Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight finishers Deiveson Figueiredo and Alex Perez will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Nov. 21, 2020) at UFC 255 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Figueiredo’s run to the top has been a violently one. The Brazilian has one of the highest knockdown-per-strike percentages in the sport, which definitely makes him an abnormal Flyweight. If his weight cut issues are solved, “Daico” may just develop into the dominant, entertaining kingpin Flyweight needs. To his credit, Perez has been stopping opponents more often than not with a mix of strikes and strangulation. The 28-year-old contender is already an experienced veteran, and he’s won 11 of his previous 12 bouts. Though he’s a major underdog, Perez definitely presents a threat to the champion.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Joseph Benavidez (UFC Fight Island 2, UFC Fight Night 169), Alexandre Pantoja (UFC 240), John Moraga (UFC Fight Night 135), Tim Elliott (UFC Fight Night 161), Joseph Morales (UFC Fight Night 125)
Key Losses: Jussier Formiga (UFC Fight Night 148)
Keys to Victory: Figueiredo stands wide with his hands low, baiting opponents to attack. When they commit, Figueiredo intercepts them with massive power shots, and if his foe retreats, he’ll swarm with a real bloodlust.
The biggest risk for Figueiredo in this match up involves getting controlled. His only loss inside the Octagon came to Formiga, and a majority of his problems came from reaching with strikes and then getting put on his back. If Perez is smart, he’ll be attempting a similar strategy, but he’s an even better wrestler than Formiga.
To avoid such a repeat, Figueiredo has to be wary with his entries. Leading with body shots or the uppercut would be a smart way to discourage takedown attempts. In addition, if Figueiredo can win the kicking battle, he doesn’t have to chase Perez. Instead, the pressure will be on the challenger to move forward and initiate, which is typically when Figueiredo finds his biggest connections.
Key Wins: Jussier Formiga (UFC 250), Jordan Espinosa (UFC Fight Night 166), Eric Shelton (UFC on FOX 28), Jose Torres (UFC 227)
Key Losses: Joseph Benavidez (TUF 28 Finale)
Keys to Victory: Perez is a really physical Flyweight himself. He routinely keeps opponents defensive with his power shots, which helps set up his takedowns game. Plus, Perez has proven quite good at wrapping up the neck quickly during transitions.
Perez likes to push forward hard behind power shots, but that’s exactly the type of style Figueiredo and his counter punching feasts on. If Perez goes forward with his usual striking game plan, he’s likely to be trading power shots with a heavier hitter, and he’ll be the one moving forward into the strikes.
That’s a bad recipe.
A bit of patience can go a long way, however. Figueiredo’s strategy of standing in place and firing may be powerful, but it definitely exposes his hips to takedown entries. Perez’s best bet is to feint actively, kick the leg hard, and move around a bit. By remaining cautious, Perez forces his opponent to either begin advancing — which also opens up the shot — or double down even further in pursuit of the knockout.
It’s a fine line to walk between respecting Figueiredo’s power and engaging enough to make the takedown happen, but that’s where Perez’s path to victory lies.
It may not be the pay-per-view (PPV) headliner anyone was hoping for, but this is still a solid title match.
Figueiredo has the potential to become something big at 125 pounds. His fights are consistently exciting, Figueiredo chases the knockout every time, and he’s the only male Brazilian champion. If Figueiredo can string together title defenses while maintaining his penchant for violence, perhaps there’s hope yet that Flyweight will have a marketable champion.
Meanwhile, Perez is in the unfortunate position of having several great UFC performances on his record that took place on the undercard. Fans can hardly be blamed for not knowing Perez when the promotion failed to … you know, promote him. The silver lining, at least, is that Perez enters the bout unheralded, which would only make his potential underdog victory all the sweeter.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 255 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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At UFC 255 Deiveson Figueiredo and Alex Perez will duel in the main event. Which man leaves with the title?