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411’s UFC 255 Report: Figueiredo Wins

November 22, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 255

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
(c) Deiveson Figueiredo (125 lbs.) vs. #4 Alex Perez (124.5 lbs.) – for flyweight title
(c) Valentina Shevchenko (124.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Jennifer Maia (124.5 lbs.) – for women’s flyweight title
Tim Means (171 lbs.) vs. Mike Perry (175.5 lbs.)*
#4 Cynthia Calvillo (124.5 lbs.) vs. #2 Katlyn Chookagian (125.75 lbs.)
#15 Paul Craig (205.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Mauricio Rua (205.5 lbs.)

#1 Brandon Moreno (125 lbs.) vs. #6 Brandon Royval (125.5 lbs.)
Joaquin Buckley (182.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Wright (185 lbs.)
Ariane Lipski (126 lbs.) vs. #15 Antonina Shevchenko (125 lbs.)
Nicolas Dalby (170 lbs.) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (170.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN2/ESPN+/Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Jared Gooden (171 lbs.) vs. Alan Jouban (170.5 lbs.)
Kyle Daukaus (185.5 lbs.) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (184.5 lbs.)
Louis Cosce (170 lbs.) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (170.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 255. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. Tonight we have the penultimate PPV event of 2020, and the UFC brought out both of their flyweight champions for the card. The main event was supposed to be former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt dropping to flyweight to take on freshly minted champion Deiveson Figueiredo, but Garbrandt got injured so in steps surging contender Alex Perez. The co-main event sees women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko try for her fourth title defense against Jennifer Maia. Mike Perry and Tim Means should be good fun, apart from Perry missing weight by about five pounds, and there’s a rematch between Paul Craig and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The fight between Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval has some pretty fun potential as well. Beyond that the leading contender for KO of the year, Joaquin Buckley, is back. I’m not going to lie, apart from the high violence potential of Figueiredo and Perez we’re kind of in hope mode.

UFC 255 comes to the world from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier. Nevada uses a hybrid rule set, adopting most of the rules but still requiring only one hand to be on the mat to be considered downed. They also allow the use of instant replay whenever the ref deems it necessary and allow fights to be restarted after replay as well if applicable. Also remember we’re in the smaller 25 foot diameter Octagon instead of the more usual 30 footer.

Louis Cosce is undefeated and makes his UFC debut on the back of a first round finish on the Contender Series a few months ago. Cosce is hoping to capitalize on that momentum by making a good first impression to the UFC audience. Sasha Palatnikov won his last fight and is also making his UFC debut here, he’s hoping to halt the budding hype around Cosce and get that all important first UFC win. Cosce is one of the bigger favorites on the card at -550 to a +400 payout on Palatnikov.

Welterweight Bout: Louis Cosce (7-0, 170 lbs.) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (5-2, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Palatnikov is four inches taller but has just an inch and a half of reach over Cosce. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men kick early, then they clinch but break without issue. Cosce lands a leg kick, eats a counter left hook though. Double leg from Palatnikov, Cosce grabs a guillotine though and uses that to get back up. Cosce catches a kick, gets a takedown as Palatnikov tries to forward roll out of it. Hard blows from Cosce as Palatnikov fights back up. Both men land punches, we get a bit of a firefight and Cosce drops Palatnikov with a left. Back on the mat and Cosce looks to unload but Palatnikov is back up and still fighting. They clinch, but nothing comes of it. Palatnikov goes southpaw, lands a body kick and then lands a left as he switches. Both men land, Palatnikov lands a long combination of punches. Cosce lands a right, elbow from Palatnikov. Another clinch that hits the fence. Some knees from Cosce, Palatnikov lands a hard right elbow. Palatnikov lands a knee to the body as they break. Some jabs from Palatnikov, Cosce might have gassed himself out. Cosce misses a punch, tries a takedown but winds up on his knees. Palatnikov unloads as Cosce stands, they trade in close again. Badly missed kick from Cosce, then he lands a right. Both men trade again, they clinch and exchange knees to the body. Again to the clinch, Palatnikov unloads to the body. Knee from Palatnikov as they break. Spinning back fist from Palatnikov, he looks to flurry but Cosce dives for a double leg to ice the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Palatnikov but a wild five minutes

