Last week I laid out the stats that matter when betting on the UFC. Now I thought I’d flip the script and lay out the stats that DON’T matter when making our UFC bets. There are a lot of numbers out there, especially in the gambling realm, so it can be confusing to know what to concentrate on and what to ignore. Here are the ones that I’ve discovered through my research you can push to the side.
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The Stats That DON’T Matter When Betting on UFC
This one was shocking to me, but the numbers don’t lie. A fighter with a reach advantage does not have a significant advantage over their opponent, on average. Over the three years I tracked it; it was about 50-50 in terms of a fighter with a reach advantage winning their fight.
So I started tracking fighters who had a significant reach advantage (four inches or more), figuring this would surely bear fruit. Nope. I got the same results as normal reach – it’s about a 50-50 proposition. Who would have thought?!
Same as with the reach stat, the taller fighter did not win significantly more than his shorter opponent. In a sport where fighters think that size is everything, it turns out that it isn’t. And as I laid out in last week’s stats that matter column, fighters that miss weight lose their fight 61% of the time. So bigger is not better.
More Active Striker
This is another one that surprised me. When I started tracking UFC stats, I figured that tracking how active a fighter is in terms of landing strikes would be a revealing stat. I wasn’t wrong there – it was revealing. The results, however, were not what I expected.
Once again, the more active striker heading into a matchup only had a coin-flip chance of winning a fight. Strange, but true. You’d think more strikes landed would give a fighter a better chance at scoring a knockout or swaying the judges to give them a decision victory. But nope.
The “Public” Money
In UFC gambling, or gambling on any other sport for that matter, the line is king. You are basing your bets on what the line is at your book and whether you find value in it. Therefore, it makes no difference what anyone else – aka “the public” – is doing with their money unless it shifts the line. So fading the public is not a viable gambling strategy. Bet the line.
It doesn’t matter how many followers a fighter has on social media or what their ‘q’ score is, or how popular they are. This doesn’t make them a better fighter. This may seem like common sense, but you see the opposite occurring any time a big-name fighter (aka Conor McGregor, a Diaz brother, Jorge Masvidal, etc.) has a fight. The closer you get to the fight, the more money comes in on, the bigger name in a matchup. Don’t be swayed by this. It isn’t a popularity contest once the cage door shuts.
If you’d like more information on UFC betting, check out the MMA Gambling Podcast. The guys are dropping four episodes weekly to make you the smartest guy at the bar.