UFC 231 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

2018 has been a solid year for us with VIP Members banking around 15 units of profit and Elite Members banking around 130 units of profit.

It’s possible that this could be our last month betting on MMA for a while with the future of Live Betting very uncertain in 2019 due to major global changes in UFC Broadcasting from January onwards.

Just today I noticed that the UFC has officially changed the name of their Fight Night cards from “UFC Fight Night XXX” to “UFC on ESPN+ X”. This means that the majority of UFC cards WILL NOT be on TV in MOST major countries from January 2019 onwards.

If this really is our last month being able to bet for a while I want to go out on a high. There are 3 events left this year. Let’s try to make as much money as possible!

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Brian Ortega vs Max Holloway No bet Ortega to win
Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Valentina Shevchenko 1 unit on Joanna Jędrzejczyk to win at odds of 3.75 | +275 | 11/4 Jędrzejczyk to win
Alex Oliveira vs Gunnar Nelson No bet Nelson to win
Hakeem Dawodu vs Kyle Bochniak No bet Bochniak to win
Jimi Manuwa vs Thiago Santos 3 units on Thiago Santos to win at odds of 1.49 | -204 | 49/100 Santos to win
Claudia Gadelha vs Nina Ansaroff No bet Gadelha to win
Jessica Eye vs Katlyn Chookagian No bet Chookagian to win
Elias Theodorou vs Eryk Anders No bet Anders to win
Gilbert Burns vs Olivier Aubin-Mercier No bet Burns to win
Aleksandar Rakic vs Devin Clark No bet Rakic to win
Brad Katona vs Matthew Lopez No bet Lopez to win
Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Kyle Nelson No bet Ferreira to win
Chad Laprise vs Dhiego Lima No bet Laprise to win

Jimi Manuwa vs Thiago Santos Betting Tip and Prediction

Father time can catch up with an athlete very quickly, and Jimi Manuwa’s last performance against Jan Blachowicz showed all the signs of a fighter on a steep decline. At 38 years old it appears that Jimi Manuwa’s body might be starting to fail on him.

Blachowicz has never been known as a particularly dangerous striker, with 7 of his last 9 fights going the distance and yet he came close to KOing Manuwa almost everytime he landed a clean strike. Manuwa looked extremely fragile against Blachowicz, so it’s tough to see how he’s going to survive 15 minutes in the Octagon with Thiago Santos who has serious KO power in every strike.

I tried to find a copy of the Blachowicz vs Manuwa fight online to share with you here, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find one. If you have UFC Fight Pass I urge you to go and watch it. Spend 15 minutes watching that fight, and you’ll see exactly why Santos is a good bet here.

Manuwa looked to be off the pace against Blachowicz. His hand speed was slow and predictable, and more worryingly his reflexes appeared to be shot. He’d often uncork slow combos in Boxing range with his chin up high and exposed. It was like there was a delay in his brain sending messages to the rest of his body to move. He lacked fluidity in his movement, and he also looked like he could be KO’d at any second. His footwork didn’t match the strikes that he was trying to throw.

Thiago Santos is never a safe bet because of his reckless style of fighting, but we can’t ignore the fact that he has Nuclear missiles in his hands. Manuwa has looked so fragile in his last two fights against Oezdemir and Blachowicz, that I find it hard not seeing Santos land clean at least once in this fight. Based on what I’ve seen, if Santos lands one clean, hard shot, it’s going to be over.

At 38 years old Manuwa is starting to show all the signs of a fighter competing on borrowed time. Stylistically this is a nightmare matchup for him.

Reasons for betting on Thiago Santos

  • Jimi Manuwa is now 38 years old. Fighters tend to rapidly decline past the age of 33 when their testosterone levels start to naturally reduce.
  • Jimi Manuwa has looked very fragile in his last two fights against Volkan Oezdemir and Jan Blachowicz.
  • In Manuwa’s last fight against Jan Blachowicz he showed all the signs of a fighter on a steep decline. He looked slow, his reflexes were shot and he looked at constant risk of being knocked out.
  • In his last fight against Jan Blachowicz, Manuwa kept entering Boxing range with his chin up high and exposed. He was also slow to exit exchanges. Like there was a delay in his brain sending messages to his legs that he needs to move out of danger.
  • Thiago Santos has vicious, fight ending power in every strike.
  • Jimi Manuwa will not try to take Thiago Santos down.
  • Jimi Manuwa has looked a little chinny in his last few fights.
  • This is one of the rare fights where Thiago Santos will probably have an advantage on the ground.
  • Jimi Manuwa primarily has a Boxing style, while Thiago Santos throws a much more diverse range of strikes.

Risk Factors with betting on Thiago Santos

  • Thiago Santos has a reckless style of fighting.
  • Thiago Santos has bad fight IQ.
  • Thiago Santos sometimes starts too fast and slows down significantly in round 2.
  • Jimi Manuwa has KO power.

My Betting Tip

Thiago Santos to win

Recommended Stake

3 Units

[3% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.49
Moneyline = -204
Fractional = 49/100

67%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Thiago Santos has a 67% chance of beating Jimi Manuwa based on their current odds.

70%

Our Probability

I believe that Thiago Santos has a 70% chance of beating Jimi Manuwa based on my extensive research and analysis.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Valentina Shevchenko Betting Tip and Prediction

Joanna Jędrzejczyk as a big underdog to Valentina Shevchenko is one of the best “Ya’ll must have forgot” bets that I’ve seen in a long time. The oddsmakers and casual betting public are forgetting everything that makes Jędrzejczyk a great fighter, while selectively cherry-picking the best bits of Shevchenko’s performances over the last few years to artificially paint the picture that she is a solid fighter. Shevchenko has many weaknesses and many holes in her skillset, but the odds do not reflect this.

