UFC 244 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

UFC 244 looks like one of the best events of the year for betting. I usually take Sundays off to spend time with my family, but I can’t afford to take a day off this week because I need to research these fights as soon as possible to make sure we’re getting the best value possible before the odds start to decline.

I usually have 3 or 4 names jump out at me as potential bets when I start to research a new UFC card. I then inevitably pass on a couple and end up with 1 or 2 bets per event. UFC 244 is very different. Right now, I have 9 names jumping out at me as potential bets, which is far more than usual. UFC 244 does look like an amazing event for betting.

UFC 244 kicks off a brand new month of betting. We roughly broke even last month on prefight bets, going 3-3 for -0.27 units. Israel Adesanya, Cub Swanson, and Demian Maia came through for us in a big way, but Court McGee, Jeremy Stephens, and Michael Johnson let us down.

October turned out to be a great month for Live Betting. We still took some bad losses along the way due to poor judging, but we still ended up closing out the month with around 15 units of profit.

As we all look forward to an exciting event this weekend at UFC 244, I just want to remind you that bankroll management and a strong mindset is extremely important. Gambling can be brutal, and no matter how confident you are, no matter how much research you put in and no matter how big of an edge you have over the betting sites, ultimately, on any given night, every single bet can lose. Gambling will push you to your limits mentally and emotionally, so it’s really important to realize what you’re getting into beforehand so that you can be prepared for any outcome. I will only ever put our money in strong positions, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take big losses. Always remember that good bets don’t always win, and bad bets don’t always lose. This can be a cruel game that we play. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

There’s a really good chance that we’ll have more bets than usual on this card, but anything can happen in MMA, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they all lost. Remember that we are playing the long game here. We’ve made a solid profit this year, and we’ll continue to make solid profits for many years to come. Do not get overly confident, overly aggressive, and over-commit yourself to these bets just because this is a big event. Please bet smart, use good bankroll management, and don’t commit too much of your total bankroll on any single night.

Long term, we will make a profit, but I can’t promise you that we won’t have some horrible nights along the way. UFC 244 looks great for betting, but you often see big upsets occur on these high profile PPVs. Betting these types of cards tend to come with a lot more variance than the smaller Fight Night cards. Gambling can be brutal.

Having said that, I am extremely confident that we are going to make a profit on this event. I’ve already identified at least one rock-solid bet as well as a couple of strong positions to put our money on higher risk bets. Hopefully, things go our way after a couple of slow months. Let’s finish 2019 how we started by banking some huge profits!!!

Thanks a lot for your support throughout 2019. It means more to me than you could ever know! Now I am going to do my best to repay you by ending the year with some big winning nights!

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz 2 units on Jorge Masvidal to win at odds of 1.63 | -159 | 63/100 Masvidal to win
Darren Till vs Kelvin Gastelum 1 unit on Darren Till to win at odds of 3.10 | +210 | 21/10 Till to win
Stephen Thompson vs Vicente Luque No bet Thompson to win
Blagoy Ivanov vs Derrick Lewis No bet Lewis to win
Gregor Gillespie vs Kevin Lee No bet Gillespie to win
Corey Anderson vs Johnny Walker I would bet Corey Anderson if his odds improved Anderson to win
Makwan Amirkhani vs Shane Burgos I would bet Shane Burgos if his odds improved Burgos to win
Brad Tavares vs Edmen Shahbzayan 2 units on Brad Tavares to win at odds of 2.05 | +105 | 21/20 Tavares to win
Andrei Arlovski vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik No bet Rozenstruik to win
Jennifer Maia vs Katlyn Chookagian No bet Maia to win
Chance Rencountre vs Lyman Good No bet Good to win
Hakeem Dawodu vs Julio Arce No bet Arce to win

Brad Tavares vs Edmen Shahbazyan Betting Tip and Prediction

Brad Tavares’ odds have been declining ever since they were posted last week, and I believe that they will continue to decline because Tavares as an underdog to Edmen Shahbazyan is wrong in my opinion. I recommend that you lock this bet in as soon as possible because there’s a good chance that Brad’s odds decline significantly over the next week.

Edmen Shahbzyan is a talented young fighter, but he has shown us nothing so far in his career that suggests he should be a favorite over a tough, well-rounded veteran like Brad Tavares. This is a high-risk bet because there’s not that much footage available on Shahbazyan, but from what I have seen, there’s no way that Tavares should be the underdog here. Win or lose Brad Tavares is definitely a strong position for you to put your money this weekend.

