Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Fight Night Seoul: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

Apologies for this post being so close to the start of UFC Fight Night Seoul. I’ve been quite busy today so I’m going to just post the model estimates and bets without commentary. However, I must point out three things:

1: There’s been some very suspicious betting line movement in the Tae Hyun Bang vs. Leo Kuntz fight. Somehow Bang has gone from being a -200 favorite to a +350 underdog in a very short period of time. I think the best course of action here is to stay away from betting on the fight entirely.

2: The model actually wants me to bet more on Alberto Mina than I ended up doing, but I think it’s probably not a good idea to go above 10 percent of bankroll for any one bet.

3: There are actually two Dong Hyun Kims on this card. One is the “Stun Gun” we’ve all watched for a long time now. The other is a debuting fighter in the lightweight division.

2015 PICKS

Last event: 7-6 (53.8%)

Year to date: 268-143 (65.2%)




Favorite % Underdog %
 Benson Henderson 60.3% Jorge Masvidal 39.7%
 Dong Hyun Kim (WW) 86.3% Dom Waters 13.7%
 Alberto Mina 74.0% Yoshihiro Akiyama 26.0%
 Dominique Steele 52.1% Dong Hyun Kim (LW) 47.9%
 Doo Ho Choi 59.0% Sam Sicilia 41.0%
 Yui Chul Nam 50.5% Mike De La Torre 49.5%
 Tae Hyun Bang 54.5% Leo Kuntz 45.5%
 Dongi Yang 51.2% Jake Collier 48.8%
 Seo Hee Ham 53.6% Cortney Casey 46.4%
 Yao Zhikui 53.7% Freddy Serrano 46.3%
 Marco Beltran 51.3% Ning Guangyou 48.7%



Last event: +$18.02

Current bankroll: $334.36

Total investment: $1,577.01

Total profit: $234.36

Return on investment: 14.9%


For this event I have…

Alberto Mina +145: $33.44 to win $48.49

Yao Zhikui +145: $8.80 to win $12.76

Marco Beltran +160: $8.34 to win $13.34

Seo Hee Ham +135: $7.53 to win $10.17

Sam Sicilia +210: $4.69 to win $9.85

Jorge Masvidal +200: $3.34 to win $6.68

Dongi Yang +115: $3.04 to win $3.50


MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights! (Assuming you hate sleep or live somewhere far away from the Pacific time zone where I am.)

UFC Fight Night Monterrey: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

2015 PICKS

Last event: 8-5 (61.5%)

Year to date: 261-137 (65.6%)



Favorite % Underdog %
 Kelvin Gastelum 54.0% Neil Magny 46.0%
 Ricardo Lamas 61.8% Diego Sanchez 38.2%
 Henry Cejudo 59.7% Jussier Formiga 40.3%
 Enrique Marin 63.5% Erick Montano 36.5%
 Enrique Barzola 59.6% Horacio Gutierrez 40.4%
 Efrain Escudero 58.8% Leandro Silva 41.2%
 Erik Perez 56.5% Taylor Lapilus 43.5%
 Bartosz Fabinski 72.1% Hector Urbina 27.9%
 Alejandro Perez 53.7% Scott Jorgensen 46.3%
 Andre Fili 60.5% Gabriel Benitez 39.5%
 Vernon Ramos 61.0% Alvaro Herrera 39.0%
 Cesar Arzamendia 64.5% Polo Reyes 35.5%
 Valmir Lazaro 63.0% Michel Prazeres 37.0%

As usual, the model favors many of the same fighters who are favored by the betting lines, but suggests the fights are closer than expected. Kelvin Gastelum is a -295 favorite to beat Neil Magny but the model says his chances of winning are barely better than a coin flip. Ricardo Lamas is listed as a -475 favorite to beat Diego Sanchez, but the model says his chances are just 61.8%. Henry Cejudo is a -525 favorite to beat Jussier Formiga, but the model says he’s just a 59.7% favorite.

