Life moves fast, and you need to evolve if you want to survive in a world that is constantly changing. The Lab will enable us to continually improve our betting strategy to maximize the amount of money we can make from Allsopp's fight research.
The UFC has gone through several significant changes since it was first created back in 1993. The version of the UFC that we watch today is unrecognizable compared to the Bare Knuckle Circus that saw fighters compete under no rules, no time limits, and no weight classes.
I've seen massive changes to the sport since I started watching almost 20 years ago. Even in the last few years, we have seen some Landmark events change the UFC forever. These changes transform the UFC over a period of time. If you don't pay attention to their cumulative effects, a betting strategy can quickly become ineffective if you're not paying attention and continually tweaking your methodologies.
If you haven't been watching the UFC for very long, you may not be that familiar with some of the changes I'm talking about. So here's a brief timeline of how the sport has evolved over the last few years.
In 2014 the UFC did a deal with Reebok that had a significant impact on the amount of money that fighters could earn through Sponsorships. This made it more difficult for fighters to maintain a good diet and pay for their training camps. This then invariably led to more inconsistent performances in the Octagon.
In 2015 the UFC aggressively ramped up its international expansion plans, which meant that they started to hold more events in different locations around the world that didn't have high-quality Athletic Commissions. This has led to a high number of UFC fights, even to this day, still being officiated by inexperienced judges and referees. From this, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of bad decisions, and the number of times a referee's actions will have a direct impact on the outcome of a fight. Both these factors result in it being more difficult to predict the outcome of fights.
Another side effect of the dramatic increase in the number of international events, was the impact that travel had on weight cuts. Fighters often cut the majority of their weight during fight week. This isn't always easy to plan when you're travelling a long distance and staying in a hotel, in a strange location with strange foods. These complications led to fighters underperforming more frequently, which again made the sport much less predictable than it was before 2015.
The ultimate Black Swan event that changed the UFC forever was undoubtedly the introduction of strict USADA drug testing back in 2016. The introduction of USADA made it much more difficult for fighters to use Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), weight cutting aides, and certain medications and supplements that could help them recover from injuries.
USADA has made the sport much more unpredictable because fighters now tend to gas out more frequently than ever before because they can't use PEDs to help them train hard. We also see fighters underperform much more frequently because they're now much more likely to compete injured or have a brutal weight cut that they can't recover from with an IV. Throw into the mix the fact that fighters don't earn as much money due to the Reebok deal, and fighters are now forced to compete injured way more often than they ever did in the past. When you bet on a fighter, you have no idea what kind of injuries they're carrying and how it may affect their performances.
Then in 2017, we saw another massive change to the sport when the judging criteria was changed. We are now 3 years down the line from this change, and yet judging is a bigger problem than ever before. This is because some judges are following the new criteria, and some are clearly still scoring fights the old way.
These examples show how much the UFC can change in a short space of time, without us even realizing it is happening. This means that a betting strategy could easily become obsolete if it weren't being tweaked to adapt to the ever-changing nature of our sport.
Over the years, I have evolved my betting strategy many times, and I'm constantly tweaking the way I do things. Before the introduction of USADA back in 2016, I would regularly have 3 to 8 prefight bets for every UFC event. Then after USADA came into effect, it became clear that the sport was now much more unpredictable, so I had to tighten up. Since then, I have only had an average of 1 or 2 prefight bets for each UFC card.
The truth is that no one knows what the best way to bet on MMA really is. Even if someone did know the best way, it probably wouldn't stay the best way for long due to the ever-changing nature of our sport. I am hoping that the various different betting strategies that we experiment with in the Lab will enable us to make as much money as possible and also ensure that we continue to be profitable for many years to come.
Welcome to the Lab. I think you'll like it here!