UFC 283 predictions


Barring any unforeseen screwiness, two divisions will see at least some clarity at the top following UFC 283 this Saturday.

For the light heavyweight championship main event, the result answers a straightforward question: Who holds the UFC title at 205 pounds? That’s not the same thing as who is the UFC’s best at 205 pounds (Jiri Prochazka, get well soon), but either Glover Teixeira or Jamahal Hill will etch their names in the promotion’s history books with a win as Teixeira looks to become an unlikely two-time champion at the age of 43 and Hill looks to become a first-time champion after being on the fringes of the title picture just two months ago.

Prochazka is out of action for some time, while the Jan Blachowicz-vs. Magomed Anakalaev title bout failed to resolve anything. The vacant light heavyweight belt now heads to Rio de Janeiro to search for an owner. Expect the Brazilian fans to roar when Teixeira fights in his home country for the first time since 2015 and possibly tear down the Jeunesse Arena in a fit of sheer ecstasy should he become champion again.

The co-main event might not stoke the same emotions, but it won’t be for lack of history or the talents involved. Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno have done everything in their power to insure that their rivalry will never be forgotten and their fourth fight has the potential to be the best yet. Some fans might be sick of seeing the same two guys fight for the flyweight belt with several worthy contenders waiting in the wings, but if this continues to be an annual tradition (the two have fought for the title in 2020, 2021, and 2022) then you can sign me up for another decade of the Figueiredo-Moreno Cup.

Top title fightants look to make an impact at flyweight and welterweight, as Gilbert Burns takes on Neil Magny and Lauren Murphy faces Jessica Andrade. In addition, Paul Craig will face Johnny Walker in the first pay-per view bout.

What: UFC 283

Where: Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

When: Saturday, Jan. 21. The card begins with a six-fight early prelims portion on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m. ET, with continuing coverage of the four-fight prelim card on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The five-fight main card begins at 10 p.m. {ET and is available exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view.|ET, and only on ESPN + Pay-per-View.

(Numbers in parentheses indicate standing in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings)

Glover Teixeira (2) vs. Jamahal Hill (10)

My brain tells me Glover Teixeira is better than Jamahal Hill. Sometimes it’s better to not think too much.

Yes, it’s possible for Hill to come out with guns-a-blazing and Teixeira in a world. It happened once before when Anthony Johnson scored a stunning 13-second knockout of Teixeira and while Hill isn’t nearly as highly regarded a puncher as the late “Rumble,” he’s shown a deft finishing touch. According to Draft Kings, Hill is actually a slight favorite to beat the former UFC champion, so clearly there’s public confidence in him.

But I can’t pick against Teixeira in a matchup where he has such a huge experience advantage, particularly when it comes to championship-level fights, not to mention his elite grappling. Hill’s ability to stop takedowns is not his best and even though he has been practicing wrestling defense since before the match was announced, that won’t suffice. Teixiera’s old man strength won’t be denied.

Besides, if this stays on the feet, it’s not like Teixeira is a sitting duck up there. He’s stood and traded punches with the best of them, which is to say legends who are far more accomplished than Hill. Hill is a testament to the power of hard work and talent. It’s not yet his time.

Submission to Teixeira

Pick: Teixeira

Deiveson Figueiredo (2) vs. Brandon Moreno (3)

At this point Deiveson Figueiredo & Brandon Moreno have all the information they need about one another, and it is time for them to get to know each other.

It’s useless to dissect the technical aspects of this matchup in an attempt to predict the winner because we’ve seen how evenly matched these two are: Figueiredo has the edge in power, Moreno the edge in speed and volume. Both are high-level grapplers, both have great finishing instincts, and both have sturdy chins and deep gas tanks. These are two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, as you might have heard.

Honestly, if you ran this back 100 times, I doubt either man would win the series by more than a handful of fights. Like, 53-47 at best. We’ve seen Figueiredo outpoint Moreno only to be foiled on the cards by a point deduction, we’ve seen Moreno run through Figueiredo, and we’ve seen Figueiredo win a close one. In all likelihood, these two spend another 25 quality minutes inside the octagon, but you could talk me into either fighter finding an early finish too. This feud is so special because anything is possible.

