I think I must have broken some Mirrors, walked underneath a Ladder, and tripped over a Black Cat recently because the bad luck I am currently experiencing on prefight bets has reached an all-time high.
We came so close to a flawless performance on UFC Norfolk. We saw Sean Brady execute the exact same gameplan that we predicted in our Livestream research session. Brady weathered the earlier storm against Naurdiev in round 1 and then dominated the 2nd and 3rd to pick up an easy decision win.
We then saw the fight between Marcin Tybura and Sergey Spivak play out exactly as we predicted. Tybura was able to win the fight comfortably by using his significant advantages on the ground.
We even made perfect passes. Throughout last week we leaned heavily towards Tom Breese and Jordan Griffin, feeling equal confidence levels in both guys. Both guys were in the same odds range and ended up going 1-1 with Griffin winning and Breese losing. Passing on both guys turned out to be the correct move because a level stakes bet on both fighters would have resulted in an overall loss.
Then into the main event, we saw Benavidez do a lot better than I thought he would in round 1.
Round 1 is the round in which Figueiredo performs at his best. He slows down from then on out and becomes much less dangerous. Benavidez was able to expose the bad striking defense that we saw from Figueiredo in our research by repeatedly landing the right hook over and over again. This led to him winning the 1st round on all 3 judges scorecards:
In case you were wondering, all three judges scored the first round 10-9 for Benavidez over "Deivenson Figuriredo" pic.twitter.com/o5MGCD53Z2
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 1, 2020
Benavidez did a great job of evading power strikes throughout the fight right up until he darted forward in a straight line and clashed heads with Figueiredo. This lead to a momentary lapse in concentration, which enabled Figueiredo to land the death shot that knocked him out. It was another loss due to a flash KO in a long line of losses under similar circumstances in recent months.
The good news is that we are reading the majority of these fights perfectly and locking in solid bets. I can’t remember the last time we lost a prefight bet because our guy got outperformed. The vast majority of our losses are due to flash KOs and bad judging decisions. When this short term period of bad variance dries up, I am looking forward to a giant upswing because we’ve bloody earned it.
Thankfully Live Betting is going great. We banked a solid profit in February, and I am looking forward to building on this in March.
|Fight||Betting Tip||Who I think will win||Who I think is the better bet|
|Israel Adesanya vs Yoel Romero||No bet||Adesanya||Adesanya|
|Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Weili Zhang||1 unit on Joanna Jędrzejczyk to win at odds of 2.50 | +150 | 3/2||Jędrzejczyk||Jędrzejczyk|
|Beneil Dariush vs Drakkar Klose||No bet||Dariush||Dariush|
|Jingliang Li vs Neil Magny||No bet||Jingliang||Jingliang|
|Alex Oliveira vs Max Griffin||No bet||Oliveira||Oliveira|
|Jose Alberto Quinones vs Sean O’Malley||No bet||O’Malley||Quinones|
|Rodolfo Viera vs Saparbek Safarov||1 unit on Saparbek Safarov to win at odds of 6.50 | +550 | 11/2||Safarov||Safarov|
|Austin Hubbard vs Mark Madsen||No bet||Hubbard||Hubbard|
|Danaa Batgerel vs Guido Cannetti||No bet||Batgerel||Batgerel|
|Giga Chikadze vs Jamall Emmers||No bet||Chikadze||Chikadze|
|Deron Winn vs Gerald Meerschaert||No bet||Winn||Winn|
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Weili Zhang Betting Tip and Prediction
I wrote a really long breakdown on this fight here and did a 4 hour Livestream. If you watch my Youtube videos, Livestreams or read my articles, you’ll know that I often struggle to put my point of view across in a short and concise way, particularly for complex fights such as this.
Jack Slack does a great job of summarizing my feelings about this fight in 7 minutes. So if you are struggling to understand my perspective on this matchup or you don’t have time to read this long article or watch the Livestream, I recommend checking his breakdown out.
For the most part, I completely agree with Jack Slack’s assessment of this fight. Based on what we’ve seen from Zhang so far, it’s difficult to gauge how good she really is. There’s an equal chance that she’s pretty good and an equal chance that she’s pretty bad. Based on her fights against Taylor and Torres, Jedrzejczyk’s counter striking style looks like it may cause her big problems, but without seeing more from her, it’s impossible to tell.
