This upcoming weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year, with 3 major MMA events taking place. We have a Bellator on Friday night, a UFC event on Saturday afternoon, and then another big Bellator event on Saturday night. As ever I will be researching every fight on these 3 cards to try and find strong positions to put our money. I’ll let you know via email and through the website as soon as I find any bets.
So far, we up are up just over 1 unit in prefight bets this month. I am hoping that we can finish the month strong by banking a solid profit this weekend.
It has been a good month for us in Live Betting, as we have made just under 12 units of profit.
This week I have decided that to finish the month as strongly as possible, I will be Live Betting all 3 major MMA events this weekend.
|Ben Askren vs Demian Maia||1 unit on Demian Maia to win at odds of 2.50 | +150 | 3/2||Maia to win|
|Michael Johnson vs Stevie Ray||3 units on Michael Johnson to win at odds of 1.40 | -250 | 2/5||Johnson to win|
|Beneil Dariush vs Frank Camacho||No bet||Dariush to win|
|Ciryl Gane vs Dontale Mayes||No bet||Gane to win|
|Laureano Staropoli vs Muslim Salikhov||No bet||Staropoli to win|
|Ashley Yoder vs Randa Markos||No bet||Markos to win|
|Alex White vs Rafael Fiziev||No bet||Fiziev to win|
|Enrique Barzola vs Movsar Evloev||No bet||Barzola to win|
|Maurice Greene vs Sergey Pavlovich||No bet||Pavlovich to win|
|Aleksandra Albu vs Loma Lookboonmee||No bet||Lookboonmee to win|
|Jeff Hughes vs Raphael Pessoa||No bet||Hughes to win|
Ben Askren vs Demian Maia Betting Tip and Prediction
When I began researching the fight between Ben Askren and Demian Maia, I was adamant that I would not be betting Maia. I didn’t feel there was anything I could see to make me want to bet on a 41-year-old with bad cardio. My goals when researching this fight were to establish whether Askren was worth a bet and also to gather valuable information that could be used for Live Betting.
Very early on into my research, I began to see giant holes in Askren’s skillset that Maia could potentially exploit. I spent about 4 hours researching this fight, and in the end, I just can’t get away from the fact that there’s value on Maia. I don’t feel great about betting on a 41-year-old fighter with bad cardio, but this is about as clear a 50 / 50 fight as you’re ever going to get. For this reason, it’s a no brainer to bet Maia at his current odds of around 2.50 | +150 | 3/2. These odds carry an implied probability of just 40%, so in a 50 / 50 fight, we’re getting a decent 10% margin over the bookies.
At this stage, I want to make it clear that I don’t feel at all confident that Maia will win. This is a total coinflip, and it’s very possible Maia could look terrible on Saturday night and get wet blanketed for 5 rounds.
As our community grows, I am starting to notice an increasing number of people join us who do not understand probabilities and do not understand the importance of putting your money in high-risk situations when the risk to reward ratio makes sense to do so. This is understandable because it takes a long time to develop a gambler’s mindset, but I want to make it clear that there is a huge chance that this bet will lose. It is not a safe bet. Whenever I place high-risk bets like this, I expect them to lose. If they end up winning, it’s a bonus.
This mindset prepares me psychologically for the disappointment of a loss. I expect the worse, and then anything else is a bonus. This mindset helps me deal with losses without getting angry or disappointed. For example; When you buy a Lottery ticket, you don’t get mad and upset when you don’t win. This is because you understand that the odds are against you. This is the exact mindset that you should use to approach this kind of high-risk bet.
With that being said, if you have a problem with losing, I strongly recommend that you do not tail this bet. At the current odds, there’s excellent value on Demian Maia, but it doesn’t change the fact that Askren could potentially dominate him. No one can know for sure how this fight will play out, and that’s part of the reason why Maia is such a good bet at underdog odds. The uncertainty surrounding what may happen is always a reason to consider betting on the underdog.
