From Demetrious Johnson to Henry Cejudo, the UFC's flyweight division is no stranger to dominant champions. Deiveson Figueiredo used UFC 255 to show he may be the next in that line with a first-round submission win over Alex Perez in the main event on Saturday.
Figueiredo is typically known for his power but also has eight submissions to his name. It was that skill he got to showcase in the spotlight as Perez left a small opening in a transition and the champion jumped on the opportunity.
Perez fought to get out of the hold but was quickly tapping out, a testament to Figueiredo's strength.
The win marks the champion's first official defense of the title. He had to beat Joseph Benavidez twice to win the title initially because he missed weight the first time. Now there's no doubting the validity of his championship status.
After the bout, he used his time on the broadcast to call out Brandon Moreno, who defeated Brandon Royval in the final fight of the prelims.
It was an exciting end to a night of fights that saw the women's flyweight title defended again by Valentina Shevchenko and a fun welterweight collision. Here's a look at the complete results and a closer look at all the main card fights.
- Deiveson Figueiredo def. Alex Perez via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:57 of Round 1
- Valentina Shevchenko def. Jennifer Maia via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)
- Tim Means def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Cynthia Calvillo via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Paul Craig def. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua via TKO at 3:36 of Round 2
- Brandon Moreno def. Brandon Royval via TKO at 4:59 of Round 1
- Joaquin Buckley def. Jordan Wright via KO at 0:18 of Round 2
- Antonina Shevchenko def. Ariane Lipski via TKO at 4:33 of Round 2
- Nicolas Dalby def. Daniel Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Alan Jouban def. Jared Gooden via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Kyle Daukaus def. Dustin Stoltzfus via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
- Sasha Palatnikov def. Louis Cosce via TKO at 2:27 of Round 3
Valentina Shevchenko def. Jennifer Maia
Valentina Shevchenko continues to be the most dominant woman in the flyweight division. There was a brief hiccup in Round 2 in which Jennifer Maia was able to get the champion to the ground and hold her there, but she was quick to remind us of her dominance in Round 3.
Shevchenko responded to Maia's grappling-heavy approach with some takedowns of her own. Bullet was tagging Maia with the left hand nearly anytime she wanted but wasn't afraid to change levels and get the takedown.
The fight was a perfect example of the well-rounded game that makes Shevchenko tough to beat. She's able to stand with anyone with her quickness but can also succeed in the clinch and on the ground.
Maia did a commendable job to keep things close and even take a round, but Shevchenko continues to be the fighter to beat in the women's flyweight division.
Tim Means def. Mike Perry
Win, lose or draw, a Mike Perry fight rarely disappoints. Tim Means knew that when he accepted the bout, and the two put on one of the best fights of the night with Means getting the nod from the judges in a slugfest.
Perry came out with a surprising game plan in the first round. He secured a takedown and came close to locking in a rear-naked choke that would have been his first career submission. But Means survived the round and came back strong in the second.
Means utilized his movement and superior technical ability with some toughness to come up with a winning game plan in the second round. The third came down to sheer force of will as both were throwing heavy leather.
The Dirty Bird took the fight on somewhat short notice with Robbie Lawler pulling out in late October. It's a good thing he did because this was a strong performance that should propel him moving forward.
Katlyn Chookagian def. Cynthia Calvillo
Cynthia Calvillo was hoping to find herself in the middle of the title picture after UFC 255. As it turns out, Katlyn Chookagian kept that title shot at arm's length from her.
Calvillo never seemed to find a way to negate Chookagian's reach advantage. She was able to keep Calvillo on the end of her jab and leg kicks as she consistently landed more strikes than her opponent.
The 33-year-old Calvillo is usually a heavy wrestler but never got a chance to get that going. Chookagian negated any takedown attempt from her opponent and secured the clean sweep on the judges' cards as a result.
After the fight, Chookagian got to campaigning for another fight as soon as possible.
Blonde Fighter is in an interesting spot right now. She's clearly among the best in the division but has recent losses to Jessica Andrade and Valentina Shevchenko. A title fight so soon would be difficult to sell.
Paul Craig def. Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua
Time is a cruel beast, and that statement is never more true than for an aging veteran like Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. The former light heavyweight champion looked like an absolute shell of himself as Paul Craig took the lead in their two-fight series.
The first fight ended in a split draw after a major comeback in the third round from Shogun. This time, there was no third round for the Brazilian to mount a rally. Craig secured back mount in the second round and rained down strikes until he drew the TKO.
Craig is toward the bottom of the UFC's Top 15 rankings, but this fight should allow him to move on from Rua and get some fights against more relevant competition.
The Scottish submission specialist has never been to a decision. His desire to press the action gives him upside in a division that always needs more contenders.