To avoid flipping a coin, I’ll stick to this rule: I don’t believe Figueiredo can beat Moreno twice in a row, and vise-a-versa, so in my hypothetical best-of-infinity series they are destined to trade wins until the end of time. And it’s Moreno’s turn.

Pick: Moreno

Gilbert Burns (5) vs. Neil Magny

Neil Magny’s resume is worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame, regardless of what happens on Saturday night. His win over Daniel Rodriguez moved him past Georges St-Pierre for the most UFC wins by a welterweight (20), he’s beaten names like Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, and Hector Lombard, and he hasn’t lost two fights in a row since 2013. He is loved by the company, which helps in deciding who will walk through the Hall of Fame doors.

His Achilles heel was his grappling defense. He’s made steady improvements, but it’s still not enough to overcome the challenge against division’s top submission specialists. There’s no shame in getting tapped by Shavkat Rakhmonov, Rafael dos Anjos, and Demian Maia, because they’re the cream of the crop when it comes to dangerous ground games. Gilbert Burns can also be added to that list.

Don’t let Burns’ heavy hands fool you, he’ll still go to what brought him to the dance when he needs to. Stephen Thompson was unable to make his offensive move against the Brazilian expert in jiu jitsu, and Magny is hard to see Magny doing any better. Even taking into account Magny’s trademark adaptability, there isn’t much he can do if Burns decides to impose his will on the mat.

There is too much at stake for Burns — who could fight Leon Edwards next if Edwards wins his rematch against Kamaru Usman — not to be a fool. He won’t.

Submission is required for all burns.

Pick: Burns

Lauren Murphy (6) vs. Jessica Andrade (2)

You can never count out Lauren Murphy, one of the toughest, grittiest, damn-near-impossible-to-finish fighters on the entire roster. That said, I think Jessica Andrade has the juice to end this one before the bell.

One problem with being known for your durability is that the compliment usually comes from people seeing you get hit, which is something Murphy is willing to do if it means landing her own shots. Andrade will not allow that. You have to assume that Murphy will fight with more caution than usual against “Bate Estaca,” but it won’t be easy for her to control the distance while still doing enough to actually win the fight.

Murphy will be welcomed to Andrade’s table and she will punish Andrade with her signature haymakers when Murphy does. Murphy will be able to keep Andrade, who is smaller, away from Murphy. Murphy’s team may have a strategy that could work.

This is a huge if you are dealing with an all time great finisher such as Andrade. I am picking him to win by knockout.

Pick: Andrade

Paul Craig (14) vs. Johnny Walker

Don’t let Paul Craig be the big winner of the evening.

Several pieces need to fall into place for Craig’s best case scenario to happen, but if they do, we could be seeing him challenge for UFC gold before the end of the year. First, he has to get past Johnny Walker, then Jamahal Hill has to knock off Glover Teixeira in the main event. Neither of those are small feats and Jiri Prochazka would have to remain out of the picture, but if all of that plays out then Craig would deserve to be Hill’s first challenger, having finished him in the first round just 19 months ago. Keep in mind, Craig is also the only man to defeat Magomed Ankalaev.

It’s possible. That’s all I have to say.

I like Walker to win, as the charismatic Brazilian is just too inconsistent. At his best, Walker still inspires hope that he could be a serious threat to the best in the division (he doesn’t turn 31 until March); at his worst, he’s a drag to watch and can frustrate fans as much as his opponents with his lack of output and puzzling strategic choices.

Walker is a great athlete with deficiencies in his takedown defense, so the first round will tell us a lot about how the fight plays out. An early Craig takedown should set the tone for the Scotsman to find success and a submission, but if Walker can stuff a few attempts, it changes the whole complexion of the matchup.

Trust Craig to make this decision and win.

Pick: Craig


Mauricio Rua def. Ihor Potieria

Gregory Rodrigues def. Brunno Ferreira

Thiago Moises def. Melquizael Costa

Gabriel Bonfim def. Mounir Lazzez

Jailton Almeida (13) def. Shamil Abdurakhmov

Luan Lacerda def. Cody Stamann

Terrance McKinney def. Ismael Bönfim

Warlley Alves def. Nicolas Dalby

Josiane Nunes def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos

Daniel Marcos def. Saimon Oliveira

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2023/1/21/23564112/ufc-283-predictions?rand=96749