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Diggin’ Deep on UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez - Early prelims preview

Get the scoop on the early prelims from UFC 255, topped by a welterweight showdown between perennial FOTN favorite Alan Jouban and newcomer Jared Gooden.

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

It seems the only time the UFC is going to be doing the early prelims – at least for now – is during the PPV events. I’m not sure why. Sure, it could be a selling point for Fight Pass, but you can still catch these prelims on ESPN+. So that can’t be it. Perhaps they just want to carve out a nice two hour block for the televised prelims that lead into the PPV. But again, they can be caught on ESPN+. Not that I’m complaining; I like being able to stay on the streaming platform rather than switching back and forth. I’m just thinking out loud, trying to figure out the logic. If you’ve figured it out, can you let me know?

What’s that? You want to know something about the early fights? Well, not much to say. Half the fighters are DWCS alum, a debutant who spent time behind bars for armed robbery, and another may involve a veteran who is shot. Tune in if you want, but I wouldn’t be rushing home if you happened to have other plans.

‘UFC 255 - ‘FIGUEIREDO VS PEREZ’ EARLY PRELIMS:

  • Given his age and activity level – he’s 38 with just two fights since 2018 – it feels like Alan Jouban is winding up a solid career. Though he developed a reputation as an action fighter early in his UFC run, Jouban has been forced to adjust to a more cautious approach as his chin hasn’t been able to withstand the shots he did earlier in his career. The results have been mixed for the southpaw, struggling with opponents that are at least a comparable athlete with greater range. Unfortunately for Jouban, that perfectly describes Jared Gooden, a newcomer making his UFC debut. Given his frame, Gooden would probably benefit from looking to just touch up his opponent more than constantly looking for the kill, but one can’t deny the results have largely worked out for him. Given Jouban’s chin appears to be a huge question mark at this stage, there’s no reason to believe he won’t adjust his strategy. There is a path to victory for Jouban as Gooden’s wrestling has been questionable. Jouban’s wrestling hasn’t been a consistent part of his arsenal, but he’s had it at the ready when it could prove beneficial. Regardless, I’ve seen many aging vets attempt to stave off Father Time with great frequency. Sometimes they’re able to delay the inevitable a bit longer, but in the end, he comes for all. At least Jouban can fall back on a modeling career…. Gooden via TKO of RD1
  • Many years of watching MMA has taught me not to make too much of an impressive loss. Thus, I don’t want to put to much stock in the loss of Kyle Daukaus to Brendan Allen. Nonetheless, Daukaus did look good given the circumstances. With a massive frame for 185, Daukaus cuts an imposing figure and a seemingly deep gas tank, something unusual for larger fighters in just about any weight division. That gas tank allows him to push a hard pace, hunting for takedowns and submissions, most particularly chokes. However, even though he isn’t the most technically proficient striker, he might want to consider engaging in a striking battle as Dustin Stoltzfus isn’t much of a striker himself and isn’t used to having the shorter reach. Stoltzfus is a hell of a clinch fighter with some stout wrestling of his own and excellent MMA fundamentals. Stoltzfus doesn’t make many mistakes, but that has to be the foundation of his success given he is lacking as far as plus physical attributes go. Daukaus tends to make his share of mistakes, trusting in his physical abilities to overwhelm the opposition as opposed to being focused on developing into a tactician. Whether that will cost him in this circumstance is very much in the air. Without any confidence, I’ll say it doesn’t. Daukaus via decision
  • Why the hell does it feel like the UFC is giving Louis Cosce a layup? Because they are. No disrespect intended for Sasha Palatnikov, but the newcomer’s resume is hardly indicative of the type of fighter who finds success in the UFC. Those in the past who have been signed by the UFC with similar resumes washed out pretty quickly themselves. To be fair to Palatnikov, he is inexperienced – meaning he’s more likely to experience sudden improvements – and looks the part. Of course, it would be hard for him not to look the part against the competition he has faced. He’s getting a late start on his MMA career – he’s already 31, having spent some time behind bars – but he appears to have a passion for the sport. It’s plausible Palatnikov’s size – he has mostly fought at 185 – could give Cosce problems as Cosce is on the small side at welterweight. Nonetheless, Cosce has proven to be a physical force, even against larger opposition. The younger of the Cosce brothers shouldn’t have any issues against Palatnikov, especially if the latter has issues with the weight cut on relatively short notice. Cosce has yet to leave the first round in his unbeaten career. Don’t expect him to do so here either. Cosce via TKO of RD1