One of the most prolific strikers in UFC history will be showcased Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night when veteran Edson Barboza takes on surging prospect Sodiq Yussuf in the main event. The five-round battle of ranked featherweights will close the curtain on the main card (7 p.m. ET) from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. Although the 13th-ranked Barboza has never fought for a UFC title, the 13-year UFC veteran holds multiple striking-related records. They include being the only fighter in the promotion’s history to win with knockouts by way of head kick, body kick, leg kick, body punch and flying knee. He’s now matched up with the 11th-ranked Yusuff, who can climb into the top-10 rankings should he earn a signature victory Saturday.
Yusuff is a -165 favorite (risk $165 to win $100), while Barboza is offered at +140 in the latest MMA odds for Yusuff vs. Barboza. In the co-main event, women’s flyweight contenders take the spotlight when Jennifer Maia (-155) meets Viviane Araujo (+130). Before making any UFC Fight Night: Yusuff vs. Barboza picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from proven SportsLine expert Daniel Vithlani.
From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport’s nuances.
In his SportsLine debut for UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and has been a consistent winner ever since. At UFC 292, he called the upset for underdog Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) in the bantamweight championship main event. Anyone who has followed Vithlani already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Yusuff vs. Barboza on deck, Vithlani has scoured the card from top to bottom and released his top selections. You can only see his UFC Fight Night picks at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Yusuff vs. Barboza preview
Yusuff (13-2) will be making his return to the cage following a year off to allow various ailments to heal. He has long been considered a top prospect in perhaps the most talent-rich division in the UFC but has only once faced a ranked opponent. He lost a unanimous decision in April 2021 to Arnold Allen, who is now the No. 4-ranked featherweight contender.
Yusuff is known for his slick movement and power, complimented by a solid ground game. His last appearance resulted in a 30-second guillotine submission of Don Shainis. Yusuff is better known for his striking and has six knockouts on his resume.
He now steps up to face Barboza, who is widely considered one of the most talented UFC fighters to never compete for a title. The feared Brazilian striker has faced a gauntlet of world-class competitors including Justin Gaethje, former interim champion Tony Ferguson and now-retired former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Unfortunately for Barboza, he has lost most of those high-profile matchups and has long been relegated to the role of top-10 gatekeeper. In other words, rising prospects who wish to join the top-10 rankings have an unspoken obligation to beat Barboza before they can move forward.
Many such prospects have passed this test, but the 37-year-old Brazilian still occasionally reminds MMA observers of the threat he poses. In his last outing, Barboza knocked out prospect Billy Quarantillo in the first round to snap a two-fight losing streak. His matchup with Yusuff will be his fourth main-event appearance. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night here.
UFC Fight Night predictions
We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC Fight Night selections here: He is backing Adrian Yanez (-105) to get his hand raised against Jonathan Martinez (-115) in a matchup of explosive bantamweight prospects on the main card.
Yanez (16-4) is a lethal striker who has seen four of his five UFC victories come by knockout. The 29-year-old Texan was widely considered the division’s hottest prospect before he met veteran contender Rob Font in April at UFC 287 and was stopped in the first round.
Martinez (17-4) is a versatile prospect whose stock has soared behind a four-fight winning streak that started in October 2021. The 29-year-old Los Angeles native earned a performance bonus for his second-round stoppage of veteran Cub Swanson last October.
“Yanez had a ton of hype on him before the Font loss, but Font’s boxing is elite. He wasn’t ready for a top-five opponent. If he can land early damage on Martinez, I see Yanez taking over and finding a bounce-back win,” Vithlani told SportsLine. See who to back here.
How to make UFC Fight Night picks
Vithlani has strong picks for Yusuff vs. Barboza and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “controls the distance and pace” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins UFC Fight Night: Yusuff vs. Barboza? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, fight card
See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets here.
Sodiq Yussuf (-165) vs. Edson Barboza (+140)
Jennifer Maia (-155) vs. Viviane Araujo (+130)
Jonathan Martinez (-115) vs. Adrian Yanez (-105)
Christian Rodriguez (-150) vs. Cameron Saimann (+125)
Darren Elkins (+160) vs. TJ Brown (-190)
Irina Alekseeva (+115) vs. Melissa Dixon (-135)
Chris Guttierez (-290) vs. Heili Alateng (+235)
Emily Ducote (-400) vs. Ashley Yoder (+310)