Jedrzejczyk’s current odds of around 2.50 | +150 | 3/2 command an implied probability of just 40%. Based on what we’ve seen from Zhang, you have to give Jedrzejczyk at least a 50% chance of beating her, which means you’re getting a great margin over the bookies at the current odds. This is a high-risk bet, but it’s also a great value bet. I recommend checking out Jack Slack’s breakdown, watching my Livestream and reading my breakdown to decide whether this is a bet that you want to tail:
Remember that good bets don’t always win, bad bets don’t always lose. I don’t know if Jedrzejczyk will beat Zhang this weekend, but I do know that these odds are completely inaccurate based on past performances.
MMA is an amazing sport to bet on because it’s one of the few sports where hype and popularity have a direct influence on the odds. Several times a year, we encounter matchups, where a massive percentage of the MMA community has a strong opinion on how a fight will play out, and these opinions are often based on wild assumptions that are not true.
The good news is that people back these assumptions by placing bets, which ultimately leads to a good amount of additional value in the odds that you don’t really get in other sports.
Remember Kron Gracie? He was the favorite over Cub Swanson in his UFC debut. MMA Media sites were publishing articles stating that he was a BJJ prodigy and that Demian Maia pissed his pants in fear everytime they bumped into each other. Just spending 30 minutes studying his past fights on Youtube would have revealed that he was, in fact, quite a low-level MMA grappler with no offensive wrestling and a pretty weak top game. He also wasn’t particularly dangerous off his back.
Speaking of overrated grapplers. How about Ben Askren? I lost count of how many people came into the Chat Room to tell me that he was the best wrestler to ever compete in the UFC. We all know how that ended.
There were countless other crazy opinions thrown around last year on high profile fights that ended up having a big influence on the odds. Who could forget people talking about Whittaker’s wrestling being a threat to Adesanya? This hyperbole enabled us to get Adesanya at even odds. There was also another camp who thought Diaz might have been able to outbox Jorge Masvidal.
The level of delusion in these assumptions for some of the big fights is the reason why we’re virtually guaranteed to make long term profits betting on MMA. The fact is that most people don’t actually research fights. They just make up crazy opinions based on hazy memories or form opinions that are recycled from stuff they’ve heard other people say—usually stemming from the MMA Media or UFC promotional machine.
In the past week, I’ve heard Joe Rogan and Brendan Schaub talk about Zhang’s power like she’s the female answer to Francis Ngannou. Take 30 minutes out of your day to watch her fights against Danielle Taylor and Tecia Torres, and you’ll see that this is not true.
That’s the great thing about doing what we do. We don’t base our betting decisions on opinions, we only deal in facts, and the footage doesn’t lie. Forget what you’ve heard from the fighters on Countdown and Embedded shows, forget what Joe Rogan has told you, and forget what you’ve seen on Instagram. If you really want to know how good Weili Zhang is, go and watch her past fights because the footage doesn’t lie:
Based on what I saw in last night’s Livestream, I can tell you right now that Zhang is not the best Strawweight in the world. I don’t even think she’s the best Strawweight in China. If we are looking to hype up a Chinese Champion to promote the sport in a new territory, Xiaonan Yan, who beat Karoline Kowalkiewicz last week, is better than Zhang almost everywhere.
I am not sure where the hype is coming from when it comes to Zhang. Maybe it’s the media misleading people, maybe it’s her impressive 20-1 record, or maybe it’s her win over Jessica Andrade, but based on the performances we’ve seen from her in the Octagon, there is absolutely no reason why she should be a favorite over Joanna Jedrzejczyk. These odds are definitely off.
I’ve even seen some people justifying her lackluster performances against Danielle Taylor and Tecia Torres by saying that Zhang is so good, that she wanted to hold back against both those girls so that she wouldn’t give away what she was capable of. Was she holding back when Danielle Taylor wobbled her 3 times? Or was she holding back when she got rocked early by Bianca Sattelmayer in her fight immediately before she got signed by the UFC? Sattelmayer holds a losing pro-MMA record of 7-8.
