UFC 283 takes place tomorrow night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill
Despite being 43-years-old, Teixeira has proven to be a serious force in the twilight years of his career, going on a six-fight unbeaten streak that culminated in winning the title back in 2021, before losing it to Jiri Prochazka in the last 30 seconds a fight he appeared to be winning.
Now he gets another chance to seize the title after Prochazka subsequently vacated the belt after suffering a serious injury and an initial fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev failed to produce a winner.
Now Teixeira fights the in-form Hill, with is 12 years younger than him and is coming off three wins in a row via strikes. So Hill’s striking credentials are well established at this stage, and with a 2″ height and 3″ reach advantage here he’ll be able to make the most of his long limbs to land his fast, hard-hitting punches on the outside, while also threatening with elbows at closer range.
Teixeira also has big finishing power on the feet, but as he got older it became clear that he was starting to slow down and not be quite as durable as in his younger years, so he wisely switched to make full use of his other aspects of his skill-set, with very good wrestling and submission ability having paved the way for his late career resurgence.
That didn’t quite work out for him last time out when his instinct to take the fight to the mat late in the fight led to a lapse in concentration that would see him caught in a fight-ending submission.
I don’t see that being the case here though as while Hill will provide a big finishing threat any time the fight is on the feet, he doesn’t have much to offer on the mat, and with his questionable takedown defense I’d expect Teixeira to exploit that sooner rather than later, which could lead to a first round submission finish, though I’ll take him to do lock it up in the second.
Pick: Glover Teixeira wins by submission in Rd2.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno
Figueiredo and Moreno’s epic saga continues into a fourth fight on Saturday night after their initial meeting ended in a majority draw, followed by a submission win for Moreno and then a decision win for Figueiredo that leaves him holding the belt, for now at least.
So this continues to remain an extremely finely balanced match-up that’s still intriguing for fans, even if the two fighters themselves are sick of the sight of each other.
It’s always been acknowledged that Figueiredo is the harder hitter of the two, and indeed in their last fight he did drop Moreno on several occasions. However, Moreno is incredibly tough and tends to bounce back up as if nothing happened, and he’s troubled Figueiredo too at times over their previous trio of fights with his well-versed boxing ability and endless energy.
Figueiredo is also the better kicker too and will look to trouble Moreno with his hard low kicks. However, Moreno showed off his own kicking game in his last fight for the interim belt against Kai Kara-France, stopping him with a well placed body kick.
it was nice to see that extra wrinkle to his game, but in fairness Kara-France had given Moreno a challenging fight up to that point that no doubt left him breathing a sigh of relief when he finally did get that finish, and that might give Figueiredo some added confidence. On the other hand, the Brazilian sat out for the whole of last year and is now 35-years-old, so there’s always going to be some doubt as to whether he’ll still be able to maintain the insane pace that there previous fights have been fought at.
Nevertheless, overall I’m leaning towards Figueiredo here. His power advantage is a big factor and can help turn otherwise close rounds in his favor with a single punch. Meanwhile, Moreno has had to deal with serious disruption midway earlier in his camp when his coach James Krause was suspended from the sport amidst an investigation into an alleged betting scandal. A strong gameplan is an important element for Moreno here, so that’s a real problem, and together with the fact that he’s having to go into the lions den by fighting the champ in his native Brazil, it does feel like the fight is leaning more towards Figueiredo here and I think he’ll emerge with another hard fought decision victory.
Pick: Deiveson Figueiredo wins by decision.
Gilbert Burns vs. Neil Magny
Burns didn’t get a win last time out, but did give Khamzat Chimaev his toughest test to date and now goes up against Magny, who is coming off a submission victory over Daniel Rodriguez.
Magny is a jack-of-all-trades style of fighter who is often able to exploit weaker aspects of his opponent’s game to emerge victorious, but that will be easier said than done against the talented, well-rounded Burns.
