Hello! Welcome to the UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez live blog. I’m Bradley Page and I will be taking you through the action today live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
The main card offers two championship fights. Valentina Shevchenko makes her fourth defence of her Flyweight Championship against Jennifer Maia in the co main event, then Deiveson Figueiredo makes his first defence of his Flyweight Championship against Alex Perez.
On the prelims we have already seen Denmark’s Nicolas Dalby pick up a decision win, Antonina Shevchenko, sister of Valentina, scored a dominant TKO victory Ariane Lipski.
The highlight of the prelims was Joaquin Buckley hitting a beautiful left hook KO against undefeated Jordan Wright.
Mauricio Rua v Paul Craig
First up on the main card this evening is a rematch from this time last year, where Shogun Rua and Paul Craig fought to a draw.
Scotland’s Paul Craig makes the walk first
It was just over a decade ago where Shogun won the Light-Heavyweight Championship. Time Flies!
Paul Craig looks up for this. Bruce Buffer, wearing a delicious suit, announces him and he is staring daggers into Shogun
That’s a high-level grappling first round. Craig starts the round with a variety of leg kicks, before easily taking Shogun down before trying for a D’Arce choke. The round finishes though with Shogun on top position. 10-9 Craig
Craig is taking Shogun down for fun now.
Craig has Shogun gassed. Craig has Rua’s back with hooks in and he is pummelling on Rua’s head and Shogun taps! Big TKO win for the Scot as he makes up for draw from last year.
Who said British fighters can’t wrestle? The Scot put on a grappling masterclass against a legend in Shogun. Craig is building quite the record. 14 wins, 14 finishes.
I can already tell that the Joe Rogan Spotify advert is really going to annoy me when it gets to 6am.
Katlyn Chookagian v Cynthia Calvillo
Chookagian is ranked #2 in the division, having lost to Shevchenko in February. Calvillo is building her resume at #4 and a 9-1 record.
Chookagian is coming off a TKO loss against Jessica Andrade last month at Fight Island. I wonder if it will be an advantage or disadvantage fighting just last month.
Calvillo is the better grappler, she takes Chookagian down, but she gets right back up.
Chookagian is keeping great range and making it hard for Calvillo to get in the pocket, when she is though she is connecting, tough round to score but 10-9 Chookagian.
Chookagian hits a nice jab to snap Calvillo’s head back at the start of round 2.
Calvillo is getting picked off, she isn’t offering anything and is running in and getting hit, just to retreat again.
Chookagian looks comfy, another 10-9.
Calvillo needs to come out here and get a finish.
Joe Rogan brings up a great point, the fighters are nearly level on strikes, with Chookagian clearly winning the fight. MMA needs to do away with being too heavily reliant on statistics, they don’t tell the full story.
The champ has arrived, and he looks calm. Dressed for a cold autumn day rather than for a main event fight, I rate it.
Calvillo scores a nice one-two to end the round, but Chookagian should get the nod.
30-27’s all round for the #2 women’s flyweight, comfortable.
Mike Perry v Tim Means
Not only did Mike Perry weigh 4.5 pounds over the limit… not only did he eat takeaways over fight week to mock Tim Means… he dabbed on the scales.
Mike Perry took to Twitter weeks ago to put a spot as a cornerman up for sale. We know his girlfriend will be in his corner, I wonder who else will walk Perry out.
I hope Perry has some experience in his corner, if his game plan doesn’t work, he needs someone in his corner to tell him how to adjust, his girlfriend won’t be able to do that.
Blaydes v Lewis next week is a nasty fight, I couldn’t even begin to predict how that will go.
I hate how much I love Perry at the same time, what a meme. Coming out to Beyonce – Halo as well, I’ll allow it.
Expect a war here!
Perry’s corner is his girlfriend.
Mike Perry initiates the takedown and has Means’ back. He’s in trouble, two choke attempts looked close to finishing, but Means gets out.
