The UFC returns to PPV with UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez live from Las Vegas on Saturday, November 21st. This PPV features a world flyweight title fight as Deiveson Figueiredo defends his belt against Alex Perez.
The co-main event is a women’s flyweight championship fight as Valentina Shevchenko defends her title against Jennifer Maia. There will be a second women’s flyweight fight on the PPV card as #2 ranked Katlyn Chookagian takes on #4 ranked Cynthia Calvillo.
Also on the card is a Top 15 ranked light heavyweight contest between #14 Mauricio Rua and #15 Paul Craig in a rematch. Fireworks will fly in the 5th and final PPV bout as Tim Means takes on Mike Perry.
UFC betting sites have released their odds for the entire UFC 255 PPV portion of this event. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any value, and make these predictions tap out with a heel hook.
One year ago, these two light heavyweights fought to a questionable split draw. Since then, Rua went on to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Paul Craig went on to fight Antigulov. Both men were victorious, which sets up this rematch.
In reality, the UFC couldn’t find anything better for the two combatants so they decided to go with a rematch and hope for a clear cut winner.
Rua is a legend of the sport and has gone 5-1-1 in his last six fights, which many thought he was already done inside the octagon prior to this stretch. 22 of his 27 pro wins have come via stoppage with 21 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-3-1 when going the distance.
Craig enters on a three fight unbeaten streak going 2-0-1 since a loss to Alonzo Menifield in June 2019. Craig turned around his UFC career after dropping four of six fights and in danger of being released last year.
All 13 of his pro wins have come via stoppage with 12 by way of submission. He’s 0-0-1 when going the distance.
The first fight was the only time Craig has ever gone the distance in a pro bout. Craig had the advantage on the feet with his length and power. Rua had the advantage on the mat due to his strength.
I believe the first fight will prove more beneficial for Craig who now has the confidence in knowing he can hang with a legend and has paths to victory.
I don’t see this fight going the distance like in their first contest. Instead, I believe someone will pick up the stoppage set at Under 2.5 rounds (+110) by UFC betting sites.
I see Craig staying upright and picking apart the older Rua. “Shogun” is in the twilight of his career and I just don’t see things ending in his favor this weekend. Craig picks up a big win and moves up in the division’s ranking. The value is with the fight ending inside the distance.
Mauricio Shogun Rua vs Paul Craig –Craig (-165)
Under 2.5 rounds (+110)
Fight ends inside the distance (-125)
Craig wins inside the distance (+177)
Craig wins via TKO/KO (+755)
Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo
Katlyn Chookagian (+220)
Cynthia Calvillo (-260)
Over (-355)/Under (+295) 2.5 rounds
Not only is this the first of two women’s flyweight fights on the PPV card, it features two Top 4 ranked fighters as the #2 Katlyn Chookagian takes on the #4 Cynthia Calvillo. The winner of this fight could be in line for a title shot in 2021.
For Calvillo, she certainly has one eye on the title scene. But, she also recognizes that Jessica Andrade could get the next title shot even if she beats Chookagian this weekend:
“So me, having beat No. 1 and if I beat No. 2 (Chookagian), I should get the next shot. Obviously, Jessica Andrade had her debut where she looked incredible and she picked up a first-round TKO over Katlyn Chookagian, who was No. 1 at the time. I would understand if they gave her the chance. But if it’s not her, I think they should give me the shot.”
Calvillo is on a four fight unbeaten streak 3-0-1 and last fought in June where she beat Jessica Eye via unanimous decision. That win improved Calvillo’s record to 6-1-1 in the octagon.
Five of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage with three by way of submission. She’s 4-1-1 when going the distance.
Chookagian was in line for another title shot, but she lost to Jessica Andrade last month via 1st round TKO/KO. The loss dropped her to 7-4 inside the octagon. Three of her 14 pro wins have come via stoppage. She’s 11-2 when going the distance.
