On Saturday night, June 6, the UFC holds its first-ever pay-per-view event inside the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The promotions’ fifth event during the COVID-19 pandemic, UFC 250 is headlined by double champion Amanda Nunes, who defends her featherweight strap against Felicia Spencer. The co-main event features a bantamweight clash between former champion Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assuncao.
The early preliminary card of 250 is headlined by a high-profile flyweight matchup between #4 ranked UFC flyweight Jussier Formiga and #9 flyweight Alex Perez. With the flyweight division back on track and the title up for grabs in a rematch between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo, the UFC flyweight division will be in need of formidable contenders that are willing and able to challenge for UFC Flyweight Championship to keep the division rolling.
Jussier Formiga is on a short list of notable flyweights that have been a staple of the division for several years. Besides Joseph Benavidez, Formiga might just be the second most experienced and currently active UFC flyweight that has been unable to secure a UFC Flyweight title despite being a top ranked flyweight since 2012. The #4 ranked Brazlian is a BJJ ace who currently trains at American Top Team and has compiled a 9-6 UFC record since he joined the promotion back in 2012. He holds notable wins over Wilson Reis, Dustin Ortiz, Sergio Pettis and Deiveson Figueiredo throughout his career and boasts some of the most dangerous submissions in the division today. Formiga was on a four-fight win streak before being derailed by Joseph Benavidez back in June of 2019 where he suffered a second TKO defeat to Joseph Benavidez. He suffered another loss in March 2020 where he lost a unanimous decision to Brandon Moreno back. For the first time in his career, Formiga is on a two-fight losing streak and hungrier than ever to return to the win column.
There are few fighters, especially in the flyweight division, that can create a sense of excitement and buzz that are so common in the other division of the UFC. The UFC Flyweight division has historically lacked star power and that is especially true with the departure and retirement of former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo. The division is need of new contenders, personality, and talent. Behold, Alex Perez! Perez is a California native who has fought mainly in the Tachi Palace Fights prior to be signed to the UFC. Perez compiled an impressive 17-4 professional record outside the UFC before getting the call to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series 5. He secured himself a UFC contract by submitting Kevin Gray in the first round via anaconda choke and followed up his impressive performance with UFC debut against Carls John de Tomas where he secured another submission victory via anaconda choke in the second round. Since then, he amassed a 5-1 UFC record with his only loss being to the very experienced Joseph Benavidez. He is currently riding a two-fight winning streak at the expense of Mark De La Rosa and Jordan Espinosa. Perez is certainly one of the most notable prospects in the UFC flyweight division who is ready to begin his run up the UFC rankings in effort to secure an eventual title shot.
Fight Preview and Prediction:
This bout deserves main card coverage due to the high ranking of each fighter and what it represents for the division. It is not secret that Formiga’s game plan revolves around getting every opponent to the ground where he can implement his stellar BJJ experience to eventually secure a submission victory. He is currently averaging a dismal 1.38 significant strikers per minute but a 1.95 takedown average per 15 minutes. Perez is a much more well-rounded fighter and is averaging 4.48 significant strikes per minute, 3.47 takedowns per 15 minutes and 1.26 submission average per 15 minutes. He will possess the strength and speed advantage over Formiga as well.
Alex Perez is going to win this bout via TKO and announce himself as the newest member of the top five of the UFC flyweight division. I believe he will avoid the ground due to Formiga’s BJJ background and will be able to keep the fight on the feet using his wrestling experience and strength. Perez will pressure Formiga with a volume of strikers before landing and eventually putting away the #4 ranked Formiga in the second round. Watch out folks, we have a new and exciting flyweight contender on the horizon!
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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.