At just 21 years old, Edmen Shahbazyan is already showing us all the skills needed to have a big future in the sport. He’s big, tough, athletic, and his wrestling is very strong, but I can’t help but feel that a fight against Brad Tavares might be too much too soon. Shahbazyan certainly looks impressive on paper with his undefeated 10-0 record, but if you take a closer look you’ll see that half of his past opponents don’t have winning records:

Shahbazyan’s padded record isn’t a big deal because you can only beat what is put in front of you, but it does show that at just 21 years old, Shahbazyan very much lacks experience. 9 of his 10 career fights have all ended in round 1, which means he hasn’t learned how to pace himself in a competitive fight yet. This showed in the 3rd round of his fight against Darren Stewart, where he gassed bad and almost ended up losing a decision. I’m sure that Shahbazyan will have learned a lot from that fight, but it’s still early days in his career.

Brad Tavares will be a massive step up in competition for Shahbazyan and significantly better than anyone he has ever faced before. Shahbazyan also trains under Edmund Tarverdyan at a small gym in California, so it’s not even like he’s working with top quality training partners every day.

The Darren Stewart fight is significant because it’s the one fight where we saw Shahbazyan tested in all areas. His other fights either ended too fast or were against too low a level of an opponent to gauge where Shahbazyan is at right now.

Shahbazyan looked good in that fight against Stewart, but he didn’t show us any skills that would cause Brad Tavares too much of a problem.

Based on that fight, it’s fair to say that Tavares will have the advantage striking. Tavares is one of these guys who does struggle to put his stamp on rounds and only lands a low volume of strikes per round, but he still has the advantage when it comes to striking technique, and he has got a lot more aggressive over the last 3 years. Particularly in his fights against Jotko and Thales Leites.

One of the reasons why I like Tavares a lot in this fight is because Shahbazyan is very predictable. There’s no secret to what he wants to do. He’s a strong wrestler who wants to drive you into the cage, take you down and beat you up. Brad Tavares is a strong grappler and has all the skills needed to shut Shahbazyan down completely.

Darren Stewart has bad takedown defense and a low-level ground game, and yet he was easily able to pop back to his feet multiple times when Shahbazyan was able to take him down.

Brad Tavares has excellent takedown defense having defended 77% of all takedowns across his 17 fights in the UFC. He’s also a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and very hard to hold down. Based on the limited footage we have available, I believe Brad Tavares is also a better grappler than Shahbazyan.

At Brad’s current odds of around 2.05 | +105 | 21/20, we get the opportunity to bet on an experienced veteran, with great cardio, a great chin, and who’s tough as nails against a young, inexperienced fighter who has only gone the distance one time in his career. Throw into the mix the fact that based on the limited footage we have available to us, it also appears that Tavares is better than Shahbazyan standing up and on the ground, and it looks like we have got ourselves a great deal here.

Obviously, this is a high-risk bet because there’s not much footage available on Shahbazyan, but based on his fight against Darren Stewart, I believe it’s fair to cap Tavares at 60% here. After all, this is a guy who has gone the distance with guys like Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero! Brad’s current odds of around 2.05 | +105 | 21/20 carry an implied probability of 50%, which makes him a great bet.

As ever with these high-risk bets, please don’t tail them if you struggle to deal with losing. There’s no doubt in my mind that Brad Tavares is a solid bet this weekend, but it doesn’t mean that he’ll win. Remember that good bets don’t always win, bad bets don’t always lose. On the flip side, if you are serious about making money long term, this is a really strong position for you to put your money in this weekend. Let’s just hope that Tavares comes through for us!

Reasons for betting on Brad Tavares

  • Edmen Shahbazyan has only gone past the 1st round one time in his career. He hasn’t learned how to pace himself yet.
  • Edmen Shahbazyan slowed down a lot in his fight against Darren Stewart. He may have questionable cardio.
  • Brad Tavares has excellent cardio. He can easily fight at a high pace for 3 rounds.
  • Brad Tavares has excellent takedown defense having defended 77% of all takedowns in his 17 fights in the UFC.
  • Brad Tavares is excellent at quickly working his way back to his feet when he does get taken down.
  • Brad Tavares is very difficult to hold down which means Shahbazyan is likely to burn a lot of energy working for repeated takedowns.
  • Brad Tavares is a strong wrestler and a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s possible that he’s a better grappler than Shahbazyan.
  • Brad Tavares should have an advantage when it comes to striking.
  • Brad Tavares is very tough and he has a great chin.
  • Edmen Shahbazyan is very inexperienced at just 21 years old.
  • Brad Tavares is a massive step up in competition for Shahbazyan. This will undoubtedly be the toughest test of his career by a mile.
  • Edmen Shahbazyan is very predictable. He wants to drive his opponents into the cage and take them down.
  • Brad Tavares has excellent striking defense.
  • Brad Tavares has good technical Kickboxing.

Risk Factors with betting on Brad Tavares

  • We don’t know a lot about Edmen Shahbazyan. There’s not much footage available of him online.
  • Shahbazyan is only 21 years old so he’ll be making massive improvements from fight to fight.
  • Tavares can be passive at times and struggles to put his stamp on rounds.
  • Shahbazyan is a strong wrestler.
  • Shahbazyan is very aggressive, particularly early.
  • Brad Tavares hasn’t fought in over a year.

