Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wanderlei Silva vs Stann

A highlight video of Wanderlai Silva to get people excited for Saturday's event. Won't be betting on the Silva vs Stann fight but should an awesome fight. Credit to youtube user rtinnin79 for making this video.

UFC on Fuel TV 8 finalized bets

Earlier on in the week I suggested betting on Stefan Struve providing the odds moved in the direction we wanted it to. He is currently available to back inside the distance at -117 which is good value and is I bet I would suggest making. Odds available here click on the props section.
I have looked over the card and the current odds but I was struggling to find any line that I could find significant value in. I considered Hector Lombard but at around -200 I don't see too much value. The Fukuda vs Tavares is an interesting one but I have a hard time picking a clear winner and the odds reflect that. A positive from this was that Fukuda was available to back at +105 at one point with Tavares also being available at +110 which enabled an arbitrage bet for guaranteed profit. For any readers that don't know the concept of an arbitrage bet I will be writing an article on that aspect of betting soon.

Rather then force another bet on this card I will just suggest betting Struve inside the distance. It is important not to bet for the sake the sake of betting as this is not a positive habit that leads to profitable betting. As MMA events become more prevalent, with fights available to bet on almost a weekly basis then it becomes easier to hold off betting as I know that there will be value to be found in the near future. This is something that is important for anyone that wants to make money and relates to taking your betting seriously, don't bet just because you enjoy the rush, make sure that there is value in your bets as this will make you a long term winning bettor.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Are you a gambler or an Investor?

I have noticed that there is almost a parallel reaction between telling someone you are/want to be a professional gambler/investor. I remember telling one of my friends that my ambition was to be a professional gambler it was met with a snort of derision and humour.
'Make sure you have a back up plan."
"That's risky business."
"Is that a real job?"
Were some of his comments. Even after I explained how I had two years of success in my previous betting. I explained how I approached my bets with diligent research and analysis.I explained the concept of finding value in odds. My friends mind was already made up GAMBLING IS BAD.
When speaking to my friend a few months later I told him that I had decided I wanted to be a professional investor and that I had already had some previous successes with my investments.This news was met with a nod of approval from my friend.
"Smart move."
"There is a lot of money to be made if your sharp."
"That's a solid career path."

So what does a professional gambler do?
He/She analyzes their chosen sports market and invests where they predict there is value.
What does a investor do?
He/She analyzes a chosen market and invests where they predict there is value.
So really the only difference between the two is the public perception of the word "gambler" and "Investor."
There are both profitable and unprofitable "Investors" as are there "gamblers", bad and good, intelligent and unintelligent. I am not on a crusade to promote the word "gambler", to purge it from the murky depths that it dwells. All I would say that is whether you would call yourself an "investor" or a "gambler" just make sure that you are good at what you do. Don't wildly gamble take pride in what you are doing, respect it and take the time to research your bets.


Monday, 25 February 2013

UFC on Fuel TV Mark Hunt vs Stefan Struve analysis

On March the 3rd heavy handed, hard headed, heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt takes on the "Skyscraper" Stefan Struve in what should prove to be an entertaining bout. Hunt last fought Cheick Kongo over a year ago and won via KO. Struve is coming off his most impressive victory over heavily touted fighter Stipe Miocic.

So how do these two heavyweight competitors match up? Starting with the striking element of mixed martial arts, Mark Hunt is an accomplished K1 striker and has the majority of his MMA wins by KO. Hunt is known for the power he posses in his hands but he is more then just a brawler, Hunt is up there with best strikers in the UFC's heavyweight division. Despite his frame Hunt is an agile fighter and he will mix his boxing technique with an array of kicks to keep his opponents guessing. Hunt also has great movement for someone of his size and despite being small for a heavyweight at 5'10 he is an accurate strikers, who uses angles effectively and can find his range fairly quickly in a fight. Hunt is a deadly finisher and if he hurts his opponent he will usually finish them with a volley of vicious strikes.
Stefan Struve is a giant of a man at 7'0 feet tall however in past fights he had not really utilized his great reach advantage. In the Stipe Miocic fight we began to see the potential for Struve's striking as he used his range much more effectively peppering Miocic with a good jab throughout their contest. Struve does not have the striking experience or pedigree that Hunt has and will be at a disadvantage if the fight stays a striking contest. He will have to rely on his kicks and jab to keep Hunt from closing the distance and landing his power shots. In striking there is a clear advantage to Mark Hunt.