This fight will go Over 2.5 rounds and the full 15 minutes (-315). These two women have combined to go the distance in 19 of their 29 total fights. Chookagian has gone the distance in 13 of her 18 pro contests.
Once with the judges, I believe Calvillo will get the decision win (-120). I also see this prop bet offering the best value for this fight. Chookagian is the better striker, but Calvillo will hold her own before taking the fight to the mat where she has the advantage.
Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo –Calvillo (-260)
Over 2.5 rounds (-355)
Fight goes the distance (-315)
Calvillo wins via decision (-120)
Tim Means vs Mike Perry
Tim Means (+125)
Mike Perry (-145)
Over (+115)/Under (-135) 2.5 rounds
This bout was originally scheduled for Robbie Lawler to take on Mike Perry. However, Lawler had to withdraw from the fight and Tim Means agreed to step in. Nicknamed “The Dirty Bird,” Means is very excited for this matchup:
“It was a yes right away. We had a couple other fight offers on the table. I was looking to fight Nov. 14. That was the fight that had been offered, so when they came back with Mike Perry (on) the 21st, I just thought, ‘Heck, I get a little more time to cut some weight, and we get to have a fun-a*s fight and a guy that truly likes to fight and get in there and come after you.’ So it was a no-brainer. It was a yes on our end right out the gate.”
Means last fought in August and defeated Laureano Staropoli via unanimous decision. He’s 3-2 in his last five fights and constantly finds himself fin wars. That will be the same situation for this weekend’s bout as well.
24 of his 30 pro wins have come via stoppage with 19 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 6-5-1 when going the distance.
@darrentill2 to @arielhelwani : ” I was gonna go there, corner Mike Perry, be as professional as possible and then maybe have a fight outside with him ”
The Mike Perry show returns to the octagon this weekend and the mystery of who will be in his corner is once again another subplot. His last fight against Mickey Gall in June saw Perry’s girlfriend be his only corner team member. Perry won via unanimous decision which snapped a two fight losing streak.
11 of his 14 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-4 when going the distance and has been stopped twice.
This fight will be explosive for however long it lasts. These two men have combined for 30 TKO/KO wins in 63 total fights. Furthermore, they both have no fear and will stand in the middle of the octagon punching each other in the face.
Because this is a PPV show, I expect these two men to swing for the fences. With that said, I don’t see this fight going the distance (-175). I also see it coming in Under 2.5 rounds (-135).
Perry seems to be finding his groove again. So, I will take “Platinum” to win via TKO/KO (+170). The best value is with the moneylines for these fighters, whichever way you are betting.
Tim Means vs Mike Perry –Perry (-145)
Under 2.5 rounds (-135)
Fight ends inside the distance (-175)
Perry wins inside the distance (+125)
Perry wins via TKO/KO (+170)
Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia
Valentina Shevchenko (-1300)
Jennifer Maia (+850)
Over (-130)/Under (+110) 2.5 rounds
Jennifer Maia come on down. You are the next victim, err contestant, for the Valentina Shevchenko sweepstakes. As you can see, Maia is a massive underdog in this fight. In fact, I don’t remember the last time someone was this big of an underdog in the UFC.
Despite being a huge underdog, Maia is planning on shocking the MMA world by winning this weekend:
“Nobody is invincible. And I feel so prepared that, if there is a person at the moment who can beat (Valentina), I feel like it’s me,” Maia said to AG Fight. “I feel like it’s time for her to prove (that no one is invincible). The time has come to show it, winning it. To show that she managed to be champion for a while, but it will always be time for a defeat. I take this fight a lot as an example, to surprise the world, just like Holly did some time ago.”
Maia has gone 3-1 since losing her octagon debut to Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision in July 2018. She last fought in August and defeated Joanne Calderwood via 1st round submission.
Nine of her 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission. She’s 9-4-1 when going the distance.
What can be said about the champ that hasn’t already been said? She’s won five fights in a row since her last loss which came to the GOAT Amanda Nunes via split decision in September 2017.
