UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy Predictions

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UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 241 takes place on Sunday (AEDT) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, United States  – and we’ve got our UFC predictions for all the fights below and you can place your bets with the best betting sites Australia has to offer!

UFC Fight Night 241 Predictions

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Edson Barboza vs. Lerone Murphy

Edson Barboza claimed two wins in a row in 2023 and now goes up against the undefeated Lerone Murphy, who has five wins and a draw since joining the promotion.

Barboza is getting up there in years at 38, but a five-round decision win over Sodiq Yusuff last October suggests he hasn’t yet given up on being a serious problem for other ranked contenders at 145lbs. The Brazilian has always been regarded as one of the UFC’s best strikers and alongside his technical ability with dynamic kicks, punches and knees he still has good speed and agility for his age. Durability is becoming more of a concern now though, particularly given how many wars he’s been in over the years.  Meanwhile, Barboza also has respectable takedown defense and you’d have to go back to 2015 to find the last time he was submitted, but there’s not much to his ground game.

The 32-year-old Murphy has a ripped physique and is a good striker in his own right. He’s not as flashy as Barboza, but he utilizes his technical boxing ability well, going to the head and body with clean strikes and he has good fight IQ. He will throw solid kicks too, while he showed the benefits of a well-timed knee strike when he KO’d Makwan Amirkhani a few fights ago. Murphy is also a fairly capable offensive wrestler and has good ground-and-pound, but hasn’t had success via submission so far and has poor takedown defense.

This could well be a passing-of-the-torch moment given Barboza’s age and it would be a big feather in Murphy’s cap if he can get it done. This is Murphy’s biggest fight yet by some margin though and also his first five-rounder, so it’ll be far from an easy task to get the better of the still dangerous veteran. As such I’ll take the Brazilian to show his experience and tried-and-tested striking prowess to edge out a close fight on the scorecards.

Prediction: Edson Barboza wins by decision.

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Khaos Williams vs. Carlston Harris

Khaos Williams is 5-2 in the UFC and coming off a split-decision victory in his only fight last year as now prepares to go up against Carlston Harris, who has gone 4-1 in the Octagon, including back-to-back victories last year.

The 30-year-old Williams made an immediate impact on his arrival in the UFC back in 2020 when he secured back-to-back KO victories in the first round, but he’s been unable to continue that hit-rate, with four of his five fights since going to the scorecards, including his last two going to a split-decision. That speaks to the fact that though he has big power in his hands and a good chin he’s not just an out-and-out brawler who is planning to kill-or-be-killed. Instead he can use his kickboxing a bit more technically and has good speed too, while he can also work from the clinch and wrestle to an extent too.

Harris arrived in the UFC fairly late in his career, so he’s only a couple months shy of his 37th birthday as he prepares for his 6th fight in the Octagon. Harris is still well conditioned though and uses that to wear on his opponents. He can be a bit messy on the feet but throws hard strikes to help close the distance and work for clinch opportunities and takedowns. He has good control on top and is a threat via submissions, managing to finish three fights via anaconda choke during his time in the UFC so far.

This is a tough fight to call as while Williams may have a bit of an advantage on the feet and Harris on the mat, they can both be competitive wherever the fight goes. I’ve gone back-and-forth with my pick, but in the end I’ll settle on Harris to implement a more well-rounded approach than Williams and get the better of the later rounds to edge out a close decision victory.

Prediction: Carlston Harris to win by decision

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Themba Gorimbo vs. Ramiz Brahimaj

Themba Gorimbo lost in his UFC debut early last year, but has since earned two wins in a row and now goes up against Ramiz Brajimaj, who is 2-2 in the UFC, including a submission victory last time out.

Born in Zimbabwe, the 33-year-old Gorimbo is best known for the fact that movie star ‘The Rock’ bought him a house and paid his bills after learning he was sleeping in a gym and only had $7.49 in his bank account.  Gorimbo is a good sized welterweight who will have a 2″ height and 5″ reach advantage here. He isn’t the most technical fighter, but now that he has a more settled home-life and access to better training he’s showing improvements.   He still tends to not use his long wingspan to his advantage as he should on the feet, but he’s a capable striker and a willing wrestler too, having had success getting fights to the mat and working for ground-and-pound and submissions.