It is, of course, important to note that these kinds of high-risk bets have been a cash cow for us this year. They make up a decent portion of our overall profits, and if you’re serious about making money from gambling, I’d recommend tailing all of these bets and just taking it on the chin when they lose. Remember that each individual bet is not important. The goal is to win more than you lose over a long period of time, and we certainly win more than we lose over a long period of time.
To understand why I feel Maia is a good bet, you must first understand the fighting styles of both Maia and Askren. Both guys are relatively predictable, and that’s why it is10am h ironic that this fight is so hard to predict.
Demaia Maia likes to fight in bursts. At 41 years old, he doesn’t have the cardio to fight at a high pace for 25 minutes, so you’ll see him commit everything he has to a takedown. If he gets it, his opponents are usually in big trouble until the end of the round. It’s almost always utter domination when Maia gains a dominant position over his opponent. If Maia doesn’t get the takedown, he then goes into a defensive shell. He’ll circle away from his opponent and try to avoid engaging. He then recharges his batteries for the next Burst attack. You’ll see him repeat this cycle over the entire duration of the fight.
The guys who have the most success against Maia can stuff his takedowns and also pressure him in between bursts so that he doesn’t have time to recharge his batteries. This leads to him rapidly gassing out and becoming very predictable. To see exactly what I mean, I recommend going back and watching Maia’s recent fights against Rocco Martin [particularly the 3rd round], Kamaru Usman, and in particular, Colby Covington. You will see that Maia struggles against these opponents because they do a great job of turning him into a panic wrestler in between his burst cycles when he’s trying to recharge his batteries. He is unable to pace himself because they smother him in pressure and force him to work.
Now compare those fights to his performances against Tyron Woodley. Maia’s cardio holds up pretty well in that fight because Woodley plays the role of Matador. He doesn’t pressure Maia at all. Instead, he focuses on using his wrestling to keep the fight standing, and he then picks Maia off as he comes forward.
This is such a significant and interesting detail to pay attention to because to the naked eye it’s easy to write Maia off and say that he struggles against wrestlers because he lost to Covington, Usman, and Woodley, but the irony is that none of those guys used their Wrestling to beat Maia, they all used their striking. Take the striking advantages away from those 3 guys, and these fights would start to look very different.
Woodley, Usman, and Covington are 3 of the highest level wrestlers we have in MMA right now, and none of them wanted anything to do with Maia when it came to grappling. They treated the ground like Lava.
Why is that?
If Maia had grappling deficiencies that were so easy to neutralize for Wrestlers, why did none of these high-level wrestlers want to engage with him in grappling? Why did they all use their striking to beat him?
There is a certain section of the MMA community who believes that Askren’s wrestling is at a higher level than Covington, Usman, and Woodley, and I can tell you with absolute 100% certainty that this is not the case. On paper, his wrestling credentials are impressive, but they have not converted over into MMA grappling that well. If NCAA Div 1 level wrestling automatically made you a great MMA grappler, the top 5 of every division would be packed full of NCAA Div 1 wrestlers. We know that this is not the case, so trust me when I tell you that Covington, Usman, and Woodley are lightyears ahead of Askren when it comes to MMA grappling. Askren’s MMA record of 19-1 is extremely padded.
Covington, Woodley, and Usman are all fundamentally solid MMA grapplers. They leave very few openings for their opponents. Their technique is razor-sharp, and yet they were all afraid to mix it up with Maia on the ground. This is a significant detail to pay attention to because in contrast, Askren leaves tons of openings on the ground. If you go back and watch his fight against Aleksakhin, Hieron, Koreshkov, and Thani you’ll see multiple occasions where he gave up position, got reversed from a dominant position, gave up his back or made a basic technical mistake that would get him into big trouble against an Elite grappler like Demian Maia.
We have seen over the years that Maia only needs one small opening to take a dominant position, and in Askren’s fights, he often presents his opponents with many, many opportunities to put him in a bad position. Over the years, he has only fought a low level of opponent, and they haven’t been able to make him pay for this, but now that he’s in the UFC, the cracks are starting to show. When have you ever seen someone pick Maia up like a child and dump him on his head like what Robbie Lawler was able to do to Ben Askren?