Magny does have a major size advantage to work with, being 5″ taller with a massive 8″ in reach over Burns, so he’ll be looking to employ his long, straight strikes from a safe distance in order to keep the former lightweight at bay.
However, Burns is a tough, hard-headed competitor and with Magny not having much in the way of power to deter him I think he’ll continually pressure him as looks to get into range, while also having solid low kicks at his disposal too against the taller man.
Once in striking range Burns will be able to land the heavier strikes of the two, but more significantly he’s also a very skilled grappler, and with Magny having been susceptible to submissions in the past I see the shorter, stockier Burns bringing him down and delivering a tapout by the second round.
Pick: Gilbert Burns wins by submission in Rd2.
Lauren Murphy vs. Jessica Andrade
After claiming the biggest win of her career over former 135lb titleholder Miesha Tate last time out, flyweight contender Murphy now goes up against a former strawweight champ in Andrade, who has produced back-to-back wins over Cynthia Calvillo and Amanda Lemos.
At 39-years-old, the win over Tate showed that Murphy is still a tough, experienced veteran with solid power, though admittedly her opponent looked a shadow of her former self in her first ever fight at flyweight not long after a five-year layoff.
In this fight Murphy will be hoping to utilize the fact that she’s much bigger than the short, stocky Andrade, holding a 4″ height and 6″ reach advantage.
However, Andrade has never let her stature stop her as she’s a physically strong powerhouse who throws everything into her punches, lands bone-crunching takedowns and mauls her opponents when she gets on top, all while appearing to have unbreakable cardio despite her exertions.
As such it tends to only be the elite of the division’s she competes in that are able to pick her apart, and I think it’ll prove to be a bad match-up for Murphy as Andrade pushes the pace from start to finish to earn a decision victory.
Prediction: Jessica Andrade to win by decision.
Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker
Craig’s unexpected six-fight winning streak came to an end last time out with a disappointing performance in a decision loss against Volkan Oezdemir and now he faces Walker, who has just shake off a poor room of just one win from five fights by securing a submission finish against Ion Cutelaba.
Everyone knows that Craig wants to manufacture an opportunity to get the fight to the floor where he can then go for his deadly tried-and-tested triangle choke, yet time and time again he’s still been able to successfully do just that. However, Craig’s lack of solid wrestling takedowns is a major weakness, and Oezdemir showed last time out how steering clear of his repeated attempts to bundle his way into trip takedowns and not taking the bait when he tries to lure his opponent to follow him to the floor can pave the way to schooling him in the striking exchanges.
Left to his own devices, Walker is the type of all-out aggressive, dangerous but very reckless striker who could well fall into that trap. However, since moving to the SBG camp in Ireland they’ve attempted to make him a more methodical, risk-adverse striker who picks his moments to strike and leaves himself less exposed defensively.
It’s not been a smooth transition though and Walker has often looked uncomfortable and unsure of himself in his new role, though as time goes on he’s finding more of a balance between his former self and present day version.
I still think Walker’s poor fight IQ will still be a worry here, but at the same time he does have a 2.5″ height and 6″ reach advantage, as well as being the faster, quicker footed fighter to keep a safe distance from Craig.
Still, Walker doesn’t feel like the kind of fighter that makes the smartest decisions in the Octagon and that could be a problem here as any mistake could present Craig the opportunity he needs to pounce on a submission finish. Nevertheless, as the superior striker with a 2.5″ height and 6″ reach advantage, together with being the more athletic, fleet of foot fighter, I think the Brazilian can find success keeping Craig at range in the early rounds and then find a finish in the third via TKO.
Pick: Johnny Walker wins by TKO in Rd3.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Mauricio Rua vs. Ihor Potieria
Warlley Alves vs. Nicolas Dalby
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Jailton Almeida
Josiane Nunes vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos
Thiago Moises vs. Melki Costa
Ismael Bonfim vs. Terrance McKinney
Gabriel Bonfim vs. Mounir Lazzez
Gregory Rodrigues vs. Brunno Ferreira