My guess is that the truth is somewhere between the betting lines and the model estimates. I can see why a fighter like Lamas is so heavily favored; Lamas has been consistently competitive at a high level while Diego Sanchez hasn’t won a fight convincingly since he fought Paulo Thiago at UFC 121. Meanwhile, Henry Cejudo is a world-class wrestler and athlete who is unlikely to allow Jussier Formiga to drag him to the ground.

But as we saw with Ronda Rousey last week, it can be hard to envision a big upset happening until it actually does.

Underdog picks for this event include: Enrique Barzola, Efrain Escudero, and Alejandro Perez.



Last event: +$9.49

Current bankroll: $316.34

Total investment: $1,513.82

Total profit: $216.34

Return on investment: 14.3%

So Holly Holm at +1200 was a winner, and it allowed me to walk away with a small gain after losing bets on Richie Vaculik, Anton Zafir, and Uriah Hall. That result shows why I’m generally skeptical any time the betting lines suggest that one fighter is over a 10-1 underdog.

For this event I have…

Enrique Barzola +150: $11.93 to win $17.90

Jussier Formiga +450: $9.11 to win $41.00

Neil Magny +265: $8.47 to win $22.45

Efrain Escudero +120: $7.96 to win $9.55

Diego Sanchez +420: $7.55 to win $31.71


Valmir Lazaro -110: $7.05 to win $6.41

Bartosz Fabinski -205: $4.31 to win $2.10

Alejandro Perez +115: $3.82 to win $4.39

Erik Perez -105: $2.99 to win $2.85

My biggest bet is on TUF: Latin America 2 finalist Enrique Barzola. I have not watched a single minute of this version of TUF so I have no idea if I should feel good about this bet or not.

Then there’s Neil Magny, who has been very good to me when it comes to degenerate gambling over the year. I’m honestly quite surprised to see him listed at a +265 price against Kelvin Gastelum, who will attempt to cut to 170 pounds again later today. I know Magny took the fight on short notice, but he already showed he can handle a short notice fight well when he beat Erick Silva earlier this year.

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

Reaction – Holly Holm Knocks Out Ronda Rousey

It’s late and I’m sleepy, so I’m going to keep this short. But I can’t NOT write about what I saw earlier tonight…

Ronda Rousey opened as a -1450 favorite to beat Holly Holm, who was a +950 underdog. Rousey made it all the way to -2000 but late betting action took the line on Rousey all the way down to -750. So as long as we’re looking at closing lines, Holm’s win is not the biggest upset in UFC history. But if you’re looking at the fact that Holm was priced at +1250 at one point, then it IS the biggest upset.

I’ve watched enough Rousey fights to know that she tends to move forward very aggressively, she almost always gets hit a couple times coming in, and she fights at a frenetic pace. I always wanted to see what would happen if an opponent was able to circle out consistently and take Rousey into deeper waters, but it always seemed like Rousey would be able to get the clinch, get the fight to the ground, and finish by armbar. For a fighter like Holm, who had never been tested against a grappling based opponent, I figured the fight would end the same way it usually does.

As it turns out, Holm had the skills and the game plan necessary to take advantage of the flaws in Rousey’s game. Early on, I thought Rousey was standing and boxing with Holm to try to prove a point – to show that Rousey could box with Holm. When it became clear that Rousey could not box with Holm, I expected Rousey to change gears and go to her “bread and butter” – the judo/grappling game. There was one ground scramble and one clinch, but for the most part, Holm was able to use her straight punches and footwork to keep Rousey at distance.

As Rousey’s demeanor changed from “terminator” to having doubts, Holm started to really take over. Her distance control and punching accuracy were outstanding, and it was amazing to watch Holm side-step Rousey and see Rousey stumbling in desperate attempts to attack. The head kick knockout was the perfect finisher to an amazing performance.

So here’s the question: who would I favor in a rematch? On one hand, this performance by Holm was not a fluke. It was a one-sided beatdown. Holm made Rousey look bad. On the other hand, Holm is the same fighter who went to split decision against Raquel Pennington in her UFC debut. Without doing a thorough analysis (or consulting the statistical model) I would probably pick Rousey to win a rematch… if I was assured that Rousey would use this as an opportunity to evolve and grow as a fighter. But if you told me that Rousey would attack Holm exactly the same way in a rematch, I would have to pick Holm to win it.