This is an extremely interesting fight because, for the first time in a long time, Demian Maia will have an advantage over his opponent when it comes to striking. Ben Askren literally has no striking defense, and he cannot throw a punch. Maia is lightyears ahead of him when it comes to striking. I can see a scenario where Maia just keeps this fight standing and outpoints Askren for 5 rounds.
The irony here is that Maia’s cardio is actually pretty decent in a standup fight. He can Kickbox semi effectively for 25 minutes, no problem. He only starts to gas out when you make him grapple hard, or you pressure him.
If this fight stays standing, there is no question in my mind that Maia dominates, but the real question here is whether or not these boys will get into a grappling match. Whenever you have two vicious KO artists, people expect a violent slugfest, but in reality, we’re often left with an awkward fight where not a lot happens. Who could forget the fight between Ngannou and Derrick Lewis. Everyone expected the fight to end in a devastating KO, but it ended up going the distance. We often see the same thing happen with grapplers. You think two high-level grapplers are going to get into a high-level grappling match, but instead, you get a sloppy Kickboxing match. It happens all the time.
This fight is interesting because Askren is a strong offensive wrestler who makes critical mistakes in the scramble. While Demian Maia is a weak offensive wrestler, who is an Assasin in the scramble. One mistake against Maia, and he’ll take your back or smother you from top position.
I don’t know how this fight is going to play out, but there are a few things I do know. I know that Askren is screwed if this fight stays standing. I also know that Askren has frequently and repeatedly made critical mistakes in scrambles against a much lower level of grappler than Maia. If he makes those same mistakes against Maia, he’ll be in big trouble. I also know that Maia only struggles against guys who smother him in pressure, and Askren isn’t capable of smothering him in pressure because he doesn’t have the striking to do so.
The only question marks for me over this fight is how hard Askren can make Maia work. Can he pressure him and tire him out in other ways? Can he drive Maia into the cage and grind on him in the clinch? This isn’t something we’ve ever seen Askren do before, but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t got it in his locker. We also don’t know whether Askren’s sloppy grappling in his fights over the last few years is down to the fact that he hasn’t shown his past opponents any respect. Maybe he’ll be more disciplined against Maia, and maybe he won’t make the same mistakes, maybe he’ll use his wrestling to neutralize Maia’s BJJ and just chip away at him with ground and pound from dominant positions.
There are a lot of question marks over this fight. There is a lot of uncertainty. In fights like this, which could go either way, I will always be tempted to bet the underdog. In my opinion, this is as close to a 50 / 50 fight as you are ever going to get, so it’s a no brainer to bet on Maia as a 2.50 | +150 | 3/2 underdog because those odds carry an implied probability of 40%. There’s definite value here. Now let’s just hope that the cards fall in our favor.
Reasons for betting on Demian Maia
Risk Factors with betting on Demian Maia
My Betting Tip
Demian Maia to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.50
Moneyline = +150
Fractional = 3/2
The bookies believe that Demian Maia has a 40% chance of beating Ben Askren based on their current odds.
Michael Johnson vs Stevie Ray Betting Tip and Prediction
Michael Johnson to beat Stevie Ray was one of the first names that jumped out at me earlier in the week when I began to research UFC Singapore. Unfortunately, his odds all week floated around 1.31 | -323 | 31/100, which was too steep a price to pay because those odds carried an Implied Probability of around 76%.
In the last 24 hours, we have seen a big improvement in Johnson’s odds on many websites. You can now bet him at odds of up to 1.43 | -233 | 43/100 on some betting sites, which now makes him playable. The current average odds available across all betting sites are 1.40 | -250 | 2/5. I like a bet on him at these odds. Just be sure to use odds comparison sites like BestFightOdds and Odds Checker to ensure you’re getting the best value odds on this fight.