I think the oddsmakers have set the odds on this fight based on recent performances that do not fully represent the bigger picture for both these girls. The fact is that Shevchenko demonstrated bad fight IQ against Pena and was losing until Pena made a critical positional mistake on the ground. She showed no urgency against Amanda Nunes and let a win slip away, then she dominated a super low-level fighter in Priscila Cachoeira, who had no business being in the UFC. Jędrzejczyk, on the other hand, cruised to wins over Tecia Torres and the highly rated Jessica Andrade, while struggling against the super talented Rose Namajunas. There is not a huge skill gap between Jędrzejczyk and Shevchenko, but the odds suggest that there is.

I think Jędrzejczyk is an excellent bet at the current odds. I’m not saying that I feel super confident that she wins this fight, but there’s no way she should be a big underdog here. This fight is definitely a hell of a lot closer than the odds suggest.

If this fight stays standing, I expect Jędrzejczyk to outstrike Shevchenko by quite a wide margin. On average Jędrzejczyk lands double the number of strikes that Shevchenko does. Shevchenko is a passive, tentative striker who throws a super low volume of strikes per round. Jędrzejczyk should be able to rack up the points, while Shevchenko will look to catch her with big counters.

I don’t expect this fight to go to the ground because both girls are primarily strikers. Shevchenko may look for takedowns, but I don’t expect her to have much success because Jędrzejczyk’s takedown defense is incredible. Shevchenko does have a heavy top game, but she also makes a lot of positional mistakes on the ground that should give Jędrzejczyk plenty of opportunities to scramble back to her feet quickly.

The clinch is the one position in this matchup where I give Jędrzejczyk quite a significant advantage. Shevchenko is strong at controlling her opponents in this position, but she doesn’t do much damage. Jędrzejczyk does a great job of beating her opponents up in the clinch with vicious knees and elbows. Under the new scoring where the clinch is considered a 50 / 50 position, Jędrzejczyk should be able to rack up points in the clinch by accumulating a large number of strikes.

The main reason why I think Jędrzejczyk is a great bet as a big underdog is her fight IQ. She trains at one of the best gyms in the world, and she understands the importance of winning rounds. Shevchenko does not, and she frequently lets winnable rounds slip away from her by throwing a super low volume of strikes. Shevchenko is really passive, and she lacks urgency. She is more than happy to let rounds slip away from her, and that could cost her against a high volume fighter like Jędrzejczyk. Shevchenko also has bad fight IQ. She gives her opponents windows of opportunity to steal rounds with her low volume style of fighting, and she goes for a lot of high risk / low reward takedowns that could get her into trouble.

My one concern with Jędrzejczyk in this matchup is her chin. We’ve now seen her rocked or dropped a few times in her last 5 fights and Shevchenko is obviously a big, powerful 125-pound fighter who is dropping down from Bantamweight. That said, Shevchenko was small for the 135 pound division and Jędrzejczyk actually looked to have a slight size advantage at yesterday’s weigh-ins. It’s also worth noting that Jędrzejczyk had a brutal weight cut to 115 pounds and this could have affected her chin. There’s a good chance that she’ll be much more durable at 125 pounds.

I strongly believe that the odds are way off in this matchup. Jędrzejczyk has a great shot of winning this fight, and at underdog odds, she’s an automatic bet for me. I don’t think Shevchenko’s output is high enough to win a decision against Jędrzejczyk and I don’t think it’ll be easy for her to win this inside the distance either.

Win or lose Jędrzejczyk is one of the best value bets of the year.

Reasons for betting on Joanna Jędrzejczyk

  • On average Joanna Jędrzejczyk lands double the amount of strikes per round that Shevchenko does.
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk trains at American Top Team, which is one of the best gyms in the world.
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk understands the importance of winning rounds, while Shevchenko is happy to let rounds slip away with her passive style of fighting.
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk has excellent takedown defense.
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk has a big advantage in the clinch. She does a great job of landing vicious elbows and knees from this position.
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk had a very tough cut to make the 115 pound Strawweight limit. She looked much healthier at yesterday’s weigh ins for this cut to 125. This should improve her chin, recovery, durability, explosion, power and cardio.
  • Valentina Shevchenko has bad fight IQ. She often makes big positional mistakes that get her into trouble.
  • Valentina Shevchenko has a low volume style of fighting. This makes it easy for her opponents to win rounds against her.
  • Valentina Shevchenko is a very slow starter.
  • We tend to see more upsets and unpredictable things happen on big PPV cards.
  • Female fighters tend to be much more inconsistent than male fighters. There’s a very real chance that Shevchenko might not “show up”.

Risk Factors with betting on Joanna Jędrzejczyk

  • Valentina Shevchenko is dropping down from Bantamweight to fight Joanna, who is moving up from Strawweight.
  • Joanna Jędrzejczyk has been rocked or dropped a few times over the last couple of years.
  • Female fighters tend to be much more inconsistent than male fighters.
  • Valentina Shevchenko is extremely tough, she has a great chin.

My Betting Tip

Joanna Jędrzejczyk to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 3.75
Moneyline = +275
Fractional = 11/4

27%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Joanna Jędrzejczyk has a 27% chance of beating Valentina Shevchenko based on their current odds.

50%

Our Probability

I believe that Joanna Jędrzejczyk has a 50% chance of beating Valentina Shevchenko based on my extensive research and analysis.

Allsopp
I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

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