The UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez. The card saw two (T)KOs and seven decisions, including two split-decisions.
The early prelims opened with a wild battle between Sasha Palatnikov and Louis Cosce that resulted in a third-round TKO for Palatnikov. That was followed by Kyle Daukaus defeating Dustin Stoltzfus via unanimous decision. Alan Jouban fought a terrific fight, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Jared Gooden. If Jouban had 5 more seconds, he might’ve secured that choke, but alas, that stinking horn sounded and saved Gooden.
The ESPN portion of the prelims began with Nicolas Dalby taking a unanimous decision over Daniel Rodriguez in a fairly close fight. That was followed by Antonina Shevchenko securing a second-round TKO over Ariane Lipski and Joaquin Buckley snagged another knockout, this time a second-round KO of Jordan Wright. Brandon Moreno scored a first-round buzzer-beater KO of Brandon Royval to round out the undercard.
The main card opened with the rematch between Shogun and Paul Craig. This time around, number 15 ranked Craig battled his way to a second-round submission. That’s right, Shogun tapped to strikes. Pride may have just died. Katlyn Chookagian outclassed Cynthia Calvillo from start to finish by using her 4-inch height advantage to keep the fight at range, in her wheelhouse. Tim Means and Mike Perry fought a brutal slobberknocker but it would be Means that would have the better boxing and he would hand Perry another loss via unanimous decision.
The co-main event saw Jennifer Maia prove to be a bigger threat than anyone would’ve guessed. Shevchenko immediately took her down in the first band could’ve taken a 10-8 round there, but Jennifer bounced back big in the second round, the only one she would take. The next two rounds were a testament to Valentina’s power and control, as she took Maia down at will and beat her up on the ground. The final round was a slugfest between the two women, but Valentina would take that one, too, ending up with the lopsided unanimous decision.
Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Alex Perez inside two minutes with a gnarly guillotine. Perez came out with hard kicks and swinging heat, but Davey Figs wasn’t having it. After winding up on the ground from a takedown attempt, Figuerido quickly snaked an arm around Perez’ throat, transitioned seamlessly, locked in the guillotine and held on through an escape attempt, his perseverance seeing him through to victory.
Performance of the Night: Joaquin Buckley and Antonina Shevchenko
Sasha Palatnikov (TKO (punches), 2:27 of round 3), Antonina Shevchenko (TKO (strikes), 4:33 of round 2), Joaquin Buckley (KO (punches), :18 of round 2), Brandon Moreno (TKO (strikes), 4:59 of round 1), Paul Craig (TKO (strikes), 3:36 of round 2) and Deiveson Figueiredo d(guillotine choke, 1:57 of round 1) all finished their fights before the final horn but it would be Joaquin Buckley and Antonina Shevchenko taking the $50K performance bonuses.
Fight of the Night: Sasha Palatnikov vs. Louis Cosce
Kyle Daukaus (30-27, 30-27, 30-26), Alan Jouban (30-27 30-27, 30-27), Nicolas Dalby (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), Katlyn Chookagian (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Tim Means (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), and Valentina Shevchenko (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) all went the distance but it would be Sasha Palatnikov’s battle with Louis Cosce that would take fight of the night honors.