Arlene Blencowe came through for us in a big way at Bellator 233 to help us bank another profit last weekend. Bad judging got in the way of us hitting a clean sweep after Klidson Abreu beat Shamil Gamzatov, only for the judges to take the win away from him.
Hometown decisions are nothing new, but the ironic thing is that 1 Russian judge and 2 Americans scored the fight. Both Americans scored the fight for Gamzatov, while the Russian judge scored it correctly for Abreu.
Media members scored the fight 8-5 in favor of Abreu, but it is worth noting that Ryan Frederick, Tim Burke, and the crew at Sherdog consistently throw out terrible scorecards every weekend. These guys have no idea how to score MMA fights, and they shouldn’t be working in MMA.
Many people will justify the decision because “it was a close fight,” but I find this perspective a lazy way of looking at the sport.
Inches and fine margins often decide the highest level of all sports. If a Basketball team wins a close, competitive game by one point, they still win the game. If a Football team wins a game they get dominated in because they scored one more goal than the opposition, they still win the game.
At the highest level of sports, contests will be close. That’s why we have rules and scoring criteria to follow. In Combat Sports, if a fighter wins a fight, that’s not enough because they also have to beat the judges.
Under the ABC scoring criteria of MMA, Klidson Abreu won the fight on Saturday night, but the judges took that away from him. As fans of Combat Sports, we should be demanding excellence from Athletic Commissions; we shouldn’t be making excuses for bad judging just because “it was a close fight.”
As fans of the sport, we should be making as much noise about bad decisions as possible so that maybe one day someone will do something about it. Bad judging costs hard-working athletes money every single weekend, and it derails their career progression. It’s not good enough to blame fighters for not doing more and not leaving it in the hands of the judges. We have clear cut scoring criteria for all judges to follow, but it’s clear that many of them are not using it.
Of course, we can take some pride in the fact that we bet such a big underdog in a fight that he won, but unfortunately, pride doesn’t pay the bills, so we now turn our attention to UFC on ESPN+ 22 this weekend.
November has been a decent month for us so far, and right now, there are a lot of names jumping out at me on this card. Last week I spoke a little bit about my desire to bet rock-solid fighters in an attempt to finish the year strong, but unfortunately, all I could find were high-risk calculated gambles. So far, these high-risk gambles have paid off and put us in profit for the month, but I have a feeling that betting rock-solid favorites might be the flavor for this weekend’s card. Right now, I see a few potentially very strong positions to put our money. Let’s hope we can finish off November by banking a solid profit on Saturday night.
|Fight||Betting Tip||The bet with the best risk to reward ratio|
|Jan Blachowicz vs Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza||No bet||Jacare to win|
|Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Paul Craig||No bet||Shogun to win|
|Charles Oliveira vs Jared Gordon||No bet||Oliveira to win|
|Antonio Arroyo vs Andre Muniz||No bet||Arroyo to win|
|Markus Perez vs Wellington Turman||No bet||Perez to win|
|James Krause vs Sergio Moraes||1 unit on Sergio Moraes to win at odds of 2.75 | +175 | 7/4||Moraes to win|
|Eduardo Garagorri vs Ricardo Ramos||No bet||Ramos to win|
|Bobby Green vs Francisco Trinaldo||No bet||Green to win|
|Randy Brown vs Warlley Alves||2 units on Warlley Alves to win at odds of 1.83 | -120 | 83/100||Alves to win|
|Douglas Andrade vs Renan Barao||No bet||Andrade to win|
|Ariane Lipski vs Isabella de Padua||No bet||Lipski to win|
|Tracey Cortez vs Vanessa Melo||No bet||Melo to win|
James Krause vs Sergio Moraes Betting Tip and Prediction
I’ve been craving rock-solid bets this month to help us finish the year strong, but instead, I keep digging up high-risk, calculated gambles instead. These kinds of bets have helped us to grind out a profit this month, but it is always important to remember that you never know what you’re going to get from them.
What I do know is that if we keep betting these 50 / 50 fights for a 2:1 risk to reward ratio, long term, we are going to make a lot of money.
As ever, I need to remind you that these kinds of high-risk bets have a significant chance of losing. If you struggle to deal with losing, you might want to sit this one out.
I will also warn you that this is one of those high-risk bets where it could get really ugly. There are 3 possible outcomes here. Moraes could take Krause down, dominate him, and submit him. We could see an ugly, sloppy, fight where one guy wins a close decision, or Moraes could get outclassed if the fight stays standing.
You may be wondering why the scope of possible outcomes is so wide if I have conducted proper research, and quite honestly, it’s because MMA is a very complex sport. Based on past performances, Moraes brings some significant challenges to the table that could cause James Krause big problems. At the same time, Moraes isn’t a difficult style to deal with because he’s very predictable. If Krause does his homework, fights smart, and sticks to a gameplan, he should win easily. So why are we betting against him? Well, fights are often decided by fight IQ, and Krause frequently makes poor tactical decisions. It’s not easy to stick to a gameplan when you’ve got 10,000 Brazilians chanting “you’re going to die” every time your opponent lands a punch.