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves to get the round going. Cosce dives for a single leg, Palatnikov sprawls and lands punches as Cosce gets back up. Palatnikov looks much better in terms of his conditioning. Left from Palatnikov. Palatnikov lands a left hook. A jab lands for Cosce. Both men jabbing now. Cosce misses a spinning back fist. Spinning elbow from Palatnikov, they clinch up and Cosce lands a knee to the head. Palatnikov lands an elbow and they trade knees before breaking. Another exchange, and we get time as Palatnikov took a low blow. Replay confirms, a punch from Cosce was deflected low. Back to fighting, Cosce lands a bit of a front kick to the face. Palatnikov punching while backing up and Cosce is bleeding from the nose. Knee to the body from Palatnikov. Cosce lands a calf kick, then another. Right from Palatnikov lands. Palatnikov punches into a clinch. Palatnikov lands some body shots, the ref breaks them as Palatnikov was grabbing the fence and we’re back at distance. Cosce lands a counter right, Palatnikov responds with a series of punches. Cosce with more punches, this fight is wild. They get to the clinch again and trade there along the fence. Spinning elbow from Palatnikov, they trade in close again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Palatnikov, 20-18 Palatnikov overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Cosce ducks a jab and goes for a double leg but that stalls out on the fence. Palatnikov keeps grabbing the fence, and gets away with defending a takedown. They fight in the clinch, more fence grabs from Palatnikov and the ref stops the action to give Palatnikov a hard warning for that then resets them on the feet. Palatnikov sprawls away from a double leg and lands a body kick. Punches from Palatnikov after he avoided a single leg. A lot of blood is coming from the nose of Cosce. Cosce lands a right and Palatnikov gets a clinch. Knees from Cosce, Palatnikov returns it and lands an elbow. More body work from both men and they break. Palatnikov lands a spinning back kick to the body. Cosce tries a double leg, they hit the fence though and Palatnikov puts him on the cage. Knees again are traded, Palatnikov took one to the groin and we’ve got time again. Replay confirms the shin of Cosce hit the groin, this was a pretty bad one. It takes Palatnikov two minutes, but he can continue. Jabs from Palatnikov on the restart, he lands a front kick to the body as well. Hard right from Palatnikov lands, he avoids a double leg and unloads while Cosce is on his knees and gets the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sasha Palatnikov via TKO, punches, at 2:27 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Palatnikov for his work this evening. Mic time for Palatnikov, he says despite the two weeks notice this is his dream and hopes for a full camp next time. He felt that Cosce is tough but had never been deep in a fight while he has and that showed in the fight. He puts over his new coach in John Wood and Syndicate MMA, thanks everyone who helped him get here and perform like this.

Cosce’s left hand takes a very circular path and comes back to his waist, not his chin. Palatnikov follows that sloppy jab with a hammer of a right hand, then as Cosce hangs out on his knees he unloads on his exhausted opponent.

Kyle Daukaus suffered his first professional loss in his UFC debut, he’s trying to bounce back and get his first UFC win under his belt. Dustin Stoltzfus brings a ten fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he punched his ticket to the promotion with a slam related injury finish on the Contender Series and now looks to extend that winning streak at the expense of Daukaus. Despite the recent loss Daukaus is a hefty favorite at -330 while the +260 comeback on Stoltzfus might warrant a value bet for the more adventurous bettors out there.

Middleweight Bout: Kyle Daukaus (9-1, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-1, 184.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Daukaus is three inches taller and has one inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Daukaus. Both men show kicks early, just range finding. They clash on low kicks. Hard left from Daukaus and they clinch up on the fence. Some knees and short punches go back and forth. Stoltzfus defends a body lock takedown attempt but can’t get free. Some short punches go back and forth again. Stoltzfus looks for a high crotch now, Daukaus defends. Daukaus finally gets a takedown into leg drag and lands some elbows. Stoltzfus gets full guard, looks to invert but Daukaus is smothering him. Another elbow from Daukaus lands. Stoltzfus is trying to work his guard, he’s doing a pretty good job of off balancing Daukaus but can’t get up yet. Stoltzfus tries an omoplata, uses that to try and roll but Daukaus winds up in the ride position. Stoltzfus rolls again, looking for a leg this time but he’s way too low on it to get anything but he’s using that to possibly sweep. There’s actually a bit of a calf slicer there, Daukaus grabs a front headlock to stall that motion as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Daukaus

ROUND TWO: Stoltzfus comes out southpaw this time. Stoltzfus swings some punches but they fall short. Daukaus jabs close and they trade in the pocket but Stoltzfus took a foot to the groin while Daukaus was trying a knee so we’ve got time. Stoltzfus can continue quickly and we’re back to fighting. Body kick from Daukaus. Left from Daukaus. They clinch up, Stoltzfus drives Daukaus to the fence. As they jockey for position Daukaus winds up landing a left elbow. They break but Daukaus punches back into the clinch. Knees from Stoltzfus but Daukaus gets chest to chest to stop that. Short rights from Daukaus, Stoltzfus spins him into the fence. Daukaus gets Stoltzfus on the fence, he’s after a trip but can’t get it. Both men trade as they break, Daukaus eats a punch and clinches again. More body shots from Daukaus while they fight for position. Whizzer kick from Stoltzfus, and they wind up separated. Daukaus blocks a high kick. Left from Daukaus lands. Right from Stoltzfus, that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Daukaus, 20-18 Daukaus overall

ROUND THREE: Both men miss punches. Daukaus with some jabs, Stoltzfus lands a body kick. Combination from Daukaus, Stoltzfus shoots a single leg and drives Daukaus to the fence. Body work from Daukaus in the clinch, he’s got Stoltzfus on the fence. Stoltzfus lands an elbow, Daukaus responds with knees and an elbow of his own. Single leg from Stoltzfus, Daukaus is defending as they hit the fence again. Elbow from Daukaus. Lefts from Daukaus, Stoltzfus rolls under for a leg attack but can’t get it. Daukaus gets on top, but decides to stand free. Back on the feet, Stoltzfus lands a body kick but he’s tired and his technique is slipping. Another clinch and Daukaus starts landing short blows again. Stoltzfus gets tripped down, Daukaus lands lefts from the ride position. Wall walk from Stoltzfus but he’s still clinched. Both men swing on the break and Daukaus is starting to break Stoltzfus down. Stoltzfus tries a single leg, Daukaus counters with a d’arce attempt and gets things down looking to finish it. Stoltzfus slips free, Daukaus stands and makes him stand as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Daukaus, 30-27 Daukaus overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kyle Daukaus via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)

The third could have been 10-8. No interview for Daukaus.

