UFC Vegas 89 predictions, picks, odds: Namajunas-Ribas, Dobson-Shahbazyan

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UFC Vegas 89 is back in the APEX this Saturday for 13 fights.

It’s another one that might be tough to really get up for, with many fighters who are not quite up to the UFC level at this point.

But it’s better to have fights more often than not, even as March Madness kicks into high gear.

Last week, we hit Gerald Meerschaert by submission at +130 but missed on the main event, with Tai Tuivasa losing by submission.

It was slight profit, near-break-even, so we live to fight another day.

We target below a few underdog bets ahead of UFC Vegas 89. The card begins at 7 p.m. ET, with the prelims and the main card on ESPN.

UFC Vegas 89 predictions and picks

Rose Namajunas vs. Amanda Ribas

“Thug” Rose Namajunas is fighting this weekend and I’m just not sure she’s really into fighting anymore.

We all remember her KO win against Weili Zhang, but it seems like that was the moment she looked for her entire career.

She matches up with Amanda Ribas, one of the more violent female fighters in the division. She has some serious power and is a solid offensive grappler as well.

But Ribas will want to avoid grappling as a whole, possessing a serious size disadvantage in this one.

The underdog is under valued here. In her prime, Namajunas wins this one inside the distance, but there’s too many quit concerns to back her as a big favorite.

A funky betting technique for this one.

PICK: Ribas ML (+180, FanDuel) | Fight goes the distance (+135, Caesars), Ribas by decision (+460, BetRivers)

AJ Dobson faces Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC Vegas 89. Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

AJ Dobson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan

Once expected to be a future champion, Edmen Shahbazyan had all of the love after getting the stamp of approval from Ronda Rousey.

Since then, all we have found out is that Shahbazyan can’t defend a takedown to save his life, but his striking is pretty strong.

He’s a rightful favorite against AJ Dobson, a guy who has never been knocked out in his MMA career.

Dobson should be hunting for takedowns, but is far from dangerous or violent when he is actually on the mat.

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In fact, this has the making of a slow-paced cage push event where Dobson pushes Shabazyan against the cage for multiple minutes at a time.

He might not do enough damage to actually win a decision, though.

Three straight Dobson fights have gone this distance and if Armen Petrosyan can’t get a TKO on him, it’s hard to inspire confidence that Shabazyan will.

This fight goes the full 15.

PICK: Dobson-Shahbazyan goes the distance (+138, Bet365)

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