UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez Preview & Prediction
By Cathal Geeney
The main event on Saturday night sees Deiveson Figueiredo look to defend his 125-pound belt against Alex Perez, after Cody Garbrandt pulled out with an injury.
This is a big opportunity for the Brazilian who, despite being the current champion at flyweight, has never competed in a UFC Pay-Per-View Main Card.
Figueiredo brings both pressure and power to the table. He will look to set the pace on Saturday night, coming forward and using his jab to set up a powerful right hand, while mixing in an array of kicks.
Deiveson fights from an orthodox stance, occasionally switching, and has a good range of movement. He looks to create angles to get his shots off. The former hairdresser has only a single loss in his MMA career, a decision loss against Justin Formiga back in March of last year. While generally a competent grappler, he was exposed here as Formiga landed successfully take downs in every single round. And this may be an area that Perez will look to expose, given he has extensive wrestling experience.
Perez will have watched how dominant Figueiredo has looked in his ascent to the title and will be sure to have put together a specific game plan to combat it. Perez also fights from an orthodox stance with a tight guard, constantly throwing out the jab to find range. Perez possesses the ability to work the body and head of his opponent with punches while mixing in a high volume of powerful leg kicks.
The Californian managed to finish his last fight very impressively with a calf kick. Like Figueiredo, Perez also likes to control the octagon so it will be interesting to see how this fight develops. The title challenger will need to get the respect of his opponent early by landing some clean shots.
These fighters’ styles should make for an entertaining fight as they both look to take control and land strikes. It will be interesting to see how Perez goes about utilizing the leg kicks which handed him a victory in his last outing.
This is a big step up for both men as neither have headlined a card of this nature before. In fact, Figueredo has never gone past three rounds while Perez has only once had to.
Given the magnitude of the fight, cardio could play a role if the fight goes into the championship rounds.
I am picking the reigning champ, Figueiredo, for this one. He has look sensational of late and I’m not sure if there are many who can handle the pace and power he brings to the flyweight division.