Shevchenko, Figueiredo defend flyweight belts at UFC 255

Deiveson Figueiredo stopped Alex Perez with a guillotine choke within the first around at UFC 255, protecting his males’s flyweight championship for the primary time

LAS VEGAS — Deiveson Figueiredo stopped Alex Perez with a guillotine choke within the first around at UFC 255 on Saturday night time, protecting his males’s flyweight championship for the primary time.

Valentina Shevchenko defended the UFC ladies’s flyweight name with an incredibly tricky unanimous choice over Jennifer Maia on the UFC Apex health club at the promotion’s company campus in its place of birth.

Figueiredo (20-1) earned his record-tying 7th stoppage victory within the 125-pound department via clamping onto Perez’s neck out of a scramble at 1:57 within the opening around.

Perez (24-6) had just about taken Figueiredo’s again an speedy prior to the Brazilian champion became the tables and completed the struggle with the aptitude and talent that experience made him a emerging blended martial arts big name.

Shevchenko (20-Three) earned her 6th consecutive victory as a UFC flyweight and her fourth name protection, however the dominant champ needed to paintings a lot more difficult than virtually everybody anticipated. Shevchenko gained 49-46 on all 3 playing cards.

Maia (18-7-1), probably the most greatest underdogs in UFC name struggle historical past, stretched Shevchenko to the prohibit or even most likely gained the second one around towards a champion who had slightly been examined all through her just about three-year run at 125 kilos.

Figueiredo claimed his name previous this yr along with his moment consecutive victory over Joseph Benavidez, after all ascending to the height of a UFC department with handiest two earlier champions. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson ruled the flyweight ranks for 6 years prior to Henry Cejudo dethroned him in 2018.

With 17 stoppages in his first 20 occupation victories, Figueiredo’s talent to complete his fights is extraordinary within the flyweight department — and precisely what it wishes to draw enthusiasts.

Perez earned his method right into a name shot after a number of years in regional promotions in his local central California, adopted via an look on UFC President Dana White’s Contender Sequence. He then gained 5 of his first six fights within the UFC, permitting him to grasp the chance closing month when former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt needed to drop out of the primary tournament with an damage.

For lots of the display’s penultimate bout, Shevchenko eschewed her dominant kickboxing and counterpunching in choose of takedowns and flooring combating with Maia, the huge underdog who brought about sufficient bother within the early rounds to get Shevchenko’s consideration.

After Shevchenko ruled the primary around at the flooring, Maia in large part managed the second one around, additionally at the flooring — no small feat towards Shevchenko, who had misplaced just one around at the judges’ scorecards in her complete UFC occupation as a flyweight.

Shevchenko took down Maia two times within the 3rd, and the champion picked aside Maia on their toes and at the flooring within the fourth. Shevchenko bloodied Maia’s face within the 5th around with moves, however Maia survived to the general horn.

The 32-year-old Shevchenko has ruled the 125-pound department since December 2018, 12 months after the UFC created the belt. Her handiest two losses prior to now decade have been shut choices towards two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes, and Shevchenko ruled every of her first 3 flyweight name defenses.

Maia were given her first name shot after an disappointed victory over most sensible contender Joanne Calderwood in August, leaping the road for her shot — after which proving she deserved it.

Scotland’s Paul Craig opened the pay-per-view portion of the display with a second-round stoppage of former gentle heavyweight champion Maurício “Shogun” Rua.

Previous, Mexico’s Brandon Moreno most likely put himself in line for the following shot on the males’s flyweight belt with a first-round stoppage of fellow most sensible contender Brandon Royval.

Moreno (18-Five-1) used to be booked to struggle Perez at UFC 255 prior to Garbrandt pulled out and Perez were given the name shot. Moreno used to be disenchanted, however he nonetheless completed Royval, whose shoulder used to be dislocated, at the flooring with one moment left within the around.

Shevchenko’s older sister, Antonina, stopped Ariane Lipski with punches in the second one around in their undercard bout. The Shevchenkos are the primary sisters to compete at the identical card in UFC historical past.

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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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