UFC 283 Picks: Teixeira vs. Hill, Figueiredo vs. Moreno, headline Saturday title fight night in Brazil
UFC 283, the first pay-per-view event of 2023, is set for Rio de Janeiro this Saturday, Jan. 21, and looks to be a phenomenal introduction to the new year.
This is the UFC’s thirty-eighth event from Brazil, with two title fights at stake in the men’s flyweight and light heavyweight divisions.
Former light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will fight Jamahal Hill for the vacant belt to headline the card, while Deiveson Figueiredo will look to defend his title against the interim champion, Brandon Moreno.
This will be a UFC record fourth time that Figueiredo and Moreno square off, each boasting a 1-1-1 record.
Besides the championship fights, UFC 283 will include a brash matchup between welterweight contenders Gilbert Burns and Neil Magny. Before Burns and Magny enter the octagon, former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade will face Lauren Murphy, with both flyweight contenders looking to make the leap for a title fight.
Starting the main card will be a welterweight brawl involving Paul Craig and the Brazilian mixed martial artist Johnny Walker. But what fight fans are optimistically looking forward to on the undercard is Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s final fight in an illustrious twenty-year-plus career against a fellow Brazilian, Ihor Potieria.
Keep reading for a preview of what’s to come.
UFC 283 Full Fight Card
Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno
Gilbert Burns vs. Neil Magny
Lauren Murphy vs. Jessica Andrade
Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker
Mauricio Rua vs. Ihor Potieria
Gregory Rodrigues vs. Brunno Ferreira
Thiago Moises vs. Melquizael Costa
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Jailton Almeida
Gabriel Bonfim vs. Mounir Lazzez
Luan Lacerda vs. Cody Stamann
Ismael Bonfim vs. Terrance McKinney
Warlley Alves vs. Nicolas Dalby
Josiane Nunes vs. Zarah Fairn
Saimon Oliveira vs. Daniel Marcos
Glover Teixeira (33-8) vs. Jamahal Hill (11-1)
Although this is a much-anticipated title fight for the light heavyweight division, it wasn’t intended to happen this way. Both fighters are worthy candidates, but if not for unprecedented events this matchup would look very different.
Let’s rewind to UFC 275 in June, where Jiří Procházka submitted Glover Teixeira to win the light heavyweight belt in Singapore. It was one of the years greatest fights and an instant classic in the light heavyweight division.
The UFC took note and quickly scheduled a rematch. Unfortunately, Procházka injured his shoulder in training, requiring surgery and putting him on the shelf for at least six months.
With the light heavyweight title empty, the UFC pegged top contender Magomed Ankalaev against former champion Jan Błachowicz. The two clashed and put up a bland performance, with either failing to connect on a knockout blow. The judges were not impressed, and the fight was deemed a draw, leaving the throne for the light heavyweight division empty.
Now, we find the UFC pitting Teixeira and Hill for the belt on just a few weeks notice.
Hill is looking to become the first champion to emerge from Dana White’s Contender Series. Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill comes in on a three-fight win streak, supplying vicious knockout blows to Thiago Santos, Johnny Walker, and Jimmy Crute on the way. He has supreme one-punch power that can knock out anyone in the division, but there are still holes in his game, especially on the ground.
Despite being 43-years-old, the former champion Teixeira remains one of the most dangerous grapplers and wrestlers in the world. Teixeira has previously shown that it’s hard to keep him down, and even when he’s rattled has the capability to remain in the fight. If Teixeira wants to win this fight, he will have to take Hill to the ground because, at his age, he simply cannot compete with the power of Hill, who is 12 years younger. Luckily for Teixeira, he is the best wrestler in the division.
My pick: Glover Teixeira
Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1) vs. Brandon Moreno (20-6-2)
The first UFC tetralogy is here!
The last time Deiveson Figueiredo fought someone not named Brandon Moreno, he was 32 years old. He’s now 35.