And speaking candidly, I’m glad that Holm won this fight. Rousey’s act has really been wearing thin with me. I don’t blame her for using her celebrity status as an opportunity to build her brand, but a lot of what she’s said has been tabloid fodder – which the media has been all too eager to report. I would be happy to go a couple months without hearing about Rousey vs. Mayweather, or Rousey beating up random guys in her past, or who Rousey thinks should be the next president, etc.

As for Holm, her performance was thrilling to watch, and it’s injected life into a division that sorely needed it.

UFC 193: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

2015 PICKS

Last event: 11-2 (84.6%)

Year to date: 253-132 (65.7%)

I was thinking about whether to credit the Patrick Cummins-Glover Teixeira fight as a win or loss, as the model favored Cummins but I made it clear that I felt Teixeira was the real favorite. I’ve ultimately decided to count it as a loss, since the model is really what’s being tested here.


Favorite % Underdog %
 Ronda Rousey 80.7% Holly Holm 19.3%
 Joanna Jedrzejczyk 76.9% Valerie Letourneau 23.1%
 Mark Hunt 57.5% Antonio Silva 42.5%
 Uriah Hall 70.1% Robert Whittaker 29.9%
 Jared Rosholt 62.0% Stefan Struve 38.0%
 Jake Matthews 74.3% Akbarh Arreola 25.7%
 Peter Sobotta 51.4% Kyle Noke 48.6%
 Gian Villante 65.0% Anthony Perosh 35.0%
 Richie Vaculik 68.2% Danny Martinez 31.8%
 Steve Montgomery 57.6% Daniel Kelly 42.4%
 Richard Walsh 70.0% Steven Kennedy 30.0%
 James Moontasri 52.3% Anton Zafir 47.7%
 Ben Nguyen 56.1% Ryan Benoit 43.9%

I’ve written before that Ronda Rousey is the kind of fighter who is impossible to model with statistics. That continues to be the case going into her championship fight against Holly Holm. Rousey routinely finishes her opponents in under a minute, and is now winning by knockout as well as submission. She’s faced all of the top fighters in her division and none of them have been competitive. There’s simply nobody like her in MMA.

Even so, Rousey vs. Holm is an even greater mismatch than usual, in the sense that Holm isn’t as good as most of Rousey’s past UFC opponents. Holm went to a close decision against Raquel Pennington and then won a convincing (if dull) decision against Marion Reneau. So Holm has performed decently against two mid-tier opponents while Rousey has crushed the best fighters in the division. It would be like a college football team winning two close games against Mountain West opponents and then being thrown into a game against Ohio State. What do you think is going to happen?

Now, I think the model struggles with Joanna Jedrzejczyk as well, but I also think the betting line on her title defense against Valerie Letourneau is out of control. At -1700 or higher, Jedrzejczyk is actually a bigger favorite against Letourneau than Rousey is against Holm. Letourneau is probably comparable to Holm as a title challenger; both are good but not great fighters being thrown into title fights before they’ve really proven they deserve the opportunity. And while Jedrzejczyk has certainly been very impressive in her fights, she hasn’t been dominant on Rousey’s level.

Of course, I’ll still be shocked if either Rousey or Jedrzejczyk loses.

When Mark Hunt took on Antonio Silva the first time, the model slightly favored Silva to win. This time, Hunt is the slight favorite. Hunt and Silva really are a very good match for each other; Hunt has the striking advantage and Silva has the grappling advantage. Neither fighter has a great chin at this point (Hunt’s was cracked long ago). I would say I’d be shocked to see it go the distance, but that’s what I said last time too.

All of a sudden, the model likes Uriah Hall a lot after his shocking upset win over Gegard Mousasi. I’m more skeptical of Hall than the model is. In beating Mousasi, Hall proved that he’s a very dangerous kicker capable of winning by knockout at any moment – but we knew that already. Hall still hasn’t proved that he’s a good boxer, or that he can defend takedowns against a strong wrestler. I think his fight against Robert Whittaker is probably closer to a toss-up than the model suggests.