My Betting Tip

Brad Tavares to win

Recommended Stake

2 Units

[2% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.05
Moneyline = +105
Fractional = 21/20

49%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Brad Tavares has a 49% chance of beating Edmen Shahbazyan based on their current odds.

60%

Our Probability

I believe that Brad Tavares has a 60% chance of beating Edmen Shahbazyan based on my extensive research and analysis.

Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz Betting Tip and Prediction

I’ve been waiting for weeks to bet on Jorge Masvidal, and now, just 4 hours before UFC 244 is scheduled to start, it’s time to pull the trigger.

The reason why I waited so long was that public opinion is very divided on this fight. Half the people reading this will think that Diaz will win, and the other half will think that Masvidal will win. The odds do not reflect this. Masvidal’s odds opened at around 1.91 | -110 | 91/100 but quickly declined. With the public being so divided on this fight, I was hoping that Masvidal’s odds would improve back to where they were when they opened, but this hasn’t happened. It’s disappointing because we often see a lot of late odds movement on big fights, but it hasn’t happened on this occasion.

There are a lot of reasons to bet on Jorge Masvidal in this fight. The first and probably the most important is Nate Diaz’s predictable style of fighting. You know exactly what you are going to get from him. In every fight, he comes forward, pressures his opponents, tries to light them up with Boxing combinations and wear them down in the clinch. There’s nothing overly scary or overly surprising about what he does, but he’s so tough that he breaks people down by dragging them into grueling wars.

Over the years, Nate Diaz has had a lot of success breaking opponents with pressure, but he has also come unstuck against opponents who were experienced enough to weather the storm and exploit his predictable weaknesses. The second Conor McGregor fight and his fight against Rafael Dos Anjos were good examples of this.

Jorge Masvidal has seen it all, done it all, and he’s very smart. He also trains at ATT, which is the best MMA gym in the world. His head coach. Mike Brown is one of the best MMA game planners in the world. Take a look at the video below [I timestamped it] to see just how intelligent and well prepared Masvidal is when he is motivated to fight. The way he set up the knee that landed on Askren is nothing short of genius:

Nate Diaz’s problem is that he is incredibly predictable. He is a formidable opponent, but you know exactly what to expect from him. He doesn’t evolve. He always demonstrates the same strengths and weaknesses in every fight. This is the main reason why Conor McGregor lost to him in the 1st fight and was then able to defeat him in the 2nd fight. Conor evolved from the 1st fight, whereas Nate tried to do exactly the same thing.

Jorge Masvidal is a tough, gritty, well rounded Mixed Martial Artist who has the chin, cardio, and toughness to go through the fire with Nate and use his superior technique to exploit Nate’s significant weaknesses.

We know that Nate Diaz is vulnerable to leg kicks, we know he has bad striking defense, we know he has bad takedown defense, and he’s weak off his back. Masvidal has the skills to exploit these weaknesses. He can chip away at Nate’s lead leg with leg kicks. He can steal rounds with takedowns and top control. Masvidal went the distance with Demian Maia, so there’s nothing he needs to worry about on the ground with Nate.

Nate Diaz is portrayed as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom, but this is a bit of a myth. You know me. I like to work in facts, not opinions. If you go back and watch his last fight against Anthony Pettis, you’ll see Pettis reverse Nate twice and end up in top position. Nate’s ground game is decent, but it’s not that scary.

Jorge Masvidal trains at American Top Team under Mike Brown. They will be able to construct a gameplan that will enable Masvidal to win this fight wherever it takes place. Nate Diaz has plenty of holes that Masvidal has the skills to exploit.

Over the years, Diaz has built a career on breaking his opponents with pressure, but that only works against guys who can be broken. Masvidal has shown that he has a granite chin and an iron will. He also has cardio for days and the heart to match Diaz every step of the way. It will not be easy to break Masvidal. Masvidal is not Anthony Pettis, Michael Johnson, or an overweight, overconfident Conor McGregor.

It is also a myth that Diaz comes forward and applies relentless pressure. If you go back and watch his last few fights against Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis, you will see that he fights in bursts. He’ll come forward with tons of pressure for 1 minute; then, he’ll back off for 1-2 minutes while he recharges his batteries and gets ready for the next wave of attacks. It’s during these 1-2 minute breaks that Masvidal can win the fight. When Diaz pressures him, he just needs to focus on defense, and then when Diaz backs off, he can go to work, chopping him down with leg kicks and picking him apart with his superior striking technique.

Tony Robbins has an amazing quote based on something that Albert Einstein once said, that I like to apply to many different aspects of my life, and it applies to this fight perfectly:

In order to win the game, you need to know the rules

Everybody accepts that this will be a rough, tough, knockdown, drag-out, rough and tumble war, but nobody is considering the implications of this kind of fight and what it means to how the matchup may be scored by the judges.