This is one of those bets where I’ll either look like a genius or an idiot because at his best Moraes is incredible. At his worst, he looks extremely low level.
Sergio Moraes is similar to Demian Maia in many ways. His ground game is devastating, and if he gets Krause to the ground, it’ll be total domination. Krause’s takedown defense is pretty bad, but Moraes only tends to shoot 1 or 2 takedowns per fight, so if Krause can stuff them, the majority of this matchup with probably take place standing.
I can assure you that if Moraes does get Krause to the ground, it will be utter domination. Moraes is one of the highest level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the UFC’s Welterweight division, and it’s likely he’ll submit Krause if he can get him to the ground and have a few minutes to work. Krause is the head trainer for Megan Anderson, which tells you all you need to know about his ability to defend himself on the ground. If you go back and watch some of his past fights, you’ll see that he’s very weak off his back, and he also gives his back up a lot. This is suicide against a guy like Moraes.
James Krause is primarily a striker, but he’s also one of these guys that are constantly initiating or getting sucked into grappling exchanges. He does well when grappling with fellow strikers, but tends to get dominated when he fights grapplers. Almost all of Krause’s fights over the last 3 years have gone to the ground at some point, so I am hoping that this one will too.
Standing up this fight is a lot more complicated to predict. Krause has picture-perfect technique, but he tends to point fight and doesn’t carry much power in his hands. He also fights with his hands low and has bad striking defense. In the 1st round, he’s pretty sharp, but he starts to eat bombs in the 2nd and 3rd round as he starts to get tired and a bit more sloppy.
Sergio Moraes’ striking is the complete opposite. He’s a mad man. His technique is poor, but he wings big hooks and kicks and throws everything into them. This lack of technique means that he slows down as the fight progresses, but his shots land with such impact that they often get a big reaction from the Brazilian fans, and they do a lot of damage.
This is the type of fight where Krause might be outlanding Moraes by a wide margin in a round, but he won’t really be doing that much damage because he’s just chipping away with range finding shots. Moraes can then negate these numbers with one big blitz that gets a reaction from the crowd, does damage, and backs Krause up. It’s also worth noting that Krause doesn’t wear damage well. He tends to cut pretty easily.
There is no doubt that Krause has the technical advantage over Moraes when it comes to striking and he should outland him by a wide margin, but if you go back and watch Krause’s recent fights against Alex White and Ramsey Nijem watch how easy it is to land on Krause and how much damage he takes in open striking exchanges. Moraes has sloppy technique, and he doesn’t throw a high volume, but he has that old man’s strength and does big damage when he does land.
This is one of those fights where if it goes to the ground, I cap it 95% to 5% in favor of Moraes. It’ll be total domination, and Moraes will most likely submit him if he has 2 or 3 minutes to work in a round. If it stays standing, I cap it 70% to 30% in favor of Krause, which would make the current odds accurate.
I don’t know if Moraes can get this fight to the ground or not, but I do know that almost all of Krause’s fights go to the ground. Moraes doesn’t have the best offensive wrestling, but Krause seems like one of these guys that just gets sucked into grappling exchanges like a Moth getting attracted to a Bug Zapper.
We also cannot underestimate the power of home advantage in a fight like this. Home advantage on Saturday night could be huge on multiple levels. Whenever we think of home advantage, we automatically assume that we are referring to the likelihood of Brazilian judges scoring the fight in Moraes’ favor if this ends up being a close matchup. But in this instance, it runs deeper than that.
Sergio Moraes is not only Brazilian, but Sao Paulo is his hometown. He is incredibly popular in Sao Paulo, and many of the fans in the Arena on Saturday night will be there to support him specifically. Last time Moraes fought in Sao Paulo, he looked great. He took Ben Saunders down and dominated in what was one of his best performances from over the last few years.
Earlier in the breakdown, we spoke about Krause’s poor fight IQ. Sao Paulo tends to be a lively, intimidating arena where the fans fill the stadium in time for the first fight. They tend to get behind the Brazilian fighters in a big way. It won’t be easy for Krause to concentrate or stick to a gameplan when 10,000 Brazilians are chanting “you are going to die” and celebrating like their team just won the Super Bowl every time Moraes lands a punch.
Sao Paulo is also a difficult location to travel to. This will put extra stress on Krause’s preparation and make it more difficult for him to cut weight.
Sao Paulo is also very humid at this time of year. In the evenings, when the event is scheduled to take place, they’re currently experiencing approximately 85% to 90% humidity, which could prove difficult for Krause to adjust to. This level of humidity is currently higher than in Singapore and Manila. If you want to Google this for yourself, just bear in mind the time of day in Sao Paulo that you are searching for. Humidity will obviously be lower during the night and mornings. I’ve been checking this over the last few days, and Sao Paulo is currently ranging from 85% to 91% humidity during the time that the fights will be taking place. Moraes has grown up in this climate, so he’ll be used to it. It may be really difficult for Krause to compete in this climate, especially when the Arena is likely to be hot and sticky with poor airflow. The current temperature outside is only ranging from 20ºC to 25ºC when the fights are scheduled to take place, but the severity of humidity is determined by airflow. The air conditioning in Sao Paulo arenas in the past has been non-existent, so the stagnant air, humidity, and heat generated by 10,000 Brazilians crammed into a small arena are likely to be unbearable. Moraes has a lot of experience competing in this kind of climate, which should give him a decent advantage on Saturday night.
