September 12, 2016 in News
There was a time, not too long ago, when professional boxing (or prize fighting) was the premier sporting event to bet on. All the biggest stars would be in attendance, and casinos all over Las Vegas raked in millions of dollars in bets. Times have certainly changed, and while there are a few exceptions here and there, the UFC is has ousted boxing from this top spot and has become a huge hit with young, male sports fans. With this new popularity comes the sports better on odds for MMA fights, ready to capitalize and make some money.
It’s Not ALL About the UFC
The marketing minds at the UFC have done such a fantastic job of promoting their brand that when the average person thinks about fighting nowadays, they automatically think UFC. Contrary to this popular belief, however, there are countless numbers of smaller MMA organizations all over the world, some of which contain the world’s top fighters. If you’re looking into the possibility of making a few bets on fights, don’t be too quick to dismiss these lower-tier organizations–there can be tremendous value offered at times. Most sports books focus the majority of their attention on the UFC, and therefore there are occasions where the odds for a fight in a smaller organization are not as sharp. For example, a recent Strikeforce event, most sports books had Gegard Mousasi listed as a 3-1 favorite (or higher) over “King Mo” Lawal. Once the fight begins, however, it quickly became apparent that the sports books had it wrong, as Lawal established his wrestling dominance for the duration and won his supporters a very nice payday.
Hail to the Grappler
In the early days of MMA, it was heavily out-weighed Royce Gracie who used his superior Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique to take his opponents down and force them into submission, catapulting his fighting style into popularity. As the sport has evolved, so has the skill of the fighters and while jiu jitsu remains a critical technique, today’s top fighting style appears to be that of the amateur wrestler. Their strong base and balance, combined with explosive takedowns and body positioning skills allow them to take their opponent to the ground, control them, and ultimately pound them into submission or KO. Fighters like Georges St-Pierre, Brock Lesnar, Jake Shields and the King above Mo Lawal are all champions and reinforce this theory. When looking for good betting opportunities, always keep an eye out for a matchup between a wrestler and an opponent who does not have good takedown defense–you will most certainly have an advantage.
Having already said that it’s not ALL about the UFC in the world of MMA, let me now admit that I love a good UFC Event as much as anybody. They have the biggest stars, best production team and put on the biggest events. It’s (mostly) every fighter dream to make it to the UFC, as they will receive the most exposure and the chance to make the most money possible. Remember, unless your name is Randy Couture, chances are you’re fighting career won’t last long and this is why it is extremely important to make as much money as possible in the short amount of time that they have. Keeping this in mind, I like to bet on fighters who are coming off two or more consecutive losses in the UFC. They know that one more loss will likely earn them a pink slip from the UFC and thus, a dramatic reduction in pay. They will enter the cage with incredible motivation, not likely to be matched by their opponent, and they will also most likely be the underdog at your sports book so that the potential paydays can be lucrative. Also look to bet against fighters who are making their UFC debut after competing in Japan for years–they tend not to fare well in their debuts.