The weigh-ins for UFC 283 are officially in the books, and somewhat shockingly, we have all 15 fights holding up and all 30 fighters made weight for tomorrow night’s card in Rio de Janeiro.
We are going to dive right in with the quick picks and predictions for tomorrow night’s stacked lineup right now:
Daniel Marcos: Marcos is 13-0 with seven knockouts and is making his UFC debut after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. His opponent, Saimon Oliveira, is 18-4 and has never been stopped. Marcos showed an impressive pace and landed a solid 5.4/3.0 strike differential per minute in his DWCS win while also displaying solid takedown defense. I expect this one to be a pretty close fight that likely goes the distance and I’m giving the slight lean towards Marcos to earn the win. He’s 6-0 in decisions during his career, while Oliveira is 2-4 when doesn’t get a finish.
Josiane Nunes: Nunes is 9-1 with seven knockouts and has won eight straight fights heading into this weekend. She’s facing Zarah Fairn, who is 6-4 with four knockouts but hasn’t won a fight since 2017. She’s 0-2 thus far in her UFC career and was stopped in the first round both times. Nunes is the younger fighter by ten years and packs a ton of power. She’ll will be facing an opponent who has a terrible 1.98/6.61 strike per minute differential, meaning Fairn gets hit over three times for every strike she lands. Nunes has ridiculous striking volume to go with her power, landing 7.5 strikes per minute. Nunes should start landing her strikes early and often, and I expect her to win via KO/TKO sometime in the first two rounds.
Luan Lacerda: Lacerda is 12-1 with ten submission wins and will be making his UFC debut against UFC veteran Cody Stamann, who is 20-5-1 in his career. Lacerda has only one first round stoppage and is a fighter who gets better the longer the fight goes, racking up nine submissions in the latter rounds. Stamann is coming off a victory over Eddie Wineland, who retired after the fight, but he had lost his previous three fights before that win. This is a tight matchup in my opinion that could go either way. Stamann has the experience to get this one done, but I’m taking a sprinkle on Lacerda in an upset. If Stamann doesn’t get this fight finished early, I think Lacerda will be able to catch him in those latter rounds and get him out via sub.
Warlley Alves: Alves is 14-5 with ten stoppage wins in his career (four KO/TKO and six submissions) while also being stopped in three of his five losses. He’s facing Nicolas Dalby, who is 20-4-1, and has gone 3-1 with a No Contest during his second UFC stint. I expect this to be a pretty evenly matched fight, and to be honest, didn’t spend much time overthinking a coin flip. Both are pretty good strikers, but Alves will be six years younger and have the superior wrestling and grappling game if the fight goes that route. I expect this one to go the distance most likely and think Alves will pick up the close decision victory.
Terrance McKinney: McKinney is 13-4 in his career, and he has never once gone the distance in a fight, having a 100% stoppage rate on both sides of the win/loss column. He’s facing Israel Bonfim, who is 18-3 in his career and making his debut on this card. Bonfim has a 66% finish rate in his wins with eight knockouts and four submissions, and I would be stunned if this one ends up going the distance. McKinney pushes an absurd pace and is absolutely a kill or be killed type of fighter in the octagon. McKinney has eight submission wins and all three of Bonfim’s losses have been via the same method. That tells me all I need to know to pick McKinney to win this one inside the distance.
Jailton Almeida: Almeida is 17-2 with a 100% finish rate in his career and he will be facing Shamil Abdurakhimov tomorrow night at UFC 283. I wrote a WagerWire Fighter Spotlight article on Almeida for this week, and I absolutely think he steamrolls another UFC opponent in this fight. Abdurakhimov has been a high-level UFC heavyweight for years, but he’s lost each of his past three fights via knockout and has been stopped in five of seven losses overall. This is the third time the promotion has booked this fight, and Almeida will absolutely pick up another win here after he gets this fight on the ground and goes to work with his ground-and-pound and submissions. All 17 of Almeida’s wins have come inside the first two rounds of his fights and is ten years younger in this matchup.
Gabriel Bonfim: The second Bonfim brother making their debut in Brazil tomorrow night, Gabriel is a perfect 13-0 with a 100% stoppage rate, with ten of those wins via submission. He’ll be taking on Mounir Lazziz, who is 11-2 with eight knockouts. Lazzez has gone 2-1 in the UFC so far and is a very dangerous striker who has earned his nickname as “The Sniper”. However, he has faced fighters who are largely also fellow strikers so far during his UFC run. It will be interesting to see how he holds up against a very dangerous grappler in Bonfim. Despite it being his UFC debut, I think Bonfim will be able to do enough here to likely pick up the victory by either submission or decision.
Thiago Moises: Moises is 16-6 with ten stoppages and has been stopped in two of his six losses. He’ll be facing 19-5 Melquizael Costa, who will be making his debut on extremely short notice. Costa has won seven of his last eight fights and has 13 stoppage victories. However, Moises will have the advantage of being on a full training camp, not mention his experience advantage on the highest level. I think Costa could make things interesting in this one and plan to avoid betting on it, but I think Moises will be able to squeeze this one out via decision or a late stoppage.