There’s no doubt that Weili Zhang is strong, athletic, and powerful, but at the highest level of the sport, you also need the skills to back it up, and that’s where I struggle to understand the hype for Zhang. She has a heavy top game, but her offensive wrestling isn’t great. Most of her takedowns come from trips and throws that aren’t going to be easy to hit on Jedrzejczyk because Jedrzejczyk has a base in Muay Thai. She’s strong in the clinch when you try to tie up with her, and she has great balance. She’s also very difficult to hold down when you do put her on her back.
Based on past performances, the majority of this fight should stay standing because Zhang doesn’t have the offensive wrestling to repeatedly take Jedrzejczyk down unless she has improved significantly since her past fights.
If the fight stays standing, Jedrzejczyk should do very well. If you go back and watch Zhang’s fights, you’ll see that she is mostly ineffective with her Boxing. She is unable to land effective power punches when moving forward and pressuring her opponent. She also struggles to land when being forced to fight on the back foot. The only time she is effective at landing power punches is when she blitzes forward in straight lines. She doesn’t do this very often, but these are the combinations that can cause Jedrzejczyk the biggest problem. It is worth noting, however, that Jedrzejczyk is an excellent counter striker. She’s very good at playing the role of matador and picking her opponents off as they come forward. Zhang’s blitzing attacks can only cause Jedrzejczyk a problem if Jedrzejczyk chooses to meet her head-on and looks to counter in a Phone Booth like we have seen her do in some of her past fights. If, however, she chooses to stay on the outside as she did against Shevchenko and Andrade, Zhang is going to find it really difficult to get inside and land.
Kicks are an area where Jedrzejczyk can have a lot of success. She fights long and can chip away at Zhang from a range where she cannot be countered.
This is a difficult fight for Zhang because, based on past performances, she struggles to get inside her opponents and let her hands go. She can pressure them into an uncomfortable range, but she doesn’t have the confidence, accuracy, or timing to then pull the trigger and land. It’s not easy to hit a moving target, especially one like Jedrzejczyk, who has great footwork and fights long. Zhang had trouble landing on Torres and Taylor, who are much smaller than Jedrzejczyk, so she’s likely to struggle badly to get inside this weekend too.
In Jedrzejczyk’s past fights, we have seen two different styles. Both styles are capable of beating Zhang, but one style will be much more effective than the other.
In Jedrzejczyk’s fights against Namajunas, Waterson, and Torres, Jedrzejczyk looked to meet each girl head-on as they came forward. When all 3 girls would come forward and throw power punches, Jedrzejczyk would stand her ground and look to fire back with big combinations.
This style will be somewhat effective against Zhang because Jedrzejczyk is faster and has much better technique, but it will also give Zhang opportunities to land clean hard shots and test Jedrzejczyk’s chin. This is a risky strategy for Jedrzejczyk to use, but it’s also a strategy that can work. Jedrzejczyk should be able to outwork Zhang over 5 rounds using this strategy, I just don’t like it because she will be putting herself in a lot of danger every time Zhang comes forward. Either way, at Jedrzejczyk’s current odds of around 2.50 | +150 | 3/2, she’s good value. Only problem is that the fight becomes much closer to 50 / 50 if she employs this strategy.
Jedrzejczyk is, however, a high-level striker with many different facets to her game. She has shown us a different style against Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade that should cause Weili Zhang big problems. If Jedrzejczyk shows up and implements this style, I’d cap the matchup much closer to 60 / 40 or even 70 / 30 in Jedrzejczyk’s favour.
The style involves chipping away at her opponent with jabs and leg kicks, using her excellent footwork to land from a range where she cannot be countered. When Jedrzejczyk is focused on this style, she’s disciplined at sticking with it. This will become a very difficult matchup for Zhang if Jedrzejczyk fights in this way because Zhang struggles to land on opponents who won’t stand right in front of her.
There is also one big X-Factor to consider with this fight. In episode 1 of embedded, Zhang said that on February 1st, she had to leave China due to the Corona Virus. She traveled to Thailand, then to Abu Dhabi and onto the United States in the last month.
This will likely have disrupted her training camp in a big way. Who knows what the quality of her training will have been like in the last month. Who are her training partners? How will this affect her weight cut? How much will the stress and anxiety of having family back in China during the outbreak affect her? Clearly, it is having an impact on her Mental Health because she spoke about contacting her Mother over the pressure of taking the fight under these circumstances.
