Deiveson Figueiredo has a new opponent for his first UFC men’s flyweight title defense.
Combate’s Raphael Marinho first reported that former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from his November 21st showdown with Figueiredo. Garbrandt later confirmed on Twitter that he suffered a torn bicep. With Garbrandt out, Figueiredo will now take on Alex Perez in the UFC 255 main event, and Cody will face the winner of that matchup.
Figueiredo (19-1) could’ve been flyweight champion back in February when he knocked out Joseph Benavidez, but he missed weight and the headbutt that came shortly before the KO prompted an immediate rematch. Not only did Figueiredo make weight, he pummeled Benavidez even worse than the first time and submitted him via rear-naked choke. Only Jussier Formiga has been able to best him in his entire MMA career.
Perez (24-5) is coming off a dominant leg kick TKO finish of Formiga at UFC 250 in June. Signed off of Dana White’s Contender Series, Perez has compiled a record of 6-1 in his impressive UFC tenure, with a TKO defeat to Joseph Benavidez representing his only blemish. He may be a replacement opponent for Garbrandt but this is nevertheless still an exciting and compelling men’s flyweight title bout.
UFC 255’s co-main event is a women’s flyweight title bout between champion Valentina Shevchenko and Jennifer Maia.