Alan Jouban has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights, he’s coming off of a fairly close split decision loss but needs a win as 1-4 in your last five is a rotten recent record that could end his UFC tenure. Jared Gooden brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and despite the recent struggles a win over a toughened veteran like Jouban would be a significant statement win for Gooden. The odds are slightly with Jouban at -150 to +125 for Gooden.

Welterweight Bout: Jared Gooden (17-4, 171 lbs.) vs. Alan Jouban (16-7, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height, Gooden has three and a half inches of reach advantage, and is a full twelve years younger than Jouban. Southpaw for Jouban. Gooden coming forward quickly, looking to back Jouban up. Some lead hand work from both men. Gooden lands a right, then a knee to the body in close. Both men land lead hand punches, then Jouban lands an elbow in close. Gooden lands a stiff jab, his forward pressure is getting to Jouban a little. Bit of a left from Jouban. Jouban lands a body kick. Stiff right from Gooden lands. High kick from Jouban, partially blocked then he goes to the body. Gooden is the one backing up now, they clinch and trade then separate. Jouban’s right eye is swelling, not bad yet but it’s noticeable. Gooden lands a left. Jouban with another hard body kick. Forward pressure form Jouban, they clinch and Gooden lands a knee then breaks. Jouban lands another body kick. Right from Gooden in close. Gooden lands to the body, then a knee to the chest. Jabs from Gooden, Jouban returns them. Both men land jabs, one more left from Gooden closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jouban but a very close round

ROUND TWO: That swelling on Jouban’s eye is still there. Gooden comes out punching, he’s looking to put pressure on Jouban. They trade lefts, then trade rights. Jouban tries the body kick again but this one is more smothered. Gooden lands a body kick of his own. Right then a left hook from Gooden land, Jouban is a little hurt from that. Jouban lands a body kick. Left from Jouban hurts Gooden, he’s trying to close the show along the fence. Gooden circles away, but Jouban lands the left a few more times. Bit of a right from Gooden, some lefts land for Jouban and he’s looking to flurry again. Gooden survives though and gets free. Jouban lands a knee to the body. They trade rights but Jouban’s landed better. Jouban is walking forward now, he lands a body kick. Another body kick from Jouban. Another combination from Jouban. Gooden gets the back standing after avoiding a blitz, he lands a knee as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jouban, 20-18 Jouban overall

ROUND THREE: Gooden lands a right, Jouban responds with a combination and a body kick. Gooden lands a left, he’s coming forward again. Both men land punches but Jouban is working a higher volume and that’s helping him. Right from Gooden. Jouban with jabs. Spinning elbow from Jouban. Gooden lands another right. They clinch briefly, Jouban took a groin shot as they were trading knees and we’ve got time for him to recover. That right eye of Jouban is getting worse. They restart after about 30 seconds. Gooden lands a ight, body kick from Jouban and they clinch. Knees go back and forth then they trade punches as they break. Combination from Gooden lands, he feels like he needs a big round if nothing else. Right then a left hook from Gooden. Jouban slips on a knee, but he’s back up quickly. Both men land punches, but nothing clean. Jabs go back and forth, then Jouban lands a left. Gooden blocks a high kick. Bit of a left from Gooden. Jouban kicks the legs. Double leg from Gooden, Jouban grabs a guillotine on the way down. Jouban is after this choke, he’s not quite finishing properly with the arm in though. There’s an adjustment from Jouban, he rolls to full mount but Gooden doesn’t tap before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jouban, 30-27 Jouban overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alan Jouban via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Gooden acquitted himself well, but ultimately fell just a little short in each round. No interview for Jouban as the early prelims are ending though we’re still on ESPN+ and ESPN2 for the rest of the prelims.

Daniel Rodriguez has an overall nine fight winning streak that includes three UFC wins, he’s looking to get his fourth win of 2020 and stake a claim to some bigger opportunities next. Nicolas Dalby just had his last loss overturned due to a failed drug test on the part of his opponent, he’s looking to stop the growing momentum of Rodriguez and end 2020 on a high note. Rodriguez is your favorite at -330 to a +260 comeback for Dalby.