Last event: +$17.78

Current bankroll: $306.85

Total investment: $1,467.51

Total profit: $206.85

Return on investment: 14.1%

Having only three bets on last week’s UFC Fight Night from Sao Paulo paid off. Gleison Tibau and Jimmie Rivera were both winners while I lost a small bet on +410 underdog Patrick Cummins.

For this event I have…

Richie Vaculik +100: $8.65 to win $8.65

Anton Zafir +290: $6.38 to win $18.50

Uriah Hall -140: $5.95 to win $4.25

Jared Rosholt +100: $4.77 to win $4.77

Antonio Silva +245: $3.56 to win $8.72

Daniel Kelly +240: $3.41 to win $8.18

Anthony Perosh +365: $3.14 to win $11.46

Valerie Letourneau +1100: $2.90 to win $31.90

Akbarh Arreola +750: $2.84 to win $21.30

Kyle Noke +150: $2.53 to win $3.80

Holly Holm +1200: $2.18 to win $26.16

Boom. One week after having only three bets, I’m coming back with 11 bets for UFC 193. I’ve placed 11 bets on an event once before, at UFC Fight Night in San Diego earlier this year. That ended up being a losing event, so hopefully this one will be different.

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

2015 PICKS

Last event: 5-4 (55.6%)

Year to date: 242-130 (65.1%)


Favorite % Underdog %
 Vitor Belfort 72.1% Dan Henderson 27.9%
 Patrick Cummins 51.6% Glover Teixeira 48.4%
 Thomas Almeida 62.3% Anthony Birchak 37.7%
 Alex Oliveira 50.1% Piotr Hallmann 49.9%
 Rashid Magomedov 66.5% Gilbert Burns 33.5%
 Corey Anderson 84.6% Fabio Maldonado 15.4%
 Gleison Tibau 90.2% Abel Trujillo 9.8%
 Johnny Case 67.0% Yan Cabral 33.0%
 Clay Guida 65.1% Thiago Tavares 34.9%
 Chas Skelly 52.9% Kevin Souza 47.1%
 Viscardi Andrade 53.3% Gasan Umalatov 46.7%
 Jimmie Rivera 72.0% Pedro Munhoz 28.0%
 Matheus Nicolau Pereira 54.1% Bruno Korea 45.9%

I’ll be honest with you, if somebody told me that I would get a million dollars if I picked the fight between Patrick Cummins and Glover Teixeira correctly, I would pick Teixeira. Teixeira is the more accomplished fighter but the model thinks Cummins will have a massive takedown advantage, which is why he’s slightly favored. I happen to think Teixeira is the far superior striker and has an overall skill set that will carry him to victory here. Cummins is not Phil Davis…

I said before Dan Henderson’s fight against Tim Boetsch that his big right hand is his only way to win fights at a high level now. Sure enough, Henderson knocked Boetsch out with that right hand. It’s possible that Henderson can knock out Vitor Belfort as well, but I think a Belfort knockout win is much more likely.

The other fight I need to mention is Gleison Tibau vs. Abel Trujillo, a fight that is evenly matched according to the betting lines. Once again, takedowns are the reason why the model estimates are so different. Tibau lands a lot of takedowns on a consistent basis while Trujillo has been taken down a lot, most notably against Khabib Nurmagomedov. I think the truth is probably somewhere between the model and the betting lines.


Last event: -$37.86

Current bankroll: $289.07

Total investment: $1,444.61

Total profit: $189.07

Return on investment: 13.1%

It turns out the model wasn’t justified to love Cathal Pendred so much. Pendred got knocked out in the first round by Tom Breese, making my biggest bet for UFC Fight Night Dublin a loser. I’m now on a three-event losing streak, but hopefully that will end now.

For this event I have…

Gleison Tibau -115: $15.45 to win $13.43

Jimmie Rivera +150: $4.72 to win $7.08

Patrick Cummins +410: $2.73 to win $11.19

That’s it, just three bets this time. I only need Gleison Tibau to win to break the losing streak. If Tibau loses, I’ll need upsets from both Jimmie Rivera and Patrick Cummins. We’ll see what happens.

