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UFC 255 brought the flyweights front and center. In our new segment on Rokfin titled Beforemath, we looked at a couple of our favorite fights coming into the latest UFC PPV. Now it’s time to look at our favorites leaving UFC 255 and where they go from here on today’s episode of Aftermath.
Antonina Shevchenko Shows Off New Ground Game
Next opponent for Antonina Shevchenko: Roxanne Modafferi rematch, Barber/Grasso loser
Antonina Shevchenko had a rough go of it against Katlyn Chookagian at UFC Vegas 1. She was wrestled to death by the title challenger and I called the UFC out for predatory matchmaking. In the off time since that fight, Shevchenko looks to have worked on that and came out to prove a point. Ariane Lipski is a violent and dangerous fighter. Shevchenko, while she’s great on the feet as per Shevchenko tradition, she wrestled Lipski all night at UFC 255 and got the job done via decision. While Lipski isn’t a particularly adept wrestler, Shevchenko showed the self-awareness to improve the holes in her game.
A good matchup for Shevchenko is a rematch with Roxanne Modafferi. The two fought once last year and Modafferi took the win via split decision in a very close fight. A rematch with Modafferi will do good for Shevchenko and provide a good skills test to see how she’s improved from the last time the two fought. While Modafferi is booked to fight Viviane Araujo in January, win or lose, this might be a good match to make for the little Shevchenko sister.
The women’s flyweight division is quite booked up at the moment, especially the bottom half of the top 15. But, Antonina Shevchenko will likely take some time off and let the division play out. The winner between Maycee Barber and Alexa Grasso are likely to move on to another ranked fight. The loser could be used as cannon fodder to see if we can get another Shevchenko rise in the UFC.
Brandon Moreno Wins a Big Fight at UFC 255
Next opponent for Brandon Moreno: Deiveson Figueiredo
Brandon Moreno is the number one contender. And while he was facing a number one contender match with Alex Perez originally, he was passed on for Perez to fight for the title in the main event. Then, Moreno was matched up with the well rounded Brandon Royval and the two put on an amazing show. Now, Moreno will get his title shot that’s much deserving. Moreno called out the champ and after Figueiredo beat Perez, the champ returned the favor.
Dana White went on to say that both look to only have short suspensions and he is working on the fight for UFC 256 in December, a quick turnaround for both Moreno and Figueiredo. One thing’s for certain, Moreno and Figgy are on a collision course and the two look like they will headline another fight card next month.
Valentina Shevchenko Brushes off the Dust
Next opponent for Valentina Shevchenko: Jessica Andrade
At UFC 255, Valentina Shevchenko returned to action against Jennifer Maia. Shevchenko came in looking skinnier than normal and in her post fight interview said she was coming off an injury in her knee. Shevchenko looked trigger shy against Maia and opted to wrestle with the Brazilian. Shevchenko dropped round two to Maia and had people sweating over her -2000 odds. But, Shevchenko got the job done and in round five, she looked like her old self. It likely was a bit of ring rust for Shevchenko but we’ve seen her look subpar against fighters in the past, like Liz Carmouche.
As I wrote about on My MMA News, Valentina Shevchenko needs a fight that actually means something. Jessica Andrade is the perfect choice for Shevchenko. Andrade just obliterated a former title challenger in Katlyn Chookagian with a body shot. That put the former strawweight champion in the driver’s seat for the title shot. Andrade will present a bullying approach to the light-footed Shevchenko and brings in huge power even into the flyweight division.
Then, there’s Amanda Dunes. But, we already have talked about that and why it could happen. Moving on…
Holy crap, Deiveson Figueiredo…
Next opponent for Deiveson Figueiredo: Brandon Moreno
Deiveson Figueiredo looked phenomenal against Alex Perez. Perez is a game opponent and came totally prepared. He just wasn’t good enough. Figueiredo weathered the barrage of leg kicks and played it smart by switching stances against Perez. Perez thought it was a good idea to grapple and Figgy switched it up on him and shot for a heel hook. It was all over from there. Figueiredo was in control of the fight from the bottom. He sunk in a guillotine and it was all over.
After the fight, Deiveson Figueiredo called out Brandon Moreno. We talked about it up top and Moreno deserves the title shot. UFC 256, here we go! There is no other fight. Not Cody Garbrandt, not Petr Yan at 135, just Moreno for now. We can save those for another day.