/Figueiredo defends title against Perez

Figueiredo defends title against Perez

Deiveson Figueiredo (left) and Alex Perez (right)
Figueiredo’s (left) victory over Perez extends his winning run to five fights

Newly crowned UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo made his first title defence in impressive fashion in the main event of UFC 255.

The 32-year-old, who captured the vacant title with victory over long-time contender Joseph Benavidez in July, needed fewer than two minutes to submit American Alex Perez in the headline bout at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Figueiredo and Perez both started quickly as the pair traded powerful strikes early on before the American attempted to take the fight to the canvas.

The challenger successfully landed a takedown on the champion but, as the pair scrambled for position on the mat, Figueiredo locked up a tight guillotine choke off his back and forced the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate to tap after just 1:57 of the opening round.

The Brazilian’s victory extended his winning run to five, with his past four victories all coming inside the distance, as he cemented his status at the top of the men’s 125lb division.

Shevchenko made to work in latest title defence

Valentina Shevchenko (left) and Jennifer Maia (right)
Shevchenko (left) secured her 20th career victory with the win over Maia

In the night’s other main event, reigning UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko continued her dominance of the women’s 125lb weight class with a hard-fought but unanimous decision win over Brazilian challenger Jennifer Maia.

Returning from knee surgery, 32-year-old Shevchenko went into the fight a colossal 1-20 betting favourite, with one Las Vegas punter staking $12,000 (£9,000) to win just $600 (£451) from a Shevchenko victory.

But the Kyrgyzstani fighter was made to work much harder than many expected as she battled with Maia in a gritty, grapple-heavy contest that went all the way to the judges.

Despite weathering a tricky second round on the mat, Shevchenko ran out a comfortable winner on the scorecards, earning scores of 49-46 on all three to complete a remarkable week for her family.

Earlier in the night, her older sister Antonina picked up a second-round TKO victory over Brazil’s Ariane Lipski while, earlier in the week, her mother Elena earned a Muay Thai ‘shadowboxing’ world title after performing a demonstration of her techniques in a virtually hosted competition.

Shevchenko’s 20th career victory extended her winning run to six as she registered her fourth straight title defence.

More to follow.

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