Iron sharpens Iron, and while Zhang has been battling challenging circumstances during her Training Camp, Jedrzejczyk has been training to beat her at American Top Team, which is the best MMA gym in the world.
Of course, there are X-Factors at play in this fight, which goes against Jedrzejczyk too. Perhaps her motivation isn’t what it used to be, but from my perspective, the performances aren’t really showing this. She did better against Shevchenko than almost anybody else we’ve seen Shevchenko fight, and she looked great in her last fight against Michelle Waterson.
I’m also not sure how much substance there is to the narrative that Jedrzejczyk is chinny or fragile. Shevchenko didn’t put her in any real danger in a 25-minute fight. She fought for 5 minutes with a broken foot against Michelle Waterson. We saw her eat bombs from Namajunas in the rematch, and Jessica Andrade also failed to get near her when they fought. Is Zhang more dangerous than Andrade, Namajunas, and Shevchenko? Based on what I have seen, the answer is an emphatic, no.
If this fight stays standing, it’s hard to see Zhang being able to keep up with the pace that Jedrzejczyk sets. Jedrzejczyk throws a very high volume of strikes, and Zhang really struggled to get inside on shorter opponents like Taylor and Torres. The only realistic path to victory for Zhang is by KO, but you already know that you don’t see many KOs in the Strawweight division for a reason. It’s also worth noting that Jedrzejczyk has only been finished one time in her entire 19 fight career.
This is one of those bets where there are a lot of reasons to bet Jedrzejczyk at the current odds. It’s possible that Zhang could KO her, but she doesn’t look any more dangerous than girls like Shevchenko, Namajunas, and Andrade. At reasonably big underdog odds, Jedrzejczyk is a no brainer bet. At worst, this fight is 50 / 50.
If you’ve watched my Youtube videos, Livestreams, or read my betting articles, you will know that I often go into too much detail and struggle to put my point of view across concisely.
Before you pull the trigger on Jedrzejczyk, just be aware of what kind of bet this is. I am not saying that Jedrzejczyk is a safe bet or a bet that should win easily. What I am saying is that the odds are very wrong here. There’s no way Zhang should be favored like this based on her past performances. If you keep placing bets like this where the odds are very inaccurate, you will make a solid profit over the long term, but you can also lose a lot of bets like this in a short space of time.
Only tail this bet if you are in this for the long run because, in isolation, there’s a good chance that these high-risk bets lose. I strongly recommend that you do your own research on this fight and make your own decision. Our Livestream research session might make it easier for you to make your decision.
Reasons for betting on Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Risk Factors with betting on Joanna Jedrzejczyk
My Betting Tip
Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.50
Moneyline = +150
Fractional = 3/2
The bookies believe that Joanna Jedrzejczyk has a 40% chance of beating Weili Zhang based on their current odds.
Rodolfo Vieira vs Saparbek Safarov Betting Tip and Prediction
I haven’t seen odds this wrong on a fight since we cashed a big winning underdog bet on Cheick Kongo to beat Vitaly Minakov this time last year.
Saparbek Safarov isn’t great, he has his issues, but he’s also a Wildman, and there are still so many unanswered questions over Rodolfo Vieira. Checkout our Livestream to see the reasons why Safarov is an incredible bet at the current odds:
It is important not to confuse an incredible bet with a bet that is likely to win. This is a high-risk bet that is more likely to lose, but there’s no doubt that there’s a tremendous amount of value here.
Safarov’s current odds of around 6.50 | +550 | 11/2 carry an implied probability of just 15%. That’s utter madness.
Rodolfo Viera is a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who has demonstrated excellent offensive wrestling in his past fights and a very heavy top game. If this fight goes to the ground, Safarov is likely to be in big trouble. But every fight starts on the feet, and if Safarov can just survive on the ground, he’ll have a fresh opportunity at the start of each round to use his big power to try and knock Vieira out.
Rodolfo Vieira has big credentials in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but he’s still a very inexperienced MMA fighter at 6-0. He has only gone past the 1st round, two times in his career. In his UFC debut against Oskar Piechota, he was taking big deep breaths at the end of round 1 and looked very tired.
