Our 2019 Live Betting campaign got off to a solid start last weekend when we banked just under 8 units of profit.
Unfortunately, prefight betting went badly because our only prefight bet of the night lost when Ariane Lipski failed to show up and perform to her full potential. She looked completely different to how she had previously performed in KSW. As the 125-pound KSW Flyweight Champion we had seen Lipski fight at a high pace for 25 minutes in 5 round title fights, and yet she looked flat footed and sluggish after being underneath Calderwood for the first 5 minutes of her UFC debut. More worryingly she seemed completely clueless on the ground. She did not attempt to improve her position or scramble back to her feet, and a more experienced grappler would have submitted her with ease. This was surprising considering she is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and regularly competes in BJJ tournaments. We’ve also seen her look very comfortable on the ground against past opponents in KSW. It was strange to see her being dominated on the ground by a low-level grappler like Joanne Calderwood.
We won’t ever know the reason why Lipski underperformed so badly, but it does feel like Female fighters have been underperforming and costing us a lot of money over the last few years. Just a few weeks ago we lost 4 units on Cyborg when she recklessly rushed forward in straight lines against Amanda Nunes with her chin up high and exposed. It was such a shockingly bad performance from a fighter that usually performs with ruthless consistency and an intelligent gameplan. Even Cyborg’s coach said that she beat herself.
I am always looking at ways that I can improve our profitability, so on Monday morning, I decided to review our prefight betting results for the past 2 years to determine whether it was worth continuing to bet on female fighters since they seem to underperform much more often than male fighters.
I chose not to include our betting results from 2016 in this evaluation because 2016 was the first year when USADA was introduced into the UFC. I also decided to exclude our bets from before 2016 because back then, without USADA, fighters we significantly more consistent than they are now.
In the table below I have included all our prefight bets on female fighters over the past 2 years:
|Fight||Our Bet||Profit / Loss|
|Ariane Lipski vs Joanne Calderwood||Lipski to win||-3 units|
|Amanda Nunes vs Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino||Cyborg to win||-4 units|
|Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Valentina Shevchenko||Jędrzejczyk to win||-1 unit|
|Germaine De Randamie vs Raquel Pennington||De Randamie to win||2.85 units|
|Roxanne Modafferi vs Sijara Eubanks||Modafferi to win||-1 unit|
|Felice Herrig vs Michelle Waterson||Herrig to win||-2 units|
|Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Tecia Torres||Jędrzejczyk to win||1.80 units|
|Nina Ansaroff vs Randa Markos||Ansaroff to win||1.60 units|
|Emily Whitmire vs Jamie Moyle||Moyle to win||-3 units|
|Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson||Holm to win||2.04 units|
|Carla Esparza vs Claudia Gadelha||Gadelha to win||1.30 units|
|Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington||Pennington to win||-1 unit|
|Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington||Over 2.5 rounds||2.30 units|
|Jessica Andrade vs Tecia Torres||Andrade to win||1.75 units|
|Danielle Taylor vs JJ Aldrich||Aldrich to win||2.67 units|
|Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs Holly Holm||Cyborg to win||2.10 units|
|Barb Honchak vs Lauren Murphy||Honchak to win||-3 units|
|Angela Hill vs Nina Ansaroff||Ansaroff to win||3.30 units|
|Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas||Fight does not go the distance||4.05 units|
|Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko||Shevchenko to win||-3 units|
|Chan Mi Jeon vs JJ Aldrich||Aldrich to win||1.44 units|
|Claudia Gadelha vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz||Kowalkiewicz to win||-1 unit|
|Alexis Davis vs Cindy Dandois||Davis to win||1.40 units|
|Germaine De Randamie vs Holly Holm||De Randamie to win||4 units|
|Angela Hill vs Jessica Andrade||Andrade to win||1.25 units|
|Lacey Schuckman vs Molly McCann||McCann to win||3 units|
|Total profit||14.85 units|
As you can see, we made an overall profit of 14.85 units betting on female fighters in the last 2 years. At the moment it feels like female fighters are underperforming and costing us money quite often, but upon reviewing the results that’s probably because we’re 1-5 on the last 6 female fighters that we have bet.
