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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Alex Perez (+270) vs. Muhammad Mokaev (-340)

Top 10 flyweights take to the Octagon when former title challenger Alex Perez (24-7 ) returns to fight undefeated wrecking machine Muhammad Mokaev (11-0).

Injury and inactivity have been the story for the 31-year-old Perez since his 2020 failed title bid against former champ Deiveson Figueiredo. Beforehand, the standout wrestler had great success going 6-1 in the UFC before dropping his last two bouts by first-round submission. He'll look to hold his No. 7 ranking against the No. 8 ranked Mokaev.

Since bursting on the scene in 2022, 23-year-old Mokaev has proven to be one of MMA's most promising young talents. The grappling specialist had a decorated 23-0 amateur career. He has six career submissions as a professional, including three straight before this fight. He often finishes fights late, weathering his opponent's early storms and remaining dangerous throughout the contest.

Mokaev is the division's future; bad luck and circumstance are in danger of thrusting Perez into the past. Mokaev has been active and excels in areas Perez struggles with. Expect Mokaev to hunt takedowns and ground control early. Mokaev can endanger Perez if he has not tightened up these deficiencies before returning.

Prediction: Mokaev by round three submission

Vitor Petrino (-305) vs. Tyson Pedro (+245)

The co-main event in light heavyweight between Vitor Petrino (10-0) and Tyson Pedro (10-4 ) could be an absolute banger of a fight.

Both men have heavy power. The 26-year-old Petrino is a certified knockout artist with seven such victories. He went 3-0 in the UFC in 2023 and most recently knocked out Modestas Bukauskas.

Pedro also enters this fight with a knockout in his last performance against Anton Turkalj. The 32-year-old Pedro has been a UFC fighter since 2016. He has shown flashes of brilliance but has never quite gotten the right wins to live up to his potential. Pedro is one of the strongest light heavyweight punchers and has finished all his victories.

Both combatants stack up well despite Pedro being slightly taller at 6 feet 3 inches compared to Petrino at 6 feet 2 inches. Pedro also has a 79-inch reach, edging him over Petrino's 77.5-inch wingspan. Given each warrior's skills, this fight will likely play out closer than the odds suggest. Key factors to consider are Pedro's power and veteran cunning, contrasting Petrino's aggression and momentum.

Prediction: Pedro by round two knockout