Welterweight Bout: Nicolas Dalby (18-3-1 2 NC, 170 lbs.) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (13-1, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodriguez is two inches taller while Dalby has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rodriguez. Dalby comes out kicking with his lead leg. Rodriguez lands to the body. Leg kick from Rodriguez when Dalby starts showing stance switches. Straight right from Dalby off balances Rodriguez for a second. Those kicks from Dalby are getting to Rodriguez, he needs an answer to them. Left to the body from Rodriguez. Dalby lands a leg kick. Southpaw for Dalby, Rodriguez jabs him then lands a left. Rodriguez catches a kick and lands a left to the body. Back to orthodox for Dalby, Rodriguez lands a body kick then blocks a head kick. Dalby lands a leg kick. Pretty hard left from Rodriguez along the fence, he’s getting into boxing range now and is the better puncher of the two. Series of lefts from Rodriguez close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Both men come out swinging again, Rodriguez is backing Dalby up. Both men miss wheel kicks. Front kick from Rodriguez, he’s getting Dalby to the fence a lot faster this round. They clinch on the fence, trade some short blows while jockeying for position. They break, and Rodriguez lands a right hook. Dalby forces the clinch this time and starts looking for trips. They break without incident. Rodriguez jabbing again, lands another body shot off of a Dalby kick. Dalby misses some kicks, he’s moving well at this point. Bit of a right from Rodriguez. Jab from Rodriguez again. Dalby lands a leg kick. That Rodriguez jab is doing work. Dalby lands an inside leg kick. Rodriguez lands a body kick. Dalby tries a takedown, they hit the fence though and stall out. That’s where the round will close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez but another close one, 20-18 Rodriguez overall

ROUND THREE: Dalby lands an inside leg kick. Pull back left from Rodriguez lands. Dalby lands a body kick. Rodriguez lands a leg kick, Dalby tries a takedown but Rodriguez defends. Back to jabbing for Rodriguez. Leg kick from Rodriguez, and another one. Dalby lands a leg kick, and eats a counter body shot. Dalby’s effectiveness has dropped off as the fight has gone on. Right uppercut from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a left. Dalby ducks under a hook and gets a clinch on the fence. They break without incident, and Rodriguez hits the body again. High kick from Dalby partially lands. Another clinch, Dalby gets Rodriguez to the fence. They break, and Rodriguez lands a right hook. Bit of a head kick from Dalby. Counter left from Rodriguez wobbles Dalby, he tries a takedown but Dalby defends. Another left lands for Rodriguez, then a bit of a head kick, Dalby lands a leg kick as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dalby, 29-28 Rodriguez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nicolas Dalby via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

That 30-27 seems wrong, but Dalby taking the first and third isn’t out of line. Also Daniel Cormier doesn’t seem to understand how scoring works if his questions are any indicator. No interview for Dalby.

Antonina Shevchenko has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Ariane Lipski has gone 2-2 in the UFC but is on a two fight winning streak and scored a pretty sweet kneebar in her last fight, if she can get to three in a row here she’ll likely secure an official ranking and continue climbing towards a title shot. Shevchenko is a slight -135 favorite to +115 on Lipski.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Ariane Lipski (13-5, 126 lbs.) vs. #15 Antonina Shevchenko (8-2, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shevchenko is two inches taller and ten years older but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Shevchenko. Both women kick early, just range finding. They trade power hand punches. Lipski is coming forward, they clinch up and hit the fence. Some knees from Shevchenko as she’s got Lipski on the cage. Both women land knees. Lipski gets a body lock and puts Shevchenko on the cage. Whizzer kick from Shevchenko and she lands a knee to the body as they get up and remain clinched. More knees are traded along the fence. Shevchenko hits a headlock throw but Lipski nearly has the back, Lipski has one of the legs locked down. Lipski sneaks out and goes for the choke but doesn’t have both hooks so Shevchenko spins into her and gets on top in half guard. Shevchenko lands some lefts. Some lefts to the body and head from Shevchenko as Lipski is on her knees trying to wall walk. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko

ROUND TWO: Bit of a right from Lipski as the round gets going. Hard counter right from Lipski, Shevchenko gets a clinch and they scramble to the mat with Shevchenko on top in north-south. Lipski shrimps to half guard, she’s looking for a sweep but can’t finish it. Some lefts from Shevchenko, and she moves to side control. Shevchenko is finding offense while controlling Lipski. Lipski to the turtle, Shevchenko moves to the ride position. Lipski tries to roll, but Shevchenko stifles that and lands more lefts. Shevchenko pulls Lipski down into north-south, Lipski tries to move but Shevchenko moves to side control. Elbows to the body from Shevchenko, she’s setting up some kind of arm attack. Full mount now for Shevchenko, she’s looking to unload and Lipski can’t mount enough defense to satisfy the ref.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Antonina Shevchenko via TKO, strikes, at 4:33 of Round 2

While Shevchenko was getting hit on the feet, once things hit the mat she was clearly the superior fighter. Mic time for Shevchenko, who says she needed to get a win after her last fight and to help set up her sister for a big night. She thanks her coaches for all of their work, and mentions working hard to improve after her last fight and knows she has to be a complete fighter.

Fairly typical stuff from Shevchenko in 3/4 mount, Lipski doesn’t have any real defense and the ref saves her.

Joaquin Buckley just scored one of the craziest knockouts you’ll ever see last month to bring his UFC record to 1-1, he’s trying to get that above the .500 mark here and further build momentum going forward. Jordan Wright is undefeated including a stoppage win his UFC debut, he’s hoping to stay that way and halt the momentum Buckley has built. Somewhat fueled by that amazing KO Buckley is the -220 favorite but the even +180 payout on Wright could tempt bettors in the know.

