Dione Barbosa vs. Rainn Guerrero prediction | Contender Series 1

Dione Barbosa fills in on short notice in the opener of Week 5 of Dana White’s Contender Series. She’ll do battle with Rainn Guerrero in the women’s flyweight division as both women look to impress UFC brass and earn a contract

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Betting Odds

Even with Barbosa coming in on short notice, she’s currently almost a three-to-one favorite:

  • Dione Barbosa: -275 (BetUS)
  • Rainn Guerrero: +190 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Dione Barbosa is a Judo Olympian, holding a black belt in both Judo and BJJ. In MMA, she’s 5-2 and currently on a two fight win streak. Barbosa has gotten progressively better as a striker, training with Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA as well as Cris Cyborg, but still primarily tries to get in for her Judo throws and trips and control the fight with her smothering top pressure.

One area in particular you see her improve in is her ability to set up these throws with her strikes. She has great movement around the octagon and has gotten much better in recent fights at seeing strikes and reacting before they make contact. Her favorite weapon is the straight right hand from a conventional stance where she steps through into either another right hand (from southpaw) or a trip/double leg if her opponent covers up. She’s utilized the jab and counters more often in her recent fights and this improved striking has helped her hide her takedowns.

We do see her struggle to get takedowns along the fence when she’s controlling. Though she’s still found success in dragging her opponents down, her trips and throws aren’t as effective here and higher level competition will only increase the difficulty. That said, she’s physically strong and able to at least keep the dominant position along the cage until she breaks her opponent down; I’ll be interested to see how physically dominant she looks at 125 lbs.

Her opponent, Rain Guerrero is 31 years old with a pro MMA record of 5-1. She’s currently on a four fight win streak with a submission and knockout victory in that stretch. Guerrero is a high-pressure fighter who uses big shots on the feet to trap her opponent against the cage. She’s very strong and her pace wears on her opponents over the course of the fight but she’ll continue to march them down and put herself in the dominant position.

As a striker, Rainn is far from the most technical fighter. She wastes a lot of movement and throws strikes that are no danger to reaching her opponent. She’s at her best when she can make the fight ugly. She keeps a high guard and dips her head as she enters, throwing big shots up top to force her opponent to defend. This opens up her takedown and clinch opportunities if her opponent defends the strikes and if not, they’re backing up due to the pressure and power of her striking.

She does good work along the fence when she’s looking to take the fight to the ground. She gets a majority of her takedowns at the hips, transitioning between single and double leg attempts beautifully. She looks to control and keep position rather than chase the finish in these situations, forcing her opponent to work even harder to get to their feet. She relies a lot on her strength both to get the takedown and keep them down and has struggled to keep opponents down at times when she isn’t able to physically dominate them.


While I believe Barbosa is the more technical fighter, Guerrero is strong and keeps a great pace that can challenge Barbosa over the course of fifteen minutes and potentially steal rounds with cage control and heavy pressure. However Barbosa has good footwork and has grown in her striking; this paired with her expertise in the grappling department should keep Rainn from imposing her gameplan. Rainn isn’t great at defending off her back and obviously the Olympic-level Judo black belt will be looking to get on top and smother her. If Barbosa forces the fight to stay on the feet and can use her footwork to keep distance, I don’t think Guerrero’s striking will be sharp enough to trade effectively.

I believe Dione Barbosa is the better fighter both on the feet and as a grappler so I’ll take her to win. Guerrero is tough and will fight aggressively over the entire three rounds and Barbosa has never won via knockout, so I’m comfortable eliminating that method of victory. Barbosa might be aggressive looking for the submission, but given her last submission win came in 2018, I’m comfortable taking Barbosa by decision.

  • Prediction: Dione Barbosa to win -275
  • Best Bet: Dione Barbosa by submission

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