Betting Guide for UFC 283
After last month's anti-climactic dud, the UFC has re-racked the light heavyweight belt for a star-studded card in one of the most influential countries to MMA.
UFC 283: Teixeira vs. Hill will take place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday. Which MMA bets stand out on FanDuel Sportsbook?
YTD: 0-1 (-1.5 units)
Last week's lay didn't go as planned. Puna Soriano was overwhelmed from the jump in a fight where Roman Kopylov thoroughly outperformed his striking efficiency on paper. Hey, these guys do get better. Here's what we've got cooked for this week in Rio.
Josiane Nunes and Warlley Alves to Both Win
(+105; 1.5 Units)
It's an odd week to build a two-legger. This card has very few moderate favorites given some total mismatches and other razor-thin margins.
One of the mismatches is Josiane Nunes (-650) facing Zarah Fairn. France's Fairn has been finished in the first round during two prior UFC bouts, and her peripherals don't provide much hope.
Fairn is just 6-4 professionally, and she's got a card-worst -4.63 striking success rate with no wrestling attempted. Even worse, the two foes she's lost to are no longer with UFC. It would be one thing if she was facing a weak foe, but Nunes (2-0 UFC) has been anything but. Her +3.17 striking success rate is second-best on the card, and her 2.00% knockdown rate is huge for women's featherweight.
The second fighter had to be a dip into the pick 'em range, but I'll back Warlley Alves (-130) in the parlay since I don't want to use 1.3 units to do so as a straight piece. After all, Alves blew it as a -260 favorite against Jeremiah Wells in June 2021.
Still, the Brazilian should have a solid matchup in his backyard. Alves (1.1 submission attempts per 15 minutes) is universally considered the stronger grappler over Denmark's Nicolas Dalby, but to my surprise, Alves also has a much higher striking accuracy (48%) than Dalby (40%).
Dalby also has 396 significant strikes landed in UFC without a knockdown, so at the very least, he's unlikely to knock Alves out.
Glover Teixeira to Win by KO/TKO/Submission
(+150; 1.0 Unit)
At 43 years old, Glover Teixeira (+102) probably isn't hanging around for 25 minutes with the division's most potent puncher. This is a play that if he wins (or better, survives), it'll be by a finish.
Jamahal Hill, who fits the aforementioned description, is also a terrible grappler. He ceded three submission attempts in a first-round loss to Paul Craig, and he ceded a career-high six takedowns to Thiago Santos in his last fight. Enter the former light heavyweight champion Teixeira, who is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) with 10 career wins via sub.
Glover should wholly outmatch Jamahal Hill in that domain. I don't understand his standing as an underdog because Glover's actually been pretty solid in terms of striking accuracy (50%) and striking defense (52%) on the feet. In fact, he just landed 68% of his strikes on Jiri Prochazka, who brings a similar kill-or-be-killed, powerful striking style.
With this fight -650 to not go the distance, I'll shave off a bit of juice to assume that if things go well for Glover dodging Hill's haymakers, he'll find a finish on the ground before too long -- and likely retire to vacate this belt again.
Mounir Lazzez to Win (+146; 0.75 Units)
There's clearly something I'm missing here because Mounir Lazzez (+146) shouldn't be an underdog to a debutant.
Lazzez has been objectively successful in UFC, holding a 2-1 record with his lone loss to the aforementioned Alves via a quick (and somewhat fluky) knockout. Analytically, Lazzez has a +2.12 striking success rate against three foes with a combined 15 UFC wins. It's high-level experience (and success) any way you slice it.
Even if you buy into newcomer Gabriel Bonfim, it's a leap of faith to assume he'll have success against Lazzez. Bonfim posted 3.60 takedowns per 15 minutes on Dana White's Contender Series, but Lazzez has had solid takedown defense (71%) thus far. As a striker, while Bonfim's striking defense was a lot higher (72%) than Lazzez's, his striking accuracy (38%) was also significantly lower than "The Sniper" at 54%.
Bonfim has never faced a foe with a UFC appearance. The similar peripherals to Lazzez mean very little at this point, so I'll back the experienced 'dog who has shown few holes in his game so far.
Dart Throws of the Week
Paul Craig by Submission (+340; 0.5 Units)
Light heavyweight should deliver two barnburners between Teixeira-Hill and this bout.
Paul Craig (+154) can be an odd fighter to watch, but he's effective. The Scotsman is 8-5-1 with the promotion, and all wins have come via an early finish. He's set up with another wild man that will duel to a finish against Johnny Walker.
Walker actually showed decent grappling in his last fight, which was a first-round submission of the lower-skilled Ion Cutelaba. Safe to say, no one is giving Walker, with just three pro wins via sub, the edge grappling over the division's ace.
It'll be up to Johnny to find a knockout, but Craig's 54% striking defense has been pretty solid. He did just go 15 minutes with the powerful Volkan Oezdemir. Craig didn't find a finish on Volkan, but Walker is far less equipped in that domain.
In fact, Walker has a poor 58% takedown defense. Craig's excellent wrestling efficiency (48%) should be able to get him there so long as he survives the power coming his way.
I see this fight as a two-outcome bout. Either Johnny Walker by KO/TKO (-135) hits at a steep price, or Craig will collect his sixth UFC submission. These odds are too distant for a coin flip. Paul Craig by KO/TKO/Submission (+220) is a safer bet if you don't mind paying a bit of juice to ensure you're not burned by a ground-and-pound finish.
Luan Lacerda by Submission (+550; 0.25 Units)
Newcomer Luan Lacerda (+280) has a path to a huge upset in his home country.
Cody "The Spartan" Stamann is an excellent wrestler. The American averages 2.76 takedowns per 15 minutes with solid 42% accuracy. The problem? In order to wrestle, you'll occasionally have to go into the lion's den with BJJ specialists. Lacerda, a BJJ black belt, is one.
Stamann's been burned by that. He was submitted quickly by the tricky Said Nurmagomedov via guillotine choke, and the 135-pound champion, Aljamain Sterling, got him with a Suvloev Stretch. Stamann has never attempted a submission himself, which shows a decent level of discomfort grappling.
Interestingly, those are the only two fighters on Stamann's resume averaging north of 1.0 submission attempts per 15 minutes. Lacerda won't have an official average until Saturday, but given 10 of his 12 wins are via submission, anything above 1.0 is a fair projection. That's his path to winning the fight.
Stamann's opponents in his last three wins are a combined 4-5 against others since the COVID-19 break in 2020. He's largely been crushing inferior foes, so it's possible the Brazilian surprises us and gives Cody a bit more trouble than he bargained for during this trip to Rio.