A week before the biggest card of 2023, we have an event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by Sodiq Yusuff and Edson Barboza. Apart from the main event, we have an entire card of solid bouts to work with. Here are our UFC Fight Night 230 predictions.
UFC Fight Night 230 Predictions: Our Best Main Card Picks
Sodiq Yusuff vs Edson Barboza Prediction
Sodiq Yusuff is ranked 11th in the division rankings. The African fighter signed a contract with the UFC in the summer of 2018. He suffered only one defeat in the UFC. In April 2021, the Nigerian lost to Arnold Allen (unanimous decision) from England. After that, he won two victories in a row. He beat the American Alex Caceres (unanimous decision) and Don Shanis (submission).
The 30-year-old Yusuff has 12 wins (five by knockout, six by decision, one by submission) and two defeats. He holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Edson Barbosa is ranked 13th in the division rankings. Before mixed martial arts, the Brazilian trained in Muay Thai and kickboxing. The 37-year-old Latino has 23 wins (13 by knockout, eight by decision, two by submission) and 11 losses. Barbosa is the recipient of numerous MMA awards.
However, he does not have any major wins at the highest level. He was once one of the most promising prospects in the UFC but he never managed to get to the top. Only back in 2010, he became the Ring of Combat lightweight champion. In his last fight in April 2023, he defeated American Billy Quarantillo (knockout). However, before that he lost two fights in a row.
Bookmakers consider Yusuff the clear favorite for the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 230 predictions. Barboza has been performing very inconsistently for a long time despite his recent surprising win. One victory is usually followed by a number of defeats. This time the Brazilian is unlikely to be able to seriously compete with his opponent. The younger Sodiq should win confidently.
• Yusuff to Win
Jennifer Maia vs Viviane Araujo Prediction
Jennifer Maia is ranked ninth in the division rankings. She is a former Invicta FC champion. The Brazilian has been performing in the UFC since 2018. In the last two fights, Maia won two victories, defeating the Ukrainian Marina Moroz (unanimous decision) and the Scottish Casey O'Neill (unanimous).
35-year-old Jennifer has 21 victories (three by knockout, 12 by decision, six by submission) and nine defeats. The Latina has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.
Viviane Araujo is ranked 11th in the division rankings. Vivi is a former champion of the Japanese promotion Pancrase. The Brazilian suffered defeats in her last two fights, losing to Mexican Alexa Grasso (unanimous) and her compatriot Amanda Ribas. Araujo has 11 wins (three by knockout, four by decision, four by submission) and five losses.
The two Brazilian fighters have been performing at the professional level in MMA for quite some time, but their paths have never crossed before. Both fighters are quite old and have good experience. However, Araujo has been completely unraveling lately. Three defeats in the last four matches. Maia is considered a favorite in the upcoming bout and we agree with the bookmakers for our UFC Fight Night 230 predictions.
• Jennifer Maia to Win
UFC Fight Night 230 Prelims Predictions: One Easy Pick from the Early Bouts
We rarely pick bouts between inexperienced fighters but in this case, it seems like a good option. Here is our analysis.
Irina Alekseeva vs Melissa Dixon Prediction
Irina Alekseeva is a World and World Cup champion in combat sambo. The Russian also practiced judo. Before signing a contract with the UFC, she competed in Bellator and the Russian Cagefighting Championship. The 30-year-old Alekseeva has five wins (one by knockout, two by decision, two by submission) and one defeat. The “Russian Ronda” will fight for the second time in the UFC. In her debut, she defeated Stephanie Egger (submission).
Melissa Dixon will make her debut in the UFC. Before the UFC, she competed in the Ares Fighting Championship and Golden Ticket Fight Promotion. The Briton has not lost a single fight, but she has no real experience. The 32-year-old Dixon has five wins (four by knockout, one by decision).
Bookmaker analysts consider Dixon the favorite for the upcoming fight. However, we cannot agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 230 predictions. Alekseeva is quite a difficult opponent stylistically and we do not think that Dixon will have it that easy. Under certain conditions, the Russian is quite capable of achieving victory and the odds are quite incredible too.
• Alekseeva to Win
UFC Fight Night 230 Full Card Predictions: The Best of the Rest
We have one more bout to work with here and it is between Jonathan Martinez and Adrian Yanez. This match has the potential to be the best on the entire card.
Jonathan Martinez vs Adrian Yanez Prediction
Jonathan Martinez is ranked 13th in the Bantamweight division. He is a former Xtreme Fighting League (XFL) bantamweight and flyweight champion. The 29-year-old Latino has 17 wins (eight by knockout, seven by decision, two by submission) and four losses.
The “Dragon” won five victories in a row. In his last fight in March 2011, he defeated Russian Said Nurmagomedov (unanimous decision).
Adrian Yanez is ranked 14th in the division rankings. In November 2018, the American fought for the championship belt in Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) with his compatriot Miles Jones but was defeated (split decision). This was the last significant bout in his career but this match here is a great chance to start contesting the Top 10 in one of the most competitive divisions.
The 29-year-old Texan has 16 wins (ten by knockout, four by decision, two by submission) and four losses. Yanez was defeated in his last fight by his compatriot Rob Font (knockout). However, before that, he won nine matches in a row.
Bookmakers found it difficult to name a clear favorite for the upcoming match and we can agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 230 predictions. This will be an extremely competitive fight and both athletes have good chances.
The fighters were born in the same year, several months apart. Both hold Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belts. It is quite difficult to determine the winner. In this situation, it is worth betting on an early finish, based on the styles of the two fighters. Combined, the two have 22 early victories in 33 wins total.
• Fight will not reach distance