Gregory Rodrigues: The UFC is officially giving us Robocop vs Hulk this weekend in Brazil when Rodrigues takes on UFC newcomer Brunno Ferreira. If you couldn’t tell by their nicknames, this fight should be an absolute banger. Rodrigues is coming off an eye-opening comeback victory over Chidi Njokuani in his last fight and has he stopped 11 of his 13 wins. Ferreira is stepping into this one on extremely short notice to make his UFC debut, but he is equally as impressive (if not better) as a finisher than Robocop, as he boasts a 100% stoppage rate on his 9-0 record. Rodrigues has 5″ height and 3″ reach advantages in this one, and mixed with a full camp to prepare, I think he will be able to get this one done via knockout sometime in the first two rounds.
Mauricio Rua: Regardless of the outcome, this will be “Shogun” Rua’s final fight in his legendary MMA career. He has accumulated a 27-13-1 record with 22 of those wins via stoppage and 21 coming via KO/TKO. He will be facing Ihor Potieira, who is 18-3 and coming off a brutal knockout loss in his UFC debut. Potieira is a very powerful striker and has 14 stoppages of his own. However, he also has a very padded record pre-UFC. I definitely expect this one to end inside the distance and despite being on his way out the door in his career, I think Rua has a great chance to put away Potieira via knockout.
Johnny Walker: Walker is 19-7 in his career with 18 of those wins coming via stoppage (15 KO/TKO and 3 submissions). He’ll be facing Paul Craig, who is 16-5-1 with a 100% stoppage rate and 13 submissions. Craig just went the distance for the first time in his career in his last fight (it wasn’t pretty) and has been stopped in four of his five losses. This should be an extremely fun fight and I definitely expect someone to get finished in this one. Craig is extremely dangerous on the ground, but he is not good at all when it comes to getting it down there. I think Walker can absolutely win this one via KO/TKO as long as he stays smart and avoids following any power shots he lands down onto the ground. Walker will also have 3″ height and 6″ reach advantages here.
Jessica Andrade: Andrade is 23-9 and is one of the most experienced fighters in women’s MMA, having faced a gauntlet of current and former champions during her career across multiple divisions. She’ll be taking on Lauren Murphy, who is 16-5 and only two fights removed from a title shot of her own. Both of these women are perfectly fine standing and banging in the octagon, and that’s exactly what I expect to happen here. Andrade will constantly put pressure on Murphy in this fight and will rack up damage and takedowns if they’re needed. While I definitely wouldn’t rule out a late stoppage here, I think Andrade picks up the comfortable decision win in this matchup.
Gilbert Burns: Burns is 20-5 with 14 stoppages and coming off one of the most exciting fights of 2022, losing a close decision to Khamzat Chimaev. He’ll be taking on Neil Magny, who is 27-9 and has been known as a decision machine in his victories in the UFC. However, he has also been stopped in seven of his nine losses, with five of those coming via submission, including one in his most recent fight. Burns absolutely pushed Chimaev to his limits in his last fight and is easily one of the best fighters in the welterweight division. Magny is always live to win a fight, but I think Burns elite grappling and jiu jitsu will be too much for Magny to overcome in this fight. I think Burns gets this one done via submission or knockout and resolidifies himself in the division title conversation.
Brandon Moreno: It’s extremely rare in MMA for two fighters to face off four separate times during their careers, but that’s exactly what we will witness this weekend when Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo face off for the UFC Flyweight Championship. Moreno enters with a 20-6-2 record and is the interim champion of the division after an impressive win over Kai Kara-France last summer. Figueredo, who is 21-2-1 in his career, hasn’t fought since regaining his UFC title from Moreno early last year. In fact, this will be Figgy’s fourth consecutive fight against Moreno. Figueredo has talked openly this week about moving up to the bantamweight division, which isn’t an ideal mindset heading into a fight with an opponent who has pushed him to a perfect 1-1-1 split so far in their series. I think Moreno will be able to get this one done in the latter rounds or on the judges’ scorecards and leave Rio as the undisputed Flyweight champ.
Jamahal Hill: Hill is 11-1 with seven knockouts and his only loss came via an unfortunate arm injury TKO that was the result of a Paul Craig submission attempt. He’s getting the biggest opportunity of his career this weekend when he takes on 33-8 Glover Texeira for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight title. Texeira has 28 stoppage victories in his legendary MMA career and will be attempting to regain the championship he lost to Jiri Prochazka in his most recent fight. He will likely be the more well-rounded fighter here, but that’s extremely hard to trust when Hill will be 12 years younger in this matchup than the 43-year-old Texeira. I think Hill will be able to keep this fight standing and land some power shots that Texeira’s chin eventually won’t be able to handle. I expect Hill to get this one done via knockout in one of the first three rounds; however, if it does go past that point, keep this in mind: Texeira is only 8-6 after the second round and was just submitted :30 seconds away from retaining his championship while Hill is 5-0 going past ten minutes.
My favorite picks of this card are Jailton Almeida, Jamahal Hill, Josiane Nunes, and Brandon Moreno. Check back tomorrow for our final betting card for this weekend and keep an eye out for my UFC 283 Best Bets, which are powered by WagerWire.
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