There’s no doubt that our recent results when betting on female fighters have been disappointing, but in the bigger long term picture, there’s no doubt that we should continue what we are doing because we are profitable long term. We just have to accept the fact that female fighters are historically more prone to inconsistent performances.
Next, we turn our attention to UFC on ESPN+ 2, which gives us a great opportunity to make a solid profit because over the last 2 years the standard of judging and officiating on Brazilian events has generally been very good. I believe I’ve already identified several solid opportunities to make money on this card and I hope that we can kick off the new month with a good profit.
|Marlon Moraes vs Raphael Assuncao||No bet||Assuncao to win|
|Jose Aldo vs Renato Moicano||No bet||Aldo to win|
|Demian Maia vs Lyman Good||The odds are currently improving on Demian Maia. I’m waiting to see how good the odds can get.||Maia to win|
|Charles Oliveira vs David Teymur||2 units on Charles Oliveira to win at odds of 1.90 | -111 | 9/10||Oliveira to win|
|Johnny Walker vs Justin Ledet||1 unit on Justin Ledet to win at odds of 2.90 | +190 | 19/10||Ledet to win|
|Livia Renata Souza vs Sarah Frota||No bet||Frota to win|
|Anthony Hernandez vs Markus Perez||No bet||Hernandez to win|
|Mara Romero Borella vs Taila Santos||No bet||Borella to win|
|Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Junior Albini||1 unit on Junior Albini to win at odds of 2.00 | +100 | 1/1||Albini to win|
|Max Griffin vs Thiago Alves||3 units on Thiago Alves to win at odds of 2.75 | +175 | 7/4||Alves to win|
|Ricardo Ramos vs Said Nurmagomedov||No bet||Ramos to win|
|Magomed Bibulatov vs Rogerio Bontorin||No bet||Bibulatov to win|
|Geraldo de Freitas vs Felipe Colares||No bet||Colares to win|
Jair Rozenstruik vs Junior Albini Betting Tip and Prediction
Junior Albini hasn’t looked that good since his UFC debut against Tim Johnson, but it’s tough not to bet him to beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik for a wide range of reasons. The most important reason being that Rozenstruik has extremely bad takedown defense and a non-existent ground game. Take a look at one of his recent fights below to see what I mean:
Rozenstruik has only had 6 pro MMA fights, but he does have an extensive background in Kickboxing and Muay Thai. He’s not as decorated as other Kickboxers like Gokhan Saki, Israel Adesanya, and Joe Schilling, who have also transitioned into MMA, but you can see from his fighting style that his striking technique is at a much higher level than most athletes in the UFC.
If this fight stays standing, it’s clear that Rozenstruik will have an advantage, but it’s also worth noting that aside from Israel Adesanya, traditional Kickboxing and Muay Thai fighters have badly struggled to adapt their skills to MMA. We’ve seen Tiffany van Soest struggle against an exceptionally low level of opponent in Invicta, we’ve seen Saki KO’d by a journeyman striker in Khalil Rountree, and we’ve also seen Joe Schilling put together an unimpressive 3-5 pro-MMA record.
Out of all the guys I’ve just mentioned, Jairzinho Rozenstruik has the lowest level Kickboxing and Muay Thai pedigree, which means he’s probably going to struggle to adapt to life in the UFC.
Rozenstruik’s striking is far superior to Albini’s, but it is worth noting that Albini has never been knocked out in his 18 professional fights. This is extremely impressive for a Heavyweight since the majority of Heavyweight fighters carry knockout power in every strike. I’m not saying Albini has the skills to beat Rozenstruik in a Kickboxing match, but he should have a good enough chin to hang in there long enough to implement an effective gameplan. Which brings me to my next point…
Albini has decent striking defense, and he hits very hard, but his easiest path to victory is quite clearly on the ground. Albini isn’t a particularly accomplished grappler, but he does have a strong body lock to trip takedown. When on the ground he’s very heavy from top position, and he can inflict an enormous amount of damage from dominant positions.
