UFC 255 wasn’t garnering too much hype going in, probably because it didn’t feature any of the UFC’s major stars, and there have been so many UFC shows in recent weeks.
As a show, though, it was just about passable. The prelims were largely fantastic, with a bunch of entertaining scraps. However, the main card turned into somewhat of a slog in the middle before UFC Flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo largely saved the show.
Here are the best and worst moments from UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez.
#1 Best: Figueiredo might be the UFC’s latest dominant champ
UFC 255’s main event pitted reigning UFC Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo against top-ranked challenger Alex Perez. And while many people were picking Figueiredo to win, it wasn’t expected to be easy.
When it came down to it, though, that’s just what The God of War made this fight look. It took him just under two minutes to submit Perez, picking up his first successful UFC title defense in the process.
At least, Perez came to fight and hit Figueiredo with a big body kick before hunting for a takedown. But showing off his underrated ground game once again, the Brazilian countered by dropping for a heel hook before suddenly switching to an arm-in guillotine when Perez attempted to scramble.
The brilliance here was the way in which Figueiredo finished the hold. Rather than wrench back, he pulled tightly to Perez’s shoulders, ensuring the choke was too tight to escape even as the challenger attempted to pop his head free.
This was a message to the rest of the UFC’s Flyweight division, basically. Not only does Figueiredo hit harder than any other fighter in the division, but he clearly has possibly the best ground game too. We could well be seeing the next dominant UFC champion in action, and it’ll be awesome to see how long he can hold onto the belt.
#1 Worst: Royval’s chances of a title shot go up in unlucky smoke
The prelim card's main event last night saw Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval go to war, and the word was that the winner would receive a shot at the UFC Flyweight title. Well, the fight lived up to the billing and was exciting, but you’ve got to feel for Royval in terms of how it ended.
After some back-and-forth action, Moreno found himself on top, and suddenly, he began to land unanswered punches as Royval rolled onto his side. Seconds later, the fight was over, as Raw Dawg looked to be in serious pain.
A replay revealed his shoulder had dislocated, and to me, it didn’t appear that Moreno had really done anything to cause it. More to the point, just moments after the fight, Royval’s coach had popped his arm back into its socket – suggesting it’s a reoccurring injury.
Moreno will quite rightly take his shot at UFC Flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo next, assuming the UFC doesn’t pull any shenanigans. But you’ve got to feel for Royval. This was an unfortunate circumstance that probably robbed him of a fair chance of winning and claiming a title opportunity of his own.