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January UFC & MMA Preview: Prospects Aplenty

Best MMA Events to Kick Off the New Year

Mixed martial arts fans don’t need to wait for too long to fill the void left by the UFC. A trio of Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) events lines January along with Invicta’s return on a Wednesday. Between all that, there is plenty of MMA content on the online sportsbook until UFC 283 caps off the first month of 2023.

Let’s check the latest UFC picks, stats, and UFC predictions. We’ve plenty of UFC expert picks for you to consider.

Brandon Moreno of Mexico
Brandon Moreno of Mexico | Carmen mandato/getty images/afp

Take action and check on BKFC Odds! As well explore a variety of other MMA odds here to win!

UFC Fight Night: Imavov vs Gastelum

  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 14
  • Venue: UFC APEX, Las Vegas
  • Broadcast: ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass

UFC fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the promotion returns after over a month-long absence. The first UFC event of 2023 pits former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum against prospect-turned-contender Nassourdine Imavov. The latter is favored on the UFC odds as he looks to win his fourth straight.

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill

  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 21
  • Venue: Jeunesse Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Broadcasts: Pay-per-view, ESPN, UFC Fight Pass

Glover Teixeira returns to try and reclaim his light heavyweight title against knockout artist Jamahal Hill. This is the UFC’s attempt to gain a champion in the 205-pound division after the fiasco that occurred in UFC 282. Hill will be slightly favored here as he is the more potent striker and could just KO Teixeira, who is 43.

The co-main event features the fourth fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno. Once again, this will be to decide the UFC’s 125-pound champion, with both holding a win over the other on top of a draw. Two of the three fights had been very close so, as the odds suggest, this one is likely to be again.

LFA 149: Bunes vs Horiuchi

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 6
  • Venue: Gila River Resorts and Casinos, Chandler, AZ
  • Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass

The vacant LFA Flyweight Championship is on the line when Felipe Bunes faces Yuma Horiuchi. Bunes opens as a very slight favorite on the online gambling lines. Both come from highly touted camps, with Bunes being a training mate to Bellator’s Pitbull brothers.

LFA 150: Farias vs Sweeney

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 13
  • Venue: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MN
  • Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass

The next LFA event pits two of the best 135-pound prospects outside of the UFC in Ary Farias and John Sweeney. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu savage that is Farias should be favored by folks betting online. Sweeney will be slightly larger, though that could work against him. The winner of this bout should get a title shot and/or get a call from the UFC.

Invicta FC 51: Tennant vs Bernardo

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 18
  • Venue: Reelworks Denver (Colo.)
  • Broadcast: AXS TV

Taneisha Tennant defends her bantamweight title against Talita Bernardo. Both fighters could get another shot at the UFC with a resounding victory here. Bernardo should be favored as she has more experience and has beaten UFC-caliber fighters like Lucie Pudilova and Katharina Lehner.

BKFC 35: Cedeno vs Slaveski

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 27
  • Venue: John T. Rhodes Sports Center, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Broadcasts: FITE, YouTube

Bare-knuckle boxing returns at the month’s end as former UFC fighter Yosdenis Cedeno tests boxer Gorjan Slaveski. Both are undefeated at BKFC with Cedeno 2-0 and Slaveski 4-0. At 165 pounds, either could earn a shot against Luis Palomino with a win.

LFA 151: Delano vs Santos

  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 28
  • Venue: Ginasio do Polvilho, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass

LFA finishes off January with the featherweight championship bout between Brazilians Jose Delano and Bariel Santos. Both are top-tier prospects who could also be fighting in the UFC before 2023 ends. Delano should be favored when the UFC lines release.

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