Since the whole pandemic started, the sporting world was forced to shut down shop and hope for a return when they could. However, that wasn’t the case for the UFC. Outside of a couple events being cancelled, many previously booked events were moved to Vegas at the UFC Apex complex, and now we are just off the back of UFC Fight Island over on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Well, with the UFC booking an event every weekend up until the end of October, Dana White has confirmed two title fights for the UFC 255 PPV event on November 21st as Cody Garbrandt moves down a weight class to take on newly crowned flyweight champion Deiveson Figuiredo for the flyweight belt. The other title fight sees current women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko defend her title against Jennifer Maia.
Cody Garbrandt has been on a crazy ride throughout his UFC career, from going undefeated and winning the bantamweight title from one of the best to ever do it in Dominick Cruz, to losing the belt and a subsequent rematch against friend turned bitter rival T.J. Dillashaw, to then being knocked out by Pedro Munhoz and finally bouncing back recently with a spectacular KO of Raphael Assuncao. Cody has decided to make the drop down to 125 and fight for the title. The weight drop won’t be an issue, as Cody hardly cuts for 135, and a win against Figuiredo could sky rocket his career back to the level it was after that win over Cruz.
Deiveson Figuiredo will go down as one of the best flyweights in history, with a career record of 19-1 and beating some of the best flyweight we’ve seen. It was only a matter of time until we saw him as the champion. Figuiredo won the belt back on Fight Island, completely destroying Joseph Benavidez in the first round and knocking him down three times, finally getting the stop via a rear naked choke. Figuiredo has a real tough fight on his hands for his first title defense, but it’s a fight he can easily take given his striking skills and KO power. Partner with Cody’s issues with being KO’d in the past.
Valentina Shevchenko has completely dominated the women’s fight game from the moment she stepped in the doors at the UFC, beating the likes of Holly Holm, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Eye and many others. Her only two losses in the UFC have come via decision against two weight champions and the greatest women’s fighter in history, Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko will be looking to add yet another successful title defense to her record and she’ll certainly be the favorite in this one.
Jennifer Maia has been an impressive contender during her UFC stint, starting when she debuted against Liz Camouche, a fight she went on to lose via decision. From that night on, Maia has put wins against Alexis Davis and Roxanne Modafferi on her record before losing yet another title contender fight to Katlyn Chookagian. Maia finally earned her opportunity at the title against Joanne Calderwood, as she caught her in an armbar submission just before the 1st round came to an end. Maia will need to pull something special off if she is to beat someone like Shevchenko, but with MMA, you never know what could happen.
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