This week's edition features four promising faces from the early-prelims and prelims of the UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez card.
While the main card has some solid scraps, with two flyweight championships on the line, we believe the undercards are stacked too. Here's the spotlight:
Future Stars to watch out for at UFC 255
Louis "The Monster" Cosce
One-half of the deadly Cosce brothers, Louis is all set to make his UFC debut against fellow newcome, Sasha Palatnikov. Louis and Orion Cosce were supposed to debut together after they both won contracts on the 29th edition of Dana White's Contender Series(DWCS) earlier this year. Unfortunately, Orion had to pull out of his fight against Nicolas Dalby due to an injury.
Orion trains at Team Alpha Male, and had Uriah Faber corner him at DWCS, while Louis still trains at his old gym at Lost Boys Jiu-Jitsu in Arcata, California.
Louis lives with his wife and son in Arcata, and believes the tight-knit team at Lost Boys Jiu-Jitsu, where the camp is built around him, suits him better. The undefeated welterweight prospect had plans to drop down to lightweight, but was advised against it.
Cosce has had highlight-reel knockouts throughout his career, and he definitely prefers to stick to striking, even though he has a couple of submissions to his record. You can expect his fights to end early and in brutal fashion.
The 25-year old has a tough opponent in Hong Kong’s Sasha Palatnikov. Palatnikov has faced some stiff competition in his stints in AFC and UAE Warriors, including Mounir Lazzez, who now also competes in the UFC. The clash of these two debutants will kicks off UFC 255.
Daniel "D-Rod" Rodriguez
Riding a three-fight winning streak since his debuting in the UFC against Tim Means, Rodriguez was scheduled to fight Bryan Barberena at UFC Vegas 14 last weekend. Barbarena, however, had to undergo surgery and is out of competition indefinitely, leaving Rodriguez looking for a fight.
Now, he replaces Orion Cosce against Nicolas Dalby at UFC 255.
Daniel Rodriguez has fought in multiple promotions, including a stint with Bellator. Even though he won by unanimous decision in his showcase at DWCS, he went home without a contract. It was only after he became the SMASH Global welterweight champion, that he was offered a UFC contract.
Rodriguez's most recent UFC appearance was against Dwight Grant in a fight that was put together at the last minute. That fight turned out to be an absolute brawl. Grant caught Rodriguez with a big right and looked for the finish, but Rodriguez kept his composure and came back to knock Grant out.
Standing opposite Rodriguez will be a very hungry Nicolas Dalby.
Dalby has had an up and down record with the UFC so far. In his first run with the company back in 2015, Dalby won his debut fight but ended up dropping his next two, leading to his release in 2016.
Dalby worked his way back to the UFC in 2019, beating Alex Oliveira in his first fight back. In his most recent Octagon outing, he suffered a submission loss to Jesse Ronson.
Ariane "The Queen of Violence" Lipski
Lipski is a three-time KSW Flyweight champion, and if we know something about KSW champions, it's that they are as legit as they come. Lipski is a black belt in Muay Thai and was a Brazilian Muay Thai champion before transitioning to MMA. She has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Sebastian Lalli, a former BJJ world champion, and it has started to pay off.
The 26-year-old Brazilian has shown immense growth in the way she approaches the game, from her early KSW days, even putting efforts in learning english to be able to give interviews to international media. Under the guidance of Renato Rasta and Cris 'Cyborg' Justino herself, Lipski is in the right hands.
Currently 1-2 in her last three UFC outings, Shevchenko is hungry for a win, and will definitely be a tough test for Lipski, who is looking for her third straight win.
Brandon "Raw Dawg" Royval
Coming off a huge win against City Kickboxing’s Kai Kara France, Brandon Royval has landed a number one contender fight against Brandon Moreno.
While Deiveson Figueredo and Alex Perez fight for the UFC flyweight title in the main event of UFC 255, Royval and Moreno will face off to decide who gets the title shot next.
Royval recently picked up a big pay day with a performance bonus in his last fight, allowing him to quit his day job as a security officer at a juvenile detention center. Getting the taste for success, he’d be keen to repeat the performance and get paid handsomely again.
Royval knows that Moreno is going to be the toughest fight of his career and he’s been training like it. Royval trains at Factory X, where he also teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With teammates like Youseff Zalal and the addition of Alex Hernandez, he’s got great company on the mat, and in his corner.
Royval’s style is innovative, exciting and effective, and if he’s able to defeat Moreno, he’ll set himself up not only for an immediate title shot.
Moreno however, is a top contender for a reason. He has beaten Kai Kara France, Jussier Formiga, and fought to a draw against Askarov. He was initially scheduled to face Alex Perex before Perez was rebooked for the title bout.Published 17 Nov 2020, 17:43 IST