UFC 255 is headlined by a pair of championship fights in both Flyweight divisions. Here are The Wolf’s UFC tips.
Deiveson Figueiredo (19-1) vs Alex Perez (24-5)
In the wake of Henry Cejudo becoming Champ-Champ (…champ) after dethroning TJ Dillashaw for the Bantamweight Championship and then promptly retiring, the Flyweight division desperately needed a new champion. Deiveson Figueiredo squared off with Joseph Benavidez back in February for the vacant title but missed weight and became ineligible to win the championship, despite winning in the 2nd round. He made no mistakes in the rematch, dispatching his adversary by submission within the first stanza. He now sits atop of the 125lb division and has first defence will come against the very crafty Alex Perez.
Although Perez is best known for his grappling acumen, he showed an improved striking game when taking out Jussier Formiga in June via brutal leg kicks. He will have his work cut out for him here, however, with Figueiredo showing he is possibly the most dangerous striker in the division.
Figueiredo has shown a low-volume, high power striking game in the past and this could play into Perez’s hands, who will look to impose his will early and tire the champion out with clinch work and grappling. That being said, Figueiredo is an excellent counter-striker and should be able to catch Perez on the way in with something impactful. The champ should get this done inside the distance.
Mike Perry (14-6) vs Tim Means (30-12-1)
This shapes up as a bit of a sleeper fight which could bring the fireworks, between the Platinum one and the “Dirty Bird”. Mike Perry has been handled comfortably when going up in class but with that being said, he does hold two impressive wins over Paul Felder and Alex Oliveira. He is one of the hardest hitters in the 170lb division and should have plenty thrown at him by an equally tough Tim Means.
Means is coming to the end of a long and at sometimes brutal career; he has exchanged wins and losses in his last six fights but what is most concerning is his chin doesn’t seem to be holding up like it once did. He thrives when given a “stand and bang” type of fight from his opponent but this could cause issues for him, coming up against the extremely powerful Perry.
For all of Perry’s shortcomings in his personal life, he still packs a hell of a punch and this looks the perfect fight for him. Expect the fireworks early and for this one to end well before the final bell.
Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) vs. Jennifer Maia (18-6-1)
Yet again, we find ourselves staring at a Women’s Flyweight Championship fight with Shevchenko coming up at “Winx” odds. That being said, it doesn’t mean there is no value to be found. “Bullet” has run through the 125lb division like a wrecking ball and there is nothing to suggest she won’t do the same with Jennifer Maia.
Maia was originally scheduled to challenge Shevchenko for this fight a while ago but for whatever reason, wasn’t able to make the fight. Since then she has rattled off wins against Roxanne Madafferi and Joanne Calderwood, cementing her position as the #1 contender.
The Wolf likes to call a spade, a spade and quite simply, Shevchenko is better than Maia in all facets (hence the unbackable odds). Maia has relied on pressure and take downs in the past to get the job done and this will play into the champ’s hands perfectly. She should be able to sit back and counter-strike at will and then move in for the finish. The easy play here would be to take Shevchenko by KO but she has shown an extremely versatile ground game in the past (including submitting the very capable Julianna Pena by Armbar). It is a bit of a long shot but if Shevchenko catches Maia with something meaningful, she very well may take the fight to the ground and look for a choke and at the price, she is definitely worth a bet.
Paul Craig to win, Perry to win and Figuerido by KO/TKO ($4.62)
MORE UFC TIPS
|Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez||Figueiredo by KO/TKO ($1.83)|
|Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia||Shevchenko by Submission ($6.00)|
|Mike Perry vs Tim Means||Perry by KO/TKO ($2.88)|
|Mauricio Rua vs Paul Craig||Craig by Points ($3.30)|
|Cynthia Calvillo vs Katlyn Chookagian||Calvillo by Points ($1.83)|
|Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval||Royval to win ($2.62)|
|Joaquin Buckley vs Jordan Wright||Buckley by KO/TKO ($1.67)|
|Antonia Shevchenko vs Ariane Lipski||Shevchenko by Points ($2.00)|
|Daniel Rodriguez vs Nicolas Dalby||Fight To Go The Distance – Yes ($2.26)|
|Alan Jouban vs Jared Gooden||Jouban by KO/TKO ($6.00)|
|Dustin Stoltzfus vs Kyle Daukaus||Daukaus by Submission ($2.70)|
|Louis Cosce vs Sasha Palatnikov||Cosce by KO/TKO ($1.67)|