Michael Johnson and Stevie Ray are two fighters with a lot in common. They’re both counter strikers, they’re both Southpaws, and they both got brutally KO’d in their last fights. This is Johnson’s first fight back after he was just seconds away from cruising to an easy decision win against Josh Emmett. Emmett barely touched Johnson in that fight but landed a death shot from hell with about 30 seconds to go. Stevie Ray suffered a similar fate in his last fight against Leonardo Santos when he got flatlined in the 1st round. Usually, I wouldn’t bet on a fighter in their first fight back after being brutally KO’d, but since both these guys suffered bad KOs in their last fights, I feel it’s a level playing field.
You don’t have to spend very long watching past fights from Michael Johnson and Stevie Ray to see that the skill gap is significant here. Both guys are primarily Southpaw strikers, but Johnson has a significant speed and technical advantage.
Stevie Ray’s best weapon is his inside leg kick, but that will be a lot less effective against Michael Johnson because Johnson’s also a Southpaw. This completely takes away the inside leg kick from Ray and turns it into an outside leg kick. This means that Ray will be landing the kick from different angles that he’s not used to, and it’ll leave him wide open to Johnson’s fast hand counter’s. Ray’s inside leg kick from the Southpaw stance causes a lot of Orthodox stance opponents a problem, but it’ll be nowhere near as dangerous against a fellow southpaw.
There are three areas in this fight where Johnson has massive advantages over Ray, and I believe that they are going to be the difference in this matchup.
The 1st difference is Boxing. Johnson has excellent hand speed, and there’s no doubt that he is a significantly better Boxer than Ray. I’m sure that Ray will have his moments in this fight, but Johnson should be able to outstrike him over 3 rounds.
The 2nd area where Johnson will have an advantage is footwork. Johnson has some of the best footwork and striking defense in the division. It’s one of the main reasons why Josh Emmett couldn’t get near him in his last fight. Johnson’s very mobile, and he has the cardio to stay light on his feet for 15 minutes. He should be able to use his superior footwork and head movement to slip Ray’s power shots and pick him apart.
The 3rd area where Johnson has a big advantage is speed. They say that speed kills, and I really feel that this will be the biggest difference in this fight. Ray has reasonably good striking technique, but Michael Johnson is much faster. He should be able to beat Ray to the punch.
Ironically both these guys share a similar weakness in that grapplers have caused them a problem in the past. It is worth noting that Michael Johnson is a significantly better wrestler than Ray, and it could be an easy night’s work for Johnson if he chooses to try and take Ray down and control him on the ground. It’s unlikely he will do this, but it is a possibility.
Fighter’s coming back from brutal KOs are usually a little gunshy, but Johnson’s experience should make him less gunshy than Ray. We also have to take into consideration the fact that Ray will need to respect Johnson’s hands. Johnson doesn’t have devastating KO power, but he does have KO wins over guys like Dustin Poirier, Gleison Tibau, and Danny Castillo, so you know he’s dangerous. In contrast, Stevie Ray hasn’t KO’d anyone since Leonardo Mafra all the way back in 2015.
It’s also worth noting that Michael Johnson looked outstanding at the weigh-ins yesterday. When he first dropped down to 145 pounds, he didn’t look healthy, but now it appears that he has got his diet and weight cut under control.
Another small X-Factor to take into consideration is that Michael Johnson has a 3.5-inch reach advantage. He does a great job of using this reach to fight long.
The odds are steep on Michael Johnson, but he has pretty much every advantage you could want going into an MMA fight. He’s the better striker, the better grappler, he’s the more dangerous fighter, he has a reach advantage and he’s more experienced. Anything can happen in MMA, but this is one of the safer bets that I’ve recommended over the last few months. Let’s just hope that nothing crazy happens.
Reasons for betting on Michael Johnson
Risk Factors with betting on Michael Johnson
My Betting Tip
Michael Johnson to win
[3% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 1.40
Moneyline = -250
Fractional = 2/5
The bookies believe that Michael Johnson has a 71% chance of beating Stevie Ray based on their current odds.