UFC Sao Paulo is right behind the corner and it is time to make some picks. There are a bunch of bouts to look forward to despite it being a non-PPV event. Here are our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions.
UFC Fight Night 231 Predictions: Best Main Card Picks
Almeida vs Lewis Prediction
Jailton Almeida is ranked ninth in the division rankings. The Brazilian's winning streak is already 14 fights. In the latter, in May 2023, he defeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik from Suriname. And before that, he defeated the Russian Shamil Abdurakhimov (technical knockout).
The 32-year-old fighter has 19 victories (seven by knockout, 12 by submission) and two defeats. Malhadinho has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Derrick Lewis is ranked tenth in the division rankings. In his last fight in June 2023, he defeated Brazilian Marcos Rogerio de Lima (technical knockout). However, before that, he suffered three defeats in a row, including from Russian Sergei Pavlovich (technical knockout).
The 38-year-old American has 27 victories (22 by knockout, four by decision, one by submission) and 11 defeats. The Black Beast holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Bookmakers consider Almeida the undisputed favorite of the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. Lewis, as an underdog, unexpectedly defeated de Lima. This time it is unlikely to happen. He never had luck against wrestlers and Almeida is a BJJ specialist.
• Almeida via KO/TKO/Submission
Bonfim vs Dalby Prediction
Gabriel Bonfim has not suffered a single defeat at the professional level in mixed martial arts. His winning streak began in December 2014 and totals 15 fights. In the last, Marretinha defeated Trevin Giles (by submission). The 26-year-old Latino has 15 wins (three by knockout, 12 by submission). He was the champion of the American promotion Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA).
Nicolas Dalby has competed professionally since 2008 and is a former Cage Warriors Welterweight champion. The Danish Dynamite has won his last three matches. In June 2023, he defeated Russian Muslim Salikhov (unanimous decision).
The 38-year-old Dalby has 22 wins (six by knockout, 12 by decision, four by submission) and four losses. The Scandinavian has a green belt in karate and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Bonfim will make an appearance for the third time in the UFC. Still, bookmakers consider him the undisputed favorite of the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. We envision a quick co-main event and an early finish.
• Bonfim via KO/TKO/Submission
Nascimento vs Mayes Prediction
Rodrigo Nascimento is ranked 15th in the division rankings. The Brazilian won his last two fights. Ze Colmeia defeated Canadian Tanner Boser (split decision) on December 17, 2022, and then Swede Ilir Latifi (split decision).
The 30-year-old Nascimento has nine wins (two by knockout, two by decision, five by submission) and one loss. Ferreira has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Don'Tale Mayes has been in the UFC since the summer of 2019. Before that, he tried his hand at Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). In the little-known promotion Hoosier Fight Club (HFC), he became a champion. The 31-year-old American has 11 wins (six by knockout, three by decision, two by submission) and five defeats.
Bookmakers consider Nascimento the undisputed favorite for the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. However, it is worth mentioning that the American already defeated the Brazilian in May 2020. This time the Latino will have to take revenge on his home turf. In three years in the UFC, he managed to gain experience and maturity.
• Nascimento via KO/TKO/Submission
Borralho vs Magomedov Prediction
Caio Borralho is a former champion of the Brazilian promotion Future Fighting Championships (FFC). Before signing a contract in the spring of 2022 with the UFC, he also competed in Batalha MMA and Vikings Fight Club. The 30-year-old Brazilian has 14 wins (five by knockout, six by points, three by submission) and one defeat.
The Natural defeated Pole Michal Oleksiejczuk (submission) in his last fight in April 2023 and his last defeat dates back to the summer of 2015.
Abus Magomedov almost became the champion of the American promotion Professional Fighters League (PFL). The final match in December 2018 against the American Louis Taylor was disastrous for the native of Dagestan. He missed a left hook 33 seconds into the first round and was unable to continue the fight.
Abus will only fight his third bout in the UFC. In his debut in September 2022, he defeated American Dustin Stoltzfus (technical knockout). And in the next one, he lost to the current champion Sean Strickland (technical knockout). The 33-year-old fighter from Germany has 25 victories (13 by knockout, five by decision, seven by submission) and five defeats.
