UFC Vegas 89: Odds, Picks, Predictions and Best Bets

UFC Vegas 89: Odds, Picks, Predictions and Best Bets

This week, we remain at the APEX for UFC Vegas 89. Preliminaries start at 1 p.m. PT, with the main card beginning at 4 p.m. PT. If we thought last week’s fight slate featured indistinguishable names, then this week’s slate makes last week’s fight card appear like UFC 299!

There are fourteen fights scheduled, five of which feature debuting/contender series fighters. Of those five bouts, three feature debuting athletes against UFC veteran fighters with one, two, and two bouts under their belts, respectively. The other two debuts face one another in a battle of Brazil.

These matchups offer little hard data. Therefore, it should be clear why I chose to overlook them to concentrate on battles that provide deeper historical data.

Eight fights on LV89 feature athletes with a five-plus-year difference in age (56% advantage for the younger athlete), and four feature a six/seven-year variance (65% advantage for the younger combatant). Only three meetings on this card feature athletes weighing over the 155-pound lightweight limit.

Last week, favorites earned a 5-7 mark, dropping their success rate this year to 62.7%, which is right at typical UFC favorite levels.

My release of Mike Davis, then priced -310, finished his overmatched opponent in the first round. Davis closed -500 or better, proving that there is in fact a time to feed on a favorite, provided advantage lies within the number. I parlayed Davis into this week’s main event, where Rose Namajunas, then priced -175, will return a net profit of +1.07u should she earn victory. That was a half-unit investment.

As of this publication, Namajunas is priced at -245 in her matchup against Amanda Ribas for the main event, which I will explain now.

Digital profit in 2024 stands: 5-4 +3.05u

Women’s flyweight (125 pounds) main event

Ribas, a Brazilian, is ranked eighth in the division. She is a vivacious young woman who is developing MMA skills each day. She competes between two divisions, strawweight (115 pounds) and flyweight (125 pounds), which is foundational to this handicap.

Ribas has openly stated that she prefers to compete in the lighter strawweight division. She is decorated with black belts in BJJ and Judo, providing her aptitude on both the feet and the floor.

In Namajunas, we have the former strawweight champion who has simply ‘outmatured’ her ability to effectively make weight at the lower weight division.

This will be Rose’s second foray into the flyweight division. In her first bout, she lost a razor-close decision to third-ranked Manon Fiorot, which places her squarely in the top five of the division, though she is still unranked.

Namajunas is a silent killer. Decorated with black belts in BJJ, Taekwondo, and Karate, She can grapple and utilize her athleticism to maintain distance. This provides her ample space to measure opponents and then blast them with kicks, strikes, elbows, and spinning techniques.

Ribas steps up in class for this one, while Namajunas faces a crossroads battle. If Namajunas loses, her ability to compete for this title is jeopardized. She enters this foray with a specific focus and height/size advantage.

Two flies fighting in a barrel is a metaphor for this brawl, as the smaller cage will have a negligible effect on the maneuvering room for each athlete.

Both women are adept at using footwork to create striking opportunities, but it is Namajunas’s power, experience, and championship pedigree that differentiate these two.

Investing in Namajunas last week at -175 provided digital readers who bet her into this bout with a great price advantage.

In a fight lined 4.5 Rds. Under -145, Namajunas has earned the rightful position of firm favorite in this matchup.

UFC Vegas 89 Best Bet: Namajunas .5u to return 1.07u

This pick is in play from last week’s parlay release.

Those unable to invest in that release may consider Namajunas ‘via finish’ to avoid paying the heavy favorite fee, but that prop is not yet available at DraftKings, where these lines emanate from.

Heavyweight (265 pounds) co-main event

A couple of unranked heavy hitters face off in the small cage, where confrontation is unavoidable.

Williams, from the Virgin Islands, is four years older at age 34. He is three inches taller and will hold a five-inch reach advantage in this scrap. His level of UFC competition concerns me in this battle.

Tafa, an Australian, was originally scheduled to fight a few weeks back against Brazilian Marcos Rogerio de Lima, but he caught a bug. In an unusual but timely situation, his younger brother, Junior Tafa, stepped in on just a few hours’ notice and finished the fight in the first round.

I regard Justin, who fights Saturday, as the more capable, powerful, experienced Tafa. It has worked out well that the UFC can allow Tafa this opportunity to earn against Williams who steps in on short notice to compete.

Despite Williams’ height and reach advantages, Tafa has faced the more competent level of UFC competition. He is 4-3 in the organization. All four of his victories have come via finish.

Williams opened -268 in this fight, and a steady stream of investment has come in of Tafa who has had ample time to prepare for a fight.

The total in this fight opened 1.5 Over -195, and that Over number has been bet down to -165, signaling the potential for one of these behemoths to finish the other.

Based on the more competent level of fighters faced, Tafa holds an advantage in this fight despite being the betting underdog.

UFC Vegas 89 Best Bet: Tafa +150 .5u to win .75u

Readers may also consider Tafa via KO/TKO/DQ, though again, that offering will not be available at DraftKings until later this week.

The GambLou ‘Bout Business Podcast is profiting at a 9% ROI this year. My final releases are available Friday midday PT at GambLou.com.

Thank you for reading, and enjoy the hostilities!