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

UFC Fight Night Dublin: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

Apologies for this post being a little later than usual; I’ve been in Reno for Jason Somerville’s Run it UP! event. (Where I’ve been through a workout coached by T.J. Dillashaw… I know, sick brag.)

The bad news for this weekend’s UFC event from Dublin is that there is no main event. Sure, they’re calling Paddy Holohan vs. Louis Smolka the main event, but that’s not really a main event, it’s just the last fight on the card. And poor Ben Rothwell showed up in Ireland even though he didn’t have an opponent after Stipe Miocic’s withdrawal.

The good news is that there are still some compelling and well-matched fights. It’s an event for more hardcore fans, to be sure, but there should at least be some good fights on the card.

I don’t have a full stats update for this card, but know that UFC 192 went very poorly (-$44.46) and I’m working with a bankroll of $326.93 coming into this one.


Favorite % Underdog %
 Paddy Holohan 55.2% Louis Smolka 44.8%
 Norman Parke 59.4% Reza Madadi 40.6%
 Nicolas Dalby 53.2% Darren Till 46.8%
 Jon Delos Reyes 52.0% Neil Seery 48.0%
 Steven Ray 70.7% Mickael Lebout 29.3%
 Aisling Daly 66.9% Ericka Almeida 33.1%
 Krzysztof Jotko 52.7% Scott Askham 47.3%
 Cathal Pendred 65.2% Tom Breese 34.8%
 Darren Elkins 64.8% Rob Whiteford 35.2%
 Bubba Bush 70.9% Garreth McLellan 29.1%

Holohan and Smolka are both tall, lanky flyweights. Smolka is the more active striker but Holohan should have a pretty large edge in takedowns. If Holohan starts having trouble getting Smolka down, I would favor Smolka in a striking match.

Madadi was fairly successful in his pre-jail UFC stint, but opponent Norman Parke has been very tough to take down. Madadi will want this fight on the ground if he wants to win, but that’s easier said than done.

Nicolas Dalby is more established than Darren Till, but Till enters with an 8-year youth advantage. I expect Dalby to have the advantage in takedowns and Till to have the advantage in strikes. Both fighters are undefeated with Dalby at 14-0 and Till at 13-0.

Neil Seery is the better technical striker, but Jon Delos Reyes is the better and younger athlete and has a lot more knockout power. The model gives the slight edge to Reyes but his overall game is still very rough around the edges.

And then, of course, I have to mention Cathal Pendred, who the model really likes despite looking terrible in all of his fights. Pendred’s current total UFC statistics: 177 to 197 in significant strikes, 12 to 1 in takedowns. That, combined with Pendred’s decent record, is enough for the model to favor him against Tom Breese.

For this event I have…

Cathal Pendred +230: $34.93 to win $80.34

Aisling Daly -125: $11.94 to win $9.55

Jon Delos Reyes +140: $7.50 to win $10.50

Darren Elkins -140: $6.40 to win $4.57

Reza Madadi +220: $5.48 to win $12.06

Mickael Lebout +450: $5.48 to win $24.66

Krzysztof Jotko +120: $5.33 to win $6.40

Paddy Holohan +105: $4.99 to win $5.24

Pendred 30-27 incoming… I hope!

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

UFC 192: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

The main event of this show features a light-heavyweight title match between Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson. I hate that Gustafsson is getting a title fight coming off a knockout loss to Anthony Johnson, but I know exactly what the UFC is doing. If Cormier wins, the UFC can promote a rematch between him and Jon Jones and play up the rivalry angle. If Gustafsson wins, the UFC can promote a rematch by highlighting how competitive his first fight against Jones was.

If the more deserving Ryan Bader had received the title shot and found a way to beat Cormier, it would have been a lot harder to sell a Jones-Bader rematch, because Jones just shut Bader down in their fight (and because Bader just isn’t as much of a star as Gustafsson).

