Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo makes his first title defense against fourth-ranked challenger Alex Perez in the main event of UFC 255 on Saturday. The main card is set for 10 p.m. ET from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. Figueiredo is a -300 (risk $300 to win $250), while Perez is priced at +250 (risk $100 to win $250) in the latest William Hill Sportsbook odds for UFC 255.
Before making any picks for UFC 255, you NEED to see the UFC predictions from SportsLine MMA expert Brandon Wise. He specializes in picking main-card fights for UFC, which has enabled him to be profitable every year! In fact, Wise went a perfect 5-0 at UFC 239 and was 4-1 at both UFC 245 and UFC 249. He also nailed Khabib Nurmagomedov’s destruction of Conor McGregor in 2018, Stipe Miocic’s defeat of Daniel Cormier, Max Holloway’s downfall in 2019 and Gaethje’s TKO victory over Tony Ferguson in May.
Since the UFC returned following a period of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wise has gone 57-33-1 while nailing the method of victory 40 times! At UFC 254, Wise posted a 5-1 mark that included calling a stoppage win for Nurmagomedov (-330) in his lightweight title defense against Justin Gaethje (+270). He also called a decision win over Robert Whittaker (+100) over Jared Cannonier (-120) in the middleweight co-main event. Anyone who has followed Wise is WAY UP!
For UFC 255, we can tell you Wise is backing Paul Craig (-165) to get his hand raised against Mauricio Rua (+145) in a light heavyweight matchup to kick off the main card). You ABSOLUTELY need to see Wise’s selections before making your picks!
Here are Wise’s picks and analysis for UFC 255 (odds from William Hill):
Deiveson Figueiredo (-300) vs. Alex Perez (+250): Figueiredo by TKO
This fight feels closer to a toss-up than the odds indicate. Figueiredo is on a roll, but that should not shortchange Perez’s run of success. Figueiredo stopped Joseph Benavidez in back-to-back fights to claim the title with just one loss in his pro career (a decision loss to Jussier Formiga). So while there’s no real value in picking Figueiredo to simply win, I lean toward him getting the stoppage. Perez has only been knocked out once (by Benavidez in 2018) but Figueiredo’s speed has been off the charts in his last few fights that it feels like Perez will struggle to keep up and stay on his feet.
Valentina Shevchenko (-1,450) vs. Jennifer Maia (+850): Shevchenko by decision
Similar to Figueiredo, the odds on Shevchenko straight up are … long. While it’s clear that oddsmakers expect her to roll through Maia with ease — as she has the entire division to this point — the value comes in the prop bets. Shevchenko tends to maul opponents that are more inexperienced and unsavvy to her veteran tricks. But Maia has been around the block a few times and has the jiu-jitsu base to keep things interesting on the ground. Shevchenko could absolutely finish this fight with a one-hitter-quitter at any point, but I think this fight drags on a bit with Shevchenko just not finding her range to get the TKO in a one-sided decision win.
Mike Perry (-145) vs. Tim Means (+125): Perry by decision
This may be the most fun fight on the card in terms of whacky, sideshow appeal. Perry will have just one corner person — his pregnant girlfriend Latory Gonzalez. It worked for him earlier this summer when he earned a decision win over Mickey Gall. Now, Perry gets a veteran in Means who has alternated wins and losses over the last four years. Means is known for his boxing, and his length could make this an interesting chess match. But look for Perry to close the distance quickly and find Means’ chin more often than not on his way to a decision win.
Cynthia Calvillo (-240) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (+200): Calvillo by decision
After exploding onto the scene in 2017, Calvillo has cooled off a bit. She continues winning against incrementally better competition, but she isn’t dominating with finishes in the same way she started. In Chookagian, she gets an opponent who has only lost against title-caliber competition as she finds a way to win against the rest of the division. If Calvillo is successful and able to get this fight to the ground, she could be dangerous with excellent submissions. But something is telling me this turns into an ugly striking battle, with Calvillo narrowly edging out Chookagian.
Paul Craig (-165) vs. Mauricio Rua (+145): Craig by submission
There are many weird aspects to this fight. First, it’s a rematch from last year. Second, Shogun is still fighting nearly 20 years after his professional debut. The third being that Craig has only seen the judges’ cards once in 18 pro fights — a split draw against Rua. The first meeting just had a weird feeling to it. Craig is the younger and better fighter and Shogun should be taking on fun, old-guy fights at this stage in his career despite only one loss since 2015. His age was on full display in a gross decision over Antônio Rogério Nogueira this summer. Craig gets the stoppage in this one quickly.