Middleweight Bout: Joaquin Buckley (11-3, 182.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Wright (11-0 1 NC, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Wright is four inches taller and has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Buckley, they punch and clinch up close. Both men land in close then they break. Some punches from Wright as Buckley gets another clinch. Body shots from Buckley as he’s got Wright on the fence. Knee from Wright as they break. Both men miss rights. Buckley lands a left, Wright lands a body kick. Another body kick from Wright, and they clinch up. Wright keeps sneaking in knees to the body. Bit of a left from Buckley as they break. Wright evades some punches. Body kick from Wright. High kick from Wright, Buckley lands a counter left. They trade in close, Buckley is throwing a lot of heat. Uppercut from Wright lands. Wright lands a knee to the body then a body kick. Buckley lands some hooks in close, he drops Wright and they tie up on the mat as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Buckley

ROUND TWO: Buckley coming forward, lands a left. Body to head punches from Buckley, and Wright goes down after a left which prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joaquin Buckley via KO, punches, at :18 of Round 2

Buckley does everything with serious intensity, not much in the way of setups but he hits to the body and head with authority. Mic time for Buckley, he says the attention he’s gotten lately has increased the pressure on him but he stayed patient and got it done at the end of the day. He says he likes Wright and didn’t want to hurt anyone, the says he’s got issues with James Krause but that’s unlikely to develop into a fight. To close he thanks everyone and warns that he’s still working hard and getting better.

Wright is still hurt from the end of the first round, he’s circling the wrong way and does so with his lead hand low which lets Buckley’s left through the guard to close the show.

Brandon Moreno is on a two fight winning streak, and hasn’t lost since dropping a decision to Alexandre Pantoja in 2018. Moreno is hoping to move closer to a title shot with a third consecutive win here. Brandon Royval is on a four fight winning streak including two submission wins in the UFC, if he gets that to three UFC wins here he could also find himself in the title orbit given the somewhat shallow nature of flyweight. Moreno is the favorite at -180 to a +155 comeback for Royval.

Flyweight Bout: #1 Brandon Moreno (17-5-1, 125 lbs.) vs. #6 Brandon Royval (12-4, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Royval is two inches taller but Moreno has two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Royval. Royval jabbing forward, Moreno jabbing back. Both men land punches in close. Knee from Royval, these two are clashing and throwing three or four strike combinations. Calf kick from Royval. Straight left from Royval, Moreno gets a takedown off of it though into half guard. Full guard for Royval now, he kicks Moreno off and is back up. Moreno lands a stiff jab. Both men land inside leg kicks. Knee from Royval, and they trade again. Moreno eats a spinning attack, but gets a takedown from the back and gets one hook in. Moreno is using a seatbelt grip to keep things controlled, and he’s fishing for the choke. There’s a neck crank for Moreno, but he’s not under the jaw yet. Royval is hand fighting and breaks the grip. Moreno could attack a twister from here if he knows it. Royval attacks a kneebar, Moreno gets free and scrambles on top in the full guard. Royval attacks a leg again, he’s after a kneebar again but Moreno scrambles and lands blows, Royval is holding his own right wrist or arm and the ref waves this off. Something’s wrong with the arm or wrist of Royval.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brandon Moreno via TKO, strikes/injury, at 4:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Moreno for his work this evening. Yeah, that was a shoulder pop/dislocation for Royval. Mic time for Moreno, he wants a title shot. He was annoyed that Garbrandt got to jump the line, he wants to be the best and feels he could buy a belt from the UFC store he just wants to be the best guy in the world. He talks us through the finish, then says everyone should for sure watch his next fight.

You can already see Royval cradling his right arm, I’m not sure when it got hurt but Moreno correctly jumps all over a compromised foe.

That does it for preliminary action, on to PPV for the main card.

Mauricio Rua has somewhat improbably suffered just one loss in his last seven fights, he’s coming off of a win and is now trying to possibly get towards the title picture one last time as his career winds down. Paul Craig hasn’t lost in his last three fights, choking out two opponents and fighting to a draw with Rua. Craig is looking to take out a genuine legend of the sport and get the biggest win of his career. The odds are with Craig at -190 to +150 on Rua.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #15 Paul Craig (13-4-1, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Mauricio Rua (27-11-1, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Craig is two and a half inches taller but the reach is identical. Craig comes out kicking low and high. Rua plodding forward. Body kick from Craig. Rua blocks some high kicks. Bit of a left from Rua, and he avoids a clinch. Double leg from Craig, he passes to half guard on the way down. Rua starts looking for sweeps, Craig lands some hammer fists as Rua comes up caught in a front headlock. Knees from Craig, he’s locking up an anaconda choke and rolls for it. They scramble and Craig sweeps Rua to land on top in half guard again. More punches from Craig as Rua gets up and separates. Another double leg from Craig and he’s got Rua down. Craig to the back, one hook in while Rua is looking to wall walk. Sweep from Rua and he’s on top now in the half guard of Craig. Now Craig is the one working for a sweep from the bottom, he can’t quite finish the sweep because of the cage. Both men land some strikes. Rua settles back into the half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Craig