2015 PICKS

Last event: 7-2 (77.8%)

Year to date: 228-123 (65.0%)


Favorite % Underdog %
 Daniel Cormier 77.5% Alexander Gustafsson 22.5%
 Johny Hendricks 69.1% Tyron Woodley 30.9%
 Ryan Bader 57.0% Rashad Evans 43.0%
 Shawn Jordan 51.8% Ruslan Magomedov 48.2%
 Julianna Pena 71.6% Jessica Eye 28.4%
 Yair Rodriguez 59.6% Daniel Hooker 40.4%
 Joseph Benavidez 75.8% Ali Bagautinov 24.2%
 Albert Tumenov 66.4% Alan Jouban 33.6%
 Rose Namajunas 56.8% Angela Hill 43.2%
 Islam Makhachev 52.8% Adriano Martins 47.2%
 Sage Northcutt 62.5% Frank Trevino 37.5%
 Sergio Pettis 64.6% Chris Cariaso 35.4%
 Viktor Pesta 70.6% Derrick Lewis 29.4%

I’m including the Hendricks-Woodley estimate even though that fight is off, because I know people would be curious about it. This latest weight cutting mishap just further fuels my opinion that fighters should be erring on the side of cutting less weight, rather than the side of cutting more weight.

In the main event, the model sees Cormier as a 7-2 favorite to successfully defend his title against Gustafsson. The biggest reason for this is the fact that Gustafsson is coming off a knockout loss; his ranking has diminished and it’s worth questioning how prepared he is to fight for the title after getting clobbered by Anthony Johnson earlier this year. While I think Gustafsson’s takedown defense remains badly underrated, he’s very hittable at distance and hasn’t had to face a wrestler quite like Cormier before. I have to think Cormier grinds him out and wins by decision, and perhaps TKO.

The model likes underdog Bader to beat the returning Rashad Evans. It doesn’t seem to me that Evans should be favored after multiple major knee injuries, but he’s -130 at the moment.

The sudden promotional push the UFC has been giving Sage Northcutt is bizarre to me. For one, Northcutt shouldn’t be in the UFC yet. He’s 19 years old and has one year of professional MMA experience. He hasn’t defeated any UFC-caliber opposition. I think Northcutt could really use another year and at least three more fights before stepping up to the UFC.

And sure enough, Northcutt’s betting price has jumped from -230 to -420 on the strength of that promotion. In other words, it’s gone from being reasonable to being unreasonable. The model still likes Northcutt’s chances because of his youth advantage (and the fact that Frank Trevino isn’t very good). But this is a tougher fight than is being advertised, and could easily be a spot where Northcutt gets tripped up.

Underdog picks for this card include: Bader and Shawn Jordan, both of whom are below 60 percent.


Last event: -$30.85

Current bankroll: $371.39

Total investment: $1,272.19

Total profit: $271.39

Return on investment: 21.3%

UFC Fight Night Japan was a bust. It actually would have been a winning night if Teruto Ishihara got one judge to score one more round for him. But in the end, Keita Nakamura +235 was my only winning bet. Gegard Mousasi’s shocking loss to Uriah Hall didn’t help matters.

For this event I have…

Viktor Pesta -150: $16.61 to win $11.07

Shawn Jordan +175: $14.75 to win $25.81

Daniel Cormier -245: $13.28 to win $5.42

Ryan Bader +120: $12.37 to win $14.84

Frank Trevino +375: $12.13 to win $45.49

Daniel Hooker +255: $9.46 to win $24.12

Angela Hill +210: $8.87 to win $18.63

Alan Jouban +240: $2.90 to win $6.96

For some reason Cormier’s betting price dipped from -350 to -245 today. Does somebody know something I don’t?

