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What We Learned From the Fights at UFC 255

| November 24, 2020 5:46 am PDT
Five Major Takeaways from UFC 255

Were your expectations for UFC 255 in line with what you got from the fights on Saturday night?

I have to admit that I was more than satisfied with how the card played out. Sure, some things could have been done a little better, but overall, I think it was a success. Especially as some had predicted the card to suck.

The event was, of course, headlined by a men’s flyweight title scrap between Deiveson Figueiredo and Alex Perez. I was a little surprised to see UFC betting sites offering such high odds for the Brazilian earning a submission or KO/TKO, and I bet anyone who took him for the submission was delighted. I went for the KO/TKO, but that’s the way it goes, right?

Anyway, enough about me. You’re here to read about the five major takeaways from UFC 255. Let’s start with that main event and go from there!

Figueiredo is the Flyweight King the UFC Needed

Not so long ago, the UFC’s 125-pound weight class was believed to be on the way out.

Dominant champion Demetrious Johnson split for ONE FC, leaving a major void in the division that no one could fill. Not even Henry Cejudo, with his, erm, original brand of self-promotion.

Cejudo’s UFC flyweight title fight with T.J. Dillashaw was believed to be the last in the division, but his 32-second KO was surprising enough for the promotion to keep things going. 

With Cejudo gone, the UFC put the title up for Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez. The Brazilian triumphed in two consecutive fights, taking the title and making a pretty impressive statement of intent at 125 since then.

On Saturday night against Alex Perez, Figueiredo proved why he is one of the UFC’s most exciting fighters on the roster. An awesome first-round submission over Perez marked his fourth straight finish, taking the former hairdresser’s record to 20-1 in MMA.

Figueiredo is just the kind of champion the promotion needed to keep this division alive.

Shevchenko Resides in a Class of Her Own

The men’s flyweight division is in pretty good health right now with Figueiredo.

In the women’s 125-pound weight class, Valentina Shevchenko continues to demonstrate why she is in a class of her own. There is the champion, and there is everyone else.

Shevchenko earned a unanimous decision victory over Jennifer Maia on the night to take her successful defenses in the division to four. As it stands, the Kyrgyzstan-born technician has limited options for opponents. She is the best female flyweight on the planet, and by some distance.

There are two options for Shevchenko next. Lauren Murphy is the highest-ranked 125-pounder that the Russian has yet to fight. Or there is former strawweight queen Jessica Andrade, who Dana White believes could cause the champ real problems.

But Shevchenko is looking past both ladies. Instead, “The Bullet” wants a third fight with current double weight champ Amanda Nunes, presumably at bantamweight.

Now that’s a fight to look forward to.

Perry Approaches the Edge of the Cliff

Could we be approaching the end of Mike Perry’s run as a UFC fighter?

Perry’s record fell to 3-6 from his last nine following a defeat to the wily veteran Tim Means on Saturday night. Perry, who missed weight for the fight and looked woefully out of shape, should be worrying.

“Platinum” has enjoyed his fair share of controversy outside of the cage this year. From accusations of spousal abuse from his ex-wife to allegedly punching an elderly man outside of a restaurant in Texas, the 29-year-old has not had things go his way of late.

Perry’s failure to come in prepared for this fight is not a good sign. You can’t help but wonder how much longer the promotion will fight his corner if he’s not winning those fights in the Octagon. 

Moreno Gets his Shot at the Title

Brandon Moreno’s win over Brandon Royval earns him a shot at Deiveson Figueiredo’s title at UFC 256 in December.

Moreno earned a first-round TKO win over Royval, who suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury in an exchange with his opponent. It was tough on “Raw Dawg,” but such is the fight game.

Figueiredo becomes the first champion in the history of the UFC to defend his title in consecutive months.

These two will go head to head in what is presumably the new main event fight at UFC 256. If so, this will be the fourth main event fixture of this event following the collapse of Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns, Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson, and Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling.

Wrap both men in cotton wool until December 12, please.

Buckley Lives up to the Hype

Whether in alternative music or mixed martial arts, the pressure to follow up on a huge hit with something as impressive, at the very least, is not easy to do.

This “second album syndrome,” or “sophomore slump” has been responsible for the deaths of numerous bands and artists over the years. But those bands who managed to avoid this common pitfall were often viewed as having passed a difficult test.

On Saturday night, Joaquin Buckley left the Octagon like an artist that had just nailed that elusive follow-up release. Having scored the most viewed knockout on social media this year, and certainly one of the most spectacular in combat sports history, the pressure was on Buckley to prove he was more than a one-hit-wonder.

Against the previously unbeaten Jordan Wright, he did just that. Buckley nailed the “Beverly Hills Ninja” with vicious shots, stopping him after just 18 seconds of Round 2.

How far can Joaquin Buckley go? I’m not sure I can answer that question just yet, but I’m looking forward to watching him develop over the next few years.

He clearly has something to him.

More Betting Material for Upcoming Fights

We can now scratch UFC 255 off the list of things to look forward to this year.

But don’t be glum. This means we can start looking forward to other fights and events coming our way, in both boxing and MMA.

I’ll leave you with some betting material for the big fights coming up. Help yourself.

Enjoy the fights!

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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