Figueiredo and Moreno first matched up back in December 2020, and what’s resulted since is one of the best rivalries in flyweight history. At the time of the first fight, Figueiredo was at his peak, beating nine of his first ten UFC opponents, while Moreno was a prospect on the prowl.
Most thought Moreno wasn’t ready, but it was a fight for the ages as Moreno hung in and lasted all five rounds leading to a judges scorecard. The fight was ruled a draw, but the UFC had no choice but to schedule another.
In the second fight, Moreno looked dominant. He clipped Figueiredo, putting him to the ground, and ultimately submitted Figueiredo in the third round to become the first Mexican-born champion.
The third fight, which occurred in 2022, was similar to the first fight - with both fighters landing significant strikes - but Figueiredo proved the victor, knocking down Moreno on multiple occasions.
What resulted then was an injury to Figueiredo - an injury the UFC didn’t have proof of - forcing him to sit out all of 2022. This obligated the UFC to find an interim champion, and Moreno ended up with a devastating TKO on Kai Kara-France.
Now here we are for a fourth and potentially final matchup.
Like the first fights, there should be no lack of competitiveness as it’s been made clear to the public from both fighters that they are not friends. This one should be a treat for fight fans all across the globe.
My pick: Brandon Moreno
Gilbert Burns (20-5) vs. Neil Magny (27-10)
Undisputedly, the biggest fight on the card that’s a non-title fight is Gilbert Burns facing Neil Magny.
Burns is coming off one of the most entertaining fights of the year against Khamzat Chimaev, in which he went all three rounds but lost. Even though Burns walked away with the loss, he displayed his ability to maneuver and maintain himself on the ground against one of the best wrestlers in the division while landing brutal punches that almost left Chimaev unconscious.
This fight really came to fruition, though, when Magny submitted Daniel Rodriguez in November, surpassing UFC legend George St-Pierre for the most wins in welterweight history with 20 wins to his name.
Burns is a former welterweight title challenger - facing Kamaru Usman in February 2021 - but Magny has the ability to keep up. The difference maker in this fight will be Magny’s defense, particularly stopping Burns from shooting and submitting. It’s proved a problem for Magny in the past, but if he can maintain his distance things could get interesting. If Magny wins, he should shoot up the rankings, possibly as a top-five welterweight.
My pick: Gilbert Burns
Jessica Andrade (23-9) vs. Lauren Murphy (16-5)
Jessica Andrade has fought the premier talent in both the strawweight and flyweight divisions and is no stranger to competition. She is a former champion, and despite her four losses since 2016, all have been to fighters who have held the belt: Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Rose Namajunas, and current champions Zhang Weili and Valentina Shevchenko.
Despite punishing lopsided losses to both Weili and Shevchenko, she’s rebounded by winning both of her last fights. Another win or two would put her in contention for the belt once again.
Murphy, too, was a victim of Shevchenko but responded with a win over a reeling former champion Miesha Tate. This one should be a scrapper, with both fighters desperate for another win to put them closer to contention for a title fight.
My pick: Jessica Andrade
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (27-13-1) vs. Ihor Potieria (19-3)
This fight has an eerie feeling similar to retirement fights last year which were not favorable towards other UFC greats.
Frankie Edgar went down to a devastating knee in the first round and went out cold, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone was submitted and choked out, and Luke Rockhold's body nearly gave out. All three went out losing.
Brazil’s own Rua is a bona fide MMA legend, fighting for over two decades, capturing the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix in 2005 and an eventual UFC light heavyweight championship, yet faces a worthy opponent on his way out the door.
Ihor Potieria, a Dana White Contender Series alum, is only making his second appearance in the UFC and has something to prove after a loss in his last fight against Nicolae Negumereanu. A statement win over Rua would certainly put Potieria on fight fans radar.
My heart tells me Rua, but my head says Potieria.
My pick: Ihor Potieria
You can watch the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, the prelims on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN+, and can order the main card on ESPN+.