UFC 283 Predictions: Expert Picks By MMA News Staff

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With the fight week for UFC 283: Teixeira vs. Hill now officially upon us, the MMA News prediction crew is here to share their expert picks!

The final pay-per-view of 2022 was designed to provide the world with a new UFC light heavyweight champion. However, the vacant title bout between former champion Jan Blachowicz and his opponent Magomed Ankalaev ended in a no-contest.

Picking up where things left off, the promotion will try again to crown a new king after former champion Jiří Procházka had to relinquish the title due to a shoulder injury. This time, the contenders will be Jamahal Hill and former champion Glover Teixeira.

Sticking with the theme of closure, flyweights Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will close the chapter of their epic rivalry when the two meet for the fourth time to finally settle the score.

Also on the main card will be ranked welterweight contenders Gilbert Burns (#5) and Neil Magny (#12). Plus, former UFC champion Jéssica Andrade will take on Lauren Murphy, and the main card kicks off with Paul Craig and Johnny Walker.

Staff Predictions For UFC 283: Teixeira vs. Hill

UFC 283 Main Card

  • Main Event– Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: #2 Glover Teixeira (33-8) vs. #7 Jamahal Hill (11-1)
  • Co-Main Event– Flyweight Championship Bout: (C) Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1) vs. (IC) Brandon Moreno (20-6-2)
  • Welterweight Bout: #5 Gilbert Burns (20-5) vs. #12 Neil Magny (27-9)
  • Women’s Flyweight Bout: #4 Lauren Murphy (16-5) vs. #6 Jessica Andrade (23-9)
  • Light Heavyweight Bout: #9 Paul Craig (16-5-1) vs. #12 Johnny Walker (19-7)

MMA News is the place to be for all the latest UFC 283 updates. Harvey Leonard, Andrew Starc, and Drew Beaupré, have provided their picks for you below.

Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker

Johnny Walker, Paul Craig
Johnny Walker, Paul Craig

Harvey Leonard: Style clashes don’t get much more intriguing than this, and it makes for a tricky fight to predict. Walker is an explosive and eccentric striker, and against Craig, who eats a lot of shots, it’s easy to see the Brazilian finding success on the feet. But the Scotsman is a difficult man to put away.

Be it through pulling guard or being dropped, Craig is always a threat on his back. In that sense, this bout may suit him, because I expect Walker to follow him down and leave submission openings should a grappling battle ensue. In most instances, I wouldn’t bargain on a finish from a disadvantageous position. But with Craig, and against an often-reckless opponent in Walker, it seems more than possible. (Prediction: Paul Craig)

Andrew Starc: Paul Craig’s six-fight unbeaten streak came to an end at UFC London in July with a loss to the out-of-form Volkan Oezdemir. Try as he did, the Scot just couldn’t get a hold of Oezdemir to sink in a submission, resorting to a bizarre strategy of continually falling to the mat in an effort to grab hold of a leg.

While that performance was a blip on his stellar recent record, we can of course still expect Craig to be a huge submission threat against Johnny Walker, who impressed with a first-round submission of Ion Cutelaba in September. It was a much-needed confidence boost for the Brazilian, who had lost four of his previous five, and I think it will translate into a TKO against Craig. (Prediction: Johnny Walker)

Drew Beaupré: This matchup is a unique one in that it could easily end in a wild finish or turn out as the most boring fight on the entire card.

It’s hard to picture either of these men challenging for the light heavyweight title, but Walker currently sits at #12 in the rankings while Craig is #9 and not far removed from a decent winning streak before his loss to Volkan Oezdemir last July. Walker has made an admirable effort to fill out some of the holes in his game after that wild three-fight run that started his UFC tenure, but unfortunately that seems to have robbed him of the traits that made him such an immediate hit with fans.

Given that Craig’s path to victory almost always lies on the mat and how much difficulty he had getting the fight there against Oezdemir, I’ll take Walker to get things done here. At this point “Bearjew” is probably the more likely of the two to score some sort of unexpected finish, but there’s a chance that Walker could land something big or simply avoid the ground engagements to earn a decision.
(Pick: Johnny Walker)

Consensus: 2-1 Walker

Lauren Murphy vs. Jéssica Andrade

Lauren Murphy, Jéssica Andrade

Harvey Leonard: Of all the bouts on the main card, this one represents the most obvious and visible skill gap between opponents. While Murphy has one obvious advantage — being a natural flyweight — Andrade is simply better in all realms.

The former strawweight champion already boasts emphatic flyweight victories over Chookagian and Calvillo, both of which appeared to show a flawless transition to the higher weight. Of course, Murphy can’t be counted out completely, and she certainly has the grit to turn this one into a fight. But ultimately, I expect the Brazilian to fare better in most exchanges and likely find a finish. (Prediction: Jéssica Andrade)

Andrew Starc: Humbled by flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko in 2021, Lauren Murphy bounced back with victory over Miesha Tate in July last year. She’s now won seven of her last eight, and at 39-years-old, Murphy will no doubt be motivated to make another and likely final run for the belt.

