UFC 250 is around the corner and boasts some very crucial matchups in the UFC bantamweight division. One of the more interesting matchups on the preliminary card is a high-profile flyweight bout between the surging Alex Perez and #4 ranked UFC flyweight Jussier Formiga. Alex Perez may just be the next big thing in the UFC flyweight division after compiling a 5-1 UFC record since he debuted back in December of 2017. The 28-year-old Perez’s only loss is against Joseph Benavidez back in 2018 where he suffered a first round knockout loss against quite possibly the most seasoned veteran of the flyweight division. Undeterred, Perez quickly returned to the Octagon several months later and scored a unanimous decision victory of Mark De La Rosa. He followed up his performance with a first round submission of Jordan Espinosa back in January 2020. The California native is 23-5 in his professional mixed martial arts career and currently ranked #9 in the official UFC rankings of the flyweight division. On June 6, 2020 Perez has a chance to launch himself into the top 5 of the division and position himself for an eventual title shot.
Perez will face the #4 ranked Jussier Formiga who is coming off two consecutive losses for the first time in his mixed martial arts career. Formiga is one of the best flyweights in the world and will be extremely motivated to return to the win column after suffering back to defeats. Formiga’s strength has always been his grappling and has finished 10 of his 23 wins by way of submission and none by knockout. Perez is a decorated grappler himself due to his lengthy wrestling background and ever improving BJJ game. More recently, he has improved his striking game which was apparent in his first round KO of Jose Torres at UFC 227. He has thus far averaged 4.48 significant strikes per minute and a magnificent 3.47 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Formiga is without a doubt the most talented fighter Perez has ever fought and he will need a bullet proof game plan if he is going to achieve victory. Although he has an impressive grappling resume in this own right, I still believe Perez’s best chance of winning this bout is to keep the fight on the feet and go for the knockout. Formiga has been susceptible to the knockout in the past and three of his seven losses have come by way of knockout. I expect Perez to be mindful of this and use his improved stand up to pressure Formiga and land some powerful shots.
Official Prediction: Alex Perez by first knock out. Yes, it is bold, but I believe Perez is one of the most talented fighters at flyweight and is starting to find his stride. He will take out Formiga and set himself up for a #1 contender bout in the back half of 2020.
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Andrew is a lifelong follower of combat sports. His passion began as a child and has only grown as an adult. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a master’s from Texas A & M University. Outside of combat sports, Andrew currently works as a program manager for an aerospace manufacturing company. He has trained Muay Thai for seven years and continues to spar and train on the weekends when time permits.