Albini hasn’t shown the best fight IQ in his last two fights against Arlovski and Oleinik, but I am hoping that this will change now that he is training in Florida at American Top Team. ATT is one of the best gyms in the world, and their coaches put a lot of work into developing smart gameplans that give their fighters the best chance of winning.
I put a huge amount of research into every fight, and I’ll often hear ATT coaches calling out the same things during fights that I identified in my tape study. I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back; I am saying this because I know for a fact that ATT do their homework on the guys that their team are fighting.
It is clear to me, and it will be clear to the ATT coaches, that all Albini needs to do to win this fight is to go straight to the body lock to trip takedown that he has used to get so many of his past opponents to the ground. It is unlikely that Rozenstruik will be able to defend this kind of takedown. He’s also clueless off his back. He has no idea how to improve his position or scramble back to his feet.
This is going to be an easy matchup for Albini if he uses his takedowns and heavy top game to get this fight to the ground. It also fills me with confidence that he has a relatively good chin that should enable him to get inside and start to tie Rozenstruik up.
At the current odds, I feel strongly that Albini is a great value bet because if he fights smart, he should win easily. I recommend you lock in this bet as soon as possible because I do expect the odds to decline significantly between now and the time of the fight.
Reasons for betting on Junior Albini
Risk Factors with betting on Junior Albini
My Betting Tip
Junior Albini to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.00
Moneyline = +100
Fractional = 1/1
The bookies believe that Junior Albini has a 50% chance of beating Jairzinho Rozenstruik based on their current odds.
Johnny Walker vs Justin Ledet Betting Tip and Prediction
The MMA media and a fighter’s popularity have always affected the odds of UFC fights, but recently I’ve noticed that the punditry from Brendan Schaub and Joe Rogan on their podcasts have also started to influence the odds.
An excellent example of this is the insane amount of hype being directed at Ben Askren right now. Askren is a strong wrestler, but he hasn’t exactly looked great since he left Bellator several years ago. He has struggled against a couple of journeymen in ONE, and plenty of guys in the UFC’s Welterweight division are going to cause him significant problems.
Despite this Joe Rogan and Brendan Schaub embarked on a long campaign to get him signed by the UFC. When the UFC finally did sign him, Joe Rogan admitted on his podcast that he hadn’t watched any of Askren’s recent fights in ONE.
Johnny Walker picked up a quick KO win over Khalil Rountree in his UFC debut, and since then we have seen both Rogan and Schaub brand Walker as the next big thing in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. If they had spent just 20 minutes to watch his fight on Dana White’s Contender series, they would have seen that Walker has a hell of a long way to go before he can be considered a top level fighter. If you have UFC Fight Pass, I recommended watching his recent fight against Luis Henrique da Silva to see for yourself. Click here to check it out.
Had they taken a further 10 minutes out of their day to watch some of Walker’s past fights, they would have stumbled across his matchup against Jędrzej Maćkowiak from 10 months ago where it shows that he has absolutely no takedown defense:
I am a huge fan of both Joe Rogan and Brendan Schaub, but I wanted to draw attention to this because it’s clear that they do not do their homework on the majority of fighters that they talk about on their podcasts. In the last 12 months, I have noticed that their opinions seem to be affecting the odds on fighters more and more. This may be because the betting sites are valuing their opinions and factoring it into their odds making or more likely it is as a result of their large audiences being influenced by their opinions and therefore betting on the fighters they recommend, which in turn affects the odds. Either way it is a trend I’ve noticed over the last year, and hopefully, we can profit from it.
Johnny Walker and Justin Ledet are two fighters with massive holes in their overall skillset. Neither fighter deserves to be a heavy favorite in this matchup because the fight could go either way.
Walker is young, aggressive and powerful and he uses his aggression and power to overwhelm the majority of his opponents with vicious knees and elbows from the clinch position. Walker is very aggressive and dangerous in round 1, but he tends to slow down significantly in the second round onwards.
