UFC Vegas 89 Main Card Best Bets: Explosive Matchups and Betting Blitz

Billy Quarantillo UFC 282 Nevada
Billy Quarantillo stands in his corner before facing Alexander Hernandez in a featherweight fight during the UFC 282 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 10, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

The UFC returns to Vegas this Saturday, and we could witness a clash of titans when a pair of heavyweight brutes, Karl Williams and Justin Tafa, throw down in the co-main event.

Elsewhere on the main card, Youssef Zalal is welcomed back to the promotion with an uber-difficult opponent in Billy Quarantillo waiting in the wings. This fight is guaranteed to bring the violence.

Let’s stop wasting time and dive right into our most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC Vegas 89 co-main and aforementioned main card bout.

Picks Summary

  • Billy Quarantillo ML (-165) 
  • Karl Williams ML (-175)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

Billy Quarantillo vs. Youssef Zalal

UFC Vegas 89 Featherweight Main Event Bout

Saturday, March 23, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at UFC Apex

Billy Quarantillo

With a 6-3 UFC record, Billy Quarantillo has lost to Gavin Tucker, Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza. The man doesn’t lose to mid-tier fighters; it’s plain and simple. He’s a cardio machine that doesn’t stop throwing volume, and most featherweights that don’t possess significant gas tanks will struggle.

  • Billy Q Pro MMA Record: 18-5-0
  • Billy Q KOs: 8
  • Billy Q Submissions: 5

Youssef Zalal

Youssef Zalal was previously released from the UFC with a 3-3-1 record and zero wins inside the distance. He’s dominated since returning to the regionals, but his most recent win was over a 0-0-0 fighter. So, is he prepared to jump back into the shark-infested waters of the UFC?

  • Zalal Pro MMA Record: 13-5-1
  • Zalal KOs: 4
  • Zalal Submissions: 6

Quarantillo vs. Zalal: Fight Tape Analysis

Interestingly, I previously highlighted how fighters must have a respectable level of cardio to survive with Billy Q. Zalal doesn’t slow down, which leads me to believe that a volume game will play out. And when it comes to volume, Quarantillo throws a huge number of strikes from the first to the third round.

Sure, Zalal returns to the UFC with three stoppage wins from his last four bouts. Still, the level of competition isn’t comparable, and his previous stint in the promotion saw him falter at finding a stoppage victory in seven attempts.

UFC Vegas 89 Main Event Odds & Prediction

The UFC pricing with OddsTraders’ top sportsbooks has positioned Billy Q as the betting favorite, and I’m in total agreement. I’d go as far as paying up to -190 on this line, as I simply cannot envision Zalal matching Quarantillo’s tempo and output.

Furthermore, the favorite enters Saturday behind a full fight camp in preparation for Gabriel Mirando. Zalal is taking this on short notice against an absolute cardio monster who’ll put it on him constantly.

UFC Pick: Quarantillo ML (-165) [1.65u returns 1u profit] at Bet365

Karl Williams vs. Justin Tafa

UFC Vegas 89 Heavyweight Co-Main Event Bout

Saturday, March 23, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at UFC Apex

Karl Williams

While his elite-level resume undoubtedly lacks, Karl Williams has had a bright start to his UFC tenure and walked out of 2023 with a 2-0 record for the promotion.

In a rare instance for the heavyweight division, Williams is a heavyweight who can avoid destruction and utilize a wrestling game plan where he neutralizes the opposition in grounded positions. However, can he overcome another heavy-hitting monster this weekend?

  • Williams Pro MMA Record: 9-1-0
  • Williams KOs: 5
  • Williams Submissions: 10

Justin Tafa

Like Tai Tuivasa from last week’s card, another Aussie heavyweight steps up at the top of the main card this weekend. Another similarity is that he’s known for his KO power.

Tafa, 30, has won 3 of his last 4 UFC bouts via KO/TKO, and without a serious and viable game plan, most opponents will crumble to the concrete he packs in those gloves.

Tafa Pro MMA Record: 7-3-0

Tafa KOs: 5

Tafa Submissions: 10

Williams vs. Tafa: Fight Tape Analysis

Tafa is an excellent striker, and he has the power to end anybody’s night early. Unfortunately, limited skill sets can only take you so far, and despite holding an impressive record of late, it’s only a matter of time before his octagon deficiencies are exposed.

In wrestling scenarios, Williams’ blast double is takedown super impressive, and he’s also a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. Should Tafa give up just one takedown to Williams, he isn’t going to get up.

Williams’ cardio, takedown threat and significant size advantage should be too much for Tafa, a fighter who’s limited in his paths to victory this weekend.

UFC Vegas 89 Co-Main Event Odds & Prediction

The UFC odds have placed Williams as the betting favorite, but a respectable price of -175 is available at Bet365.

Considering the upside of Williams’ wrestling advantage, I’m surprised the line hasn’t drifted further. I suppose his inexperience and Tafa’s long-standing position as UFC mainstay factor into this, but ultimately, the limitations of the Aussie’s skill set will likely cost him.

The KO threat is always possible when Tafa’s in the cage, but it’s been his only path to victory since his professional debut in 2017. In mixed martial arts, diversity is a must, and Williams’s wrestling is likely going to drain Tafa, who’s instantly limited on the ground.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the purple belt comes into play as the grappler collects his first UFC victory inside the distance.

UFC Pick: Williams (-175) [1u returns 1u profit] at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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