UFC 256 Preview: Figueiredo vs. Moreno

Are you getting a feeling of deja vu yet? Roughly three weeks ago, OddsUSA was previewing a Deiveson Figueiredo flyweight title fight. The UFC champion apparently stayed on Fight Island after the bout and is in yet another main event against Brandon Moreno after submitting Alex Perez in less than two minutes.

So you can guess why, even though Moreno also earned a first-round win at UFC 255 like the champion, Figueiredo is our favorite. He is also the favorite of the oddsmakers: Deiveson Figueiredo (-300) vs. Brandon Moreno (+250)

Forgive us if you’ve heard this before, but in 21 fights, Figueiredo is nearly perfect with just one loss by decision. 17 of his 20 wins are finishes (85 percent), fights that lasted ten minutes or less. 11 of those 17 finishes came in the first round. 

Moreno has earned his title shot after a 6-2-1 stint in the UFC thus far, but it;s just not his time. The champion is absolutely on fire. Still, as FanDuel noted what is the general feeling around the internet–Moreno’s jiu-jitsu is better than that of Perez.

Combat Press noted in their own preview that the challenger has ten submission wins. The feeling seems to be that the grappling abilities of both men will cancel each other out, making this a striking contest in favor of Figueiredo. Just three of Moreno’s 18 wins have come by strikes.

The concern for both men is the weight cut. Both Matthew Petela and Andrew Sumian expressed this concern in the Combat Press preview.

Patella said, “The only thing that might go wrong for Figueiredo is the battle he has on the scale. It’s no secret that he lost his first shot at the title before the fight even started after he came in over the championship limit. 

This quick turnaround could prove difficult for him when attempting to make another weight cut. Don’t expect Figueiredo to miss weight, but if he looks particularly unsteady on the scale at weigh-ins, then it might be just enough to give Moreno a real shot at stealing the title.”

OddsUSA must disagree with that last statement. 

As Sumian wrote of the champion, “He will pepper Moreno with smooth and accurate strikes as the challenger continues to march forward round after round and take the punishment due to his toughness. When it is all said and done, the champion will get his hand raised in a unanimous decision and set himself up for a showdown with Cody Garbrandt sometime in 2021.”

The action goes down at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas this Saturday night.

Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Brandon Moreno by finish in ten minutes (two rounds) or less

UFC 255 Best Bets: Get Your Fill of Stoppages

UFC 255 feels like it’s flying under the radar for a PPV event that features two title fights. With it being sandwiched between a Khabib retirement win and a Conor McGregor fight announcement, UFC 255 isn’t getting the hype it deserves. Not often will you have a card where both Flyweight titles are on the line and oddsmakers are expecting some fireworks. Seven of the 12 fights are projected to see stoppages with another three at pick’em odds.

The event is headlined by Deiveson Figueiredo and Valentina Shevchenko who are both defending their Flyweight titles. Figueiredo is taking on Alex Perez, who is a fill-in for the injured Cody Garbrandt. Perez is on a three fight win streak, most recently defeating Jussier Formiga by a first round leg kick TKO.

On the women’s side, Valentina Shevchenko will defend her Flyweight belt against Jennifer Maia who is the biggest underdog on the card at +900. Also on the card is the rematch between the aging Light Heavyweight legend Shogun Rua and Paul Craig, and those two fought a year ago to a split decision draw.

Keep in mind there are two Shevchenko’s on the card. The much less talented, but older sister Antonina Shevchenko, looks to improve on her 2-2 UFC record against Ariane Lipski who also has a UFC record of 2-2.

UFC 255 Best Bets: Who Won’t Go the Distance

Tim Means vs Mike Perry: Fight DOES go the distance +125

These are two very experienced fighters with 63 pro MMA fights between them. The reason why I believe oddsmakers think this fight will see a stoppage is the unpredictability of Mike Perry; he fights pretty recklessly and made his name in the UFC with highlight knock outs.

Perry isn’t the same fighter anymore and it has resulted in six of his last eight fights going to the judges’ scorecards. There are many question marks surrounding his fight camp and he recently auctioned off his corner man spot for this fight. One thing I won’t question is Perry’s toughness, with only one loss by KO in his career.