We often see guys like Walker have a fast rise into the UFC because people get impressed by devastating 1st round finishes, but then their progress plateaus as they start to compete against a higher level of opponent. We saw something similar happen with Mike Perry. He was a wrecking ball when he first entered the UFC but then started to struggle when he faced more technical strikers who had the patience and composure to weather his early storm.
Justin Ledet is primarily a Boxer, with a granite chin and excellent cardio for a Light Heavyweight. Ledet’s striking is probably the best pure Boxing technique in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. When Johnny Walker starts to swarm Ledet, he should be patient enough and experienced enough to weather the early storm and drag Walker into the 2nd and 3rd rounds where he should hold a significant advantage.
Johnny Walker’s clinch game is nasty, but in open striking range he has poor defense and throws wild, high risk, low reward telegraphed spinning attacks that will be easy for an experienced Boxer like Ledet to read. Ledet has one of the best jabs in the UFC, and when Walker is throwing his unorthodox spinning attacks, he runs a real risk of walking right onto one of Ledet’s powerful straight counters. Walker has been caught like this and KO’d in the past against Henrique Silva at Jungle Fight 88, and it would not surprise me if Ledet KO’d him in the same way.
Walker and Ledet are primarily strikers, and if this fight stays standing, I do give Ledet a significant advantage. If he can avoid being trapped in the clinch, he should be able to use his high-level Boxing technique to punish Walker for his poor striking defense.
The ground is the one area where Walker has a significant advantage over Ledet. Walker rarely goes for takedowns, but if this fight does end up on the ground, Ledet will be in big trouble because Walker uses his long frame to deliver an enormous amount of damage from top position. I don’t expect Walker to try and take this fight to the ground, but you never know what will happen in MMA.
I believe that Justin Ledet is a great bet at underdog odds because he has the chin, the experience, and the patience to weather the early storm from Johnny Walker. From there he should be able to use his significantly better Boxing to punish Walker for his poor striking defense. The current implied probability on Ledet to win is just 34%, which is crazy considering how bad Walker has looked in the past. Ledet is not a safe bet based on his weaknesses on the ground, but at these odds, I do feel that he is a gamble worth taking. This fight is much closer to 50 / 50 than the odds suggest, and I believe that the odds on Ledet make the risk worth the reward.
Reasons for betting on Justin Ledet
Risk Factors with betting on Justin Ledet
My Betting Tip
Justin Ledet to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.90
Moneyline = +190
Fractional = 19/10
The bookies believe that Justin Ledet has a 34% chance of beating Johnny Walker based on their current odds.
Max Griffin vs Thiago Alves Betting Tip and Prediction
Based on what I have seen in my research I believe that the odds on this fight are way off. There’s no way that Thiago Alves should be an underdog to Max Griffin, especially in Brazil.
From a technique point of view, Thiago Alves is significantly better than Max Griffin everywhere. He’s a better striker, he’s a better wrestler, and he’s much more skilled on the ground. He also has home advantage for this matchup, a granite chin, and excellent cardio. I am struggling to work out why the betting sites have capped Griffin as the favorite in this matchup.
If this fight stays standing, I expect Alves to chip away at Griffin’s lead leg with his vicious leg kicks. Griffin’s striking stance is centered around a wide base but he doesn’t have a strong core, and he’s not particularly good at checking kicks so we should see Alves be able to inflict significant damage with these leg kicks. We recently saw Edson Barboza chop down Dan Hooker with leg kicks, and I can see Alves doing something similar to Griffin. Alves can also use his vicious body kicks to take away the mobility and zap Griffin’s cardio.
Max Griffin has a massive hole in his overall skillset because he is not comfortable when exchanging. If you go and watch his last fight against Mike Perry, you will see him close his eyes or duck his head down and wing wild punches when Perry comes forward. He looks nervous and inexperienced when striking. Thiago Alves is the complete opposite. He is a technician from Boxing range who can land power punches and kicks with ruthless accuracy. Alves keeps his eyes wide open in exchanges, and his extensive striking background enables him to see everything. When Griffin and Alves get into an exchange, I expect Alves to light him up.
