Flyweights will have the attention of the MMA world on Saturday night, as UFC 255 is headlined by two UFC Flyweight Championship fights. From the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Deiveson Figueiredo will look to defend his belt for the first time, fighting Alex Perez in the main event of the pay-per-view card.
The co-main event will see 125-pound champion Valentina Shevchenko face Jennifer Maia.
Here’s a preview of the entire card.
Early Prelims (6:30PM EST / 3:30PM PST) (ESPN 2 / UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 1: Louis Cosce (7-0) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (5-2) (Welterweight)
The preliminary card will kick off with a double debut, as Louis Cosce will fight Sasha Palatnikov.
Cosce, an undefeated welterweight, won a UFC contract in August by defeating Victor Reyna on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He previously had six wins on the regional scene.
Palatnikov enters the UFC after a win in September over Paulo Henrique on a UAE Warriors card. Palatnikov will make history for the promotion, as he is the first fighter to sign with the UFC that is representing Hong Kong.
Bout 2: Kyle Daukaus (9-1) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-1) (Middleweight)
Kyle Daukaus and Dustin Stoltzfus will both look for their first UFC win on the prelims. Stoltzfus won over the summer on “Dana White’s Contender Series,” defeating Joseph Pyfer due to a slam takedown injuring him. Stoltzfus is on a 10-fight win streak.
Daukaus, a former CFFC Middleweight Champion, lost his UFC debut in June to Brendan Allen via decision.
Bout 3: Alan Jouban (16-7) vs. Jared Gooden (17-4) (Welterweight)
Jared Gooden will make his UFC debut on the prelims against Alan Jouban. Gooden has won his last three fights on the regional scene via stoppage. He last competed in July, where he finished Trent McCown in the second round with strikes.
The fight will be Jouban’s return to the cage. His last fight was in April of 2019, where he lost a split decision to Dwight Grant. Having fought in the UFC since 2014, Jouban has a promotional record of seven wins and five losses.
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM EST) (ESPN 2 / TSN 5)
Bout 4: Nicolas Dalby (18-3-1) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (13-1) (Welterweight)
Daniel Rodriguez will look to continue his hot streak through 2020 on the prelims, facing Nicolas Dalby.
Rodriguez has had a strong rookie year in the UFC, picking up three-straight wins. His last fight was in August, where he stopped Dwight Grant in the third minute with punches.
Dalby was scheduled to fight the week before against Bryan Barberena, although plans changed after Barberena had to undergo surgery due to “internal bleeding from a couple ruptured arteries in his omentum.”
Rodriguez was first meant to fight Orion Cosce on the card, however, Cosce withdrew from the fight.
Dalby’s last fight was a loss to Jesse Ronson, although it was overturned recently as Ronson was handed a 20-month USADA suspension. Dalby won his UFC debut in 2019, defeating Alex Oliveira.
Bout 5: Antonina Shevchenko (8-2) vs. Ariane Lipski (13-5) (Flyweight)
Only hours before her sister Valentina Shevchenko fights, Antonina Shevchenko will fight Ariane Lipski on the prelims. Shevchenko has an even UFC record of two wins and two losses. Her last fight was a loss, dropping a decision to Katlyn Chookagian in May.
Lipski returned to the cage in July, where she stopped Luana Carolina in the second minute with a kneebar.
Bout 6: Joaquin Buckley (11-3) vs. Jordan Wright (11-0) (Middleweight)
Returning after a viral victory in October, Joaquin Buckley will fight Jordan Wright on the prelims. Buckley’s last fight, his first win in the UFC, saw him deliver a spinning back kick knockout to Impa Kasanganay that received millions of views online.
Wright, still undefeated as a pro, won his UFC debut in August over Ike Villanueva. The fight ended in an unceremonious fashion, as a doctor stoppage took Villanueva out of the fight in the second minute.
Bout 7: Brandon Moreno (17-5-1) vs. Brandon Royval (12-4) (Flyweight)
Ranked flyweights Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval will finish the preliminary card. Royval has made a splash in his short UFC run, defeating Tim Elliott and Kai Kara-France both via submission. The former LFA Flyweight Champion will look for his third win in the year on Saturday.
After one fight on the regional scene, Brandon Moreno returned to the UFC in 2019. With a draw against Askar Askarov and wins over Kai Kara-France and Jussier Formiga, Moreno has quickly thrown himself in the picture of one of the top fighters in the division.
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (PPV)
Bout 8: Mauricio Rua (27-11-1) vs. Paul Craig (13-4-1) (Light Heavyweight)
After a draw in their first meeting, Mauricio Rua and Paul Craig will run a fight back on the main card. Their first fight, which happened just over a year ago, ended in a split draw.
Bout 9: Katlyn Chookagian (14-4) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) (Flyweight)
After a successful flyweight debut in June, Cynthia Calvillo will battle against Katlyn Chookagian on Saturday.
Calvillo, a former strawweight, made the move up to flyweight in June with a five-round decision win over Jessica Eye. She had previously fought seven times as a flyweight in the UFC.
Chookagian, a former title challenger, fought last month to Jessica Andrade, being stopped late in the first round with punches to the body.
Bout 10: Mike Perry (14-6) vs. Tim Means (30-12-1) (Welterweight)
Both coming back from wins, Mike Perry and Tim Means will compete in the final non-championship fight of the card.
Perry’s last fight snapped a two-fight skid, defeating Mickey Gall via decision in June. Perry has since found himself in trouble outside the cage, being involved in a physical altercation at a bar and accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife.
Domestic violence allegations from Perry’s ex-wife, Danielle Nickerson, surfaced in October. The report from MMA Junkie detailed a specific night between the two with a recording of a 911 call from the day as well.
Perry missed weight for the welterweight bout, coming in four-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship limit.
Means won his last fight, defeating Laureano Staropoli via decision in August.
Bout 11: Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) vs. Jennifer Maia (18-6-1) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Valentina Shevchenko will look to defend her UFC Flyweight Championship for the fourth time on Saturday when she fights Jennifer Maia. Shevchenko’s previous wins as a champ have come over Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche and Katlyn Chookagian.
Shevchenko was meant to fight Joanne Calderwood in June, although injury took her out of the fight. Calderwood took a fight in the meantime, but it ended up making her lose her title shot, as she lost to Maia via armbar in the bout.
Now with the win over former title challenger Calderwood, Maia put herself in a title position. Prior to her win in August, Maia’s previous fight was a loss via decision to Katlyn Chookagian.
Bout 12: Deiveson Figueiredo (19-1) vs. Alex Perez (24-5) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Four months after winning the UFC Flyweight Championship, Deiveson Figueiredo is back on Saturday to defend his belt for the first time against Alex Perez.
Figueiredo won the vacant belt in July, defeating Joseph Benavidez in the first round via rear naked choke. The fight was a rematch from February, where while Figueiredo won, he didn’t take the belt since he missed weight for the fight. Figueiredo has won his last four.
Perez has won his last three fights. In his seven-fight UFC career, his sole loss came in 2018 against Benavidez. Perez has had explosive wins in his two 2020 appearances. After starting the year off with a first-round arm triangle choke win against Jordan Espinosa, Perez returned in June to defeat Jussier Formiga in the first round with leg kicks.