For the first time in nearly three years, the UFC is back in Brazil!
This weekend in Rio de Janeiro, the UFC returns with its first pay-per-view event of 2023, UFC 283, headlined by a vacant light heavyweight title between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill, with flyweight tetralogy between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno in the co-main event. On top of that, there are 13 other fights on the card, featuring 15 Brazilians, which means things are lining up to be a great time on Saturday. So without further ado, let’s get into the bets.
As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Brandon Moreno, -125
I felt good about this bet before fight week, and as this fight has gotten closer, I am only feeling better about it. Here are the facts:
Moreno and Figueiredo have fought three times before. The first one, Figueiredo got the better of him, but a foul resulted in a draw. In the rematch, Moreno took Figgy to school. Then in the third one, Figueiredo made some adjustments and edged out a victory he maybe didn’t deserve upon the rewatch. That’s to be commended, but it’s tough to envision Figueiredo, at 35, pulling out any more new wrinkles for this one. Moreno can match Figgy anywhere the fight goes, and now, Figgy is one year older, one year slower, and has shown him the full arsenal. Add to that Moreno has got some space from the rivalry to regroup with the Kai Kara-France win, and that Figueiredo appears to be on Death’s doorstep two days before he even has to make weight, and I love Moreno’s chances to reclaim the undisputed flyweight title.
Mauricio Rua, +175
Call me a homer, and you might not be wrong, but I don’t care. This is the final ride of Shogun, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to be cheering for the happy ending. In a perfect world, he turns back the clock to 2005 and delivers a vintage knockout to ride off into the sunset on. But honestly, any way he gets the win is alright by me.
If you need more reason to back Shogun this weekend, just give this a listen.
Glover Teixeira by Submission, +250
I wrote a deeper breakdown on this fight that you can read here, so I won’t get into much detail beyond saying that this is a great fight for Teixeira. Hill is not a great defensive wrestler, and he’s not the kind of hyper-athlete that has given Teixeira problems before. This should be a classic Glover smothering.
Andrade is one of the best finishers in all of women’s MMA, but against Murphy, she’s facing someone tougher than a $2 steak. Murphy has only been finished once in her career, and that was by Valentina Shevchenko in the fourth round of their title fight. Andrade probably wins, but she’s going to have to work for it.
Lauren Murphy by Decision, +650
Speaking of Andrade probably winning, that is no guarantee. Andrade is the more athletic, dynamic, and skilled fighter to be sure. But Murphy is an absolute unit, and that kind of fighter has given Andrade problems in the past. Almost every one of Andrade’s losses have come from fighters who can match her physicality, be it her run at bantamweight or Weili Zhang, and Murphy is one of those kinds of fighters. Andrade is going to be faster and hit harder, but Murphy is going to be there every step of the way, and at these odds, I’m taking a flier on her to pull of a major upset.
Neil Magny by Decision, +600
In that same vein, I’m also backing Neil Magny over Gilbert Burns. Again, Burns is the better fighter, more dynamic, more powerful and athletic, and more skilled to boot. But the physical disparity in this fight is enormous, with Magny 5 inches taller and owning a 9-inch reach advantage. That’s a lot of ground to make up on the feet, and though Burns is a tremendous grappler, he’s not the best wrestler. There is a world where much of this fight takes place in the clinch, a place where Magny is sneaky good, particular with his length advantage there. Picking straight up, I favor Burns, but Magny can make this a fight and these are big, big odds.
On an additional note, while I don’t condone parlaying underdogs (because it’s dumb), if you were looking for an additional Long Shot bet, parlay Magny by decision and Murphy by decision pays out at a whopping +5150.
Parlay of the Week
This parlay was a simple one: I took the biggest Brazilian favorites on the card that I don’t already have a bet down on (or against) and tied them all together.
Gregory Rodrigues, -300
Probably my least confident leg of the parlay, not because Rodrigues is bad, but because the man prioritizes entertainment over fight IQ. Still, “Robocop” has proven to be extremely dangerous and extremely durable, and he should get Brunno Ferreira out of there.
Thiago Moises, -380
One of the more peculiar lines on the card. Moises is a legitimately great lightweight who has only ever lost to top-tier competition. Meanwhile, Melquizael Costa is coming in on short notice and lost just eight months ago in LFA. Moises should roll.
Jailton Almeida, -975
The word is out on Almeida. We aren’t likely to get anymore -500 lines with one of the most exciting rising stars in the sport, even for a step up in competition like Shamil Abdurakhimov. Still, the man is going to do what he always does: win in dominant fashion.
Josiane Nunes, -540
Nunes is one of the only women’s bantamweight prospects to have emerged in recent years (even though this is a featherweight fight) and while she’s not great, she is good, and she does hit hard. That’s more than can be said for Zarah Fairn, who is simply not a UFC-caliber fighter.
The ‘Uh Vai Morrer” Parlay pays out at +120 odds.
Long Shot of the Week
As stated above, I think Brandon Moreno is about to have the best performance of his career and put this rivalry with Deiveson Figueiredo to bed, once and for all. I’m not entirely sure how he does it, with a knockout or a submission, but what I am sure about is that he does it in the fourth round. After all, Moreno himself said he envisions a fourth-round finish, and who am I to call the man a liar?
Brandon Moreno to win in Round 4, +2200
Not the best start to 2023 as we finished slightly down last week due to our Long Shot not even coming close to hitting. But I feel pretty good about this Saturday, so let’s get back on track.
Let me know what y’all are betting in the comments. Good luck, and gamble responsibly!
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