The two biggest ways to win a round in MMA are by having a big moment or by inflicting significant damage on your opponent. Nate Diaz, at this stage in his career, has pretty bad striking defense, and because of this, he tends to get knocked down a lot. In contrast, Masvidal doesn’t get knocked down that often at all. If these boys go to war trading shots, but Masvidal has scored a knockdown in a round, it’s very likely the judges score the round in favor of Masvidal in a close fight. We also can’t ignore the fact that Diaz does not wear damage well. He cuts very easily, and he is often covered in blood very early on in all his fights. In contrast, Masvidal doesn’t cut easily. He wears damage very well. In a close competitive round, the judges will be more likely to score the round against the guy wearing tons of damage.

I really feel like knockdowns and damage inflicted will be a major differentiating factor in this matchup, and on both counts, Masvidal holds all the Aces. He should be able to knock Diaz down, and he should also be able to inflict significant damage very early on into this fight.

I am a big fan of Nate Diaz, we made good money betting on him earlier this year, but I feel like he is too predictable to cause Masvidal a problem. Masvidal will know exactly what to expect. This will definitely be a tough fight, but ultimately Masvidal is better than Diaz everywhere. He’s the more technical striker, he hits harder, he’s better defensively, he’s a better wrestler, and he can hang with Nate on the ground. He also has cardio for days, a chin from hell, and he’s incredibly tough. The only area where I give Nate Diaz an advantage is in the clinch, and he also has more big fight experience. Nate is also a bit bigger than Masvidal, but the opportunity cost of this is that he’s much slower and much easier to hit.

Nate is incredibly tough, and he’s always going to show up and fight, but in Jorge Masvidal, we can bet on a guy who has the technical advantages almost everywhere. He’s also tough, intelligent, has cardio for days, and he has shown that he also has the ability to gameplan and outwit opponents who are very predictable. You can never count Nate Diaz out of a fight, he’s a beast, but I do think Masvidal gets it done on Saturday night.

Just remember that anything can happen in MMA. This is 1 fight out of thousands of fights we’ll be betting on this year. Don’t dump off your bankroll on this fight just because it’s a big matchup. This fight should be just as important to you as Klidson Abreu vs. Shamil Gamzatov next weekend at UFC Russia. Remember that this is a long game. Don’t put too much emphasis on individual fights or individual bets.

Reasons for betting on Jorge Masvidal

  • Jorge Masvidal is a much more technical striker than Nate Diaz. His technique is sharper and he throws a much wider range of strikes.
  • Masvidal’s striking defense is much better than Nate Diaz’s. Diaz takes tons of damage in his fights.
  • Jorge Masvidal hits very hard and Nate Diaz tends to get dropped a lot.
  • Nate Diaz does not wear damage well, he tends to cut very easily. He is often showing signs of significant damage very early on in a fight. In contrast Jorge Masvidal does wear damage very well. He rarely gets cuts.
  • Judges tend to score fights in favour of damage inflicted and big moments in a round. Masvidal has the ability to inflict significant visible damage and knock Diaz down multiple times. These two details could be critical to the scoring of this fight. I don’t feel like Diaz has the power to knock Masvidal down that often and like we just said Masvidal wears damage very well.
  • Nate Diaz appears to have declined quite significantly over the last few years, while Jorge Masvidal appears to be getting better and better with every fight.
  • Nate Diaz is extremely susceptible to eating leg kicks.
  • Nate Diaz has bad takedown defense and he’s weak off his back. Jorge Masvidal has the wrestling to steal rounds with takedowns.
  • Jorge Masvidal has shown an ability to come up with gameplans to defeat predictable opponents. Nate Diaz is very predictable.
  • Jorge Masvidal trains at American Top Team, which is the best MMA gym in the world. His coach, Mike Brown should help him come up with a gameplan to defeat a very predictable Nate Diaz.
  • Nate Diaz has not evolved his fighting style. It’s unlikely he comes out and looks any different to what we have seen from him in the past.
  • Jorge Masvidal is extremely tough, he has great fight IQ and cardio for days..

Risk Factors with betting on Jorge Masvidal

  • Nate Diaz is incredibly tough. He has an amazing chin. Jorge Masvidal will have to walk through hell to defeat him.
  • Nate Diaz is stronger than Masvidal in the clinch.
  • Nate Diaz has broken a lot of guys in the past. It’s possible that he could break Masvidal.
  • Nate Diaz has the cardio to fight at a high pace for 25 minutes.
  • Nate Diaz has more experience than Jorge Masvidal pacing himself across a gruelling 25 minute fight.
  • Nate Diaz has a size advantage over Jorge Masvidal.

My Betting Tip

Jorge Masvidal to win

Recommended Stake

2 Units

[2% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.63
Moneyline = -159
Fractional = 63/100

61%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Jorge Masvidal has a 61% chance of beating Nate Diaz based on their current odds.