We’ve seen that Safarov carries enough power in his hands to hurt his opponents deep into a fight. If Safarov can deal with the early takedowns, survive on the ground if he does get taken down, and drag Vieira into the 2nd and 3rd rounds, this fight could get very interesting.
Another significant factor to pay attention to is that Vieira has been tested 4 times by USADA since making his UFC debut. I am not accusing any fighter of taking banned substances, but it’s possible that USADA may have an impact on Vieira’s future performances based on his appearance.
The main reason I love a bet on Safarov in this matchup is that the payoff in his odds is obviously excellent, and every round starts standing. Safarov has vicious KO power in every strike, and he sits down so hard on his punches. There’s no feeling-out process with him. He is going to be looking to take Vieira out from the 1st second to the last. He loves turning fights into a War.
Vieira has not looked at all confident standing in his past fights. There’s a good chance that Safarov lands a bomb and knocks him out.
It’s difficult to gauge how much value there is on Safarov because we don’t know anything about his takedown defense and ground game. What we do know is that he’s a Master of Sport in Combat Sambo and trains at a decent gym alongside Ramazan Emeev, Muslim Salikhov, Magomed Ankalaev, and Gadzhimurad Antigulov.
We also saw Safarov demonstrate good offensive wrestling, a heavy top game, and the ability to deliver vicious ground and pound deep into the fight in his last matchup against Nick Negumereanu. Guys that are usually good offensive grapplers are often decent defensive grapplers too, so there’s a chance that Vieira might have a tough time trying to take Safarov down.
The guys Safarov trains with, and his performance against Negumereanu does indicate that Safarov is likely to have a decent level of grappling, but because we don’t have much footage of him grappling over the last few years, it’s tough to gauge what he brings to the table in that department.
This is a very difficult fight to cap because we don’t know anything about Safarov’s takedown defense or ground game. If it’s bad, then there’s only going to be a little bit of value in his current odds; if it’s good, we could be getting an enormous amount of value here to the point where it’s even fair to cap Safarov as the favorite. If he can keep the fight standing against Vieira, he should win this fight by KO. If he can survive on the ground and drag Vieira into the 2nd and 3rd rounds, his chances of winning this fight increase exponentially.
I love Safarov as a huge underdog in this fight because he’s a madman. He’s incredibly tough, has a chin from hell, and has Nuclear Missiles in his hands. He’s not tactical, he’s not strategic, and there’s no feeling-out process with this guy. He’s just trying to kill you from the 1st second of the fight until the last. He’s also the kind of guy that you have to put in a really bad position in order to finish because there’s no quit in him.
This is a big step up in competition for Vieira, and we don’t know if he’s ready for the kind of violence that Safarov is going to try to bring. If Safarov lands something big, how will he react? If Safarov forces him to work hard for takedowns in round 1, how will his cardio hold up? If Vieira does get a takedown early, but Safarov pops right back up, how will Vieira react? Will he be able to stay calm or will he panic?
This is one of those bets where you can either look like a genius or an idiot. If Vieira shoots a deep double leg early in the fight, puts Safarov on his back, and submits him fast, this is going to look like a bad bet. But there are so many other ways that this fight could play out, and most of those scenarios end badly for Vieira.
In order to command odds in the odds range that we see for Vieira, you need to tick every box. Vieira should have no unanswered questions about what he brings to the table. That’s not the case here. If Safarov can keep the fight standing, Viera will likely be in big trouble.
Again, like with the bet on Jędrzejczyk, this is a high-risk bet. Many people have meltdowns when we lose bets. I cannot stress it enough that the two bets we have so far this week are very risky. There’s great value with them, but value doesn’t automatically equate to wins. If we continue to put our money in strong positions like this where the odds are completely inaccurate, then long term, we’re going to make a great profit, but in the short term, who knows what will happen. Jędrzejczyk and Safarov could both easily lose this weekend.
Do your own research on this one to decide for yourself if you want to bet Safarov at these odds.
Reasons for betting on Saparbek Safarov
Risk Factors with betting on Saparbek Safarov
My Betting Tip
Saparbek Safarov to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 6.50
Moneyline = +550
Fractional = 11/2
The bookies believe that Saparbek Safarov has a 15% chance of beating Rodolfo Vieira based on their current odds.