We cannot say this very often, but Thiago Alves has a massive advantage over Max Griffin when it comes to grappling. Max Griffin has no takedown defense, and he’s extremely low level on the ground. He’s so bad on the ground that Mike Perry was able to take him down and take his back. Thiago Alves is predominantly known for being a Muay Thai fighter, but we can’t ignore the fact that he has trained at American Top Team for almost his entire career. Alves is a skilled and experienced grappler that could turn choose to make this a comfortable night’s work by taking Griffin down and grinding him out. It’s unlikely, but it’s a possibility, and Alves definitely has the advantage in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to execute this gameplan if he wants to.
Max Griffin’s style of fighting is to stay on the outside and try to win rounds with counter striking, but I don’t see him being able to use this strategy to win in Brazil against a Brazilian legend. I’ve spent the last 2 hours researching this fight and aside from a flash KO I am struggling to see how Griffin wins this. Sure, Alves is definitely not the fighter he used to be, but Griffin isn’t going to outstrike him, he’s not going to take him down, and even if it ends up being a close fight it’s unlikely that Griffin would win a decision in Brazil. At underdog odds, I believe Thiago Alves is an EXCELLENT bet.
Reasons for betting on Thiago Alves
Risk Factors with betting on Thiago Alves
My Betting Tip
Thiago Alves to win
[3% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.75
Moneyline = +175
Fractional = 7/4
The bookies believe that Thiago Alves has a 36% chance of beating Max Griffin based on their current odds.
Charles Oliveira vs David Teymur Betting Tip and Prediction
Charles Oliveira is primarily a grappler, while David Teymur is primarily a striker. Both these guys are highly specialized, so they both have significant advantages over their opponent in their specific areas of expertise. However, the skill gap between Oliveira’s grappling and Teymur’s grappling is much greater than the skill gap between Oliveira and Teymur’s striking. For this reason, at almost even money I believe Oliveira is a good value bet.
Both Teymur and Oliveira’s style of striking is based on Muay Thai, but Teymur’s striking skills and mentality are at a much higher level than Oliveira’s. From a stylistic point of view, Oliveira does have the level of technique required to be competitive with Teymur, but his heart and mentality are questionable. We have seen Oliveira quit several times in the past. The longer Teymur can keep this fight standing, the better chance he has of winning.
If Teymur can find a way to keep this fight standing, he will win. If Teymur can survive in round 1, Oliveira will most likely fade from the 2nd round onwards as Teymur starts to find his range and inflict more damage. If you’re going to tail this bet, this is something that you need to be prepared for. If Oliveira cannot get Teymur down and submit him in round 1, he will likely look for a way out in round 2. This will be frustrating to watch, but this is what we have to accept as a possibility when we bet on a guy like Oliveira.
The last time we saw Teymur tested on the ground for any meaningful length of time was way back in 2015 when he competed on season 22 of the Ultimate Fighter. Back then Teymur looked lost and completely out of his depth against even the most average of grapplers. There’s no doubt that he has probably improved his ground game a lot since then, but this is still an extremely tough matchup for him because Charles Oliveira is a nightmare on the ground. He is a total phenom. He has submitted lifelong grapplers like Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Will Brooks, Nik Lentz, Darren Elkins, and Efrain Escudero. It is unlikely that Teymur has developed the kind of skills in just 4 years that he would need to survive on the ground against someone like Oliveira.
Charles Oliveira has the skills to compete with Teymur if this fight stays standing, but Teymur does not have the skills to survive on the ground with Oliveira. If this fight does go to the ground, Teymur will be like a Fly trapped in the web of a Tarantula.