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

UFC Fight Night Japan: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

2015 PICKS

Last event: 8-3 (72.7%)

Year to date: 221-121 (64.6%)


Favorite % Underdog %
 Josh Barnett 72.4% Roy Nelson 27.6%
 Gegard Mousasi 87.7% Uriah Hall 12.3%
 Kyoji Horiguchi 65.5% Chico Camus 34.5%
 Takeya Mizugaki 63.6% George Roop 36.4%
 Diego Brandao 62.2% Katsunori Kikuno 37.8%
 Teruto Ishihara 52.5% Mizuto Hirota 47.5%
 Li Jingliang 54.0% Keita Nakamura 46.0%
 Nick Hein 50.2% Yusuke Kasuya 49.8%
 Kajan Johnson 67.8% Naoyuki Kotani 32.2%
 Roger Zapata 62.9% Shinsho Anzai 37.1%

For the most part, the model is in alignment with the betting lines, but there is some disparity on the prelims. The one underdog being favored by the model is Teruto Ishihara, who is taking on featherweight grinder Mizuto Hirota. I have to say that Ishihara is a small bantamweight who’s moving up to 145 to battle Hirota, so I don’t know if I really think Ishihara is a favorite to win. The model also has Nick Hein vs. Yusuke Kasuya as a coin flip despite fairly lopsided odds.


Last event: +$79.67

Current bankroll: $402.24

Total investment: $1170.56

Total profit: $302.24

Return on investment: 25.8%

It turns out that I wasn’t crazy and Ross Pearson was badly undervalued against Paul Felder at UFC 191. That win accounts for most of the 80 dollars in profit I made, and I also got wins from Andrei Arlovski, Joe Riggs (by DQ), Corey Anderson, and John Lineker.

For this event I have…

Teruto Ishihara +245: $23.41 to win $57.35

Yusuke Kasuya +290: $22.76 to win $66.00

Keita Nakamura +235: $14.14 to win $33.23

Roger Zapata -110: $13.40 to win $12.18

Gegard Mousasi -550: $11.86 to win $2.16

Chico Camus +310: $7.30 to win $22.63

Katsunori Kikuno +200: $3.40 to win $6.80

Naoyuki Kotani +260: $3.08 to win $8.01

George Roop +200: $2.28 to win $4.56

With the bankroll crossing the $400 mark for the first time, there are bigger bets on this event than I’m accustomed to. As long as one of the two big underdog bets wins, this event can’t end too badly.

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

Bellator Main Card Statistical Model Estimates

I’ve been asked to share what the model has to say about some fights outside the UFC. The reason I don’t normally post estimates for non-UFC fights is because Fight Metric only collects data for UFC these days. I do use a backup model for fighters with no Fight Metric data, but I haven’t tested the model and can’t speak to its accuracy, especially as a comparison for the betting lines.

I’m not going to promise making this a regular thing, but tomorrow’s card has some good fighters, so how bad can it be?

Favorite % Underdog %
Liam McGeary 61.6% Tito Ortiz 38.4%
Josh Thomson 70.9% Mike Bronzoulis 29.1%
Muhammed Lawal 78.5% Linton Vassell 21.5%
Phil Davis 86.9% Emanuel Newton 13.1%

The model has a lot more faith in Tito Ortiz than the betting lines, but I’m skeptical. Ortiz looked really bad against Stephan Bonnar, but found a way to win because Bonnar looked even worse. I don’t see him getting away with that kind of performance against Liam McGeary.

The model’s biggest favorite of the night is Phil Davis, even though he’s set to face Emanuel Newton. I think it’s safe to say that Newton simply hasn’t ever had to face a fighter quite like Davis, who is a far superior athlete to Newton. Sure, I’d give Newton the striking edge, but I have my doubts that he’ll be able to fend off the takedowns and grappling of Davis.

My Plans When The Year is Done

I’ve had quite a few people send me tweets, emails, and comments asking me to find a way to relay my statistical model estimates and some analysis after I’m done blogging.

I want to make it very clear to everybody that I’m not disappearing after I’m done writing at the end of the year. My current plan is to start putting model estimates, degenerate gambler picks, and analysis on Twitter at the beginning of 2016. So for those of you who have been offering to send me money… I REALLY appreciate the offer but it’s very much not necessary. My stuff will be on Twitter!

My Twitter handle is @dwilliamsmma so give me a follow. And yes, I fully acknowledge that I haven’t been very active on Twitter, but that will change when the new year hits, believe me.

Hopefully this will be seen as good news for those of you who have worried that I was going to disappear into the ether.


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