This article is part of our UFC Picks series.
The UFC holds its first pay-per-view of 2023 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, January 21 with two titles on the line, including the vacant light heavyweight title between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill.
Below I'll share my favorite play, an underdog, a prop and a two-fighter parlay. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Glover Teixeira (33-8) vs. Jamahal Hill (11-1)
In the main event, I like Jamahal Hill to become the UFC's new Light Heavyweight Champion.
This fight really comes down to if Hill can keep this standing or not, as he is the better striker and has legitimate one-punch KO power. Teixeira, meanwhile, will likely try and wrestle early and often, but he has just a 37 percent takedown success rate, so I do expect Hill to be able to keep it standing.
Although Teixeira has been known to have a great chin, I think his age will catch up to him. He took a ton of damage in the Jiri Prochazka fight, which is a concern for me. Hill will be too fast on the feet for Teixeira and likely get a KO in the second or third round to become the new champ.
UFC 283 Best Bet: Jamahal Hill (-130)
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Shogun Rua (27-13-1) vs. Ihor Potieria (18-3)
For my underdog pick, I'm taking Shogun Rua to get his hand raised in his retirement fight at home in Brazil.
Rua suffered a narrow loss to Ovince Saint Preux last time out in what many considered to be a very controversial split decision. Although he has lost two in a row and his chin is a concern, I do think this is a great matchup for Rua to get his hand raised as the underdog.
Potieria is 0-1 in the UFC and did not look good in his debut. I don't think he is UFC-caliber, and I don't believe he should be favored over anyone. Potieria has a 42 percent striking defense and absorbs 5.89 significant strikes per minute, which is a concern here. To me, this is a pick'em fight, so at +175 I have to take Rua here.
UFC 283 Best Bet: Mauricio Rua (+175)
Weight Class: Women's Featherweight
Josiane Nunes (9-1) vs. Zarah Fairn (6-4)
A rare women's featherweight fight goes down on the prelims, and I like Josiane Nunes to finish Zarah Fairn here.
Fairn is 0-2 in the UFC and is not UFC-caliber, while Nunes hits like a truck, and we saw Fairn be finished in the first round in both fights. Fairn has 39 percent striking defense and absorbs 6.61 significant strikes per minute, while Nunes lands 7.54 significant strikes per minute.
This is a total mismatch, and could very well be a first-round finish, but I'll play it safer and take Nunes ITD at -120.
UFC 283 Best Bet: Josiane Nunes ITD (-120)
Weight Class: Women's Flyweight & Welterweight
Jessica Andrade (23-9) vs. Lauren Murphy (16-5)
Gabriel Bonfim (13-0) vs. Mounir Lazzez (11-2)
In my parlay, I'm taking Jessica Andrade and Gabriel Bonfim to get their hands raised Saturday night at UFC 283.
Andrade is back up at flyweight to take on Lauren Murphy, who is a tough out for anyone. Murphy's toughness is one of her biggest strengths, as she can take some big shots and keep marching forward. However, Andrade is a much better striker and also will land the better shots. The Brazilian can also mix in some surprise takedowns to help win rounds and secure a decision.
On the prelims, I like Bonfim to beat Mounir Lazzez, as Bonfim makes his UFC debut and is a prospect I'm very high on. Both Bonfim and Lazzez throw a ton of volume, but Bonfim has the better gas tank and is better on the ground, which is the difference in this one. I like Bonfim to out-wrestle Lazzez and possibly get a submission win, but even if he doesn't, Bonfim will control the fight on the mat to cruise to a win.
UFC 283 Best Bet: Jessica Andrade & Gabriel Bonfim parlay (-111)
UFC 283 Best Bets
Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC 283 event:
- Jamahal Hill (-130)
- Shogun Rua (+175)
- Josiane Nunes ITD (-120)
- Jessica Andrade & Gabriel Bonfim parlay (-111)
For up-to-date information on the latest odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the UFC odds page on RotoWire.
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