Kicking off the main card of the UFC‘s first card of 2023 is a banger in the bantamweight division. Undefeated sensation Umar Nurmagomedov (15-0) will look to remain unbeaten as he takes on arguably his toughest test to date in Brazil’s Raoni Barcelos (15-3).
Barcelos started out incredibly hot when he made his way to the UFC. He won his first five fights which included a second round submission win over Chris Gutierrez. However, then he hit a road block in back-to-back decision losses. He did bounce back nicely in his last bout which was a decision win over Trevin Jones.
Umar Nurmagomedov had a couple of fights in the PFL before he reached the biggest stage in the UFC at 12-0. Since making his debut with the promotion, he’s looked absolutely unstoppable. His grappling is on another level and he does have decent striking to go with it.
UFC Vegas 67 Preview
When it comes to this matchup, it’s all going to come down to Barcelos’ takedown defense. There’s no secret as to what Umar Nurmagomedov is going to do at UFC Vegas 67. He’s going to come out and use his striking to try and setup his takedown attempts.
If Barcelos is able to keep the fight standing, I think he would have an excellent chance of getting the win tomorrow night. However, I think for the majority of the fight he’s going to have to try and use his jiu jitsu because I think Nurmagomedov will get his takedowns.
I don’t think Barcelos will have the ability to submit someone like Nurmagomedov who has a sensational top game. I’m not sure a finish will happen, but I do firmly believe Nurmagomedov will be in control throughout the fight. Expect a lopsided win for Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC Vegas 67.
Prediction: Umar Nurmagomedov by Decision