Next up we compare the two's grappling pedigree. Hunt's Achilles heel in MMA has always been his grappling as evidenced by his 6 submission losses. He has shown some improvement in his wrestling and ability to get back to his feet as shown in his fight against Ben Rothwell. Hunt has the type of frame that should aid his takedown defence as he is compact and has a lot of weight behind his hips however Struve usual method of takedown's comes from the clinch. He is very good at tripping his opponents and using his weight to pull them down to the ground. Despite the improvements Hunt has made he wants no part of Struve's ground game as this is where he will most likely come unstuck.
Struve is an excellent grappler and proficient from both his guard and in top position, he holds 16 victories via submission. Struve is the not the quickest or very agile and his does not use traditional wrestling to get his opponents on the ground due to his height, he is not afraid to jump guard in the clinch and as mentioned previously posses trips and throws to ground his opponent. In grappling there is a clear edge to Struve.

What are some other factors we should be aware of?  Hunt is coming back from a long injury and a year long layoff at the age of 38 this could play a large factor in his cardiovascular performance and athletic ability. Struve is coming into this fight on the back of his most well rounded performance ever and at the age of 25 years old he looks to be coming into his prime. Struve had shown a good gas tank in previous fights that have gone into the later rounds and I believe he will have a cardio advantage in this fight.
The fight will take place in Japan where Hunt is known from his Pride FC days, he will probably be able to adjust to the environment quicker then Struve will.

This fight like the majority of fights comes down to who can implement their game plan more effectively? Hunts weakness is Struve's biggest strength this coinciding with Hunt's average takedown defense leads me to believe that Struve has the larger chance of victory in this fight. Hunt's best chance to land a big shot and put away Struve before they clinch up. I believe then that Hunt's chances of victory are around 30-35% the best odds currently available are +160 indicating a 38% probability. I think Struve's chances of victory are at 65-70% with his current odds at -170 indicating a 63% chance of victory.

The odds are pretty tight and I don't see a huge amount of value in them currently. I would advise then to either see if Stuve's line improves to the -160 or better and then make the a bet or wait for the submission prop to come out and take Struve by submission at -140 or better. 
Odds available at

Sunday, 24 February 2013

UFC 157 (return to form)

Well UFC 157 was a success for my two suggested bets as Machida and Faber both came through with the victories. Faber looked impressive and showed why he is always worth betting when facing mid to upper tier level fighters. Machida did enough to secure a points win over Henderson and showed his usual excellent footwork, timing and utilization of range, be interesting to see him fight against Jon Jones again. The whole event was enjoyable to watch with Grice vs Bermudez stealing the show and an upset victory for Robbie Lawler over the (lovable) Josh Koshcheck. Will have some betting previews up for next weeks event in Japan soon, researching Mark Hunt vs Stefan Struve as I write.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

UFC 157 Faber vs Menjivar analysis

UFC 157 sees the rematch of the "California kid" Urijah Faber against the "Pride of El Salvador" Ivan Menjivar. Faber comes in off the back of a loss to Renan Barao his record stands at 26-6 whilst Menjivar most recently submitted Azamat Gashimov via armbar and has a record of 25-9 losses. The two combatants fought in 2006 where Faber won via a DQ in what had been a competitive bout up until that point. So how do the two match up today in the year 2013?

Menjivar is a decent striker who mixes up his offence and throws unorthodox spinning back fists and kicks which add an air of unpredictability to his stand up game. He has a few KO victories on his resume, Menjivar can overwhelm lesser strikers with his volume and mixture of strikes but against more accomplished strikers he is easily countered due to his sometimes reckless striking and open defense. Menjivar does not particulary excel at any one area of standup fighting but he is well rounded enough to hold his own against other mid level strikers.
Faber however is not a mid level striker and even in losses to Dominic Cruz and Renan Barao he shown improved striking and accurate boxing. Faber had not shown much one shot knockout power but he has the power to daze an opponent and then capitalize with his proficient submission game. Faber is a good boxer I believe that he will be able to counter Menjivar on the feet given the weakness in Menjivar's stand up. Faber also has a good muay thai skill set and strings together seamless combo's of knees, punches and elbows. The overall advantage in striking in this fight goes to Faber as he is the quicker and more technical striker of the two.