Bookmakers consider Borralho the undisputed favorite for the upcoming fight but we are not that certain for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. Magomedov is not a timid fighter and is quite experienced. He has a good knockout punch. Therefore, we would rather bet that the fight will end ahead of schedule.
• Fight Will Not Reach Distance
UFC Fight Night 231 Prelims Predictions: A Russian in Brazil
Fakhretdinov vs Santos Prediction
Rinat Fakhretdinov takes 15th place in the division ranking. He is the champion of Moscow in combat sambo and pankration, as well as the winner of the world championship in combat sambo among law enforcement agencies. The Russian signed a contract with the UFC in the summer of 2022. This will be his fourth fight in the UFC. He won the previous three and is considered one of the hottest prospects in the division.
In the latter, the Gladiator defeated American Kevin Lee (submission). 32-year-old Fakhretdinov has 23 wins (12 by knockout, four by decision, seven by submission) and one defeat, which happened in June 2013. The fighter has not lost in 21 fights.
Elizeu dos Santos is a former Brazilian Jungle Fight welterweight champion. He has been competing in the UFC since the spring of 2015. The Brazilian won his last two fights. In June, he defeated Russian Abubakar Nurmagomedov (split decision).
The 36-year-old Latin American fighter has 24 wins (14 by knockout, seven by decision, three by submission) and seven losses.
Fakhretdinov is just starting his journey in the UFC but is already quite highly rated. Bookmakers consider him the clear favorite for the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. At this rate, in 2-3 fights, the Russian may become a contender in the Welterweight division.
• Fakhretdinov via KO/TKO/Submission
UFC Fight Night 231 Full Card Predictions: The Best of the Rest
Since betting on debutants and young prospects is not the most viable option here, we analyzed two more main card bouts. Consider these our secondary UFC Fight Night 231 picks.
Vieira vs Petrosyan Prediction
Rodolfo Vieira is a four-time world champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as the winner of the ADCC Submission Grappling world championship. He is considered one of the best heavyweight athletes of his generation.
The Black Belt Hunter defeated American Cody Brundage (submission) in his last fight in April 2023. However, before that, he lost to Chris Curtis (unanimous decision) from the USA. The 34-year-old Latin American fighter has nine wins (one by knockout, zero by decision, eight by submission) and two defeats.
Armen Petrosyan is a former AMC Fight Nights Global (AMC FNG) Light Heavyweight Champion. He signed a contract with the UFC in February 2022. Competing under the flag of Armenia, he won victories in his last two fights. Superman prevailed over American AJ Dobson (unanimous) and Englishman Christian Leroy Duncan (unanimous). The 32-year-old Petrosyan has nine wins (six by knockout, three by decision, zero by submission) and two defeats.
Bookmakers found it difficult to name a clear favorite for the upcoming match and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. Both fighters are approximately equal in strength. Petrosyan may have a slight advantage. In this situation, we would rather bet on the match to end before the end of the third round.
• Fight will not reach distance
Bonfim vs Pichel Prediction
Ismael Bonfim is a former Federal Fight champion. The Brazilian signed a contract with the UFC in the fall of 2022. He will have his third fight in the promotion. In his debut, he defeated American Terrence McKinney (knockout) but then he lost to Benoit Saint-Denis (knockout) from France. The 27-year-old Latin American has 18 wins (nine by knockout, six by decision, three by submission) and four losses.
Vinc Pichel has been competing in the UFC since 2012. The 40-year-old American has 17 wins (eight by knockout, seven by decision, two by submission) and four defeats. He lost his last fight, losing to Mark O. Madsen (unanimous decision) of Denmark in April 2022. Before that, he won three victories in a row. Pichel has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Bookmakers consider Bonfim the undisputed favorite of the upcoming fight and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 231 predictions. According to anthropometric data, the fighters are approximately equal. But the Brazilian is 13 years younger than his opponent and is in his prime.
• Bonfim via KO/TKO/Submission