Andrade will be returning to flyweight after earning a submission win over Amanda Lemos in their strawweight bout in April. The Brazilian had previously earned a TKO win over Cynthia Calvillo and will be looking to get another shot at Shevchenko, who handed her a TKO loss in April last year. I think Andrade’s power and physicality will get her a TKO in this one. (Prediction: Jessica Andrade)

Drew Beaupré: It’s somewhat surprising to see Andrade return to flyweight after her performance against Lemos, especially considering staying at strawweight could earn her a chance at revenge against Weili Zhang. The Brazilian is currently ranked higher at strawweight than she is at flyweight, but a matchup with the #4-ranked Murphy could easily set either woman up for a rematch with Valentina Shevchenko.

Murphy put together a great winning streak to earn her shot at Shevchenko at UFC 266, and there’s no shame in having met the same fate against the champion as basically everyone in the division not named Talia Santos. That being said, I’d argue that Andrade’s last win against Lemos is more impressive than Murphy’s win over Miesha Tate, even if the former fight was contested at strawweight.

Murphy will obviously have a considerable size advantage and could make it a difficult fight given how tough she is, but I expect Andrade to get things done here. (Pick: Jessica Andrade)

Consensus: 3-0 Andrade

Gilbert Burns vs. Neil Magny

Gilbert Burns, Neil Magny
Gilbert Burns, Neil Magny

Harvey Leonard: While it’s not Masvidal, Burns will get his home country fight — and it may prove to be tougher than his desired matchup. The odds are currently wide in favor of “Durinho,” and although I expect him to have the edge over Magny, I don’t see it being comfortable. Not only is Magny well-rounded, but he also boasts a nine-inch reach advantage. While he perhaps doesn’t have the striking prowess of Usman and Chimaev, both of whom rocked Burns with jabs, it’s something he can use and showed improvements in against Rodriguez.

But “The Haitian Sensation” is an inconsistent performer, especially against those ranked highly. With that, while he’s a live underdog, I expect Burns to use his explosiveness to close distance and his power when inevitable chances to counter arise. He also has a grappling advantage that will put a finish firmly on the table — although having failed to submit Thompson, I can see another slow-paced and control-driven victory for “Durinho.” (Prediction: Gilbert Burns)

Andrew Starc: Despite losing to Khamzat Chimaev in April last year, Gilbert Burns was the first to give “Borz” a run for his money, proving that he’s still very much a threat for the title. Burns’ phenomenal ground game will be a key threat to Neil Magny, but the American showed in November that he can hold his own on the ground after submitting Daniel Rodriguez with a D’arce choke.

Burns’ heavy hands and indomitable will, as shown in the Chimaev fight, make him the better all-round fighter for me, and I think he’ll get it done via decision in this one. (Prediction: Gilbert Burns)

Drew Beaupré: This fight is an opportunity for Magny to take a considerable jump in the welterweight rankings, and it could potentially be his last chance to make a real push towards the top of the division.

“The Haitian Sensation” has always been a well-rounded and often times underrated fighter during his UFC career. He has wins against some of the better fighters in the division and is a tough out for basically anyone, but he’s struggled to sustain any serious momentum outside of a seven-fight winning streak that ended in 2015.

Burns came up short against Khamzat Chimaev in his last fight, but he was also the first man to make “Borz” look somewhat human, The Brazilian is 1-1 since challenging for the welterweight title in 2021, so if he wants to hang on to his #5-ranking then Magny is the type of opponent he absolutely has to beat.

Magny is definitely going to make Burns work for it, but this should be a matchup where “Durinho” gets back into the win column.
(Pick: Gilbert Burns)

Consensus: 3-0 Burns

Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno

Brandon Moreno Deiveson Figueiredo UFC staredown
Brandon Moreno, Deiveson Figueiredo

Harvey Leonard: For the fourth time, Figueiredo and Moreno will collide, and I’m not even close to being sick of this pairing. Whenever these two flyweights’ styles collide, it makes for guaranteed entertainment. So far, that’s manifested itself in all forms — a Fight of the Year candidate, a wild finish, and a technical five-round battle.

While the trilogy score may read 1-1-1, I feel that flatters Moreno slightly. Although their first fight resulted in a draw, that was down to a point deduction for the Brazilian. It’s perhaps a harsh conclusion to come to given the rematch result and competitive nature of the first and third bouts, but I think Figueiredo is the better fighter when at his best. In front of a home crowd on January 21, I expect the best “Deus Da Guerra.” (Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo)

Andrew Starc: This fourth encounter between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will take place almost exactly a year after the duo last met. Then, Figueiredo won by unanimous decision, but it was a close fight that could’ve gone Moreno’s way. 

