UFC 283 is a stacked card with lots of exciting fights. I’ll have a couple of bets on the event, but nothing major.
Check out my MMA predictions for the main card of UFC 283.
Warlley Alves vs. Nicolas Dalby
Warlley Alves has some good tools in his arsenal, yet is renowned for turning out inconsistent performances.
He can fight measured and composed when he wants to, but he often empties his gas tank in the first round and collapses when he can’t find the finish.
At 32-years-of-age, it’s not too late to put together a string of wins – but he needs to get his head straight before entering the octagon this weekend.
I think this is a good opportunity for him to rise to the occasion against an aging veteran in front of his home fans.
Nicolas Dalby has had plenty of success against European level opponents, but has struggled against stiffer competition.
The Dane’s cardio, output and tenacity are all positive traits – but I don’t think his striking game is particularly deep and he looked extremely hittable in his penultimate fight against Tim Means.
Dalby has been in a lot of wars and it would seem reasonable to conclude that he’s on the downswing of his career at 38-years-of-age.
I’d like to see Alves throw clean straight punches, low kicks and grind Dalby up against the fence. Takedowns may be there for the Brazilian as well, he just needs to avoid blowing his gas tank in order to get them.
I think Warlley Alves was worth a bet at plus money, but I’d pass now that he’s -125.
Gabriel Bonfim vs. Mounir Lazzez
I enjoyed watching tape on Gabriel Bonfim, he’s never in a boring fight.
The Brazilian has fast hands, a stiff jab and throws well in combination. I also like his feints and pull counters – although his defensive awareness leaves much to be desired.
Bonfim has a good ground game to complement his boxing, although I’m not sure whether we’ll see it on display against Mounir Lazzez – who has strong takedown defense.
While both men have the same amount of fights, Lazzez is ten years older and has fought the much better quality of opposition.
The Tunisian possesses a reach advantage and does a good job of picking opponents apart from the outside. I like his dynamic striking arsenal and intelligent shot selection.
Lazzez may have to weather an early storm, but has no problem with cardio and will continue to produce output for all fifteen minutes.
I think there is a bit of value on Mounir Lazzez at +150, I’d personally line this closer to a pick ‘em.
Johnny Walker vs. Paul Craig
Johnny Walker was once renowned for his explosive power and unorthodox attacks, but new coach John Kavannagh has reigned in most of the craziness.
He did a lot of feinting and running away against Thiago Santos and was brutally knocked unconscious against Jamahal Hill. Both fights were horrible looks.
That said, a conservative striking approach is exactly what’s required against the continually underrated Paul Craig.
The Scotsman is hittable on the feet, lacks offensive wrestling and isn’t a particularly good grappler when he’s the one on top. However, his ability to drag opponents into his guard and submit them off his back is paranormal.
We’ve seen opponents beat Craig from pillar to post only to make one mistake and then tap the canvas.
Walker is prone to the occasional lapse in concentration, but it doesn’t take a genius to come up with a game plan to win this fight. I think he can stay on his bike, land the more eye-catching shots and deny the takedown.
If the fighters do get entangled, Walker has a brown belt in BJJ and he might be able to handle himself inside of Craig’s guard. It may turn out that Walker is actually the much better MMA grappler of the two, but I’m not completely sure based on the footage.
I wouldn’t bet Johnny Walker at -210, but he should get the job done.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno
I liked the adjustments from Deiveson Figueiredo to take the belt from Brandon Moreno in the third fight. He trained at Fight Ready, showed up in the shape of his life and won the contest with low kicks and heavy counters.
However, he doesn’t have the same team around him for this camp and it appears he has a significant cut to make the flyweight limit.
Figueiredo is getting long in the tooth for a lighter fighter. We saw him look like crap in the second fight and I have no idea whether we’ll see the best or the worst version of him this weekend.
I’d like to see Moreno fight out of a narrower stance (as he did against Kai Kara-France) in order to deal with the low kicks. This wouldn’t be ideal for defending takedowns, but I think Moreno is such an experienced grappler that he can scramble his way out of bad positions anyway.
Figueiredo is a huge puncher, but Moreno is the vastly superior technical boxer and I expect him to win minutes so long as his lead leg stays intact.
I also think Moreno can mix in some takedowns to put an exclamation point on rounds – although he may struggle to keep Figueiredo down when he’s fresh.
At pick ‘em odds, I have to side with Brandon Moreno to reclaim his belt.
Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill
At 43-years-of-age, it’s amazing to see Glover Teixeira still compete at the top of the light heavyweight division.
His reaction times are gone and he’s looking more hittable than ever, but he’s still one of the best MMA grapplers we’ve seen at the heavier weight classes and this represents his path to victory this weekend.
The Brazilian has good double and single leg takedowns (I suspect he will be looking for the single leg against Jamahal Hill, who stands southpaw and fights out of a wide stance). On the mat, he applies heavy top pressure and is great at methodically advancing positions.
Hill is the far more technical striker and I think he will have success going to the body against the aging veteran to deter the reactive shot.
We’ve seen Hill get taken down on numerous occasions, but he’s fast to get back to his feet (against the fence at least).
I think Teixeira needs a takedown in open space or a back take in order to keep Hill down – and I can’t confidently predict if that is going to happen. Hill has a blue belt in BJJ (which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence), but we haven’t really seen him in prolonged grappling exchanges on the mat outside of the Paul Craig fight.
I’ll pick Jamahal Hill with a gun to my head, but this is not a fight I want to bet any money on.