The 31-year-old Brahimaj hasn’t had an easy time trying to make it in the sport either,  including having a Contender Series fight cancelled due to a tumor behind his eye prior to eventually joining the UFC in 2020.  He’s continued to be jinxed by injuries since then and as such it’s been well over two years since he last fought.  He’s capable but not the most active offensively on the feet.  If he can get the fight to the mat he is a proven threat via submissions though, with all 10 of his career victories having come in that fashion, with the vast majority being via rear-naked choke.

It’s hard to know what version of Brahimaj we’ll get on Saturday night given his long layoff and injury woes, so while there’s also question marks about whether Gorimbo can really reach his full potential when he’s only started training correctly in his 30’s, I’ll take him to get the better of the striking exchanges and hold his own in the wrestling to emerge with a decision win.

Prediction: Themba Gorimbo to win by decision

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Adrian Yanez vs. Vinicius Salvador

Adrian Yanez’s UFC run got off to a great start with five wins in a row, but he suffered two TKO losses in a row in 2023 and now tries to bounce back against Vinicius Salvador, who has yet to get a win in his two UFC fights so far.

The 30-year-old Yanez is a talented boxing-based striker who fights at a high tempo and likes to close the distance to land fast, impactful combinations to the head and body. He’s got proven finishing power with four of his five UFC wins coming via strikes, but with his forward-pressing style he does also eat more strikes than he should. Yanez also has a BJJ black belt, but isn’t one to really utilize that and instead looks to keep his fights upright.

The 27-year-old Salvador is a striker who had an impressive finishing rate on the regional scene, with 13 of his 14 victories coming via strikes, but he’s struggled to replicate that so far in the UFC. He has a wild, creative muay thai style that can deliver at times, but often results in wasting energy on low-percentage strikes while leaving himself wide open to getting caught by counters.

That kind of approach rarely pays off at the UFC level and I’d expect Yanez’s more clinical, to-the-point striking to pay off here, leading him to a second round TKO victory.

Prediction: Adrian Yanez to win by TKO in Rd2

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Luana Pinheiro vs. Angela Hill Prediction

A KO victory on the Contender Series earned Luana Pinheiro a spot in the UFC back in 2020 and she went on to win three fights in a row after that. However she then suffered a TKO loss to Amanda Ribas last November and now looks to get back on track against Angela Hill, who has won in three of her last four Octagon outings.

Judo is a family tradition for the 30-year-old Pinheiro and as such it’s ingrained in her fighting style. She will press forward with aggressive power strikes on the feet and can be quite hittable in the process, but it opens up opportunities to get to the clinch, where she’ll look for her powerful judo takedowns. She’s also a capable grappler who has a number of submissions on her record, though we’ve yet to see her pull that off at the UFC level. Pinheiro’s style leans on her physicality and as such she can take a toll on her cardio at times.

Hill is really getting up there in years now at 39 and has lots of experience with 29 career fights and the vast majority being in the UFC. She’s still in good physical shape for her age and that’s just as well as she’s never had much in the way of finishing power and instead relies on maintaining a high-volume striking style alongside lots of movement in order to best her opponents on the scorecards. Hill also has a solid clinch game and has attempted to improve her ground game over the years, though it’s still not a strong suit for her.

I think Hill’s pace and output could pose problems for Pinheiro here, forcing her to operate at a tempo she’ll struggle with in the later rounds, so I’ll take the veteran Hill to win by decision here.

Prediction: Angela Hill to win by decision

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UFC Fight Night 241 Prelims

(Predicted winners in bold)

Abus Magomedov vs. Warlley Alves

Victor Martinez vs. Tom Nolan

Hailey Cowan vs. Tamires Vidal

Piera Rodriguez vs. Ariane Carnelossi

Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Emily Ducote

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About Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross's work at MMAInsight.com.