By Jed Meshew | | 8 mins
UFC 255 Odds & Picks: Figueiredo vs Perez, Shevchenko vs Maia
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The UFC returns to pay-per-view Saturday with UFC 255 and once again we have two title fights headlining the card. In the co-main event, arguably the most dominant champion in the sport, Valentina Shevchenko, defends her women’s flyweight title against former Invicta flyweight champion Jennifer Maia.
In the main event, newly crowned men’s flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo makes his first title defense against surging contender Alex Perez. It’s a 125-pound double feature with a number of other great bouts to boot, so let’s jump right into the best UFC bets on the card.
UFC 255 Odds & Predictions
|Deiveson Figueiredo by KO/TKO||-130 ( Unibet )|
|Alex Perez by submission||+1200 ( Unibet )|
|Valentina Shevchenko by KO or submission||-195 ( DraftKings )|
|Katlyn Chookagian by decision||+280 (BetAmerica)|
|Mauricio Rua over Paul Craig||+152 ( FOXBet )|
|Brandon Royval over Brandon Moreno||+160 ( BetMGM )|
Odds current as of publication and subject to change
UFC 255 Figueiredo vs Perez Predictions
The main event of UFC 255 is an interesting contrast of styles that should lead to fireworks, one way or the other. Figueiredo rose through the ranks to claim the title due to the dynamite in his hands. Though he’s a flyweight, Figueiredo sports a knockdown rate that only slightly trails heavyweight terror Francis Ngannou, and that’s where his bread is buttered.
On the other side of the cage will be one of the most dynamic talents in the division. Perez has shown a very diverse game, as dangerous with his striking as he is with submissions, with solid wrestling as well. On the feet, Perez won’t be a sitting duck, and if he can score takedowns, he should have the edge on the floor.
The fight that is most instructive in predicting this bout is Perez’s fight with Joseph Benavidez. Early on, Perez was allowed to fight his fight and was flowing nicely, but once Benavidez cracked him with a power shot and earned that respect, Perez wilted. Figueiredo is a much better and more powerful striker than Benavidez and I see things happening similarly in this contest. The main bet here is Figueiredo by KO/TKO at -130.
That being said, Perez is such a gifted grappler and Figueiredo’s lone weakness thus far has been his wrestling defense, so taking a flyer on the big +1200 Perez by submission prop provides a sound backdoor. You can grab both bets with Unibet.
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UFC 255 Shevchenko vs Maia Prediction
For my money, Valentina Shevchenko is the best fighter in the world not named Khabib Nurmagomedov. If not the best, she is certainly the most dominant. The gulf between Shevchenko and the rest of the flyweight division is probably the biggest between champion and contenders in the history of the sport.
So, to put it plainly, Maia has no chance here. Maia is a good fighter who can box and grapple, but she does neither as well as Shevchenko and she’s miles behind in the athleticism department. Katlyn Chookagian pieced Maia up with jabs and leg kicks and those are some of Shevchenko’s best weapons.
There’s just no credible route to victory for Maia, and the only question is whether Shevchenko will get a stoppage or just blank her on the cards. I favor a stoppage though as “Bullet” has become much more of a finisher over the last few years. Bet on Shevchenko by KO or submission with DraftKings.
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Chookagian vs Calvillo UFC 255 Prediction
Speaking of Chookagian, the former title challenger is looking to rebound from a loss to Jessica Andrade by taking on another rising contender, Cynthia Calvillo. Calvillo impressed in her flyweight debut, outworking Jessica Eye, and now has a chance to stake her claim for a title shot with a win over Chookagian.
There’s a reason Calvillo is the favorite. Chookagian is susceptible on the ground and Calvillo is a highly capable grappler who can throw strikes to set up takedowns. That being said, scoring takedowns in this fight won’t come so easy for Calvillo. Chookagian is the bigger fighter, and commands distance well.
Chookagian has an excellent chance to force Calvillo into a striking affair and outwork her on the feet. Getting Chookagian at plus money is value enough, but getting the extra sauce on the by decision prop is basically free value as Chookagian has never finished someone inside the UFC. Grab Chookagian by decision with BetAmerica.
‘Shogun’ Rua vs Craig UFC 255 Prediction
This is a fairly straightforward prediction: These two men fought once before, and though the bout ended in a draw, most feel Rua did enough to edge the contest out. In their first fight, Craig was able to take advantage of the well-worn Rua on the feet but Shogun survived and took over with ground-and-pound.
The contours of this bout haven’t changed since then. Shogun still possesses a clear edge in the grappling and can probably still hold his own on the feet. If Craig catches Rua and KOs the shopworn fighter, it won’t be shocking, but this bout should be a pick’em, so there is free value on Rua. Back him at FOX Bet.
Royval vs Moreno UFC 255 Prediction
To go along with the theme of UFC 255, the undercard is headlined by a flyweight bout between top-ranked contender Brandon Moreno and sixth-ranked contender Brandon Royval. This Battle of the Brandons figures to be a high-octane fight between guys who can do a bit of everything and put offense first.
Given that, plus the impressive grappling ability of Royval, this fight should be a pick’em as well. As with Rua, Royval is a good value bet. Bet on him with BetMGM.
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UFC 255 Date, Time & TV Information
When is UFC 255?
UFC 255 is Saturday, November 21, in Las Vegas.
What Time is UFC 255?
The main card is schedule to begin at 10 p.m. ET; the preliminary card begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Where Can I Watch UFC 255?
UFC 255 prelims are available on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The main event is PPV.