In the grappling aspect of this fight who has the advantage? Again Menjivar is a decent grappler and well rounded from both top position and also on his back. He has the majority of his wins by submission and his last two victories have come via submission, Menjivar has only been submitted once in his career. Menjivar is strong at 135 pounds and has fought as high as Welterweight in his career which normally enables him to secure a takedowns through his strength and tenacity. Faber's grappling skill set negates what Menjivar can do and then betters it in a few area's. Faber himself is an adept submission fighter with 14 wins via submission and has never been submitted in his career. Faber is a great wrestler and has good mma wrestling in chaining together his takedown attempts with strikes and threatening with submissions. His strength, speed and technique will allow him to get the upper hand in any scramble with Menjivar and end up in top position.
From top position Faber should be able to avoid Menjivar's submission attempts and do damage with short punches and elbows, then threatening with guard passes and submissions. In the grappling aspect of this fight I give a large advantage to Faber who's overall athleticism coinciding with his technique will be too much for Menjivar.

What are some factors that we should be aware of when betting this fight? This fight will be in Faber's hometown of California meaning that he will have the huge support during this fight. Faber has shown in the past that he performs well coming off a loss, interestingly each time Faber has lost he has rebounded with a submission victory. Menjivar has now become a full time mixed martial artist where as before he juggled his MMA career with a full time job will this lead to a more evolved fighter stepping up to face Faber.

When looking at this fight as a whole I don't see Menjivar winning outside of a crazy spinning backfist/kick that lands. If this does happen I believe it to be a low probability around 10%. Faber has a multitude of ways to win this fight whether it is on the feet, via submission or grinding out a decision and bloodying Menjivar on the ground. Faber is the better athlete and more proficient in every aspect of mixed martial arts in comparison to Menjivar.
I would advise a bet of 2 units on Faber at the current line of -350 and would play this up to -400 if you miss the best price.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dealing with losses/Variance

After going 0-2 on my bets this weekend it seems fitting to do an article on the importance of dealing with losses and encountering variance during your betting career. So how we do we deal with losing and what is variance?  Variance is the difference between what is expected and the actuals. it is the difference between "should take" and "did take."
The deviation from the actuals is called variance. Variance can be of two types positive and negative.
Anyone who has ever invested heavily in sports betting or poker will have encountered runs of positive and negative variance. It is a hugely uplifting feeling to go on an 8-0 upwards winning steak, it seems that every bet you make comes off and you are printing money. When you go 0-8 however it is hugely demoralizing, a run like this can ruin even the most talented of sports investor as it can mentally break you and release negative habits.

So what measures do we put in place to make sure that a losing run does not ruin our betting bank.
Number 1 is to have a set amount of money that you use for your betting, this is known as your bankroll. This should be seen as an investment and will help you to maintain a professional outlook on betting.
Number 2 is to bet a percentage of your bankroll, If you adjust your betting to your bankroll amount then you alter your betting amount depending on how much money you have at the time. I would use 5% of my bankroll for a normal bet and 10% for a bet that I believe has a large expected value. As I only bet on 2 or 3 fights on a card I am not laying a big amount of my bankroll on the line in any one event.
Number 3 base your bets on the information you had beforehand and not on what the result is. This can be difficult after you see all 3-4 of your chosen fighters lose in a row, however if you are diligent in your research beforehand then you have done all you can as whatever happens in the cage/ring is out of your control.
Following these simple steps will allow you to deal with any negative variance.

As for this weekend Nedkov was looking promising against Watson as he landed big shots and secured his takedown's as was expected. Watson though was able to get back to his feet easier then I predicted and his  durability was what eventually won him the fight as he wore down Nedkov for the KO. This fight was extremely close so I still think taking the underdog is this fight was the right play. The second bet was on Cyril Diabate again this fight went as expected as Manuwa came out strong. Diabate survived the first round and had landed some hard knee's to the body which would have paid dividends in later rounds. Unfortunately Diabate tore his calf and was unable to continue. So I ended the event 0-2 but looking at how the fights played out it is merely a small bump in variance that comes along once in a while. Looking forward to the UFC 157 will have some analysis soon.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Nedkov vs Watson

Nedkov vs Watson
The 12-0 Bulgarian bulldozer Stanislav Nedkov takes on British striker Tom Watson who's record stands at 15-5.Nedkov is coming off a submission loss to Thaigo Silva which was later overturned due to Silva's marajuana use, Watson is also coming off a loss to American Brad Tavares.

