Betting Guide for UFC 255
UFC 255 is headlined by a double-serving of flyweight title fights, as both the men's and women's 125-pound belts will be on the line. Deiveson Figueiredo will get his first real title defense after defeating Joseph Benavidez twice, and Valentina Shevchenko is looking to continue her dominant reign since coming down from bantamweight.
Before those two champions even step into the cage, their next challengers could already be set, as Brandon Moreno and Cynthia Calvillo will both be making their case for a title shot with a win. Overall, it's about as big of a night as the UFC can offer for the flyweights, and FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of odds: outright winners, method of victory, and more.
Let's take a look at the best bets to make.
Deiveson Figueiredo (-325) vs. Alexander Perez (+250)
Figueiredo by KO/TKO (-120)
Figueiredo won the title by knocking out Benavidez in the second round. He quelled any controversy by ending the rematch in the first round, handing Benavidez his first-ever submission loss in the UFC. Alexander Perez earned this title shot on the heels of a 6-1 UFC record, but his lone loss did come by first-round KO to Benavidez.
Lighter divisions aren't typically associated with early finishes, but this one is priced at -460 not to go the distance, and five of Figueiredo's past six wins have come inside the distance. He actually lands 1.88 less significant strikes per minute than Perez, but Figueiredo's striking accuracy rate is 8% higher. Similarly, in the grappling department, it's Perez who averages 1.31 more takedowns landed per 15 minutes, but the champion makes more use of the time on the mat, averaging 1.5 more submission attempts per 15 minutes.
Figueiredo's power is a big advantage in this division. As long as he can make weight, he has the advantage to end this one early.
Valentina Shevchenko (-2200) vs. Jennifer Maia (+980)
Shevchenko by KO/TKO or Submission (-195)
There are only two current UFC champions truly viewed as dominant in their division: Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko is a perfect 5-0 since dropping down to the flyweight division, with three of those wins coming inside the distance. Prior to that, her only two UFC losses came by decision to Nunes in the bantamweight division, with many people believing she won the second meeting.
Jennifer Maia is just 3-2 in the UFC, with losses coming to Katlyn Chookagian and Liz Carmouche, who happen to be Shevchenko's most recent opponents. Maia is mostly in this fight because there is no other contender at the moment.
Shevchenko has a one-inch height and two-inch reach advantage. Her striking accuracy is 11% better than Maia's, her striking defense rate is 10% better, and she averages 1.86 more takedowns landed per 15 minutes than the challenger. This fight is a clear mismatch, and Shevchenko's title reign does not look to be in any trouble. Getting Shevchenko at -195 to win inside the distance compared to the massive -2200 money line is enough of a discount to not worry about her winning by decision.
Brandon Moreno (-200) vs. Brandon Royval (+160)
Moreno by Points (+130)
There was an argument for Moreno to be in the title shot already after going 3-0-1 in his past three fights, and he will almost certainly get that chance with a win here. On the other side, Brandon Royval is riding a hot start to his UFC career, with submission victories in each of his first two fights. That is certainly his victory route of choice, as he has picked up the submission victory in four straight fights, but Moreno has never been submitted in his professional career.
Although he has been in the UFC longer, Moreno is actually the younger fighter in this matchup by 16 months. And despite being two inches shorter, Moreno's long 70-inch reach will give him a two-inch advantage. He does have a poor 34% striking accuracy rate compared to 52% for Royval, but Moreno is very hard to hit, with a 63% striking defense rate, as opposed to just 44% for Royval.
Of course, Moreno will need to avoid being taken down, which won't be easy against Royval's 100% takedown success rate. But let's keep in mind that Royval still has only two UFC fights. As long as Moreno can keep this standing, he can likely use his striking defense en route to picking up a decision victory.