A year like no other in mixed martial arts is suddenly in its cavalry charge toward the finish line. The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 2020 campaign has seen all-timers like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, and Henry Cejudo retire, pound-for-pound king Jon Jones vacate his 205-pound title with an eye toward heavyweight, and fast-rising stars like Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland steal headlines with show-stopping performances.
And even though 2021 promises to be a banger of a year in the Octagon — McGregor vs. Poirier, anyone?? — there’s a firecracker of a pay-per-view coming up this month. Right on cue, it’s time for CanadianBettingSites to highlight some UFC 255 picks and the very best odds and prop bets for Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez, Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia, and more.
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UFC Flyweight Championship: Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez
Deiveson Figueiredo is a bad, bad man. Deus Da Guerra is on a four-fight win streak that includes back-to-back stoppage wins over flyweight legend Joseph Benavidez. Their second bout earned Figueiredo the 125-pound title — and with would-be challenger, Cody Garbrandt forced to pull out of this fight due to a torn bicep, the champ’s path to defending the strap is easier than it ought to be.
Alex Perez is no slouch, and it’s notable that his last win came against Jussier Formiga, the only man ever to beat Figueiredo in a pro fight. He’s absolutely never faced a test like this one, however, and will be lucky to make it through all five rounds fully conscious.
The smart choice is to take Figueiredo to win, available at 1.36 at Bet365. A $20 bet would pay out at $27.27.
Alex Perez Upset Odds vs Deiveson Figueiredo
Did you catch Alex Perez fever after watching him demolish Jussier Formiga with a series of devastating leg kicks at UFC 250 in June? The pride of Lemoore, California is a dangerous fighter, boasting an 11-1 record in his last dozen fights, and at 28 years of age, he’s four years Figueiredo’s junior.
Yes, he has a modest path to victory in this throwdown. If Perez is your guy, he’s available to win at 3.5 at BetOnline, where a $20 bet pays out $70,
Figueiredo vs Perez Over/Under 2.5 Rounds
If you’re convinced that Figueiredo is the guy in this fight — and you’re better off believing that he is — it’s more likely than not that he goes full beast mode and attempts to end Perez’s night early. If the upset happens, however, there’s a good chance it’s not going to be left up to the judges. Perez, after all, has seen four of his last five fights end by first-round stoppage.
Bang the under on 2.5 total rounds! Top sportsbooks are offering this bet at 1.89, with a $20 wager cashing out for $37.80.
UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship: Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia
Is there a more dangerous human being on earth than Valentina Shevchenko? Think about it: she slices and dices would-be contenders into sashimi, her nickname is Bullet, and she has a tattoo of a Glock on her body. The UFC women’s flyweight champion is an honest-to-goodness lethal weapon.
Just ask Jessica Eye.
This is all to say that you’ll need to spend big for any bets on the Bullet to pay out handsomely. But a better way to look at this? You may not find a safer bet in a UFC title fight all year long.
Shevchenko is beating Jennifer Maia at UFC 255, full stop, with favourable 1.095 odds available at BetOnline. A $20 bet pays $21.90.
Jennifer Maia Upset Odds vs Valentina Shevchenko
Feeling frisky? The conventional wisdom all points to Amanda Nunes as the only woman capable of giving the Bullet a competitive fight, but let’s attempt to make the case for Jennifer Maia. She’s a former 125-pound champion with Invicta FC, and boasts career wins over rough-and-ready fighters like Jessica Andrade, Roxanne Modafferi (twice), and JoJo Calderwood. She may be just 3-2 in her UFC career, but she’s got the gas tank to go the distance if (and it’s a big if!) she can withstand an early onslaught that’s almost certainly coming.
If you’re tempted to go contrarian and shoot for the moon with the card’s biggest underdog by miles and miles, Maia is available at 9.0 at InterTops. A $20 bet would pay out an amazing $180.
Jose Aldo vs Marlon Vera
This one’s not officially official as of this writing, but signs increasingly point to the legendary Jose Aldo taking on Marlon “Chito” Vera in bantamweight action as part of UFC 255’s festivities. Vera is soaring following a thrilling upset victory over Sean O’Malley in August at UFC 252, and while Aldo has lost three straight and is 0-2 in his career fighting at 135 pounds, he’s as tried and tested as just about anyone in mixed martial arts. He won’t be an easy out for Vera.
All told, however, Aldo’s last fight is too brutal to ignore. Bantamweight champion Petr Yan absolutely pummeled the Brazilian icon, with controversy arising after referee Leon Roberts declined to stop the fight until the action had grown grotesquely lopsided. A man just isn’t the same after taking that kind of damage.
If this fight ends up making the card, Vera is an attractive pick to win as a narrow underdog. Top sportsbooks are offering him at 2.28, which would pay $45.60 on a $20 bet.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Paul Craig 2
Aldo isn’t the only Brazilian elder statesman with a chance to make noise on this night. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua is still going hard at age 38, and has not-so-quietly only lost one single fight in the last six years (!). Paul Craig ought to be sticking in his craw right about now, however, as the two fought to a split draw one year ago in São Paulo.
Shogun doesn’t have his fastball anymore, but he’s an honest-to-goodness warrior if there ever was one. He’s currently a modest underdog, but has got more than enough heart to make up for Craig’s height and reach advantage.
Banking on Shogun to take care of business? You can lock it in at 2.6 over at William Hill, with a $20 bet cashing for $52.