ROUND TWO: Craig kicking again as the round starts. Rua blocks an elbow. Some oblique kicks to the knee from Craig. Rua lands a left. Craig jabbing now. Kicks to the body and leg from Craig, he’s picking at Rua. Rua misses a right, Craig is after a takedown against the fence. Craig trips Rua down against the fence, he gets the back with both hooks this time. Rua tries to spin into him, can’t finish that but they wind up on the feet again. Craig goes for another takedown, Rua is looking gassed. Single leg now for Craig, he’s got Rua down and moves to the back yet again. Just one hook in for Craig, he lands some punches and gets his second hook in. Rua is flattened out, and Craig lands punches which prompt the tap from Rua.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Paul Craig via Submission, punches, at 3:36 of Round 2

They announced that as a TKO, but he made Rua tap to strikes. Mic time for Craig, he says it took a year to get this rematch but he’s glad to have gotten it and puts over Rua as a legend of the sport. He says having a full camp here rather than short notice last time made a lot of difference, plus he had confidence after their first fight. He jokes a bit about his wrestling being good for a Scottish guy even if DC was critical (DC wasn’t). When talking us through the finish he goes over his decision to strike instead of seek the choke, then thanks everyone.

Katlyn Chookagian has gone 3-2 in her last five fights but those two losses are pretty bad stoppage ones, a failed title bid against Valentina Shevchenko and then just last month getting stopped with body shots by Jessica Andrade. Chookagian is trying to defend her top ranking and possibly get back towards the title. Cynthia Calvillo had some momentum a few years ago, but a key loss as well as inactivity have stalled that. Calvillo won when she returned to flyweight back in June, and if she gets another win here she could be next up for a title shot. Calvillo is a surprisingly large favorite at -265 to a +205 comeback on Chookagian.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #4 Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1, 124.5 lbs.) vs. #2 Katlyn Chookagian (14-4, 125.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chookagian is five inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Calvillo working kicks and circling, Chookagian trying to corral her. They trade lefts. Leg kick from Calvillo. Left hook from Calvillo, she gets a single leg but Chookagian bounces right back up. Chookagian lands a right to the body. Some long range sniping now for Chookagian. Chookagian lands a left hook. Jabs from Chookagian, Calvillo can’t win this at the end of the longer fighters range. Calvillo misses a punch. Chookagian sprawls away from a takedown and lands a knee. Some kicks to the leg and knee now from Chookagian. Calvillo lands a right. Chookagian lands a front kick to the body. Short left hook from Chookagian, then a leg kick. Calvillo lands a left hook. More long range kicks from Chookagian then they trade left hooks. Long right from Chookagian and she avoids the counter. Both women miss some punches and kicks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chookagian

ROUND TWO: Calvillo circling. Some jabs from Chookagian, Calvillo lands a side kick to the body. Both women miss rights. Chookagian lands a jab. Bit of a combination from Chookagian, mostly blocked. Calvillo lands a left, but she’s one and done more often than not. Both women miss lefts. Chookagian lands a front kick to the body then a jab. Calvillo is just getting out worked. Long range punches land for Chookagian. Calvillo lands a left hook, Chookagian replies in kind. More jabs from Chookagian, Calvillo is getting a little better at closing distance but she needs another step to get there reliably. Chookagian lands a leg kick then avoids a takedown attempt. Another leg kick from Chookagian. Calvillo falls short with punches. They stare away the last couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chookagian, 20-18 Chookagian overall

ROUND THREE: Both women fall short with jabs from both stances. Bit of a pull back left from Chookagian. Chookagian avoids a clinch attempt. Bit of a leg kick from Calvillo. Chookagian catches a body kick, lands a bit of a right. A bit of an exchange, but the third round is basically the same as the other two thus far. Chookagian avoids a punch, lands a bit of a front kick to the body. Right then a left hook from Chookagian both land. Calvillo lands a body kick. Leg kick from Calvillo, Chookagian trips her down but doesn’t engage on the mat. Jab from Chookagian. Jumping knee to the body from Chookagian, and she avoids a trip attempt. Calvillo gets a clinch, lands a knee as Chookagian escapes. Both women block one twos. Calvillo lands a one two. Calf kick from Chookagian. They both swing a bit as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Calvillo, 29-28 Chookagian overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Typical Chookagian fight, nothing to see here. Mic time for Chookagian, she says winning is the best way to get over a loss. They put over her coach Mark Henry, then she mentions being able to keep things long and mobile which all just stifled all of Calvillo’s game. She thinks a second fight with Valentina would go differently, but she’s just looking to stay busy right now.

Mike Perry missed weight badly for this fight, he’s just 2-3 in his last five fights and now needs a win to try and smooth over his catastrophic weight cut and save some face. Tim Means has been trading wins and losses while going 3-2 in his last five fights, he’s coming off of a win and could get his first winning streak since 2016 if he bests Perry here. Perry is a slight favorite at -115 to -105 for Means.

Welterweight Bout: Tim Means (30-12-1 1 NC, 171 lbs.) vs. Mike Perry (14-6, 175.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Means has four inches of height and reach, and of course Perry missed weight by about five pounds. Southpaw for Means. Perry doing some stance switching. They both miss punches. Means lands a straight left. Perry forces a clinch on the fence, and gets a takedown into the guard of Means. Perry passes to half guard, Means rolls to his knees and Perry gets his back. Both hooks in for Perry now. Perry is fishing for the choke, Means hand fights to stop that. Perry keeps attacking the choke, he’s getting closer with each attempt but Means is defending so far. Means spins into him and gets on top, Perry fights up and they separate. Knee from Means. Leg kick from Perry. Means keeps getting close and landing a knee to the body. Some long range punches from Means land. Perry lands a hard right to the body. Means lands a body shot of his own. Bit of a right hook from Perry. Means lands some straight punches, then a front kick to the body. They trade leg kicks. Some jabs from Means close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perry

ROUND TWO: Leg kick from Perry gets us going in the second. Means lands a straight left. The straight long punches from Means are touching Perry constantly. Perry lands a leg kick. Means avoids a clinch attempt, lands some knees to the body. More jabs from Means. Sneaky right uppercut from Means and he avoids a Perry rush. Jab from Perry. Perry lands a right to the body, but misses the follow up left hook. Means lands a straight left, he’s fighting very well so far. Right from Perry wobbles Means, he follows up and they clinch. Means gets free and is back to punching. High kick from Means is partially blocked. Knee from Means lands. Left to the body then an elbow from Means. Perry looks to unload, lands a few punches in close but Means rolls with them and moves away. More jabs from Means, he almost can’t miss with that jab. Front kick from Means, that will be the last relevant blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Means, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Leg kicks from Means, Perry forces a clinch on the fence. Perry looking for takedowns, but thus far Means is defending. Means gets free and lands a right. Body shots from Means. Bit of a left from Means, Perry coming forward and lands some punches. Means keeps touching the jab and is now following up with body shots. Perry is trying to get close but Means is out landing him when he does so. Hard right from Perry, they get into a pocket exchange. Neither man is backing down, they’re just trading then Means forces a clinch on the fence. They break without incident, then Means lands a left and a knee to the body. More jabs from Means. Both men land, Means follows up with an elbow. Another exchange. The workrate of Means is what’s winning him this round, Perry can’t keep up with his volume. Both men start swinging for the final seconds, wild exchange as the fight ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Means, 29-28 Means overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tim Means via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Means fought very well here, one of his better performances. Mic time for Means, he says the fight went as expected minus the weight miss from Perry and puts over Perry’s toughness. He talks us through some highlights, then jokes Perry gave him almost 30 grand because he missed weight so he’s not too bothered by it. Rogan brings up how long Means has been in the UFC (since 2012) and jokes he wants to be on Rogan’s podcast before mentioning he’s motivated by the paycheck and stability for his daughters. He thanks his family to close.

Oh, we get a Hall of Fame induction announcement. Marc Ratner is getting a spot in the Hall of Fame in the contributor wing, the former NSAC executive director and current UFC VP of government and regulatory affairs. Ratner has been an important figure behind the scenes in getting the sport regulated around the world, for the contributor wing he’s a no brainer in many ways.

Jennifer Maia has gone 3-2 in the UFC but got her first finish since 2015 in her last fight when she tapped Joanne Calderwood to earn this shot at the belt. Maia is hoping to pull off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history and claim the flyweight title. Valentina Shevchenko has lost just twice in the UFC, both times to possible GOAT Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko is going for her fourth title defense here and hoping to further her own claim in the GOAT discussion. Shevchenko is an almost comical -2000 favorite to a +950 payout on Maia.

UFC Women’s Flyweight Title Bout: (c) Valentina Shevchenko (19-3, 124.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Jennifer Maia (18-6-1, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shevchenko is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Shevchenko, per usual. Shevchenko probing with lead leg kicks and jabs early. Counter left lands for Shevchenko. Maia misses a right and Shevchenko gets a takedown into full guard. Maia is just kind of tying things up and hoping to stall. Some body shots from Shevchenko. Not a whole lot going on here, Maia still stalling. Elbow from Shevchenko. Another elbow from Shevchenko. Shevchenko is barely trying to pass, she’s content to work from here and win the round. Maia tries some elbows from her back. I’m a little surprised we haven’t had a stand up yet, there’s not much going on. The round ends in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, might be a numerical 10-8 argument in there

ROUND TWO: Maia trying to move forward, walks into a spinning back kick and they clinch with Shevchenko driving Maia to the fence. Body lock takedown from Shevchenko, Maia fights back up and they wind up on the fence clinched. Some knees to the body from Maia. Knee to the head from Shevchenko. Maia is keeping Shevchenko on the fence but neither is doing a whole lot. Shevchenko with another knee to the head but she can’t get off the fence. Some knees to the body from Maia, then a trip takedown. Some rights from Maia while Shevchenko is trying to set up a wall walk. Half guard for Maia now. Shevchenko gets to full guard. Triangle attempt for Shevchenko, Maia postures through it but Shevchenko keeps full guard. Elbows from Shevchenko on her back. Maia ends the round in top position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Maia, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both women come out jabbing, Shevchenko lands a bit of a left. Another left from Shevchenko. Shevchenko lands another left, Maia tries a right but it falls a little short. Jab from Shevchenko. Bit of a body kick from Shevchenko. They clinch again, Maia gets Shevchenko on the cage. Some knees from Shevchenko, Maia lands a punch as they break. High kick from Shevchenko is blocked. Shevchenko lands a hard one two. Another left from Shevchenko rocks Maia, they clinch up and Shevchenko gets a body lock takedown into side control. Shevchenko puts herself in half guard for greater control. Some rights from Shevchenko. Maia is able to elevate and get up, they trade knees in the clinch as they hit the fence. Some knees to back and forth. The round ends with another Shevchenko takedown.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 29-28 Shevchenko overall

ROUND FOUR: Maia coming forward, walks into a straight left. Bit of a right from Shevchenko. Shevchenko lands a superman punch. Jab from Shevchenko, Maia lands a left. Hard one two from Shevchenko, and she angles away from Maia. Hard jab from Shevchenko. Maia lands a right, but she’s on the wrong end of this numerically. Both women land punches in close. Shevchenko lands a left, clinches and gets Maia down into side control again. Maia gets half guard again. Some rights from Shevchenko. Maia is trying to stall again. Short rights from Shevchenko, and shoulder strikes. Shevchenko moves to side control, gets the back when Maia tries to scramble with both hooks in. Maya hip escapes to half guard but Shevchenko is more forward and able to land punches now. More body shots from Shevchenko, she’s trying to set up an arm triangle on the far side as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 39-37 Shevchenko overall

ROUND FIVE: Maia coming forward again, walks into punches. Spinning back fist from Shevchenko, Maia gets a clinch though and they hit the fence. Some knees go back and forth, then Shevchenko lands an elbow as she separates. Hard body kick from Shevchenko, then a straight left. They trade power hand punches. Spinning back kick from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko punches into a clinch, Maia holds on to stall the momentum. Maia tries an arm throw, Shevchenko rides with it and they remain clinched. Maia is bleeding from somewhere, can’t see what specifically. They break and both miss blows. The blood is mostly coming from Maia’s nose, and Shevchenko punches it for good measure. Jabs from Shevchenko. Maia avoids a high kick, they clinch again and hit the fence. Knees from Shevchenko, she spins free and lands a left hand. Maia coming forward again, eats a body kick. Another left from Shevchenko. Maia lands a front kick to the face. Shevchenko with a front kick to the body, then they trade power hand punches. More jabs from Shevchenko. Bit of a right from Maia, she’s not going away. Spinning back fist from Shevchenko, they tie up and the fight ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 49-46 Shevchenko overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion – Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Maia more game than expected, but ultimately falls to the diverse offense of Shevchenko. The champ gets an interview, she is glad for the full five rounds after her long layoff as she wanted to get that feel back and puts over Maia as a tough opponent. She mentions working hard on all aspects of MMA and how hard she worked. Asked about the injury she recovered from before this fight, it was apparently MCL surgery. She again puts over Maia’s toughness, knowing she’d need a perfect shot to drop her. To close she puts over her mother’s recent martial arts accomplishment, her sisters win earlier tonight, and says the power of women is strong in their family.

Alex Perez has gone 6-1 in the UFC only losing to Joseph Benavidez, he brings a three fight winning streak into this title fight including a leg kick finish in his last fight. Perez is trying to get his first UFC title, and become the first Contender Series alumnus to win a UFC title. Deiveson Figueiredo has won his last four fights and stopped Joseph Benavidez in back to back fights, claiming the title in his most recent fight. Figueiredo is trying to forge his title legacy now, and you need some successful title defenses to do so. Figueiredo the favorite at -285 while the +215 comeback on Perez is a tempting value bet.

UFC Flyweight Title Bout: (c) Deiveson Figueiredo (19-1, 125 lbs.) vs. #4 Alex Perez (24-5, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Perez is an inch taller while Figueiredo has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Figueiredo comes out southpaw, interesting that might be a decision to counter calf kicks. Both men showing stance switches now. Perez blocks a high kick. Perez with a blitz, can’t find the target though. Figueiredo lands a body kick. A couple of punches from Perez land but Figueiredo is coming forward. Left to the body from Figueiredo. Inside leg kick then a body kick from Perez. Perez tries a single leg, Figueiredo defends until they hit the fence. Figueiredo still defending, switches to a leg scissor, Perez lands a hammer fist but falls into a guillotine. Perez tries to posture up but Figueiredo keeps that choke locked in and Perez has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Flyweight Champion – Deiveson Figueiredo via Submission, guillotine choke, at 1:57 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Figueiredo for his work this evening. Figueiredo does not mess around, give that man an opening and he’ll jump all over it. In fact he’s tied with Demetrious Johnson for most finishes in UFC flyweight history with 7. Mic time for the champ, it takes them a minute to get the translator but he promised he was going to get the submission and trained hard for it which ultimately led to success. Asked about the start in southpaw he gets cut off by technical issues. Great. He’s talking about the finishing sequence as my feed comes back, mentioning he’s worked on that kind of transition for his career and Perez just fell into the worst possible spot. He gives love to his home town to close. Apparently I missed him calling out Brandon Moreno, good on him calling out the next man up.

Watch the way Figueiredo leans for the finish, he raises his right shoulder which tightens everything up since the choke is on his other side.

That closes UFC 255, thanks everyone for being here. We’ll unpack all of the action from this event Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound Podcast, plus look ahead to next week when Curtis Blaydes meets Derek Lewis. Oh man, that card lost Moicano vs. Rafael Fiziev today. That sucks, that was the best fight on that card. Well we’ll still preview the whole card on the show, and I’ll be back next week to cover it right here. Until next time everyone, stay safe out there, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Americans, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 255, Robert Winfree