The Unbettable Fighters of MMA

I wanted to address the issue of whether anyone can be truly unbettable as a fighter, when it comes to MMA.

This weekend was a stinker for me as I picked my first incorrect winner as a tipster, to break that unbeaten run and go to 33-1. Given that Warlley Alves, my new nemesis, is absolutely the better fighter and should rightly have been a heavy favourite; what made this a bad bet? What made him lose? What can I take forward and not make the same mistake again?

  1. The glaring thing that everyone knew about Warlley is that his cardio wasn’t great. Whenever I’ve written any mailers, I always try to press this home as the most important feature of any fight.
  2. In reality though, just as important is gameplanning. I said in my writeup that Barberena’s strongest area was the clinch. I also said Warlley wouldn’t be dumb enough to come out all guns blazing again, like he did vs Alan Jouban. He came out guns blazing, gassed his arms out in the first 20 seconds of the fight with a guillotine, then clinched up for pretty much the rest of the fight. It was unfathomable.

So does it make Warlley Alves an unbettable fighter? Well kind of, yeah. He’s just lost to someone he outmatched pretty much everywhere by literally doing the only thing he shouldn’t have. It doesn’t mean you should bet against him though; the guy has massive upside.

What I will be doing going forward is adding a few new attributes to the MMA fighter skills on the fighter profiles. Here are my ratings for Warlley Alves.

Warlley Alves Physical & Mental Ratings

Warlley Alves Physical & Mental Ratings

You’ll notice a very low rating now for Cornermen. That covers training and preparation too because if I can see that was the worst gameplan possible, his corner should be able to too! If you can, keep a log of which camps offer up terrible gameplans. I had a red flag on ATT for a couple of fights, whilst The MMA Lab, home of Brian Barberena, have offered up some superb corner advice in the past and really do appear to know how to gameplan too.

I’m going to add Reliability / Predictability, Will To Win, Dictates Fight and some other general skill attributes. The predictability is the most important new addition. When betting any MMA fighter, you want to feel they are predictable. That goes for both your pick and their opponent.

The issue then is that if both guys are predictable, it’s easier for the bookmakers, such as http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/c/402/UFC+++MMA.html, to set their odds. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value of course!

It’s kind of similar to the concept of betting the over vs the under. According to our combined MMA handicapper stats, way more people correctly predict the over (69%) than the under (59%), but the odds are longer on the under, as it’s more unpredictable. It depends what sort of MMA bettor you are. Betting the over is by far the most popular prop bet in our directory, making up 24% of total prop picks and as a handicapper, I believe it’s a lot easier to sell picks if you’re nearly always getting them right at fairly modest odds, rather than being totally hit and miss but with better odds.

To back that up, the top 10 handicappers are much more starkly in the favour of betting the over.

172 picks on the over, 73% success rate and average odds of 1.59.
43 picks on the under, 56% success rate and average odds of 1.84.

So it’s up to you guys to assess the value there. Overall stats from the entire directory suggest that although riskier, betting under at longer odds is better. However, looking just at the top guys, betting the over but getting it right nearly all the time is the way to go.

I sent out a mass mailer before this weekend’s UFC 198 card discussing the importance of using % chance numbers rather than gut instinct, as gut instinct tends to be overly optimistic,

From now on, if a fighter is totally unpredictable, like Jon Jones or Warlley Alves, in terms of whether they’ll under-perform or do stupid gameplans, I’ll be factoring in that predictability very heavily indeed!

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