Very nice body shot by Perry
Perry looks like he has tired heavily at the end of the round, he looks lost. Means is backing up Perry but that’s a 10-9 Perry.
His girlfriend with the best corner advice. “You’re doing great.”
Means is digging into the body shots.
Perry hits a great combo that stuns Means, but he opts to try to take Means down, and fails.
Means hits a beautiful upwards elbow, but it’s his jab that has won him the round, 10-9 Means. Perry is fading.
Perry’s girlfriend: “You’re good, you’re doing great.” Words of wisdom.
Winner of this round wins the fight, I think.
Perry spends the first minute trying for the takedown but comes off short.
Both men are bloody and it’s a bar fight, they’re standing in the middle and trading blow for blow.
It goes the distance; I think Means edged it.
30-27, 29-28×2 for Tim Means. I’m surprised one judge gave Means round 1, but it’s a good unanimous decision for Means.
Darren Till put in a bid to be Perry’s cornerman, but it didn’t plan out. I would have loved to have seen that.
UFC have made official the card for their final event in 2020, and it is STACKED. It is headlined with Brit Leon Edwards facing rising star Khamzat Chimaev.
Valentina Shevchenko v Jennifer Maia
We move into the title fights. Firstly, the Womens Flyweight Championship. This would be the biggest upset in UFC history in Maia was to pull off the upset here today, a massive 8/1 underdog.
This is Valentina’s fourth title defence; she has looked unstoppable in this division.
Maia looks calm.
Shevchenko takes down the grappler. Confidence.
That is over 4 minutes of control on the ground from Shevchenko, she takes the round 10-9.
This is good from Maia; she wears Shevchenko against the cage in the clinch before taking her down and is in top position.
That is over 4 minutes of control time from Maia, she takes the round 10-9. We have a fight.
Two rounds down, two rounds apiece, not a lot of damage down so far though.
Valentina is throwing heat. She lands some heavy shots, before getting the takedown and staying in top position to end round 3.
29-28 Shevchenko. We head into the championship rounds. I did not expect it to be going this long.
Shevchenko starts to take advantage of the striking, although Maia’s hitting her on the counter. Shevchenko gets the takedown. She rides out on top position for the rest of the round. 39-37 Shevchenko. I think Maia needs a finish.
Backed up in the corner, they tell Maia she needs a finish.
Shevchenko hits a beauty elbow on the release of the clinch.
Shevchenko is coming in with heavy combos before Maia slows her down with a clinch.
Maia is showing the damage with blood dripping from her nose, but there’s no quit.
The striking is coming good, this is what everyone expected for all 5 rounds. Shevchenko takes the fifth round, and should win a comfortable, but unspectacular 49-46 decision.
And Still. 49-46 x3 for Shevchenko.
We stan the dance.
Deiveson Figueiredo v Alex Perez
We move onto the main event!
Deiveson Figueiredo takes on Alex Perez in his first defence of his Flyweight Championship.
Yeah, the Joe Rogan advert has run its course, I’m too tired for that, we approach 6am.
Perez is looking to be the first person from the Dana White’s Contender Series to win gold.
Figueiredo has a haematoma on his forehead before the fight starts, I wonder if that will factor into the fight.
Figueiredo looks huge, and he’s coming in with hands down.
Figueiredo gets a guillotine.
That was insane.
Perez has Figueiredo’s leg up high, Figueiredo counters with a trip but Perez lands on top position and the guillotine was set in an instant. Perez’s head was almost out, he has a tremendous squeeze. Unbelievable finish, his fifth guillotine finish of his career ensures he gets the AND STILL.
Figueiredo is now tied with Mighty Mouse with 7 finishes in the division, he’s in great company.
He asks Dana to make the fight with Moreno, after Moreno’s win tonight, it’s got to be the fight to make.
That concludes a nice run of fights, the two champions retain. It has been a pleasure to provide commentary for the event.