Looking at the two striking styles it becomes immediately apparent that Watson is the more well rounded and refined striker whilst Nedkov is much more of a power striker. Watson is an experienced striker who mixes up his strikes with a barrage of punches, kicks, knees and elbows. Watson does not posses the same power that Nedkov does and the majority of his stoppages come from his opponents being overwhelmed with a barrage of strikes. Watson uses circular movement and is good at adjusting his strikes depending on his opponents range. Watson does not utilize too much head movement and has shown a willingness to stand in the pocket with other fighters and trade shots. Watson has a good chin and can eat some big punches as evidenced in his last fight against Tavares, he has never been knocked out in his MMA career.

Nedkov's striking is much more linear then Watson's he throws all of his shots with explosive power and an intent to KO his opponent. Nedkov has power in both his hands and likes to get close to his opponents where he can unleash his barrage of hooks and utilize his power. Nedkov relies more on his power then a technical efficiency which has proven to be successful in his previous fights. His defence is usually to go on the offensive if he gets hit, he also has shown a solid chin throughout his career.
I believe that Watson has an edge the striking area of this fight as he is the more accurate and well rounded of the two.

In comparing the two's grappling skill set I believe that Nedkov has the advantage here. Nedkov has a stocky frame that is suited towards wrestling, alongside his competitive background in wrestling which make Nedkov the stronger grappler. Watson mainly uses his wrestling to get back to his feet and has struggled against good grapplers such as Jesse Taylor who he dropped a decision to. Watson is a decent grappler but I give a big edge here to Nedkov who I believe will have a strength advantage in the clinch and should be able to secure takedowns throughout the fight. I think that Nedkov's top game will be strong enough to contain Watson's scrambling attempts and he will be able to land some damaging shots.

Watson is fighting at home and is used to competing in London, as he has fought there in the past for several UK promotions. He will have the home crowd rallying behind him which could earn his favour with the judges if the fight goes to a decision. Watson is also comfortable at middleweight whilst Nedkov is making his move down from Light Heavyweight for the first time which may have an adverse effect on Nedkov's cardio. Nedkov last fight had him returning from a lengthy injury, having fought more recently Nedkov may have had time to shake off any octagon rust and be more comfortable in the octagon this time.

When I look at who can impose their gameplan more effectively in this fight I believe that it is Stanislaz Nedkov. I think that he will be able to land the takedown and that Watson will have to pick his shots carefully to avoid Nedkov's power strikes and also to avoid his takedown attempts/ clinch work. Watson does have a few more extrinsic factors that will aid him however I would put his winning percentage around 40-45% percent with Nedkov at around 55-60%.
In this fight I would advise a bet on Stanislav Nedkov at +110 upwards. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Key points to profitable MMA betting part 3

Betting on the UFC: Small factors add up to make big edges
When betting on an MMA match the first thing I will determine is how the skill sets of the fighters match up this will give me a general calculation of the win percentage of each fighter. After this however there are many factors that need to be analyzed.

Is the fight at altitude? If it is then does the fighter train at altitude?
As this can radically effect a fighters gameplan as well as how they perform during the fight if their cardiovascular system is not used/or used to altitude.Weight cut? Has there been any indication that a fighter has had a difficult weight cut, how does this relate to their gameplan? how does this relate to their opponents gameplan? A good example of this is when Thiago Alves fought Jon Fitch for the second time. Alves struggled making weight and as Fitch employs a grinding, wearing style an advantage went the way of Fitch.

Is the fight a 3 round or 5 round fight? Does this suit one fighter better then another? Who are the assigned judges for the event? Do they have a history of favouring certain styles or showing home bias? Is one of the fighters fighting in his hometown or home country?
Is a fighter close to a title shot? Does he/she have momentum on his/her side? How have they handled pressure in the past?

Occasionally rumors of injuries will emerge? How will the injury effect the fighter's performance? If a fighter relies on his wrestling and is rumored  to have a knee injury will he still be effective. A prime example of this is Rampage vs Bader. Rampage came into the fight with a knee injury which effected his ability to defend takedowns which subsequently lost him a decision.

Personal problems can effect a fighters performance. Are they recently divorced, expecting a baby very soon, just had a baby, had a family death anything that could majorly upset a fighter's camp or mindset needs to be looked at. When Forest Griffin fought Shogun for the second time his wife was expecting a baby in pre fight interviews Griffin seemed unfocused and unmotivated for this fight, he was knocked out fairly quickly. Jake Shield's father died fairly shortly before his fight with Jake Ellenberger  he was also knocked out fairly quickly. This is not always the case however if you can use this information alongside other factors you can determine whether it will have a negative effect on performance.