Of course, we also cannot understate the power of hometown advantage when it comes to judging. We were on the wrong end of it last weekend with our bet on Abreu in enemy territory. If you check Sergio Moraes’ MMA record, you’ll see that he’s won a couple of Split decisions when he has competed on home soil.
Sergio Moraes is currently a 2.75 | +175 | 7/4 underdog, which carries an implied probability of just 36%. This is crazy when you take into consideration his giant advantages on the ground and his ability to keep the fight close, ugly, and competitive if it stays standing. It’s unlikely that James Krause will finish Moraes, so we also have the added bonus of a potential robbery if it does go to the judges’ scorecards. I’ve seen more than enough to take a gamble on Moraes. Hopefully, he comes through for us.
Reasons for betting on Sergio Moraes
Risk Factors with betting on Sergio Moraes
My Betting Tip
Sergio Moraes to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.75
Moneyline = +175
Fractional = 7/4
The bookies believe that Sergio Moraes has a 36% chance of beating James Krause based on their current odds.
Randy Brown vs Warlley Alves Betting Tip and Prediction
All month I’ve been on the hunt for rock-solid bets, but all I keep finding is high-risk gambles with a decent risk to reward ratio. Finally, I’ve found a good value bet for us, which is pretty damn solid because Warlley Alves has the advantage over Randy Brown in almost every single aspect of MMA. This isn’t a totally rock solid bet because Alves has been quite open about his anxiety issues in the past. Alves has said he frequently throws up prior to fights due to nerves, and this occasionally causes him to underperform in his fights significantly. Having said that, Alves is better than Brown everywhere, and at his current odds of around even money, we’re getting a great risk to reward ratio here.
I believe that recency bias has had a massive influence on the odds of this fight because, just 5 months ago, Brown was a massive underdog against Bryan Barberena. After an impressive upset win, he’s now only a slight underdog to Warlley Alves. Brown is a young fighter making big improvements from fight to fight, but the Barberena win just disguises the fact that Brown still has many of the weaknesses that led him to struggle in his fights against Niko Price, Belal Muhammad and more notably against Mickey Gall.
Warlley Alves has just about every advantage you could want going into an MMA fight. He’s Brazilian, so he has home advantage on his side. We already discussed in the previous bet on Sergio Moraes how important this could be on Saturday night.
Warlley Alves will also have a significant advantage on the ground. Alves is a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and is currently the only guy ever to beat Colby Covington. He submitted the Interim Welterweight Champion with a guillotine back in 2015. Alves has been a direct training partner of Jacare for many years, and even though he rarely goes for takedowns, if this fight does end up on the ground, Brown will be in big trouble. Recently we saw Brown struggle badly in grappling exchanges against low-level MMA grapplers like Mickey Gall and Niko Price. If this fight goes to the ground, Alves should be able to dominate Randy Brown.
Warlley Alves will also have a significant advantage if the fight stays standing. Alves started training Kickboxing when he was just 5 years old. He has excellent striking technique and brilliant footwork. I love how Alves refuses to get sucked into exchanges. He attacks them and gets out of their range before they can counter. When they come forward and try to get him to engage, he does a great job of circling away from them.
Randy Brown will hold a 6-inch reach advantage over Alves and will be 4 inches taller, but Brown doesn’t do a good job of fighting long, and in this particular fight, I believe his size may work against him…
If you go back and watch Brown’s past fights, you’ll see that he has very skinny legs, and he stands heavy on his lead leg. Over the last 12 months, Alves has incorporated vicious leg kicks into his arsenal of attacks. He throws a high volume of these per round and doesn’t telegraph them. He throws them from multiple different angles and positions very quickly. Alves should be able to use his devastating leg kicks to chop down Brown’s thin legs. I believe that if Alves goes to his leg kicks early and often; it will be very unlikely that Brown could win this fight.
There is some risk here because Brown is young, hungry, and making big improvements from fight to fight, and Alves does suffer from anxiety issues which could cause him to underperform. But it is worth noting that Alves has competed many times in Brazil in the past, and he’s starting to fight much smarter and stick to a gameplan better than ever before. Alves is also just 28 years old and making big improvements from fight to fight.
At close to even money, Alves is a great bet here. He has an advantage over Brown when it comes to striking, grappling, and the added bonus of having home advantage too. Let’s hope he comes through for us..
Reasons for betting on Warlley Alves
Risk Factors with betting on Warlley Alves
My Betting Tip
Warlley Alves to win
[2% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 1.83
Moneyline = -120
Fractional = 83/100
The bookies believe that Warlley Alves has a 55% chance of beating Randy Brown based on their current odds.