The UFC is already hard at work putting together a stacked card for their return to Brazil for the first time since 2019 as they host UFC 283 from Rio de Janeiro on January 23, 2003.
According to MMA Junkie, it’ll be the promotion’s 11th trip to Rio in particular and their 38th overall trip to Brazil.
As of now, only a handful of fights have been announced for the card with Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno IV for the UFC Flyweight title currently scheduled to headline the event.
There are only six fights that have been announced so far for the event, so there is plenty of room for the UFC to load this card like they have with many of their other recent PPV lineups such as UFC 280 and UFC 281.
With over 80 Brazilian fighters on the UFC roster, there are endless options for the matchmakers to consider as they add more fights to this event, including some pretty big names who are currently looking for their next fights.
Here are some early thoughts and notes that I have when it comes to UFC 283, as well as some of the other names that the UFC could consider adding to the lineup:
It’s pretty uncommon in the world of MMA for two fighters to face each other three times during their careers for a trilogy. For two fighters to go against each other a fourth time is almost unheard of in any combat sport. Yet here we are with Moreno and Figgy, as they will hopefully bring some closure to this rivalry that has so far seen a perfect 1-1-1 split through the first three fights. It’s way too early to project a winner here, but this should be an absolute banger with both fighters wanting to put this rivalry in the rearview for good and walk away with the UFC Flyweight title.
Walker vs Craig definitely has potential to be an entertaining fight in the light heavyweight division, as are most fights involving Johnny Walker in the UFC. However, it could also swing the other way and be a potential snoozer, as sometimes happens in Paul Craig fights. If Craig chooses to match the presumed intensity that Walker will be bringing to this fight in front of his home fans in Brazil, then this should definitely have a good chance of seeing a finish from one of these two.
One name to definitely keep an eye on when it comes to future additions for this card: UFC Women’s double champ Amanda Nunes. Fresh off regaining her UFC women’s bantamweight title, Nunes would certainly be one of the biggest names the UFC could add to this event. One potential interesting name to watch as an upcoming challenger for Nunes’ title at 135 pounds: Ketlin Vieira. Both fighters represent Brazil when they fight, so there might not be a better event to host the fight. Vieira might actually be the more popular fighter locally since Nunes has spent a large majority of her time in the US during recent years. This is definitely one of the most interesting potential matchups the UFC could add for UFC 283.
Another wild card to keep an eye on for UFC’s Brazilian return: the King of Rio himself, Jose Aldo. Although there were multiple reports out recently suggesting that Aldo was stepping away from mixed martial arts and retiring from the UFC, it’s almost impossible to imagine Aldo isn’t itching to be a part of the UFC’s return to Brazil. Aldo still has one fight remaining on his UFC contract, so fighting out his deal here in Rio would allow him to explore other options if that were the route he would like to take.
Taila Santos is coming off a disappointing loss to Valentina Shevchenko in her last fight, and although a rematch for the 125 lb championship might not be in the cards just yet, it’s certainly possible Santos could look to punctuate her claim on another shot at the belt here. Santos is another highly ranked fighter that would fit in nicely on the main card here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a women’s strawweight title eliminator booked for UFC 283.
There are plenty of other ranked Brazilian fighters that the UFC matchmakers could consider using to fill spots on the main card or featured prelims including Edson Barboza, Andre Muniz, Michel Pereira, Jessica Andrade, and others.
The UFC also has plenty of young Brazilian talent they could look to the event, including several fighters they signed from DWCS this season. One of the Bonfim brothers is already on the card, so don’t be surprised if both end up fighting at the event.
This doesn’t even begin to cover the wealth of talent the UFC currently has from other regions and countries in South America who could potentially end up being added to the card.
Which fighters do you hope the UFC matchmakers add as they continue to fill out the card for UFC 283 in Rio? Let us know in the comments section below.
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