UFC Best Bets

It’s time for my UFC best bets for UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy.

The UFC returns to its APEX Center in Las Vegas for an event that may become an exception rather than the norm. Last week, UFC president Dana White acknowledged that the UFC branded itself by visiting every corner of the world to present its product to the masses, and he wishes to return to visiting the cities thirsting for MMA across the globe.


He verified that while events at the APEX produced cost-effective productions, live shows in cities across the world did much more to fuel UFC’s popularity with fans, media, and athletes alike.

Last week, Nursulton Ruziboev put up an honest effort to try to defeat Joaquin Buckley in Buckley’s back yard of St. Louis, but the natural welterweight was too prepared, too strong, and too mentally focused to allow any form of upset from Ruziboev as he won a one-sided decision victory.

Digital UFC results now stand 12-9 +6.73u after last week’s one-unit setback.

Lerone Murphy -148 vs. Edson Barboza +124

Featherweight (145 pounds) main event

Barboza is the established, wily veteran of the UFC with professional fights in both the lightweight and now featherweight divisions.

The eleventh-ranked Barboza, now 39, is decorated with a black prajied in Muay Thai, a black belt in Taekwondo and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Barboza has fought the elite in both divisions and enters this bout after defeating two respected athletes in Billy Quarantillo and Sodiq Yusuff.

Barboza can dominate wherever a fight transitions; however, his forte is competing standing and at distance, where he can unleash spinning kicks, damaging elbows, and vicious knees, all emanating from his piston jab and straight ‘teep’ kick.

Barboza has KO’d 14 of his 24 professional victims.

England’s Lerone Murphy is an upstart professional mixed martial artist whom the UFC is testing to determine whether he belongs in the division’s top 15. At 5-0 in the UFC, Murphy has torn through the division since his Contender Series win in 2019, and he has done so against solid, not elite, competition.

Murphy does not have the decorations that Barboza possesses, but he is quite athletic and is six years younger than the Brazilian. He possesses a boxing background and has proven exceptionally durable and difficult to hit flush.

Murphy has earned this bout against fifteenth-ranked Barboza. Now, we will need to see what he can manage with the opportunity.

Murphy opened -116 to Barboza -104 in this main event. Bettors have shown Murphy respect, as his price now stands at -148 with the takeback on Barboza +124.

Once this battle begins, I see two refined strikers who will each attempt to force the other backward; Murphy will use the stoic traditional English boxing foundation to accrue damage, while Barboza will attack using more appendages, employing spinning techniques and more unorthodox delivery of his buffets.

The total in this bout opened 4.5 Rds. over -150. It now stands 3.5 Rds. Over -175, which surprises me as I see this battle being decided by the judges, which is enough to make any fight investor squeamish.

UFC Best Bet: Monitoring

Kalinn Williams -125 vs. Carlston Harris +105

Welterweight (170 pounds) co-main event

My take on the most potentially violent fight of the day brings us to these two welterweights who face off in the smaller twenty-five-foot APEX cage.

Harris, 19-5, is from Guyana, training in Brazil. He ships in to test his striking against Williams. Harris, 36, enters 4-1 in the UFC with his sole loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov, which is more a feather in the cap than the chink in his resume. Shavkat is a future champion in this division.

Harris packs power as well and brings that Brazilian BJJ into the fold. He has finished three of his four UFC opponents.

Williams has a slight reach advantage plus a six-year youth advantage, which must be regarded. Last year, welterweight fights ended inside the distance 55% of the time, which is the same percentage of advantage athletes six years younger than their opponents in the UFC hold.

Williams, 14-3 professionally and 5-2 in the UFC has competed against a more diverse set of athletes as well a higher caliber of opponent which is why he is the slight favorite in this battle between top-15 aspirants.

This fight opened with Harris the -150 chalk and has flipped to the current pricing.

In this instance, the line flip seems warranted as Harris has been finished twice since 2019 while Williams, with advantages in competition faced, travel (lack thereof), and youth has never been finished in his professional career.

UFC Best Bet: Williams -125

Total in this fight: 2.5 Rds. -180 to the Under

Lean to the over.

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Thank you for reading. Enjoy the aggression!