UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy odds, predictions, time: MMA expert makes surprising fight card picks

Written by on May 18, 2024

Lerone Murphy says he’s determined to make the most of a long-coveted opportunity Saturday in his headlining debut against rugged veteran Edson Barboza in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy. The five-round featherweight showdown will anchor the main UFC fight card (7 p.m. ET) from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. The unranked Murphy is getting his first headlining opportunity in the loaded division following a 5-0-1 mark to start his UFC career. He told the media this week that his goal is to achieve a top-10 ranking if he can get past the No. 12-ranked Barboza, who is a battle-tested gatekeeper seeking his third consecutive victory. 

Murphy is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Barboza comes back at +125 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy odds. In the co-main event, Khaos Williams (-130) meets Carlston Harris (+110) in a matchup of explosive welterweight prospects. Before making any UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from 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. 

Vithlani made his SportsLine debut in January 2023 and swept the main card for UFC 283 with a 5-0 record and has been a consistent winner ever since. Over the past 11 UFC pay-per-view events, Vithlani has gone 7-4 on main-event picks and his main-card selections in that span have netted his followers a profit of more than $1,200. 

His highlights include calling an upset for Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) at UFC 292 as part of a 4-1 main card and his UFC 299 winners included underdog selections on Dustin Poirier (+190) against Benoit Saint Denis (-230) and Michael Page (+110) against Kevin Holland (-130). Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns. 

Now, with UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy in sight, Vithlani has studied the card from top to bottom and released his top selections. You can only see those picks at SportsLine

UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy preview

Although the term gatekeeper usually conjures a negative perspective of a former contender who spends the twilight of his career being fed to hungry prospects with little hope of winning, Barboza’s career trajectory embodies the spirit of the term. 

Barboza went 7-1 to start his UFC career but has never competed for a title in what has long been one of the promotion’s deepest divisions. His career evolved into a perpetual onslaught of high-profile and high-ranked opponents with mixed results. Overall, the 38-year-old Brazilian has gone 18-11 in 29 UFC appearances, never winning or losing more than three in a row over the past 11 years. 

Barboza is noted for his world-class striking and durability, and his results suggest he is the ideal litmus test for prospects looking to take the next step. Following a two-fight skid, he has won back-to-back fights against prospects Billy Quarantillo and Sodiq Yusuff to maintain his ranking while earning a performance bonus in both fights. 

Murphy (13-0-1) is a sleek and versatile athlete who has shown a polished skill set. The 32-year-old English fighter has drawn some comparisons to countryman Leon Edwards, who had a similarly gradual rise before eventually becoming the welterweight champion. 

Murphy will be making his first appearance for the UFC in the United States following multiple performances in Abu Dhabi and London. His last performance resulted in a decision win over fellow prospect Joshua Culibao last July. You can only see who to back at UFC Fight Night here.

Top UFC Fight Night predictions 

We’ll reveal one of Vithalni’s UFC Fight Night selections here: He is siding with Ramiz Brahimaj (+122) to pull the mild upset of Themba Gorimbo (-145) in a battle of welterweight prospects on the main card.

Brahimaj (10-4) is an ace grappler and former standout in the Legacy Fighting Alliance who has seen all 10 of his professional MMA victories come by submission. The 31-year-old New Yorker has split his first four UFC appearances and is coming off a win over Micheal Gillmore in his last outing.

Gorimbo (12-4) is an explosive athlete and versatile fighter who has won back-to-back fights following a loss in his UFC debut. The 33-year-old Zimbabwe native is coming off a first-round stoppage of Pete Rodriguez in February.

“Brahimaj is dangerous with his arm triangles and his rear-naked chokes. Although Gorimbo’s last win came by knockout, he is primarily a grappler. The majority of this fight may take place in the clinch and on the ground, and Brahimaj has the grappling skills to win as an underdog,” Vithlani told SportsLine. See who else to back here.

How to make UFC Fight Night picks

Vithlani has strong picks for Barboza vs. Murphy and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “is a powerful boxer with a devastating right hand” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those picks are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $1,500 on his UFC main-card picks in 2023, and find out. 

UFC Fight Night odds, fight card:

See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets here.
Lerone Murphy (-150) vs. Edson Barboza (+125)
Khaos Williams (-130) vs. Carlston Harris (+110)
Themba Gorimbo (-145) Vs. Ramiz Brahimaj (+122)
Adrian Yanez (-360) vs. Vinicius Salvador (+285)
Luana Pinheiro (+130) vs. Angela Hill (-155)
Victor Martinez (+380) vs. Tom Nolan (-450)
Tamires Vidal (+270) vs. Melissa Gatto (-340)
Abus Magomedov (-275) vs. Warlley Alves (+230)
Alateng Heili (+135) vs. Kleydson Rodrigues (-160)
Emily Ducote (-320) vs. Vanessa Demopolous (+270)

The post UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Murphy odds, predictions, time: MMA expert makes surprising fight card picks first appeared on CBS Sports.

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