While Figueiredo hasn’t fought since that encounter, Moreno has since racked up an impressive TKO win against Kai Kara-France to win the interim flyweight championship. I think it’s going to be another close one, but Moreno will get the decision win. (Prediction: Brandon Moreno)

Drew Beaupré: It feels strange to consider a fourth matchup between any pair of fighters as being the highlight of an event, but there’s a reason that very few fans argued when the UFC decided to book Figueiredo vs. Moreno once again.

Barring another draw, this should be the fight that finally tilts the rivalry in the favor of one man and allows the flyweight division to move on. Figueiredo theoretically has the momentum as the defending champion and the one that prevailed in the most recent fight, but Moreno also proved he’s capable of finishing the Brazilian in their second meeting.

This is the kind of fight where I’ll be happy to just sit back and see how things play out without being too heavily invested in either fighter. I’ll favor Figueiredo to defend the title and finally close the book on this fantastic series of fights, but he won’t have much time to rest with the line of flyweight contenders waiting in the wings.
(Pick: Deiveson Figueiredo)

Consensus: 3-0 Figueiredo

Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill

Glover Teixeira, Jamahal Hill

Harvey Leonard: Father Time is inevitable — unless your name is Glover Teixeira, apparently. If the Brazilian’s resurgence has taught us anything, it’s not to underestimate his durability, which has seen the former champ go close to seven years without being finished with strikes. At UFC 283, Hill will be counting on Teixeira’s longevity finally running out.

Whether that happens, though, is difficult to predict, especially given that Teixeira withstood everything that KO brute Jiří Procházka threw his way just seven months ago. With that, I’m not ready to count him out yet and back the fast finish that Hill is predicting. I expect Teixeira to force a spell on the ground at some point, and with Hill’s grappling largely untested aside from a rough submission loss to Craig, I lean towards a second reign for the hometown favorite. (Prediction: Glover Teixeira)

Andrew Starc: Glover Teixeira has the chance to regain the light heavyweight belt that he lost in the dying seconds of his fight with Jiří Procházka. That loss was his first in seven fights, and Teixeira’s phenomenal ground game will of course be the key threat posed to Jamahal Hill.

Hill has lost just once in his career and has knocked out his opponent in his last four wins. The question in this one is whether he can stifle the submission threat from Teixeira, and I think he will. I’m predicting a TKO win for Hill here. (Prediction: Jamahal Hill)

Drew Beaupré: The wild and weird saga of the light heavyweight title over the last few months means I won’t be the least bit surprised if this fight ends in a way where neither man becomes champion.

Teixeira went from being cast aside by the UFC following Jiří Procházka’s shoulder injury to being a beneficiary of how desperate the promotion is to put the light heavyweight title around somebody’s waist. Say what you will about the Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Błachowicz scorecards and aftermath, but there’s no doubt that Teixeira deserves a chance to regain the title after being seconds away from defending it at UFC 275.

Throwing Hill into the mix was a bit of a curveball from the UFC, but the 31-year-old is on a three-fight finishing streak and showed some longevity by stopping Thiago Santos in the fourth round of their fight in August. He’s also over ten years younger than Teixeira, and in this sport sometimes athleticism and youth are enough to overcome experience and technique.

If this matchup had been booked during Teixeira’s initial run to the light heavyweight title, he would have gotten absolutely battered for a round or two before hitting a takedown to set up a comeback victory. Even if it’s far from being a reliable strategy and Teixeira has only gotten older since that winning streak, I’ll pick him to whether the early storm one last time before ending things with a submission or ground and pound.
(Pick: Glover Teixeira)

Consensus: 2-1 Teixeira

That’ll do it for our UFC 283 staff picks! What do you think? Do your picks look similar? Let us know in the comments section! Also, you can check out the UFC 283 undercard below. And be sure to stick with MMA News for all the coverage leading up to UFC 283 as well as Fight Night and post-fight coverage!

Preliminary Card

  • Light Heavyweight Bout: Maurício Rua (27-13-1) vs. Ihor Potieria (18-3)
  • Middleweight Bout: Gregory Rodrigues (13-4) vs. Bruno Ferreira (9-0)
  • Lightweight Bout: Thiago Moisés (16-6) vs. Melquizael Costa (19-5)
  • Heavyweight Bout: #14 Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-7) vs. Jailton Almeida (17-2)
  • Welterweight Bout: Gabriel Bonfim (13-0) vs. Mounir Lazzez (11-2)

Early Preliminary Card

  • Bantamweight Bout: Luan Lacerda (12-1) vs. Cody Stamann (20-5-1)
  • Lightweight Bout: Ismael Bonfim (18-3) vs. Terrance McKinney (13-4)
  • Welterweight Bout: Warlley Alves (14-5) vs. Nicolas Dalby (20-4-1)
  • Women’s Featherweight Bout: #15 Josiane Nunes (9-1) vs. Zarah Fairn (6-4)
  • Bantamweight Bout: Saimon Oliveira (18-4) vs. Daniel Marcos (13-0)

Be sure to keep it locked right here on MMANews.com all fight week and throughout the event!

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