When trying to assess how this fight plays out, we must first consider how likely it is that Charles Oliveira can get this fight to the ground? This is somewhat difficult to predict because Teymur has not fought that many strong wrestlers in his career, but from what I have seen I do believe that Oliveira can take him down. There are clues in Teymur’s past fights that suggest Oliveira will be able to take him down…
The first and most obvious clue is that Oliveira has a nice reactive double leg takedown. Oliveira’s base is in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but his powerful double leg shot is actually better than the double leg shot of most wrestlers in the UFC’s Lightweight division. This shot is always well timed, with almost no telegraph, which will make it very difficult for Teymur to stop. Oliveira does a great job of immediately moving to a dominant position once landing a double leg takedown, which will also make it hard for Teymur to scramble back to his feet.
We haven’t seen Teymur fight that many strong wrestlers up until this point in his career, but his high-level striking inevitably means that most of his past opponents have tried to take him down. While very few of them have succeeded, we have seen Teymur make bad positional mistakes that can get him into a lot of trouble against a guy like Oliveira. Most notably, Teymur always gives up his back when scrambling back to his feet or defending takedowns against the cage. This is suicide against a guy like Oliveira. You only have to go to Oliveira’s MMA record to see that giving up your back to him is a very bad idea. Oliveira has won 3 of his last 5 fights by rear naked choke against a much higher level of grappler than Teymur.
One thing that Teymur does great, is that he never allows his shoulders to go flat on the canvass. When you take him down, he pops back up like a spring. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing against less experienced grapplers who take a while to work for dominant positions or submission attempts, but it can be a death sentence against someone like Oliveira who will allow you to scramble back to your feet so that they can take an arm, a leg or a neck. Oliveira frequently baits his opponents into improving their position so that he can trap them in something. He’s always laying traps.
Generally speaking, Teymur’s strategy to pop back up to his feet immediately when he gets taken down is the correct thing to do, but most guys in the UFC cannot punish you for making positional mistakes like Oliveira can. When Teymur explodes back to his feet quickly, he is solely focused on standing back up. He’s not focused on protecting his arms, his legs or his neck and in those small windows of opportunity, Oliveira is the kind of guy who can dive on a fight-ending submission.
9 times out of 10, you want to do exactly what Teymur does and immediately pop back to your feet when you get taken down. You never want to let your opponent secure a dominant position on the ground. But Oliveira is that 1 out of 10 outlier where you need to do things slightly differently and take a much more cautious approach. To see what I am talking about you need to go back and watch Oliveira’s fight against Paul Felder. In that matchup, Oliveira repeatedly took Felder down, but instead of popping right back to his feet, Felder stayed patient and took his time to methodically work through defending each submission attempt and slowly improved his position. He stayed calm, and he used the correct technique to survive on the ground. If you try to recklessly explode out of positions against Oliveira you can get yourself into a lot of trouble.
The body types of both fighters also give Oliveira a good chance of getting this fight to the ground. Teymur is small and compact, while Oliveira is tall and long. Oliveira has long arms that he uses to wrap around his opponent’s body. He then quickly connects his hands together and drags them to the ground. Teymur’s small torso and Oliveira’s long arms will make it easier for Oliveira to connect his hands around Teymur’s body and drag him to the ground.
Charles Oliveira is never going to be a safe bet because of his tendency to quit when the going gets tough, but his grappling advantages far surpass what Teymur is capable of dealing with if this fight goes to the ground. I have seen enough from both guys to feel relatively confident that Oliveira is going to be able to get Teymur down and when that happens I don’t see Teymur surviving. I strongly believe that Oliveira is a good value bet at almost even odds. Just be sure to shop around on odds comparison websites because the odds on Oliveira currently range from 1.80 | -125 | 4/5 to 1.95 | -105 | 19/20 depending on which betting site you use.
Reasons for betting on Charles Oliveira
Risk Factors with betting on Charles Oliveira
My Betting Tip
Charles Oliveira to win
[2% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 1.90
Moneyline = -111
Fractional = 9/10
The bookies believe that Charles Oliveira has a 53% chance of beating David Teymur based on their current odds.