67%

Our Probability

I believe that Jorge Masvidal has a 67% chance of beating Nate Diaz based on my extensive research and analysis.

Darren Till vs Kelvin Gastelum Betting Tip and Prediction

Before I began my research for the fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Darren Till, I heavily leaned towards Gastelum. I was actually disappointed when his odds declined earlier the week because I was considering a bet on him. Then something crazy happened…

I went back and watched Gastelum’s fight against Jacare, and found that Gastelum got outstruck by the 40-year-old grappler. What’s even crazier is that Jacare was gassed out of his mind for 10 minutes of the fight, and he STILL managed to outstrike Gastelum. I actually felt the fight was a semi robbery. I scored it 29-28 in favor of Jacare. Jacare repeatedly landed bombs in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but we know that Gastelum has a granite chin so he could take it.

If you get outstruck by a 40-year-old grappler, who throws single shots, there’s a good chance you’ll struggle against a young, hungry, athletic striker with a huge size advantage like Darren Till. After watching Gastelum’s fight against Jacare, I became extremely interested in betting on Darren Till as a reasonably sized underdog at 2.70 | +170 | 17/10. I then went ahead and watched more of Kelvin’s fights, as well as all of Till’s recent fights. I now had some thinking to do because there’s no doubt that Till was a live dog in this fight, but his current odds of around 2.70 | +170 | 17/10 carried an implied probability of around 37%. This meant that I’d need to cap him at around 45% to get the kind of margin I’m looking for on a high-risk bet.

Based on Gastelum and Till’s past performances, it was reasonable to cap Till at 45%. The problem is, there are a number of X-Factors going into this fight, which is impossible to quantify. For example, we don’t know how Till is going to look moving up a weight class to Middleweight. Sometimes fighters look much better like Cerrone when he moved to Welterweight or Anthony Smith when he moved to Light Heavyweight, and sometimes they look worse like Daniel Cormier at Heavyweight or Luke Rockhold at Light Heavyweight. Who could forget how flat Conor looked in his 1st fight at 170 against Nate Diaz? When a fighter switches to a different weight class, it always brings an element of uncertainty because we don’t know what to expect from them. Often they look better, but there’s a chance they could look worse.

Another X-Factor to take into consideration is that Till suffered a devastating KO in his last fight against Jorge Masvidal. These kinds of knockouts often affect a fighter forever. They effect their confidence and ability to pull the trigger. Who knows if that KO will have effected Till or not?

Another factor to take into consideration is that Till has been quite open about issues outside of the cage that has effected previous performances. He’s admitted to spending too much time in Casinos late at night, not having the best diet, and also liked to party. Just this past Summer, he got caught up in chaos on a Lad’s holiday where he was arrested for his involvement in a Taxi getting stolen. This has now led to Visa issues with immigration not allowing him into the United States, delaying his arrival in New York for fight week.

All of these X Factor’s are difficult to quantify. So after studying all of Gastelum and Till’s recent fights, I decided to take my Wife out for a nice meal and go watch the Joker movie. This would give me a few hours away from the computer to process all the information I’d gathered and try to work out whether the risk of betting Till was worth the reward. Skill for skill, there’s no question that Till would be a good bet at moderate underdog odds, but the X-Factors complicated things significantly.

On my way home, I was planning to stay up for a few hours and do some late-night research, but when I arrived home, I found that the odds had started to improve on Till. This was even more confusing to me, so I decided to go to bed, sleep on things, and wake up the next day and look at everything with fresh eyes.

I find that sleeping on betting decisions really helps me to cut through all the nonsense and see what is true. I can just look at everything objectively and make a much better decision when I sleep on a decision to make a bet.

Needless to say… The decision was easy to make once I saw the odds movement…

Overnight Darren Till’s odds had shifted from around 2.70 | +170 | 17/10 to around 3.20 | +220 | 11/5. At these odds, the decision was made for me. At his initial odds of around 2.70 | +170 | 17/1, betting Till was a tough decision because of all the X Factor’s going into this fight, but the improved risk to reward ratio of the improved odds of 3.20 | +220 | 11/5, now make betting Till an absolute no brainer. We have to take him.

At this point in the breakdown, I want to make it clear that I think it’s more likely that Gastelum wins this fight. Gastelum has cardio for days, a granite chin, and he hits very hard, which makes him an extremely tough matchup for Till because of the way Till fights with his hands down low and his chin up high and exposed. I understand that a lot of you reading this will not be able to understand why it makes sense to bet on a fighter who you actually think will lose. If you fall into that camp, I strongly recommend that you pass on this bet because it’s very likely that this bet will lose. If however, you understand how probability works, I think Till’s a great position to put your money this weekend.

