UFC 255: Figueiredo vs. Perez predictions, odds, picks: Best bets on fight card from proven MMA expert

Two flyweight title fights anchor the UFC 255 fight card on Saturday, headlined by champion Deiveson Figueiredo making his first defense against fourth-ranked contender Alex Perez. Their battle closes UFC 255, which takes place from the promotion’s Apex facility in Las Vegas, with the main card set for 10 p.m. ET. Figueiredo has emerged as the division’s dominant force, with six stoppages among his seven UFC victories. He faces a daunting challenge from the surging Perez, whose solid all-around game has led to four consecutive UFC wins and a climb up the rankings.  

Figueiredo is a -300 favorite (risk $300 to win $100), while Perez is a +250 underdog in the latest UFC 255 odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event, women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko (-1,450) makes the fourth defense of her belt against third-ranked contender Jennifer Maia (+850). Before locking in your UFC 255 picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA expert Brandon Wise has to say.

Wise specializes in picking main-card fights for UFC, which has enabled him to be profitable for five consecutive years. In fact, Wise went a perfect 5-0 at UFC 239 and was 4-1 at both UFC 245 and UFC 249. He also nailed Nurmagomedov’s destruction of Conor McGregor in 2018, Stipe Miocic’s defeat of Daniel Cormier, Max Holloway’s downfall in 2019 and Gaethje’s TKO victory over Ferguson in May. 

Since the UFC returned following a period of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wise has gone 57-33-1 while nailing the method of victory 40 times. At UFC 254, Wise went 5-1 for SportsLine members, and his winners included calling a stoppage victory for Khabib Nurmagomedov (-330) in his lightweight title defense against Justin Gaethje in the main event. He also nailed a decision win for former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (+100) against Jared Cannonier (-120) in the co-main event. Anyone who has consistently followed Wise is way up.

Now, with UFC 255 fast approaching, Wise has carefully studied every matchup on the main card, identified the best value in the UFC 255 odds and released his MMA picks for each fight. He’s only sharing those selections here. 

Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Alex Perez expert preview

Wise knows both combatants will be eager to take advantage of the biggest stage they have appeared on thus far in their MMA careers. It will be the first pay-per-view main event for Figueiredo and the first UFC main event for Perez.

Figueiredo (19-1) has emerged as a relatively quiet but confident fighter whose skill set and sinister demeanor inside the Octagon are more than enough to support his growing bravado. The 32-year-old Brazilian earned the title with back-to-back dominant performances against top-ranked Joseph Benavidez, a longtime fan favorite whom many observers expected to be the heir apparent in the division upon the retirement of Henry Cejudo.

Figueiredo took criticism for missing weight in their first bout, which caused him to be ineligible to win the title. There was also blowback because of an incidental head butt that appeared to wobble Benavidez before the fight was stopped. But the champion left no doubt in the rematch, making weight and finishing Benavidez again in the first round to become the undisputed titleholder at flyweight.

Perez (24-5) also has flown somewhat under the radar in terms of widespread recognition, but that is starting to change following consecutive first-round finishes that showcased his polished skill set and earned him a pair of Performance of the Night accolades.

The 28-year-old central California native earned a submission against Jordan Espinosa in January before using leg kicks to force a stoppage against Jussier Formiga in June. You can see Wise’s coveted Figueiredo vs. Perez picks here.

Top UFC 255 predictions

We’ll share one of Wise’s UFC 255 predictions here: He is backing Paul Craig (-165) to get his hand raised against Mauricio Rua (+145) in a matchup of light heavyweight veterans.

Craig (13-4-1) is a submission specialist who has gone 4-4-1 in nine appearances under the UFC banner. Several of his wins have involved comebacks in which he used his grappling to secure a stoppage while trailing on the scorecards. The draw on his record came against Rua when they met in November of last year.

Rua (27-11-1) is a former light heavyweight champ whose reign ended in the first defense of his belt with a loss to Jon Jones in March 2011. But the 38-year-old Brazilian appears to still be a viable competitor, as evidenced by his 5-1-1 mark in his last seven UFC appearances.

How to make UFC 255 picks

Wise also has strong picks for Figueiredo vs. Perez and every other bout on the main UFC 255 card. He’s also backing one fighter “to get a TKO in a one-sided decision win.” You can only see those selections here.

Who wins Figueiredo vs. Perez at UFC 255? And how exactly does each main-card fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on the UFC 255 main card, all from the accomplished expert who has been profitable for five straight years, and find out. 

UFC 255 odds

Deiveson Figueiredo (-300) vs. Alex Perez (+250)
Valentina Shevchenko (-1,450) vs. Jennifer Maia (+850)
Mike Perry (-145) vs. Tim Means (+125)
Cynthia Calvillo (-240) VS. Katlyn Chookagian (+200)
Paul Craig (-165) VS. Mauricio Rua (+145) 

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