The November showcase of the flyweight divisions didn’t let us down at UFC 255 as both champions retained their belts in rather dominant fashion.
In the main event of the night Deiveson Figueiredo went head-hunting against challenger Alex Perez and got a first round finish, with a scramble on the ground leading to a deep guillotine choke in less than two minutes.
In the women’s title fight, Valentina Shevchenko outclassed Jennifer Maia to a unanimous decision win after an interesting game plan saw her take the fight to the ground on several occasions against the jiu-jitsu expert.
For Figueiredo it was the confirmation that he is the biggest and best fighter the division has seen since Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.
‘God of War’ improved his record to 20-1 and made it seven finishes from ten fights in the division, tying the record for finishes with Mighty Mouse. It also means he improved to 3-0 for 2020, with finishes in all those fights.
Immediately after the fight he called for his next title defence to be against #1 ranked Brandon Moreno, who defeated Brandon Royval earlier in the night with a first round TKO after he dislocated his shoulder in a scramble.
The UFC have already made their move in booking that fight, with a 21 day turnaround expected as the two will headline December’s UFC 256 pay-per-view event. The decision was made after both fighters verbally agreed to the fight within two hours of this weekend’s card ending and Petr Yan being forced to withdraw from his fight with Aljamain Sterling due to personal reasons.
A win for Figueiredo in that fight will see him win four title fights in the calendar year, more than any UFC fighter in history. His power, speed and ability on the ground make him the total package and without a doubt the scariest prospect the flyweight division has ever seen.
For Shevchenko, the UFC look set to pair her up with former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade in her next title defence according to Dana White.
Shevchenko won her fight relatively comfortably on the night, although she was dominated in the second round by Jennifer Maia on the ground which is something future challengers will look to for encouragement to beat her.
Andrade is a heavy-hitting striker, as she showed when she finished Katlyn Chookagian with a body shot last month, but also an excellent wrestler with dominant top control and ground and pound. She would pose an entirely new threat to Shevchenko, something the UFC president is excited to see.
Away from the title picture, Joaquin Buckley continued his fine performances in the UFC with another big knockout win over an undefeated fighter – this time Jordan Wright.
Buckley was strong, powerful and explosive as he smashed his way through Wright at the end of the opening round before finishing the job inside 20 seconds of round two with a big right hand to the temple.
After the fight though, a fired up Buckley called for a fight with an unnamed fighter who has been disrespecting him online. That fighter is James Krause, the head coach of Glory MMA and their beef stems from comments made by Krause on a podcast.
According to Krause, Buckley has been kicked out of every gym in the Louisiana area they’re from due to roughing sparring partners up and generally just not being nice to be around. Buckley has taken offence to the comments and challenged him to a bout at welterweight (Krause’s natural division) or middleweight (where Krause has appeared once before).
Dana White confirmed in the post-event press conference that he would be interested in making the fight happen but he needed to talk with both fighters first to make sure they’re interested and what not.
A great event that has shaped up some future cards and built two champions up even further, a job well done to all involved.
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