She holds the record for most title defenses in the women’s flyweight division and is the best in the division when it comes to landing strikes and defending strikes. Valentina also has a near-60% takedown rate which is the best in the division. That’s scary considering how prolific of a striker she is.
Shevchenko last fought in February and brutalized Chookagian via 3rd round TKO. Three of her last five wins have come via stoppage. For her career, 13 of 19 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission. She’s 6-2 when going the distance.
What’s even more exciting for Valentina than her 4th title defense is that she gets to compete on the same card as her sister. It marks the first time in UFC history that two sisters will fight on the same card:
“This card is more special than others because for the first time in the history of the UFC, two sisters are going to fight on the same card. But it’s not only sisters but also brothers. Yes, there has been in the UFC brothers that fight in different weight classes and different events, but on the same event, and same (weight class) there hasn’t been. This would be the first time.”
I have no doubt that Valentina will win. Unfortunately, I did pick her sister to lose via split decision.
The only debate for this co-main even is whether or not it ends inside the distance or goes the full distance. I’m really having a tough time deciding.
If this was a three round fight then I would say it goes the full 15 minutes, but since it’s a 5 round contest I’m picking it to end inside the distance (-235). However I do see it going Over 2.5 rounds (-130). I like the value with the prop bet that this fight starts round 4 at -105 odds.
Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia –Shevchenko (-1300)
Over 2.5 rounds (-130)
Fight ends inside the distance (-235)
Shevchenko wins inside the distance (-175)
Shevchenko wins via TKO/KO (-115)
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez
Deiveson Figueiredo (-300)
Alex Perez (+250)
Over (-160)/Under (+140) 1.5 rounds
Despite winning three fights in a row and 6-1 inside the octagon, Perez is a large underdog in this flyweight title fight.
He last competed in June and defeated Jussier Formiga via 1st round TKO. In fact, four of his six UFC wins have come via stoppage. For his career, 12 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission. He’s 12-1 when going the distance.
Despite what oddsmakers think, Brandon Moreno, the #2 ranked flyweight who is also fighting on this show, thinks that Perez has a chance at winning this weekend. Yet, the champ Figueiredo strongly disagrees:
“They put Alex Perez in, and I don’t see many qualities in him. I’m training really hard as if I was fighting Garbrandt. You can be sure that I’ll train hard to knock him out. Based on what I’ve seen, Alex Perez’s style favors me. He’s slow, I see no danger in him. That’s why I’m training to knock him out in the first round.”
Figueiredo would continue to say that the Perez matchup actually favors him the most out of any of the top contenders. But, he did give Moreno some credit by saying that Brandon would be a tougher opponent.
16 of his 19 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. Six of his eight UFC wins have come via stoppage.
His last two fights came against Joseph Benavidez and he savagely beat one of the division’s all-time greats in both contests. The first ended via TKO and the second ended via submission, which came after a brutal knockdown. That was the 8th knockdown of his UFC career, giving Figueiredo the most in the division.
Figueiredo has the longest active win streak in the UFC’s flyweight division with four victories. He’s just the third ever flyweight champ following in the footsteps of Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo.
This fight is going to be exciting because I think many pundits and the champ are overlooking Perez. His lone UFC loss came against Benavidez and it was via TKO. That was the only knockout loss of his career.
I think Perez can survive this matchup for Over 1.5 rounds (-160). Alexandre Pantoja went the full three rounds with the champ. Formiga beat the champ via unanimous decision. In fact, six of the champ’s nine UFC fights have gone over 1.5 rounds.
I do believe this bout will end inside the distance, but it should touch the 3rd round which offers the best value at -105 odds. Once in this time range, I believe that Figueiredo will end up putting Perez away. He’s just too fast and too powerful for Perez to pull off the upset or even go into the championship rounds.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez –Figueiredo (-300)
Over 1.5 rounds (-160)
Fight ends inside the distance (-485)
Figueiredo wins inside the distance (-215)
Figueiredo wins via TKO/KO (-130)
Fight starts round 3 (-105)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …