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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 identify with an incredibly tough unanimous determination over Jennifer Maia on the UFC Apex health club at the promotion’s company campus in its homeland.

Figueiredo (20-1) earned his record-tying 7th stoppage victory within the 125-pound department through 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 immediate ahead of the Brazilian champion grew to become the tables and completed the combat with the aptitude and ability that experience made him a emerging combined martial arts megastar.

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

Maia (18-7-1), some of the largest underdogs in UFC identify combat historical past, stretched Shevchenko to the prohibit or even most probably received the second one around towards a champion who had slightly been examined all the way through her just about three-year run at 125 kilos.

Figueiredo claimed his identify previous this 12 months along with his moment consecutive victory over Joseph Benavidez, in spite of everything ascending to the height of a UFC department with simplest two earlier champions. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson ruled the flyweight ranks for 6 years ahead of Henry Cejudo dethroned him in 2018.

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

Perez earned his means right into a identify shot after a number of years in regional promotions in his local central California, adopted through an look on UFC President Dana White’s Contender Collection. He then received 5 of his first six fights within the UFC, permitting him to snatch the chance final month when former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt needed to drop out of the primary match with an damage.

For many of the display’s penultimate bout, Shevchenko eschewed her dominant kickboxing and counterpunching in choose of takedowns and flooring preventing with Maia, the huge underdog who led to 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 whole UFC profession as a flyweight.

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

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

Maia were given her first identify shot after an disenchanted victory over best 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 probably put himself in line for the following shot on the males’s flyweight belt with a first-round stoppage of fellow best contender Brandon Royval.

Moreno (18-Five-1) was once booked to combat Perez at UFC 255 ahead of Garbrandt pulled out and Perez were given the identify shot. Moreno was once upset, however he nonetheless completed Royval, whose shoulder was once 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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