We kicked off December with solid profits on both prefight and Live Betting last weekend at UFC Washington.
We saw Makhmud Muradov come through for us in a big way to help us kick the month off with a win. Betting on huge favorites isn’t exciting or impressive, but I’ve always looked at these kinds of bets as a way to earn some relatively risk-free money. The odds are mostly irrelevant to me, all I care about is making money, and if there’s value in the odds, there’s value. It doesn’t matter if you’re betting a 1.10 | -1000 | 1/10 favorite or a 10.00 | +1000 | 10/1 underdog.
The Live Betting money Train kept on choo chooing after we banked another solid profit. With so many competitive matchups taking place this weekend at UFC 245, I’m hoping that we can keep it going for the rest of the month.
|Fight||Betting Tip||The bet with the best risk to reward ratio|
|Colby Covington vs Kamaru Usman||Considering a bet on Usman||Usman to win|
|Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway||3 units on Max Holloway to win at odds of 1.60 | -167 | 3/5||Holloway to win|
|Amanda Nunes vs Germaine De Randamie||No bet||De Randamie to win|
|Jose Aldo vs Marlon Moraes||No bet||Moraes to win|
|Petr Yan vs Urijah Faber||No bet||Yan to win|
|Geoff Neal vs Mike Perry||No bet||Neal to win|
|Ketlen Viera vs Irene Aldana||Considering a bet on Viera||Viera to win|
|Ian Heinisch vs Omari Akhmedov||No bet||Heinisch to win|
|Ben Saunders vs Matt Brown||No bet||Saunders to win|
|Chase Hooper vs Daniel Teymur||No bet||Teymur to win|
|Brandon Moreno vs Kai Kara-France||No bet||Kara-France to win|
|Jessica Eye vs Viviane Araujo||No bet||Araujo to win|
|Oskar Piechota vs Punahele Soriano||No bet||Soriano to win|
Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway Betting Tip and Prediction
Max Holloway, to beat Alexander Volkanovski is a bet that I have been planning to place for months. I was waiting until fight week for liquidity to improve. In my mind, from hazy memories, Holloway was a free money type bet like Makhmud Muradov last week. I was planning to go huge on him; he was going to be my biggest financial bet of the year.
Fight research is so important because you often have a vision in your mind of how a matchup will play out, but studying fight footage in the cold light of day will often show you things that you completely forgot about. Your mind will play tricks on you, and it happened when I researched this fight.
Before researching this fight, I didn’t give Volkanovski much of a chance of beating Max Holloway. I was planning to recommend a 5 unit bet to you guys, and I was also preparing to bet just under £10,000 on him myself. Unfortunately, after watching footage of both guys, I don’t feel anywhere near as confident now. Max is still worth a bet at the current odds, but Volkanovski can cause him problems. First, let me explain the reasons why Holloway is a good bet at the current odds.
On the most basic of levels, I believe that Holloway is a good bet this weekend because I don’t believe Volkanovski has the offensive wrestling or ground game to take Holloway down and control him there. Volkanovski’s grappling technique is not very good. Volkanovski is a hard-nosed, blue-collar fighter who has had some success in the UFC with wrestling by out hustling his opponents with his strength, athleticism and relentless pressure. This style of fighting can get you a long way in MMA, but eventually, you need the technical ability to back up the hustle when you start to face a higher level of opponent.
All of Volkanovski’s takedown entries come above hip height, and he doesn’t possess any chain wrestling. His wrestling is very rudimentary, which makes it extremely unlikely that he’ll be able to take Holloway down and hold him down. Holloway’s takedown defense isn’t bulletproof, but he does have great balance, and he’s difficult to take down unless you can get in deep on his hips. Volkanovski really struggles to get in deep on the hips of his opponents.
Volkanovski also likes to win fights by grinding on his opponents against the cage, but it’s going to be tough to control Holloway in this position because Holloway doesn’t allow himself to be in the clinch for long. He’s always looking to use the overhook and break the grip of his opponents to circle away from them and get his back off the cage. The size difference in this matchup will also make it difficult for Volkanovski to control Holloway in the clinch. [more on that in a minute]
Now that we have established from fight research that it is unlikely that Volkanovski is going to be able to take Holloway down and control him, the only way he can win this fight is by flash KO or by out striking Holloway across 5 rounds. This isn’t impossible, but based on past performances, it is very unlikely.
Even the most hardcore Alexander Volkanovski fan would have to admit that Max Holloway is a significantly better striker, and this is why I believe there’s value on Holloway at the current odds. Holloway has excellent Boxing, good distance control, a granite chin, and cardio for days. He also throws a wide range of strikes and can fight at a high pace for 25 minutes.
