wonderboyitis. They don’t seem to age. Jouban was a scrapper though. Mixed results but he had a couple of really wild fights a few years ago and he beat Mike Perry so he’s alright in my book. Gooden is 26 with a record of 17-4. This is his UFC debut and he’s coming off 3 stoppage wins.
 

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Kyle Daukaus vs Dustin Stoltzfus. Don’t know really. I saw Daukaus’ UFC debut against Brendan Allen and it was a belter. Daukaus lost but it was a great fight. Before that he was undefeated at 9-0 with 8 submissions, 5 via Brabo choke. He doesn’t play. He just ran into a really tough fellow prospect in Allen. I think there’s much better to come. Stoltzfus was on Dana’s Contender Series, 13-1 with 7 finishes and on a 10 fight win streak. Not over anyone of note but he’s got momentum if nothing else. Worth a gander this.

 

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Sasha Palatnikov vs Louis Cosce. These are both UFC newcomers and I’ve never actually seen either of them fight. Palatnikov is 5-2, born and raised in Hong Kong and was the AFC Middleweight champion, hence the belt in the photo there. Cosce is 7-0 unbeaten, all finishes. He was on DWCS in August the same night as his brother Orion, and he blitzed through his opponent in about a minute.

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They were both set to make their Octagon debuts on this card but Orion fell out. Shame. Would’ve been cool seeing two brothers arrive on the big stage on the same night. 

 

I really love this card. Pretty much all of it. Balls to the negativity. I’ll say when a card is shit but this ain’t one of them. How can any MMA fan hate a card featuring Figueiredo, Shevchenko, Moreno vs Royval, Shogun vs Craig 2, Aldo vs Vera, Lawler vs Perry, Buckley coming off perhaps the best KO in UFC history etc. It’s a corker and fuck anyone who says otherwise. 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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He’s a useless, racist, woman beating, thick as shite meathead. He brings nothing but bad press, he’s not even a very good fighter and now he’s missing weight. But he stands and bangs bro. So Dana wil

Shogun looked like the your Dad on his holidays in Tenerife getting in a fight with a German over putting towels out early after a few too many bevvies next to the pool.

It’s all gone very quiet with Zhang. Haven’t heard anything about her in ages. She’ll probably defend the Strawweight strap against Rose Namajunas next and I think it’s got to be Shevchenko vs Andrade

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Cracking card this is. I really like every fight and I have seen every fighter fight before apart from that Gooden chap and I'll be honest, I'm sure I have seen Alex Perez before but I can't recall his fights at all.

I know you're not a DWCS guy but I am very high on the Cosce brothers. Here is what I had to say about them after the show:

"The most memorable fighters to come out of the show this week were the Cosce brothers who both won their fights and both won contracts. They seem like a bulked up version of the Diaz brothers who are slightly more eloquent. I look forward to seeing how they both progress going forward."

I also liked the very little I saw of Dustin Stoltzfus. His DWCS fight was really gearing up to be a war but then he did a slam/move (I can't remember) on his opponent and his opponent popped a rip and verbally tapped out. The thing that stood out was instead of him getting up and cheering he immediately said to his opponent "I'm so sorry man, are you ok."

That stuck out to me, he seemed like a good chap.

He's American born and bread but he moved to Germany in his adult life so most of his fights have been on the German circuit. He considers it home despite being an American.

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A fantastic card this. I'd be hard pushed to try and find a fight on the card that I don't have any interest in. There's someone or something about each fight that helps it catch the eye, ranging between "they could be worth keeping an eye on" to "this is a nice match up" all the way up to "this is a fucking blinder" and "How wouldn't I want to watch Figgy Smalls and Valentina channel impersonating Godzilla mauling a sheep". 

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Like it's been pointed out above i have absolutely 0 idea how anyone can look at this card and have hate towards it. 
From the midway on in the prelims to the entire main card it is a absolutely fucking cracking line up, With fights ranging from super exciting to moderately interesting. 

I'm really excited to see Figgy go in there and defend the belt after his absolutely unbelievable outing to win the belt a few months back. 

I think it's getting into the teritiory of people moaning and complaining about shows not having Fighters like Khabib/colby/issy level names topping the bill. Unfortunately when you as a company are running shows every single weekend for the past 7/8/9 months you simply don't have the top names at your disposal to headline shows 

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I understand the backlash considering its a PPV event, its basically 2 Fight Night title headliners packaged together to make it a PPV. The challengers are far from household names either, if Figueiredo/Garbrandt had stayed together people would have been way more forgiving.

Quality wise though its a cracking card.

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5 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

I understand the backlash considering its a PPV event, its basically 2 Fight Night title headliners packaged together to make it a PPV. The challengers are far from household names either, if Figueiredo/Garbrandt had stayed together people would have been way more forgiving.

Quality wise though its a cracking card.

Wait this isn't being put on box office over here is it. Because i do have a fucking problem if that is the case!!

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5 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

nah, this will be on regular BT. The American audience are gonna be asked to fork out $75 for it though.

Thank fuck for that, I will not be entertaining the idea of paying a extra 20 quid for a ppv outside of the Conor vs Dustin show which i would bet my house on them putting that one on BT sport box office. 

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1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

guaranteed

There isn't a doubt in any true mma fan's mind that we will be paying too watch the Conor vs Dustin fight. With the almost certain fact they will change that fight to a title fight to fill the vacant strap that just insures if it wasn't going to be put on ppv before it DEFFO will be now.

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He'd be a good opponent for Chimaev right now, I think. He's not elite-level, but he's dangerous enough as a gatekeeper to test up-and-comers like Khamzat.

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