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Figueiredo, Shevchenko remain lords of the flyweights

After successful title defenses both Deiveson Figueiredo and Valentina Shevchenko are looking for new top contenders in their respective divisions.


Figueiredo defeated No. 4 ranked Alex Perez by submission at the 1:57-mark of the first round of their flyweight main event title fight Saturday, Nov. 21 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.


Guillotine was the submission of choice for Figueiredo as he defended his UFC Flyweight championship for the first time.


Coming into the fight, he held the record for most submission attempts per 15 minutes with 2.91.


Perez stepped into the championship bout on short notice after contender Cody Garbrandt was forced out of the fight due to injury.


Looking to build off the opportunity, Perez was hoping to culminate a six year journey to the UFC with championship gold.


In the early part of the fight, Perez locked onto a single-leg takedown near the fence.


Hopping on one leg, Figueiredo dropped down into a leg lock forcing Perez to react.


Once he reacted, a scramble ensued where at one point Perez appeared to have Figueiredo’s back.


However, the craftiness of Figueiredo shined through as he was able to slip Perez into a guillotine for the tap.


It was the fifth time in his career that he finished a fight with a guillotine choke.


Immediately after the fight, Figueiredo lifted Perez and carried him around the octagon before embracing just prior to the final decision.


Figueiredo is now 20-1 in his mixed martial arts career with wins in five straight fights.


UFC President Dana White quickly expressed his intention to secure a title defense for Figueiredo against top flyweight Brandon Moreno.


Moreno defeated No. 6 Brandon Royval via first round technical knockout after Royval suffered a shoulder injury.


Perez is now 24-6 in his career, having suffered his first loss since November of 2018 halting a three-fight win streak.


Shevchenko ousted division standout Jennifer Maia via unanimous decision after all three judges scored the bout 49-46.


It was the fourth title defense for Shevchenko.


If she’d won, Maia could’ve cashed in as the biggest betting underdog in UFC history.


Shevchenko dominated the first round, controlling Maia for more than four and a half minutes of the five minute round.


However, the second round saw a reversal of roles as Maia controlled the champion for more than four minutes of the next frame.


In the third round, Shevchenko returned to the basics and began tagging Maia with a stinging left hand.


After hitting Maia with three fiery left hands to open the round, the fourth left hand transitioned into a takedown for Shevchenko.


Maia would battle back to her feet, only to be taken down again.


Shevchenko dished out more damage with her left hand in the fourth round before turning up the heat in the fifth and final round.


The last round saw Shevchenko apply the most pressure to Maia as she tried to force clinch situations.


Shevchenko improves to 20-3 in her mixed martial arts career as she continues to walk through the women’s flyweight division.


As of now, White likes the idea of Jessica Andrade or Lauren Murphy as potential challengers for Shevchenko.


As for Maia, she is now 18-7 in her career after the loss to the champion.


She is now 3-2 in her last five fights.


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