Sometimes information that could have helped you with your betting is not disclosed, which is understandable as competitive fighters do not want to show any weakness pre fight. But sometimes you will come across information that will help you in your betting. The best way to do this is to keep informed, read the news sites, twitter, facebook and watch pre fight interviews of the fighters.

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Saturday, 9 February 2013

Manuwa vs Diabate betting preview

UFC on Fuel 7
Jimi Manuwa vs Cyril Diabiate
In perhaps the most intriguing match up of the card 12-0 Jimi Manuwa takes on experienced striker and MMA veteran Cyril Diabate whose record stands at 19-8.
Manuwa impressed with his explosive UFC debut beating Kyle Kingsbury until a stoppage was called at the end of round 2. Manuwa has finished every single one of his 12 opponents. Diabate himself has strung together two wins and impressed in his submission victory over Chad Griggs. I was somewhat torn on who I thought will win this fight when I first saw the match up. Is Jimi Manuwa the real deal or is he the next Houston Alexander? Has Diabate finally become a well rounded mixed martial artist?

If we analyze the striking of two it is apparent that Diabate has the better striking pedigree. Formerly a k-1 competitor Diabate is a long and rangy striker with a similar body type to Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Diabate is a southpaw who uses his range well and mixes his striking with an assortment of kicks, knees and punches. Diabate also posses good timing and uses his reach well to counter with his accurate straight left when opponents lunge forward. His striking defense however sometimes leaves him vunerable as he does not use much head movement and when opponents get inside his range he moves straight backwards and finds himself against the cage and outside of his comfort zone.
Jimi Manuwa is an explosive striker with big power in both of his hands. He likes to get on the inside of his opponents and use powerful hooks  and uppercuts to the body and head. Due to his explosive frame he also posses fast powerful kicks alongside explosive knees and lunging punches. He has also shown to be deadly in the clinch throughout his MMA career.
When I look compare the two's striking skill sets the big question for me is the level of Manuwa's opponents have been well below the caliber of Diabate. I also believe that Diabate's height, range and countering ability gives him the technical stand up advantage although Manuwa possess more power I give the edge to Diabate in striking.

In terms of wrestling ability we have not seen to much from Manuwa. In his last fight against Kingsbury he showed decent takedown offence but what was more impressive was his ability to get back to his feet once he had been put to the ground. However Manuwa did show that once he fatigued his takedown defense did drop significantly and he is a fighter that relies more on his strength and explosive power rather then technique. Diabate has shown an improved wrestling and grappling game over his UFC career, after a disappointing loss to Antony Perosh who exposed Diabate's ground game we have seen an improvement in his victories against Tom Deblass and Chad Griggs. Diabate's wrestling game usually consists of him defending take downs and staying on his feet.
I think that neither man excels in the grappling department but that Manuwa may need to utilize his strength advantage in this fight by taking it to the ground. Due to his explosive frame and style I give Manuwa the edge in this area.

On the ground Manuwa is dangerous from the top position as has devastating power and can finish his opponents with a ferocious onslaught of punches. In his MMA career Manuwa's ground game is still somewhat untested as all his fights leading up to his UFC debut ended quickly however Kingsbury was finding success in the second round of their fight before it was stopped. Diabate's weakness has always been his ground game from his debut in Pride to his loss against Perosh in the UFC. His fight against Deblass however showed evidenced that he has improved this aspect of his game as he maintained defensive positions on the ground and defended takedowns better then he ever had before. I would give an advantage here to Diabate due to him being the more experienced grappler of the two and his improving submission game.

Looking at the two competitors it is fairly evident that Manuwa is the more powerful and explosive of the two fighters however with this power and explosivity comes the negative effect on his endurance as evidenced in his last fight against Kingsbury. Due to this I would give Diabate the cardiovascular advantage. A few other variables to look at are that the fight is in London England meaning that Manuwa will have the crowd behind him which could alter the judges decision if the fight is a close three rounds affair, Diabate is the one who has to travel and adjust his body to the time/weather condition of England compared to USA, Manuwa posses the type of power that could warrant an early stoppage if he drops Diabate.

