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UFC Vegas 89 Betting Preview: Our 4 Best Bets for Ribas vs Namajunas

Carmelo Roldan
Written by Carmelo Roldan
March 22, 2024
UFC Vegas 89 Our Best Bets for Ribas VS Namajunas

Our residency at the Apex continues this Saturday for UFC Vegas 89, headlined by Rose Namajunas and Amanda Ribas. Check out our top plays to place before the card kicks off at 7 PM EST.

Montserrat Rendon vs. Darya Zheleznyakova u2.5 rounds +225 (ESPN)

Let's swing for the fences here on this big plus-money play. Zheleznyakova will be in a great position to expose Rendon's striking. Most of Rendon's strikes are simple jabs and straights with almost no power behind them, while Zheleznyakova is an excellent boxer who can throw with volume.

5 out of her 8 wins have come from TKO stoppages, and if she can put together a couple of combos, she should force the referee to pull her off Rendon early in this one.

Rendon may have the advantage if this one gets to the ground, though. Zheleznyakova's only loss came from a TKO stoppage once she gave up full mount to fellow women's UFC bantamweight Melissa Dixon.

Trusting Rendon to end the fight if it goes there may be tough, but if she can get in a dominant position, she could also force a stoppage if enough uncontested shots land. With both women having clear holes in their game, I like the value we get here for this one to end before the 2.5 mark.

Luis Pajuelo +3.5 -120 (DraftKings)

With this expected to be a stand-up contest, I like getting the 3.5 points with the underdog Pajuelo. If you're unfamiliar with spread betting in MMA, we win if Pajuelo wins or if he loses to a decision but covers on points. A 29-28 scorecard from all three judges would be a winning bet, regardless of the fight's winner.

It's hard to see Fernando Padilla taking all three rounds with how he came out in his last fight against Kyle Nelson. Padilla looked good in round one but struggled to make adjustments in the rounds afterward and ended up losing by unanimous decision.

Of course, he will look to correct those mistakes, but Pajuelo is durable and will look to walk Padilla down for the full 15 minutes if this one goes that far. Padilla may be the more technical striker, but I like Pajuelo to do more damage, which should put him in a good spot to cover for us or even win outright.

Billy Quarantillo ML -110 (Bet365)

I believe Billy Q holds the edge on Zalal at every level, and where Zalal has looked at his best—on the mat—is exactly where Quarantillo will look to take this fight to use his jiu-jitsu blackbelt.

Quarantillo is also known for his elite cardio, pushing the pace for all three rounds against his opponents. That should weigh heavily on Zalal, who hasn't had a full training camp leading up to this and hasn't been out of the first round in his three fights since getting released from the company in 2022.

Maybe the oddsmakers are afraid of the age gap here, but I don't think Billy Q loses to this tier of featherweights yet. This is too tough of a fight to take on short notice after spending two years outside of the UFC for Zelal. Back Billy Q with confidence.

Sunday, July 14 at 12:45 AM
Tracy Cortez
Rose Namajunas

Parlay: Edmen Shahbazyan ML AND Rose Namajunas ML +126 (Bet365)

On paper, Shahbazyan doesn't look like a great pick, seeing that he's 1-3 in his last four. However, those losses have come from Anthony Hernandez, Nassourdine Imaov, and Jack Hermansson—all top middleweight players.

He needs a reset opponent, and he'll get one in AJ Dobson. AJ is 1-2 since his Contender series win, and I don't think he's UFC-level. He's a low-volume striker, and his wrestling hasn't been good enough to give him an edge over anyone besides Tafon Nchukwi, who has one foot out of the company after three straight losses.

Look for Shahbazyan to get back on track with a comfortable decision win. Unlike Rose's first fight at flyweight, she'll be the bigger fighter in her matchup against Amanda Ribas.

Ribas has spent some time at flyweight (2-2), but her success has mostly come at strawweight (6-1). Along with her smaller frame, Ribas also has poor striking defense, which should lead to Rose landing some power shots early in this one.

Additionally, Rose's experience in five-round fights should further give her an edge. Rose has seen four of her fights go the full five, while Ribas hasn't been past a third.

If Rose finally decides to let her hands go, she should take this easily. I like Rose to land some early shots on Ribas, slowing her down for the later rounds when she can score a late stoppage or decision win.

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