The UFC returns to Brazil for the first time since the first event without a crowd pre-Covid, for a double-title fight card at UFC 283.
In the main event is the short-notice light heavyweight title fight between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill, after the UFC 282 main event between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended in a draw.
The co-main event will see Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno compete in a fourth bout against each other for the flyweight title, having gone 1-1-1 in their previous trilogy.
Last time out at UFC Vegas 67 we had a great night, going 9/11 with two perfect picks moving us to 813/1262 (64.42%) with 333 perfect picks (40.96%). You can see our full pick history here.
We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims fights.
Saimon Oliveira (18-4) vs Daniel Marcos (13-0) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)
An absolute banger to open up the card in Brazil in the bantamweight division. Oliveira comes into this one on a run of five wins in his last six, but he was beaten by Tony Gravely in his UFC debut at UFC 270 last time out. Marcos comes into this as an undefeated fighter and makes his organisation debut.
Both of these fighters are very talented Muay Thai guys, with great power and technical proficiency in their wheelhouse. Oliveira is the far more experienced fighter of the two though, and he has fought much higher level of competition also. Marcos has previously shown some cardio issues, and with Oliveira’s excellent submission game that could be a problem for him in the latter rounds.
I expect both guys to stand in the middle and trade for the most part, but when things get sticky and close, Oliveira has the ability to wrestle to a higher level and snatch rounds. Expect violence and a really fun 15 minutes, but Oliveira to come out on top in the end.
PICK – Saimon Oliveira via Decision
Josiane Nunes (9-1) vs Zarah Fairn (6-4) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
Women’s featherweight scrap up next. Nunes is on an eight-fight win streak, with her only defeat coming to Taila Santos back in her second pro fight in 2013. She claimed a big win over Ramona Pascual last time out. Fairn on the other hand has had a tough time in the UFC so far, getting stopped in the first round in both bouts against Megan Anderson and Felicia Spencer. This is her first fight in almost three years.
Nunes isn’t the most exciting or technical fighter in the world, with a big overhand left her biggest weapon. Fair is absolutely huge for a female fighter, but she lacks any real skills despite her okay boxing showings outside of the UFC. She has a huge size advantage here, but she will have to show a level of discipline and skill we haven’t seen before to win.
“Josi” is likely to step forward quickly to get into range and let off a barrage of strikes, with at least one of those likely to land clean. If it does then I expect Fairn will wilt and Nunes can get her out of there.
PICK – Josiane Nunes via Knockout, Round 1
Warlley Alves (15-5) vs Nicolas Dalby (20-4-1) – (Welterweight/170lbs)
Absolute banger in the welterweight division next. Alves is 3-3 in his last six, with a KO loss to Jeremiah Wells in his last outing in June 2021. Dalby on the other hand has lost just one of his last nine, to Tim Means on that same card. He claimed a win more recently though at UFC London, defeating Claudio Silva via unanimous decision.
Alves is a super aggressive fighter who wants to get the fight to the ground and work his phenomenal jiu-jitsu skills, which have earned him six submission wins including over Colby Covington. Dalby is a tidy kickboxer, but he has a tendency to let himself down with volume and a lack of urgency. It’s a real chalk and cheese fight, but Alves has got some nasty kicks to work from the outside too.
Dalby will likely take over as the fight goes on which gives him a greater chance of winning, but Alves is definitely the greater finishing threat. Neither fighter convinces me totally, but I’ll go with the safer pick of Alves getting it done in front of his home crowd.
PICK – Warlley Alves via Submission, Round 2
Ismael Bonfim (18-3) vs Terrance McKinney (13-4) – (Lightweight/155lbs)
A hugely entertaining fight in the lightweight division up next. Bonfim is on a 12-fight win streak with decisions in each of his last three, including Nariman Abbasov by decision on the Contender Series last time out. McKinney is 2-1 in the UFC with a 7-second KO over Matt Frevola before a defeat to Drew Dober. He earned a submission win over Erick Gonzalez last time out.
Bonfim is a fine striker with great power in his hands, but he has a horrible tendency to step backwards and find himself against the cage. That’s a nightmare against McKinney, who is a murderous puncher with great range and excellent wrestling skills. Technically Bonfim is excellent and his counter punching is fire, but it’s a big risk to take against someone like McKinney.
“T. Wrecks” is a genuine threat wherever this fight goes and with his experience in the UFC plus the size advantage he possesses, I’m going with him to get the win here.
PICK – Terrance McKinney via Knockout, Round 1
Luan Lacerda (12-1) vs Cody Stamann (20-5-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)
A fun bantamweight bout up next closes this section of the card off. Lacera makes his UFC debut on a ten-fight win streak, defeating Marcirley Silva last time out in the LFA. Stamann snapped a three-fight losing streak last time out, KO’ing Eddie Wineland in just 59 seconds back in June in his last outing.
Lacerda is a fantastic jiu-jitsu practitioner, who will struggle to get this fight to the ground with poor wrestling and even poorer striking. Stamann is a stud of a wrestler with good submission defence, but also has some underrated striking on the feet with good power. He will want to stick away from his usual wrestling base and keep striking as much as he can.
If the fight does go to the ground then Stamann will pray he’s on top, but he will still have to be incredibly alert of the submissions coming back his way. The reality is that Stamann has fought at a far higher level than Lacerda for their whole career, and he should be able to lean on that experience to win again here.
PICK – Cody Stamann via Decision