Tim Means is 36 now and is coming off a decision win. He was on a streak of stoppages before suffering two stoppage losses against Daniel Rodriguez and Niko Price who are two of the most explosive strikers in the division. Plus, his two stoppage wins were against weaker competition who are no longer in the UFC. Means has the height and reach advantage and I expect him to keep Perry at a range. He’s a good enough striker to stand with Perry and I expect to see a close decision fight here.

Paul Craig by KO, TKO or Submission +160

Paul Craig is a finisher. In his 13 wins, 12 have been by submission and the other by KO. He’s a -189 favourite to beat Shogun Rua in their rematch and I believe it’s because he should have won the first fight between the two. Craig out-struck Shogun 51-25 in significant strikes in the first fight but the problem was 31 of Craig’s strikes came in the first round. Craig gassed in the first round looking for the KO but I expect him to have a smarter game plan this time around. A plan more focussed around his elite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Shogun Rua looked terrible in his last fight barely scraping out a split decision win against the 44-year old Antonio Nogueira. Shogun has been finished in the past and he’s been submitted by worse grapplers than Paul Craig (Chael Sonnen and Forrest Griffen). I believe the first fight between the two being located in Brazil had a big impact on Shogun getting the split decision.

+3000 UFC 255 Parlay

Over 1.5 Rounds – Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez

Over 2.5 Rounds – Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia

Louis Cosce to win in round 1

Tim Means by Decision

Paul Craig to win

UFC 255 Betting Preview for Figueiredo vs. Perez: Cashing in on the Champ

This Saturday night at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo faces his first test as king of the divisional mountain against Alex Perez.

This may be the champion’s first challenge since capturing the title, but so far, he’s passed every test he’s been faced with. The Brazilian is 19-1 with 16 finishes (84% of his victories) and in his lone defeat against Jussier Formiga, Formiga failed to put him away as the bout went to the judges.

If you add to this the fact Figueiredo started his career with 15 straight wins until the loss to Formiga, you will understand why he is both the OddsUSA betting favorite and the favorite of the oddsmakers, clocking in at -325 at FanDuel. Both men fighting in the main event may be unknown to many sports fans, but that could all change by Sunday as fireworks are expected

Tale of the Tape for UFC 255

Thanks to Sherdog.com’s By the Numbers series, we know the champion has eight knockdowns to his credit since joining the division, placing him first on the organization’s all-time list at 125 pounds. For those dying to know, John Lineker (seven), Benavidez (six), John Dodson (six) and Ryan Benoit (four) round out the Top 5.

Meanwhile, Perez has racked up “1.51 knockdowns landed per 15 minutes in the UFC, giving Perez the highest such rate for a flyweight in promotional history. Figueiredo (1.37) ranks second all-time in the category at 125 pounds.”

Both men also have finishes in under a minute. Figueiredo subbed David Raimundo Arcangela Silva with a guillotine choke outside the UFC for the fastest submission win of his career. Perez made Jeff Carso tap with a standing guillotine also before joining the UFC.

Figueiredo vs. Perez Betting Pick: It’s Good to be the Champ

OddsUSA expects the champ to get things done come fight night. He lands fewer significant strikes per minute but is eight percent more accurate and absorbs less per minute than Perez.

Perez lands roughly three takedowns every 15 minutes to the champion’s 1.71. They are dead even in takedown accuracy at 50% but Perez has an 87-61% edge in takedown defense. This should not be a problem as both men are a threat everywhere, but Figueiredo prefers to throw hands more often than not.

Both men are incredibly dangerous, and it would be a surprise if this one goes the 25-minute distance. Figueiredo’s average fight time is just under ten minutes and Perez’s time is just under seven minutes. If this somehow does go to the scorecards, it could be a bloody spectacle all the way to the end a la Lawler-McDonald at UFC 189, a fight that shortens careers.

Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Alex Perez by finish for the UFC flyweight championship.

Figueiredo by KO/TKO (-120)

Figueiredo by Submission (+460)