Should Amanda Ribas Be Such a Big Underdog Against Fading Rose Namajunas?

March 21, 2024
2 months

Rose Namajunas has been a part of some of the most exciting fights in UFC history. But those days seem to be well in the past. Over the past two years, Namajunas has only fought twice. In 2022, Namajunas hardly threw any punches in a disappointing split decision loss at UFC 274, now considered one of the most boring fights in UFC history.

During Namajunas’ next fight, she was thoroughly outclassed by Manon Fiorot in a flyweight bout. Going up in weight didn’t serve Namajunas, the former strawweight champion, well. Namajunas had a hard time handling Fiorot’s power.

That performance played a big role in Namajunas deciding to go back to strawweight to fight Amanda Ribas. Ribas, who is a sizable underdog in this fight, struggled in the UFC when she chose to go up in weight. Ribas had a memorable flyweight war with Maycee Barber in June 2023, where both women traded heavy shots in a bout that ended with Ribas being knocked out in the second round.

While Ribas has earned a place in the flyweight and strawweight rankings, she is better suited to the lighter weight. Ribas has also consistently proved her toughness in battles with Katlyn Chookagian and Barber. It’s possible that Namajunas may be able to turn back the clock and outclass Ribas.

However, this price seems a little too confident in what Namajunas has left in the tank. The odds have come down a little bit, but it is still worth backing Ribas at +190 or better.

Bets to consider: Under 4.5 (-152), Ribas +190

Tafa Brothers Up to Usual Tricks

Justin Tafa is doing the UFC a solid. Originally, Justin was supposed to fight Marcos Rogério de Lima at UFC 298. However, he had to pull out at the last minute.

Justin’s brother, Junior, who was scheduled to fight Karl Williams at this event, stepped in to fight de Lima. Because Junior suffered a KO loss at UFC 298, he wasn’t able to fight at this event. So Justin decided to step in and fight Williams for his brother.

Setting aside a no contest for an accidental finger poke, Justin has won three straight fights in the UFC by KO. The power in his hands will have to serve him well in this one. Williams is an extremely dedicated wrestler.

While Justin has never been submitted in the UFC, it is hard to know how he will handle Williams. For Williams, he needs to prove he can get the job done. During Williams’ last fight with Chase Sherman, he dominated with wrestling but fatigued late and had to hold on for a decision.

Bets to consider: Williams -186, Over 1.5 rounds

Edmen Shahbazyan Tries to Resurrect Falling Star

Edmen Shahbazyan, 26, started his career 11-0 and was thought of as a rising star in the UFC. Shahbazyan had come up the ranks as a training partner for Ronda Rousey, but a fight in August 2020 sent his career on a different path.

Shahbazyan was brutalized by Derek Brunson, who handed Shahbazyan a third-round TKO loss. Since then, Shahbazyan hasn’t looked like the same fighter. After a loss to Anthony Hernadez last May, Shahbazyan has lost four of his past five fights, including three by knockout.

Shahbazyan will need to be on his toes against A.J. Dobson, who is stepping in to replace Duško Todorović, who pulled out with a knee injury. Dobson is a well-rounded fighter who has finished three of his seven wins by KO/TKO.

This fight will give an idea of what Shahbazyan has left in the tank. Another loss here and he may be headed for the regional circuit.

Bets to consider: Under 2.5 rebounds, Shahbazyan by decision

Talbott Eager to Climb the Ranks

Payton Talbott earned a contract through Dana White’s Contender Series last year. Then he came crashing onto the UFC roster with a submission win over Nick Aguirre. With top-level striking and a penchant for finishing fights, the UFC is eager to challenge Talbott in a bantamweight bout with the experienced Cameron Saaiman.

Saaiman is a fighter who also has plenty of experience finishing fights. However, Saaiman is coming off his first career loss and has a penchant for getting hit with point deductions. Saaiman has had one point taken away from him due to illegal strikes in two of his past four fights.

This will be an interesting test for both men. Talbott and Saaiman still don’t have a lot of experience under their belts. The winner in this one would get a boost in reputation.

Bets to consider: Talbott by decision

Billy Quarantillo Ready for Another Action-Packed Fight

There is one thing that is for certain about any Billy Quarantillo fight. There will be plenty of action across 15 minutes of fighting. If the fight even lasts that long.

Quarantillo was originally supposed to fight Gabriel Miranda, but he dropped out of the fight. Instead he will take on Youssef Zalal. Zalal is on a three-fight winning streak against younger fighters according to the best MMA news sites.

Quarantillo has traded wins and losses over his past six fights according to MMAfighting latest updates. Three of those fights have ended via knockout.

Bets to consider: Quarantillo by decision, Quarantillo -150

Best of the Rest

Here’s a look at the rest of the fights on the card and some quick picks:

  • Featherweight, Fernando Padilla (-170) vs Luis Pajuelo (+130)
  • Lightweight, Trey Ogden (-150) vs Kurt Holobaugh (+120)
  • Bantamweight, Miles Johns (-150) vs Cody Gibson (+120)
  • Featherweight, Ricardo Ramos (-170) vs Julian Erosa (+130)
  • Featherweight, Jarno Errens (+150) vs Steven Nguyen (-200)
  • Women’s bantamweight, Montserrat Rendon (+180) vs Darya Zheleznyakova (-240)
  • Flyweight, Igor Severino (+145) vs Andre Lima (-190)
  • Heavyweight, Mohammed Usman (+115) vs Michael Parkin (-145)

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By Dean McHugh.