We’ve seen Volkanovski start to take a lot of damage now that he is fighting a higher level of opponent. He got wobbled by Darren Elkins and dropped twice by Chad Mendes. Earlier, we said that Volkanovski’s grappling is quite rudimentary, and the same can be said about his striking. He stands right in front of his opponent and doesn’t use much footwork. His combinations are also quite basic. He should be a sitting duck for Max Holloway. If the fight stays standing, Max should be able to box his face off.
You will often hear me say in the Chat Room that water is wet, the sky is blue and size matters in MMA. My advice to anyone betting on this sport is to try and make life easier for yourself. If ever you see a guy with a huge size advantage over their opponent, you should consider betting the big guy. At the very least, you don’t want to be betting on the small guy. Nothing will change the fact that Holloway is a much bigger, more physically imposing athlete than Alexander Volkanovski and this gives him a big advantage in this matchup.
Reach is the most important metric when evaluating how much size difference will impact a fight, and Volkanovski will actually have a 2.5-inch reach advantage over Holloway. Having said that, the size difference in this fight is so extreme that it undoubtedly gives Holloway a huge edge. It will be much more difficult for Volkanovski to gain control of Holloway’s body in grappling exchanges, much more difficult to hold him down if he does get a takedown and much, much harder to get inside Boxing range and land power strikes. Holloway being the significantly bigger man is a huge advantage here in almost every single aspect of this fight.
At this point in the betting tip, you’re probably wondering why we’re not selling the house, the car, and our daughter’s pet Hamster to bet on Holloway because he seemingly ticks every box. From my research, I can tell you that Holloway ticks almost every box, but there are two huge red flags with him that could cost him this fight, and they’re both interconnected.
The 1st red flag is that he kills himself to make the 145-pound Featherweight limit, and we know that the chin is one of the things to suffer from a brutal weight cut. Holloway’s chin has looked legendary up until this point in his career, but as he’s getting older, you don’t know when all those brutal weight cuts are going to start to catch up to him.
The 2nd red flag is that Max has pretty bad striking defense, which you wouldn’t expect from such a great Boxer. I think Max’s problem is that he is so comfortable in the pocket and so happy to roll with shots and slip shots that he has no problem just sitting in the pocket and taking a shot to give 3. The problem is, he never seems to block right-handed power strikes or even see them coming. This results in him taking a lot of unnecessary damage, and we’ve seen him wobbled a few times because of it over the last few years.
Max’s questionable striking defense probably won’t cost him in this fight because he has a granite chin, and Volkanovski doesn’t carry that much power in his hands. Volkanovski’s right hook is also not that dangerous, and the size difference will make it difficult for Volk to get into a range where he could land it anyway. Despite this, it’s worth noting that I’m just a geeky Welsh guy that sits in his pants all day watching fights. If I can spot this weakness in Max’s defense, I’m sure that a striking genius like Eugene Bareman at City Kickboxing can also spot this weakness and figure out a strategy that Volkanovski can use to exploit it.
At this point, it is important to remember that every bet has risk factors. You’ll never find a bet without any risk, and at Max’s current odds of around 1.60 | -167 | 3/5, I think he’s a good bet because those odds carry an implied probability of just 63%. When trying to cap Holloway’s chances of winning this fight, I think it’s fair to give him around a 70% chance of winning because this is likely to be a standup fight, and Holloway is a significantly better striker. The size difference also helps, and the fact that Volkanovski doesn’t really carry the kind of 1 shot KO power to make Holloway pay for his leaky striking defense. Volk could KO Max, especially after a brutal weight cut, but based on past performances, it’s unlikely. If anything, you could cap Holloway higher than 70%, but I like to be more conservative.
Based on my research for this fight, I am confident that Holloway is a good bet, and he should come through for us, just don’t go selling your son’s Xbox to bet on him. Volkanovski is tough and will most likely make this a competitive fight. Anything can happen in MMA, and while Max Holloway is world-class and a very difficult stylistic matchup for Alexander Volkanovski, Volkanovski is a tough, well-rounded fighter who is ruthlessly consistent. He’s not going to go down without a fight. You need to take guys like that seriously, and you can never count them out.
At the end of the day, it’s a fight to the death until the referee steps in and stops it or 25 minutes on the clock expires. A lot of crazy stuff can happen in a fight to the death.
Reasons for betting on Max Holloway
Risk Factors with betting on Max Holloway
My Betting Tip
Max Holloway to win
[3% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 1.60
Moneyline = -167
Fractional = 3/5
The bookies believe that Max Holloway has a 63% chance of beating Alexander Volkanovski based on their current odds.