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UFC Predictions for UFC Austin 2023, including upset wins for Figueiredo and Gastelum

Get a round of UFC predictions for the promotion’s next card, UFC Austin on Dec. 2.

After a weekend away for the holidays, the MMA world leader returns on Saturday for a rare fight night card that is pretty stacked. In the night’s main event, ranked lightweights Beniel Dariush and Arman Tsarukyan will go to war as both men aim to get closer to a championship opportunity in 2024.

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In the UFC Austin 2023 co-main event, fan-favorite Bobby Green returns in a tough short-notice matchup against fellow top-15 fighter Jalin Turner. Green was originally set to face veteran Dan Hooker before the New Zealander suffered an injury last week.

UFC Austin will also see the return of Octagon veterans Clay Guida, Meisha Tate, Rob Font, and former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo in his bantamweight debut. With all of that in mind, we make four bold UFC predictions for several of the major bouts on Saturday’s card

4 bold UFC predictions for UFC Austin 2023 on Saturday night

Beneil Dariush (22-5-1) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (20-3)

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Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Beniel Dariush saw an eight-fight win streak ended in June at UFC 289. The defeat was a major setback and derailed his hopes of getting a championship opportunity this year. A second straight loss cost him an opportunity in 2024 as well. That is what makes his matchup on Saturday so important, however, a victory won’t come easy.

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Arman Tsarukyan is part of the new breed in the top 10 and his only losses in the company are to the current lightweight champion and a top contender, Mateusz Gamrot. It just feels like “Benny” may soon begin to age out of being a top contender in the division at 34, and Tsarukyan will show that new stars are on the rise.

“Ahalkalakets” won’t win dominantly but expect him to do enough to grind out a hard-fought decision win this weekend.

  • UFC Austin odds: Beneil Dariush (+235) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (-290)
  • Prediction: Tsarukyan by unanimous decision

Rob Font (20-7) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (21-3-1)

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Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most fascinating bouts on the UFC Austin card is top-10 fight Rob Font returning to action and welcoming former flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo to the weight class. Both are action fighters and this is certainly an early favorite to get “Fight of the Night” honors. The big question is can the Brazilian prove that this is the right move for him at this point in his career?

Related: Latest UFC rankings for every major division in the MMA world leader

“Deus da Guerra” has always had a tough time making 125 pounds and at 35 years old it makes sense to make the switch. Furthermore, this seems like a good matchup for him, and his speed should be a huge advantage in scoring a statement win in his bantamweight debut.

  • Odds: Rob Font (-135) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (+114)
  • UFC Prediction: Figueiredo by unanimous decision

Sean Brady (15-1) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (18-8)

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Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Another fighter making a notable switch in weight class this weekend is former middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. After a strong start at 185 pounds, the former welterweight has lost four of his last six. That is why he is going back to 170 pounds on Saturday in the hopes he can re-ignite one last title run. However, he gets a tough matchup with young star Sean Brady.

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If Gastelum can avoid the takedowns of Brady, he has a huge advantage on the feet. He may get grounded early, but Gastelum has an underrated grappling game and won’t be easy to subdue. Look for the veteran to use his improved speed at a lower weight to make it a standup war and eke out a big upset victory.

  • Odds: Sean Brady (-130) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+110)
  • UFC Prediction: Gastelum by split-decision

Clay Guida (38-23) vs. Joaquim Silva (12-4)

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Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Fan favorite Clay Guida will add to his UFC lore by competing in his 36th bout inside the Octagon. While he never came close to fighting for a title, “The Carpenter” is a fighter who will forever be remembered for his unique longevity in the top company in the sport.

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At 41 he is still competitive but he is pushing those limits in each outing and has a legit test ahead in Joaquim Silva. While the Brazilian has lost four of his last six in the company, they have all come to good fighters, including one of the men in the night’s main event. While it is a winnable bout for Guida, “Father Time” is all over his back and this feels like a matchup that shows the end is close for Guida.

  • Odds: Clay Guida (+250) vs. Joaquim Silva (-310)
  • UFC Prediction: Silva by TKO, Round 1

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