Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

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!


9 responses to “UFC 193: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

  1. r.mattioli November 13, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    “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”…

    .i have to take issue with this statement,brother….the problem being that the difference between the pennington`s and reneau`s of the division and “so called elite” isn`t really all that much of a difference…experience wise,maybe…talent-wise,not very much…this division is pretty much the worst division in any combat sport I can remember …compared to the neophyte strawweight division it`s laughable…there are no dominant strikers in the division…not a one(holm was a boxing champ who couldn`t break an egg…she`ll be running like a thief)…`s pretty obvious when non-striker rousey rushes in eschewing defense and knocks these girls out with the first punch(or volley of punches) that theres not much there there….it tells you everything you need to know…….when “betche” correia is a title contender,it`s time to scrap the division and start over….. the best of the bunch are probably Andrade and nunes and perennial contender tate….it`s a mess…it`s no wonder that someone with a dominant,world class single skill set has dominated this group of house fraus…..what really grates for me is then seeing rousey and her co-conspirator dana white continue to set every bar possible to avoid a fight with cyborg at a fair weight for both…..this is the woman who competed at 155 in the worlds and olympics. and was more than willing to fight gina carano at any weight…..

    some super champ,she….

    this is one of the greatest marketing jobs in sports history…if gadelha and jedrzejczyk were bigger,rousey would finally have actual opponents….it`s much like the men`s flyweight division…weak and deficient….a coincidence that the supposed best “pfp” fighters(rousey and mighty mouse) come from these divisions?…I don`t think so….when the divisions are so obviously sad, and one fighter is heads and tails better than the sad sacks who share the division,you spin and market…

    I remember the great mighty mouse fighting a “whole” Dominick cruz…that didn`t work out too well…maybe cruz will prove to be damaged goods in his long awaited return and mighty mouse will be able to avenge the loss?…..and cruz?…2 fights in 4 years because of numerous,repetitve injury…

    he kind of lost some luster because he`s a walking mash unit and hasn`t been able to produce for the good of the collective……so he gets thrown into a championship fight without a tune-up?…well,that`s fair…lol…

    in boxing,many times the great champs would move up when they cleaned out a division…but that`s not the ufc…

    ufc is a business,period…and as george once said,some animals are more equal than others…

    I`ll be back with some fight observations later…keep keepin` on ,david !!

    • David Williams November 13, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      I hear what you’re saying. I happen to think fighters like Miesha Tate, Alexis Davis, and Cat Zingano are a cut above Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau. Either way, the real point is that Holly Holm hasn’t been performing at anywhere near Ronda Rousey’s level, and that’s a point you obviously agree with.

      • r.mattioli November 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

        I hear you brother…I just want to see rousey tested…she may well be as good as advertised….certainly she`s made a sham-mockery of this group…

        as far as the card goes,i have some pars pending with hunt as the kicker…it`s a relatively significant amount(it won`t break me,but I certainly wouldn`t enjoy taking a hit here..much less than my alvarez over cotto in boxing par kicker…i stand a chance to make a decent withdrawal from 5 dimes if both hit)…..that said,after reconsidering the beating miocic put on hunt,i hedged a bit with “beefoo”…..I keep reading that sans trt,beefoo is a walkover…I think he`s damaged goods,without a doubt…but hunt also has some significant wear and tear on him…he`s 41….hoping he`s goosed by fighting at home and can stay off his back…

        liking the opening fight between benoit and nguyen for sheer enjoyment….both guys are finishers…was looking at the “fight doesn`t go the distance” prop at -130…always a bit of a gamble on finishes with the little guys….but I`m expecting a very competitive scrap here…

        I thought letouneau looked particularly gaunt and drawn at the weigh-in…she`s a big girl at the weight and has been able to make the weight cut…. but this time she looked rough..looked like she lost some serious muscle….I`ll be curious to see how she looks come post time…the pole is not a good opponent to step in with when you`re seriously weight-cut diminished…. maybe she`ll be able to replenish….if she`s all there,it could be a very good fight….

        kyle noke has always disappointed me(always thought he should be better)….sobotta on a roll….interesting fight…


  2. Howard Morton November 14, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I am most intrigued by the Robert Whitaker/ Uriah Hall fight. My gut tells me Whitaker wins by SD.

    I think Holly Holm is worth a small bet, but she probably gets subbed in the first.

    UFC 193 is not a deep card. UFC 194 is the big boy.

  3. JF1 November 14, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    +1 for Howard Morton, 80% is the program thinking Hall’s striking is magic, it’s occasional magic. Hall does badly against wrestlers, and is inactive at times vs an active fighter like RW

    SILVA’s tin chin is not reflected well in the program

  4. obraz November 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm


  5. r.mattioli November 14, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    exposed vs a real boxer…and embarrassed…..couldn`t happen to a more classless _ _ _ _ _.

    congrats holly and anybody that had the faith to take a flyer(way to go,david!)……….

  6. Stoyan November 14, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Lmao, I’ve never been more satisfied after a fighter got knocked out

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