I think that Manuwa will come out strong and may put Diabate in some trouble early on but after the first round I think the advantage goes to Diabate (Although this requires that a Frenchman shows some courage in the face of adversity, which they are not really known for).
I believe that the duration of the fight will be spent on the feet and as Manuwa slows down I believe Diabate will start to pick him apart using his reach advantage to capitalize on Manuwa's slowing reflexes. I think this is a close fight with Manuwa's chances standing at around 50-55% with Diabate at 45-50%.

My pick is to bet Diabate, I would hold off as I believe his line will increase to around +180-+200 upwards, or wait until after the first round and bet Diabate live for +200 upwards, unless he is a walking zombie by this point.

 Cyrille Diabate

Friday, 8 February 2013

UFC 157 fight anaylsis

UFC 157
Lyoto Machida vs Dan Henderson
Machida comes into this fight on the back of an impressive victory over Ryan Bader bringing his record to 18 and 3. Henderson is returning from a knee injury which took him away from a title shot against Jon Jones. His last outing was a unforgettable war against Shogun Rua in which Henderson took the decision win.

First off how do the two compare in striking skill sets? Machida is a diverse striker utilizing kicks and punches from many different angles which coincide with great footwork and range making him a tough opponent for anyone. Hendrson's striking is much more predictable as he looks to close the distance and use his boxing to catch an opponent, Henderson however is one of the most powerful punchers in MMA and if he catches a clean shot it is usually goodnight for his opponent. When I view how this fight will play out out I give a large striking advantage to Machida. His feints and his footwork should enable him to keep his range where he is comfortable whilst Henderson will have to look for a countering opportunity whilst defending himself from Machida's kicks. Machida's timing is also second to none as seen in his KO of Ryan Bader. This will mean that Henderson will have to be wary when he is trying to close the distance, as he himself does not utilize kicks very well other then the odd leg kick.

Pure wrestling advantage has to go to Henderson as he is a highly decorated wrestler and former Olympic alternate. MMA though has many different aspects to wrestling and overall I give the advantage to Machida. Machida's sumo background and footwork give him great balance and his ability to push away from an opponent who is trying to engage a clinch or takedown is excellent. At the age of 42 Henderson is not as fast or explosive as we once was and I don't believe he will take down Machida. On Machida's side I believe that his unorthodox striking and unpredictability could open up chance for him to use his trips or takedown's to take the fight to the floor. So again I give Machida an advantage in grappling from the clinch position and in takedown defence/offence.

Looking at how the two match up from a ground grappling standpoint I favor Machida again. His ability to get back to a standing position is very good, he is dangerous with his submissions and utilizes sweeps well to create scrambles from his back. Henderson is good from top position but has struggled when put on his back against Shogun and Jake Shields. I don't believe that the fight will spend much time on the ground but overall I think that Machida is the more well rounded ground grappler of the two.

In comparing overall athleticism and endurance I think that Machida is the quicker fighter of the two and posses more explosive power however Henderson is well known for his strength and is the stronger of the two. At the age of 42 I think that Henderson's best days have past him whilst Machida has come into his prime, Henderson has shown to slow down in later rounds and coming back from a knee surgery is only going to add to his cardio problems. I think here Machida again has the advantage.

The best odds currently stand at -195 for Machida equating to a 66% chance of victory. Henderson's best odds are +196 giving him around 34% chance to win.
When I think of the way that both fighters can achieve the victory I see more options for Machida. Henderson will have to rely on his power and catch Machida for the knockout or hurt him bad enough to get on on the ground and grind out a decision. I believe this will be difficult for Henderson who will get picked apart from outside his countering range and that Machida is more likely to drop Henderson or take a decision victory. I believe Machida's chances of victory stand at around 75%-80% with Henderson at about 18%-20%. 

 Lyoto Machida
Here I would advise to play Machida at anything from -195 to -250. 
1.95 units to win 1 unit

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Key Points for profitable MMA betting part 2

Betting on the UFC: Seeing through the hype
All big combat sporting organizations know the importance of promoting a fight, they want to get the viewer invested in the story behind the fight. They want the viewer to be rooting for a fighter to be emotionally invested in the fight and to be willing to part financially to see the fight. How then do we as professional gamblers/punters/investors whatever you want call us capitalize on this. The best example I can give you is Brock Lesnar, one of the most popular mixed martial arts of our time. Brock Lesnar was a hype machine.
Coming from a pro wrestling background Lesnar knew how to get the public invested in his bouts and as the public shape the betting lines this can be used to our advantage.