There are three major reasons why I believe Darren Till is a good bet at the current odds, and if you want to see them for yourself, I highly recommend going back and watching Gastelum’s last two fights against Israel Adesanya and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

The first and most obvious reason is that size matters in MMA. We have weight classes for a reason. Gastelum is just 5 ft 9 with a 71.5-inch reach. This Wingspan is way too small for the Middleweight division. This kind of Wingspan would usually be seen in the Featherweight division. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen Gastelum’s size really hold him back. He struggled to get inside and land anything on Adesanya for the first 3 rounds of their fight, he also landed big shots on Jacare that didn’t seem to hurt Jacare and then he got big brothered on the ground by Chris Weidman. Darren Till should tower over him at 6 ft tall with a 4-inch reach advantage. It’s very likely that Till’s physically imposing style of fighting causes Gastelum big problems on Saturday night.

The second reason why I like Till is that Gastelum gets hit a lot. He relies on his chin far too much. We saw Jacare land a high number of power strikes on him, and Israel Adesanya also lit him up. Till carried big power in the Welterweight division, and he’s likely to hit even harder now he’s moved up to Middleweight. Eating big shots off 40-year-old grapplers like Jacare and technical volume strikers like Adesanya is one thing, but Gastelum won’t want to test his chin against a heavy-handed Southpaw like Till.

The third reason why I like Till in this fight is that from a technical perspective, he’s better than Gastelum pretty much everywhere. He’s definitely a more technical striker with a more diverse range of attacks, and I also give him an advantage if this fight goes to the ground. One of the biggest myths surrounding Gastelum is that he’s a strong wrestler and a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, but remember that I like to deal in facts, not opinions. I haven’t seen any real evidence that Gastelum is skilled on the ground. The fact is that Gastelum has looked very low level anytime we have seen him on the ground in his past fights. In contrast, Till is big, strong, powerful, very difficult to hold down, and his ground and pound from top position is nothing short of devastating. If Till can avoid eating a bomb, there’s a legit chance that he outclasses Gastelum by being the more skilled fighter everywhere.

Aside from these 3 key reasons, there are plenty of other reasons to like Till in this fight. For a start, he’s got a granite chin. That’s right, I said it. You might have a short memory and only be thinking about him getting deathshotted by Masvidal and dropped by Woodley, but if you’ve followed Till throughout his career, you’ll know that he didn’t put together his impressive record of 17-2 by accident. Till is extremely tough, he has a great chin, and he’s the kind of guy that you have to practically kill in order to beat. There’s no quit in him. There’s no shame in getting dropped by Woodley or Masvidal. Till built his career off of a cast-iron chin and being tough. At Middleweight, his chin is likely to look even better than it did at Welterweight.

We also can’t ignore the fact that Gastelum has become a top 5 Middleweight by beating guys who are well past their prime. His wins at Middleweight have come against Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Jacare, and Tim Kennedy. He also lost to Chris Weidman. Gastelum has never beaten a young, hungry top-level Middleweight who was in their prime. Maybe he never will. I can’t think of anyone as small as him being successful at 185.

It is quite clear that the odds movement on this fight was a result of the public reaction to news breaking that Till’s plans to travel to New York for UFC 244 fight week were delayed due to Visa issues. This seemed to come as a shock to everyone, but it wasn’t a shock to me, and I’m sure it wasn’t a shock to the UFC, Darren Till, or his camp either.

Last summer Darren Till was arrested for his involvement in stealing a Taxi while on holiday in Tenerife. It was obvious that this incident would cause him problems when passing through Immigration into the US. The only surprise to me is that he and his team didn’t leave for fight week earlier in anticipation that this would happen.

So how will this affect Darren Till? In my opinion, it probably won’t affect him that much at all. There’s only a 5 hour time difference between the UK and New York, so jetlag is unlikely to be an issue. Drexiya said that his partner lives in New York, so he does the flight regularly and it’s a breeze. He said the day you arrive just feels like a longer day.

Darren Till also posted on Instagram that he’s flying Business Class:

This is quite a significant detail to pay attention to because flying economy for 6 to 8 hours from the UK to New York can be draining. It’s not a comfortable experience. Business Class, on the other hand, should be a breeze. There will be plenty of comfort and legroom in his cubical, and the Business Class areas on most Airlines tend to be spacious, so there’s be plenty of room for Till to move around and stretch his legs when he needs to.

The obvious biggest risk is how much this delay will effect his weight cut, but like I said, this delay shouldn’t have been a shock to anyone, so I am sure his team has a contingency plan to deal with any potential delays. Judging by this Instagram post that he put out 24 hours ago, it looks like he is already deep into his weight cut:

There are ultimately many reasons not to bet Darren Till in this fight. Maybe the delayed flight will affect him. Maybe Jetlag will affect his performance. Maybe he will have a bad weight cut. Maybe his chin is cracked after the Masvidal KO. Maybe he’ll look a shadow of himself after the brutal Masvidal KO. Maybe Gastelum learned a lot after his loss against Adesanya and improved dramatically. Maybe Till looks terrible at Middleweight.

