How to Play MMA Odds to Your Advantage

There are many factors which affect MMA odds. Begin to understand them, and you are capable of placing bets which have a far better chance of paying in your favor.

Here we’re taking a look at which factors impact MMA odds overall and what to pay heed to when deciding to place a bet.

Please note that every bout is unique and the advice provided here is based on statistical research into the mechanics of mixed martial arts.

While we intend this information to help you improve your own odds, we cannot guarantee the tips provided as fail-safe.

The Advantage of Being Young

When one observes the careers of mixed martial artists, a trend is noticed. Fighters in their 20s seem to reach a pinnacle towards age 24 on average. The same analysis shows that from the age of 32 most fighters seem to experience a steady decline in their career. From 40 years old, most combatants begin to dwindle off into obscurity, suffering from horrible losses and equally bad odds.

When observing two fighters and trying to determine the soon-to-be victor, it is best to look at the age difference between them and the range which it falls into. Another pattern found is that the more significant the age difference, the better the odds are for the more youthful fighter.

One of the most clear-cut discoveries seen when comparing age-related data and MMA odds is the fact that when there is a four year age difference with no other disadvantages present, the younger fighter ends up the winner over 60% of the time.

60% = Percentage of Younger vs Older Fighters Wining Bouts

Younger Fighter Wins 60% of Bouts

Experience and Age Has Benefits

Older fighters are less likely to lose their bout by submission. The experience advantage pays off considerably in terms of defense.

Submission defense is only affected by strength to a slight degree. Skill is the determining factor which makes older submission fighters a pretty safe bet.

Another interesting stat shows that older fighters have a stronger chin and are more capable of resisting knockout. The next time you see an older grappler facing off against a younger striker, you know who to bet on.

Main Events Have the Lowest Upset Rate

MMA Main Event

Main events typically result in the favorite being the victor. In systematic studies, the upset rate proves to be as low as 23%.

Most fights appear to have a clear underdog, but it is only in the case of main events that it is safe to say that the athlete touted to have the advantage will most likely win.

In all other cases, upset victories result in a likelihood of around 32%. Main events are subject to the hype of the masses which includes casual fight fans. Yet despite the degree of imbalance in the odds, the favorite usually is accurate.

23% = Upsets in a Main Event Fight

High Pace, Big Advantage

Fighters who have a high rate of strikes per minute appear to win their fights more often. High-paced fighters typically win 82% of their matches making them a pretty safe bet.

A great way to analyze an upcoming match is to compare the strikes per minute of each fighter. The more significant the gap the clearer the advantage, just stay away from betting on any match-up which has a balanced comparison.

The Home-Cage Advantage

Studies show that the home-cage advantage is very, very real. Over 80% of all Brazilian home-cage advantage bouts have resulted in a win for the Brazilian UFC fighter.

While this has the highest percentage for Brazil, it is valid for all countries and all divisions.

When a fighter steps across to foreign soil he typically does not win his bout. This is so eerily accurate that it would prove profitable to bet on home-cage fighters alone, when analyzing bets over a long-term period.

The entire fight is affected, even down to the pressure on the referee. The bias may not be at all intentional, but the imbalance of MMA odds is definitely there.

80% = Brazilian fighters wining on home soil

Fighters Who Miss Their Weight Are At a Disadvantage

When a fighter misses his or her weight, this is typically a sign of an underlying problem. Statistics show that fighters who miss their weight only win 39% of their fights.

This is a significant disadvantage. Even when fighters just make their weight on the second weigh-in, their odds are still affected. Weight management and nutrition have a clear connection to performance ability.

Knowing this gives you a good notion of who to bet on when weight issues arise.

Ring Rust

Ring rust, or a fighter’s impaired performance when returning to the sport after a period of inactivity, is a real phenomenon. The statistics show that fighters who are out of the game for over a year typically lose their re-entry bout.

Fighters in the UFC entering the Octagon after being out of the arena for over a year only, win at a rate of 35%. Yet the adverse is true when a mixed martial artist returns to MMA within eight months. Fighters returning within an eight-month period win their bouts at a rate of 54%.

Not quite a safe bet but even odds.

The MMA Odds of a Southpaw

southpaw odds

Out of all MMA fighters, roughly 20% fight in a southpaw stance. Unorthodox fighters who switch stances are even rarer, coming in at just over 1%.

When analyzing the fight data from 2010 to 2016 in the UFC, southpaws won 57% of the time. Even when one looks at striking statistics such as accuracy and scoring, over 1000 rounds of research shows that lefties are more successful strikers, they perform more successful takedowns, and they simply put their opponents off their game.

Orthodox fighters are not used to facing off against an opponent in the southpaw stance. It is not that left-hand dominance produces better combatants.

It is just that when an orthodox fighter faces off against a southpaw, there is an undisputable disadvantage stemming from everything from striking unfamiliarity to a confused defense.

MMA Sports Betting – Play Those Odds!

Armed with this arsenal of information you now have a better idea of factors to consider when placing a bet. MMA odds can always be improved through careful analyses of the fight data.

Keep your own records, and you have more to compare. The statistics, measures, and research used to compile our observations were derived from a fascinating book entitled “Fightnomics” by Reed Kuhn. For anyone wishing to delve deeper into the metrics of mixed martial arts, it makes for an interesting read.

Use the comparisons above to formulate your own insights. After all, all the data is always out there, and you can thus continually improve your odds.

Just find a logical way to measure and compare fighters, conditions, and other metrics, and you may be beginning a long line of successful betting.

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