May 05, 2023 12:17 PM
Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Movsar Evloev vs Diego Lopes at UFC 288

Click here for today’s sports betting tips from our expert analysts!


When is UFC 288? Sunday 7th May, 2023 - 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 288? Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey (US)

Where can I get tickets for UFC 288? Click here to buy tickets for UFC 288

What channel is UFC 288 on? BT Sport 1

Where can I stream UFC 288? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!


Movsar Evloev (16-0) steps in for Jonathan Pearce who misses out on his main card slot due to injury. His loss is Evloev’s gain who has been desperate to appear this year after his sole outing in 2022. It was one of his best performances grinding out Dan Ige to extend his unbeaten record which include six UFC dubs.

Diego Lopes (21-5) also fills in as a replacement. Pearce’s original opponent was Bryce Mitchell who unfortunately had to pull out the week of the pay-per-view card. His loss his Lopes’ gain who has bounced back after a disappointing 2021. He lost two on the bounce but has responded with knockouts over Kenn Glenn and Angel Rodriguez this year.


Lopes has nothing to lose stepping up in just a few days’ notice to take on the unbeaten featherweight contender. Evloev is inevitably the heavy favourite and expected to shut the newcomer down with his wrestling.

However, Lopes has the ability to cause the upset. He has power in his hands and has a lot of experience in the bank. He did not pass his Contender Series audition last year, but he did take Joanderson Brito to a decision who’s stock continues to rise.

We feel Lopes is good enough to stay afloat in the featherweight division and is very exciting to watch with a 90% finish rate. When he ends up on his back, he has the jiu-jitsu to cause problems.

However, Evloev is too seasoned to make any mistakes and will pin the Brazilian to the canvas and the cage long enough to drain the gas tank and sway the judges.

We have seen upsets like this before and considering the odds, Lopes is worth a small punt, but on paper, the Russian should take this all day.

Prediction: Evloev via Decision - CLICK HERE FOR PARIMATCH'S WELCOME OFFER (BET £5, GET £30 IN BONUSES!)

Value bet: Lopes to win

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