UFC Fight Night Showdown: Unveiling Expert Predictions for Ribas vs. Namajunas Clash

Amanda Ribas (8) vs. Rose Namajunas (UNR)

Namajunas (11-6-0) is coming off a three fight losing streak to Manon Fiorot (11-1-0), Gillian Robertson (13-8-0) in grappling, and Carla Esparza (19-7-0) is taking on Ribas (12-4-0) in our Main Event this weekend. Ribas is coming off a TKO win over Luana Pinheiro (11-2-0) and before that lost a great brawl with contendor Maycee Barber (14-2-0).

Both of these fighters are very closely matched physically. They are only one year apart at 30 and 31 and Ribas is 1″ inch shorter but has a 1″ inch arm reach advantage over Namajunas. I think its obvious that Namajunas has better wins than Ribas but I don’t like this matchup stylistically for her. Ribas comes to fight every time and we have seen Rose wilt under pressure. She is also riding a losing streak which means the momentum won’t be on her side.

One last thing that makes me lean towards Ribas is the fact the Trevor Wittman won’t be in her corner again. I think this spells disaster for Namajunas.

Pick: Ribas (Inside the Distance 70%, Decision: 30%)

Karl Williams (UNR) vs. Justin Tafa (UNR)

Williams (9-1-0) hasn’t lost since 2021 and has since been looking to get into contention against Tafa (7-3-0) who also hasn’t lost since that time. An interesting note is that Tafa’s wins are all by KO/TKO.

Physically, Williams has a 3″ inch height advantage, a 5″ arm inch reach advantage, but is 4 years older at 34 to Tafa’s 30. A few things history wise that I think are of note are that Williams’ attempts 4 takedowns per 15 minutes and averages 3 times the average fight time as Tafa. I think this will be the major difference in this fight. Williams will be looking to control Tafa until he runs out of steam and most likely take a decision win her.

There is always a chance that Tafa takes him out but I don’t see it happening with all of the physical disadvantages and clash of styles.

Pick:  Williams (Decision: 80%), Tafa (TKO/KO: 20%)

Edmen Shahbazyan (UNR) vs. AJ Dobson (UNR)

Edmen Shahbazyan (12-4-0) is coming off a brutal third round loss to Anthony Hernandez (12-2-0) and looking to rebound against AJ Dobson (7-2-0). Both of these prospects are looking to make a statement and further there careers with the UFC.

Shahbazyan is only 26 years old and has fought the likes of Jack Hermansson (24-8-0), Derek Brunson (24-9-0), and Brad Tavares (20-9-0). Dobson, on the other hand, hasn’t faced anyone in the same caliber as those fighters in my own opinion. Edmen is also 6 years younger and I believe will have the takedown defense to keep this fight standing and probably hand Dobson his first KO loss.

Pick: Shahbazyan (KO/TKO: 100%)

Payton Talbott (UNR) vs. Cameron Saaiman (UNR)

This should be a fun fight with two young prospects that have great records. Talbott (7-0-0) is coming off a third round submission victory over Nick Aguirre (7-2-0). Saaiman (9-1-0) of South Africa is trying to get back in the win column after losing his last fight to Christian Rodriguez (11-1-0) by decision.

Both fighters boast an over 70% finish rate. Talbott is 25 to Saaiman’s 23, he has a 2″ inch height advantage and a 3.5″ inch arm reach advantage. I think Talbott will most likely stop Saaiman with superior striking and keep the fight standing with his wrestling defense. He is the longer fighter and doubles Saaiman’s takedown defense rate at 88%.

This fight could also go to a hard fought decision. Most of the time when two fighters have a high finish rate, we go to a decision.

Pick: Talbott (Inside the Distance: 70%, Decision: 30%)

Billy Quarantillo (UNR) vs. Youssef Zalal (UNR)

Quarantillo (18-5-0) is never in a boring fight, having fought Edson Barboza (24-11-0), Alexander Hernandez (14-7-0), and Shane Burgos (16-5-0). Even in his losses he always will fight for your money and puts on a great show. Zalal (13-5-1) of Morroco was signed to the UFC back in 2020 and was met with a row of talent in Ilia Topuria (15-0-0), Seung Woo Choi (11-6-0), Sean Woodson (11-1-1), and Da’Mon Blackshear (14-6-1). He lost 3 of the 4 and had a draw with Blackshear for his last fight in the organization. He was then signed to Sparta Combat League where he would go on his current five fight winstreak.

Although this may seem like a comeback story, Zalal’s opponents in this current streak have a combined record of 21-14. His last opponent actually had a record of 0-0. Other than that he is only 27 years old to Billy’s 35 and has a 2″ inch arm reach advantage.

I just think that the dog in Quarantillo is going to be too much for Zalal and I see him getting the decision win here. Only because Zalal has never been finished and with him still being at a young age, I could see him surviving.

Pick: Quarantillo (Decision: 80%, Inside the Distance: 20%)

Luis Pajuelo (UNR) vs. Fernando Padilla (UNR)

Luis Pajuelo (8-1-0) is coming off a first round win in the Contender Series is riding a 5 fight win streak. Padilla (15-5-0) on the other hand, is looking at his third fight in the UFC after going 1-1 so far.

I like Padilla in this one to use his experience and physical advantages to get the win here. He is 3″ inches taller than Pajuelo and has a 6.5″ inch arm reach advantage. He is also 2 years the younger although they are both below 30 years of age at 27 and 29 respectively.

I am going with Padilla inside the distance here!

Pick: Padilla (Inside the Distance: 100%)