UFC Vegas 87 predictions & odds

  • Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Shamil Gaziev headline UFC Vegas 87
  • The card features several important fights
  • Here's everything you need to know in order to bet on Saturday night.
Dec 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Shamil Gaziev (blue gloves) during UFC 296 at T-Mobile Arena.
Dec 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Shamil Gaziev (blue gloves) during UFC 296 at T-Mobile Arena. / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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Ľudovít Klein (-800) vs. AJ Cunningham (+550)

Ľudovít Klein (20-4-1) is a rising lightweight, impressive thus far in his 4-2 Octagon run. The former Slovakian national boxing champion is one of the card's biggest favorites, taking on short notice replacement, AJ Cunningham (11-3). Klein is the shorter athlete at 5 feet 7 inches tall compared to Cunningham, who stands at 5 feet 10 inches. Klein is by far the much more experienced and battle-tested fighter.

Klein rides a three-fight win streak. Cunningham is 1-1 in his last two matches, one of which was a failed DWCS bid where he lost by second-round TKO. Klein must use his Octagon acumen, technical striking ability, and overall experience to thwart Cunningham. However, Cunningham is a finisher with eight stoppage wins who can certainly catch Klein. This is a risky fight for both gentlemen.

Prediction: Klein by decision.

Christian Leroy Duncan (-305) vs. Claudio Ribeiro (+245)

Rising middleweights take the Octagon when Christian Leroy Duncan (9-1) faces Claudio Ribeiro (11-4). Duncan is more experienced than his professional record indicates. He had an extensive amateur career, going 17-5 before turning pro in Cage Warriors.

The 6 foot 2 inch Duncan has a 79-inch reach and is only 28 years old compared to the 31-year-old Ribeiro. All of RIbeiro's wins are by knockout/TKO. Despite being the shorter man at 6 feet 1 inches tall, he is a dangerous finisher not to be taken lightly on the feet.

The two DWCS contract winners face off in the opposite circumstances. Duncan had a knockout win in his last fight, and Ribeiro was knocked out in his prior fight. Expect wild striking as both men swing heavy leather and are equally capable of concussing the other.

Prediction: Duncan by round one knockout

Aiemann Zahabi (+550) vs. Javid Basharat (-800)

This bantamweight fight between Aiemann Zahabi (10-2) and Javid Basharat (14-0) has one of the card's biggest odds disparities.

Zahabi has been a UFC veteran since 2017 and holds a 4-2 record with the promotion. He's won his last three fights and has eight career finishes. Basharat, however, is a surging and active contender with impressive performances thus far.

He is 4-0 in the UFC and is an exceptionally well-rounded mixed martial artist. He has 11 career finishes made up of five knockouts and six submissions. Before a no-contest with Victor Henry, Basharat looked poised for ranked competition. Henry is a 36-year-old veteran taking on a 28-year-old, hungry contender.

Prediction: Basharat by decision

Vinicius Oliveira (-142) vs. Benardo Sopaj (+120)

Bantamweight prospect Vinicius Oliveira (19-3) battles fellow UFC debutante Benardo Sopaj (11-2 ).

This is a short-notice fight between intriguing prospects. Oliveira earned his UFC contract after a violent DWCS knockout. The 28-year-old has tremendous power for his weight class, with 15 total knockout victories.

Sopaj is only 23 years old but has already compiled ten finish victories. He's won his last three fights. Oliveira holds pronounced advantages in experience and height. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall compared to Sopaj, who is only 5 feet 6 inches. Sopaj may be a game opponent for Oliveira, but the latter's experience, power, and ability to control range will likely make the difference.

Prediction: Oliveira by round one knockout