Brock Lesnar's first fight inside the octagon came against Frank Mir. Lesnar came into the fight with a 1-0 record whilst Frank Mir a former UFC champion had a respectable record of 10-3. Now Frank Mir was returning from a near career ending injury and had struggled in his return to the octagon however it was still suprising that Lesnar came is as the favorite at around -160 by fight time. There is no doubting that Lesnar was/is a spectacular athlete but given the information available prior to the fight there was no way that line was correct. You may say it is easy to say that now in hindsight knowing that Frank Mir won the fight via submission. The way you should judge whether you made a good betting decision or not is not from the outcome but from what you did with the information prior to a fight. What did we know prior to the fight, Lesnar was a great athlete, a good wrestler and had made an impressive performance in his debut against a fighter who was not UFC calibre. We knew that Frank Mir had a very good submission game, was experienced and had fought on the big stage before, we had seen him strike, we had seen him fight to the distance. Looking at the information we had prior to the fight was Lesnar a justified -160 he certainly was not for me. Frank Mir at +155 was the value bet.
This is an example of a fighter hype pushing a line to a number that is can be capitalized on by a sharp bettor.

Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez was my biggest ever bet at the time, as the Brock Lesnar hype train continued despite his flaws being exposed in his prior fight to Shane Carwin. Here are the odds at fight time Brock Lesnar -185, Cain Velasquez +160. What information did we have available to us prior to the fight?
Lesnar was coming off a win against Shane Carwin after he had survived a first round beating, Carwin suffered some sort of cardiovascular meltdown in the second round and Lesnar submitted him. This fight was especially bitter for me as I had a large bet on Carwin at the time and had promised my girlfriend that I would take her away with the winnings. I sat and watched the fight with her and as Carwin was delivering a first round beatdown I was bragging about how I was the greatest the MMA bettor known to man, my girlfriend went off to search for holiday destinations. She came back into the room all smiles only to see a bloodied Lesnar strapping the belt around his waist 
"What happened!" she asked, I didn't want to answer.

After the fight Lesnar proclaimed himself the "The baddest man on the planet" and the betting public must have believed him because despite his striking flaws being made evident and a stylistic weakness against fighters who could stop his takedowns being exposed the Lesnar hype train remained strong and people continued to back him.
On the other side we had Cain Velasquez who had earned his title shot with tenacious work ethic and increadible cardio he had been brutalizing everyone that got in his way but he wad generally fairly quite about it. He was 8-0 had great wrestling credentials, just knocked out Nogueira and had shown great endurance alongside his athleticism. So why exactly was Lesnar the favorite again? because he was big, scary looking, he could talk, had a title belt and was well known. These were the factors that made him the favorite and none of these factors have anything to do with the actual outcome of the fight that you would be betting on.
On a sidenote I managed to recoup my losses on the Carwin fight and make a little extra which eventually enabled me to take my girlfriend on holiday.

This is probably the easiest and the biggest example I could have made about seeing through the hype, it is not exclusive to Brock Lesnar it is still existent in some fighters on the current UFC roster. Look for the fighters that get people talking, that have the fan base and then bet against them when they are matched up against someone who negates their skill set or at least competes against it very well.

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Key Points for profitable MMA betting part 1