There are a lot of unknowns going into this fight, but that’s why they call it gambling. All we can do is try to make the best decision possible based on the odds, and based on all the information we have available BEFORE the fight. Playing Captain Hindsight after the fact, will only frustrate you and hold you back as a Gambler.

This game that we play is not for everyone. This is for big boys. It’s not for Snowflakes that get upset over losing. Remember what I said at the beginning of this breakdown. All things considered, I think it’s more likely that Gastelum wins on Saturday night. Only tail this bet if you’re willing to lose your money.

Remember that this is a Marathon, not a sprint. You have to roll the dice. You win some; you lose some. This is a long game. Ultimately you’re just trying to win more than you lose over a long period of time.

Making money from gambling is all about consistently putting your money in strong positions over a long period of time. If you do this, you will make a profit. You won’t find many stronger positions to put your money than Darren Till on Saturday night. The margin over the bookies is very generous here. Having said that, this is a high-risk bet that I expect to lose. Hopefully, he comes through for us.

One of the ways that helps me deal with losses on high-risk bets is that I treat them like Lottery tickets. When you buy a Lottery ticket, you don’t expect it to win. It’s a bonus if it wins. If it loses, you don’t get mad at yourself for not picking the right numbers. Psychologically this is how you should treat high-risk bets like Darren Till. When you place the bet, you should kiss the money goodbye. You should assume that it has lost. If it wins, it’s a bonus. Maybe this mindset will help you pull the trigger on high-risk bets and not get so frustrated if they lose. Remember that this is a marathon not a sprint.

Reasons for betting on Darren Till

  • Both Darren Till and Kelvin Gastelum are Southpaws. Southpaws usually carry a lot of KO power against Orthodox stance fighters because they throw strikes from different positions and angles that most Orthodox stance fighters aren’t as familiar with. The shots that KO you are the ones you don’t see coming and that’s why historically Southpaws have a lot of success against Orthodox stance fighters. When you get two Southpaws fighting each other, their KO power is usually significantly diminished because they’re not as comfortable fighting fellow Southpaws. You often end up with lots of sloppy, ugly exchanges where they get their feet tangled up. This Southpaw vs Southpaw dynamic is very likely to favour the more technical, experienced striker in Darren Till who also throws a more diverse range of strikes. Gastelum is primarily a Boxer, whereas Till has a wide range of Muay Thai attacks in his Arsenal.
  • Size matters in MMA. Kelvin Gastelum is a small Middleweight at 5 ft 9 with a 71.5 inch reach. Darren Till will tower over him at 6 ft tall with a 75.5 inch reach.
  • Kelvin Gastelum has bad striking defense. He gets hit a lot and relies on his chin way too much.
  • Darren Till is a big, strong, powerful athletic fighter. It’s likely that he looks much better at Middleweight. His cardio, chin and durability should improve dramatically now that he won’t have to deal with the brutal weight cut to 170 pounds.
  • From a technical point of view Darren Till is better than Kelvin Gastelum everywhere. He’s a more technical striker, he’s stronger in the clinch, he’s better from top position and the size difference should give him the advantage on the ground.
  • Darren Till does a great job of fighting long. He can use his length to land shots on Gastelum from positions where Gastelum cannot counter.
  • For the 1st time in his UFC career, Till has been able to fully focus on fighting as opposed to cutting weight throughout training camp. We may see him show up and look significantly better than ever before.
  • Darren Till carries legitimate 1 shot KO power in his strikes. We saw Gastelum get dropped a couple of times by Adesanya. His chin isn’t bulletproof.
  • Gastelum has never beaten a top Middleweight in his prime. The vast majority of his wins at 185 have come against old opponents. He may struggle bad against a young, hungry, heavy handed bull like Darren Till.
  • Kelvin Gastelum struggled to get inside on Israel Adesanya in his last fight. It’s likely that he’ll have a similar issue getting inside on Till. We saw in Till’s fight against Stephen Thompson that his striking defense is excellent when he respects his opponent’s power.
  • Darren Till is extremely tough. He’s the kind of guy that you have to practically kill in order to beat. We’ve seen him in some wars and very difficult positions and it’s tough to get him out of there.
  • This is a 3 round fight which means Till won’t have to pace himself so much and fear gassing out like he has in his past 5 round main event fights.

Risk Factors with betting on Darren Till

  • Darren Till fights with his hands low and his chin up high and exposed. Gastelum hits hard. There’s a significant chance he knocks Till out.
  • We’ve never seen Till fight at Middleweight before. It’s more likely that he looks better in this new weight class, but it’s also possible that he could look worse.
  • Kelvin Gastelum has a granite chin and cardio for days. If he throws caution to the wind, pushes a crazy pace, gets inside Till’s range and turns this into a dog fight, it’s going to be a tough matchup for Till. I’d bet on Gastelum’s chin over Till’s all day long.
  • Till’s cardio at 170 was questionable. It’s possible that it could be worse at 185 now that he’s carrying all the extra body weight.
  • Arriving to fight week late may have a significant impact on Till’s performance. It’s impossible to measure how much it will effect his weight cut, preparation, mindset etc…
  • Darren Till suffered a devastating KO in his last fight against Jorge Masvidal. Some times fighters never bounce back from a KO like that. It can change a fighter forever. Their confidence and ability to take a punch can significantly decline.