Betting on the UFC: Finding value in MMA betting
Key points
Styles make matches
“Styles make matches.” You have probably heard this phrase used several times before if you watch any combat sport. As a MMA bettor then how do we compare the skill sets of two fighters and predict an outcome. If we break down MMA into simple skill sets we have striking ability, Wrestling ability, Ground game ability. Other key factors are also athleticism and endurance. 
We can then further break this down. Standup ability compromises of boxing, muay Thai and striking on the ground. Wrestling ability becomes, takedown offence, takedown defence, wrestling in the clinch, scrambling ability. Grappling ability becomes Submission offence, submission defence, top position, bottom position.
You can then break things down even more looking at a fighters proficiency in individual techniques however you would need to have a lot of video on the two competitors to analyze this effectively. So we can see that in matching up two fighters styles there is a large amount for us to research and it is important that you understand how each skill set matches up for the two fighters. This can only be done through experience and by watching as much MMA as possible to develop a good understanding.
Here is how I broke down a recent fight between Demain Maia and Jon Fitch. 
So first off I looked at the striking of the two. My first thoughts were that neither fighter had a definitive edge is this area, although both were proficient neither fighter has any notable TKO wins on their records and from watching the two compete I had not seen anything that would indicate either man would get a knockout. After doing some more research I believed that Fitch’s boxing was a little crisper then Maia’s so I gave a very small edge to Fitch in striking. Next up was wrestling. Fitch is known for his grinding style and usually uses constant pressure alongside with good technique that he tenaciously applies to get his opponents to the ground. Maia’s overall grappling ability though negates Fitch’s usual strategy with Maia being the more proficient and dangerous grappler of the two. So although Fitch had an edge in wrestling Maia’s pure grappling game gave him a sizable edge of Fitch in overall grappling. Fitch also had shown a tendency to open himself up to submission attempts in order to advance his position. Maia is probably the highly touted jiu jitsu practitioner in all of MMA which meant that Fitch would have to adapt this aspect of his ground game to be successful in the fight.
In comparing the two fighters athleticism I gave the edge to Maia, as successful as Fitch has been in the UFC he's does not possess great athletic ability. He is not particularly fast or explosive, I believed that Maia was the quicker of the two competitor of the two.
Overall endurance I had to go with Fitch just based on his previous fights at welterweight and the fact that both Maia's fights had been short at welterweight and he had shown cardio problems in bouts at middleweight.

After breaking down the skill sets I concluded that Fitch's best way to win the fight would be to keep it the fight standing, wear Maia out against the cage and avoid going to the ground with Maia on route to a decision win. Maia's best strategy would be to engage Fitch in a grappling contest and look for submission attempts on dominant control. The fact that Fitch would have to alter his usual game plan and be out of his comfort zone made me believe that Maia had the overall edge in fight. Percentage wise I believed that Maia was around a 60% favorite compared to Fitch who had around a 40% shot at winning.
At fight time Maia was available to back at +160 nearly a 2 to 1 underdog whilst Fitch was at -170. This means that the bookies gave Maia a 38.5% chance of winning whilst Fitch's chance were deemed to be 63%.

So clearly from my own analysis I believed that this line was wrong and so I backed Demain Maia. This how I break down all of the fights that I bet on and in this case I was right and Maia took home a decision victory giving me a decent profit.

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Wednesday, 6 February 2013


My name is Ryan James Bruno, I have been betting on sports for about about 5 years and been seriously betting MMA for just over two years. In the last two years I have been reasonably profitable with a 12 unit profit in 2011 and a 17 unit profit in 2012. A unit represents my betting amount so for example if my betting amount was $100 my 2011 profit would have been $1200 and in 2012 $1700.

Since a young age I have always done well in sports. My first passion was football and then in secondary school I began to excel in athletics, high jump in particular was an event I did well in on a regional level. By the time I was 18 however I had become bored with football I had little passion for the game left and disliked the attitude that accompanied most of the people surrounding the game at a professional level. I was still competitive though and a good athlete so I decided to try out kickboxing. I developed a passion for kickboxing and began training jiu jitsu as well with led to me becoming involved in MMA. From the age of 19-22 I trained MMA 3 or 4 times a week and also over the three years competed in kickboxing bouts, grappling tournaments and a mixed martial arts bout. I was sure that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to see out my degree at university then pursue a mixed martial arts career.

Life however does not always go as planned. After a succession of knee injuries I decided that I could not train at the level I need to in order to compete in MMA.  My doctor had told me that the cartilage in my left knee had worn away to the point that their was very little left and that consistent training of grappling would only worsen it and that surgery would not rectify the problem. That summer I finished university and had planned to go to train in Phuket Thailand at the Tiger MMA gym, my knee injury however prevented that but I still went to Thailand to celebrate finishing university. Whilst in Thailand I decided on what I wanted to do with myself, become a professional poker player. I saw it as a way to satisfy my competitive nature, to earn a good wage, enable me to become my own boss and also give me the freedom to live anywhere in the world that allows online poker.

 Its a few years later and although I'm not a professional poker player I am living in Thailand  with my wife and son teaching English and making a good income from online betting, specifically MMA betting however I also trade on Betfair and also arbitrage bet for small profits. I never excelled in poker but overall I was profitable and it taught me so much that is applied to sports betting/trading. Variance, finding an edge, bankroll management, controlling tilt, analyzing statistics, putting in time and effort to research your plays. In this blog I will share with you how I approach my Mixed Martial Arts betting and also share my picks with you.