My Betting Tip

Darren Till to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 3.10
Moneyline = +210
Fractional = 21/10

32%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Darren Till has a 32% chance of beating Kelvin Gastelum based on their current odds.

40%

Our Probability

I believe that Darren Till has a 40% chance of beating Kelvin Gastelum 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.

26 Comments

  1. I know BT odds have been declining since opening. But am I crazy to think that the closer we get to Saturday that they will improve again? I could see plenty of casual and wiki cappers betting up ES given his unbeaten record and how good he looked in his last fight.

    1. Israel Adesanya: 3 units at odds of 1.91 = 2.73 units profit
      Cub Swanson: 1 units at odds of 2.50 = 1.50 units profit
      Jeremy Stephens: 2 units at odds of 1.95 = 2 unit loss
      Court McGee: 1 unit at odds of 2.80 = 1 unit loss
      Michael Johnson: 3 units at odds of 1.40 = 3 units loss
      Demian Maia: 1 unit at odds of 2.50 = 1.50 units profit

      Adesanya + Swanson + Maia = 5.73 units of profit
      Johnson + McGee + Stephens = 6 units loss

      6.00 – 5.73 = -0.27 loss overall

      I have absolutely no idea how you calculated -4.8 units. That’s not even close. I think your calculator is broken.

      1. Probably cause I’m using the American system. Calculator’s not broken mate

        Adesanya -105 (+3U)
        Cub +150 (+1.5U)
        Stephens -105 (-2.1U)
        McGee +180 (-1U)
        Johnson -250 (-7.5U)
        Maia +150 (+1.5U)

        (3U+1.5U+1.5U) – 7.5U -1U -2.1U

        Total loss: -4.6 Units

        1. It doesn’t matter which system you used mate.

          Based on my betting advice, the total profit / loss for last month was -0.27 units. Which is basically break even.

          I’m sorry you lost 4.6 units, but that’s on you. They were your bets.

          It’s like complaining that a Cooking Book was wrong because they told you to add 250g of Flour when baking a cake, but you made your own decision to use 500g of Flour instead and the Cake turned out bad.

          That’s on you dude, you can’t blame the Cooking book.

          1. October was huge for me thanks to that Bellator card (which isn’t in the results), but yeah if you don’t want to stick strictly to the units system, fair enough, but don’t cry when taking a risk doesn’t pay off, that’s why it’s called a risk. Keep up the good work Allsopp.

        2. hey foodog, sorry mate, but you can not calculate or don´t understand it!
          The odds of a bet only influence the Outcome if it is positive(which means you win the bet)
          for example: if i bet 2 Units on stephens and loose it, i lost exactly 2 Units, no matter if the odds were +200 or -200! that is the mistake in your calculation..

  2. Brother can you explain for what reason you didnt wamt to bet kevin lee on the odds of 2.37(approcimately)? I would really appreciate it. Cause i wanna know thought process that brought you to that conclusion, so that me myself can become better gambler and learn how to manage my decisions on bets like this, beacause it seems like must, to bet lee on such odds. I appreciate your answer. Cheers!

  3. Y’all need to chill out, I ain’t blaming anyone and I put 1 unit on MJ which roughly equated to losing 3 units. I made a mistake putting bets on cause I’m not used to American style.

    That said I like the Till bet and was already considering it beforehand. Cheers

  4. There’s a fundamental misunderstanding behind your statement my friend. If you put 1U on the wager, then you can’t lose more than 1U.

    It doesn’t matter in which system the odds are represented, it has no impact on whether you can lose more than you gambled.

    1. It is normal when Americans talk about their bets/tips for them to make bets to win said number of units on favorites and risk said number of units on underdogs. This is where the confusion happened. For example if I told a buddy of mine in states, I took MJ -250 1u he’d assume I risked 2.5 units to win 1 unit

  5. Tavares at +135 now. I knew his odds would improve again but didn’t take my own advice lol. Pulled the trigger at even money several days ago after posting the earlier comment. I almost feel like doubling down on him at the better line out of principal 😂

  6. @allsop, enjoying your picks and analysis very much. I have much respect for you expertise but I have a question. You said you cap Till at around a 40%chance of winning. You also say he’ll probably lose this weekend. Maybe my perception is off, but I would consider a 40% chance of winning better than a “probably will lose” diagnosis. This is in the ballpark of 50-50 which I personally would describe as a good chance.

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