The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Post-Fight Summary

Ended the card up an uneventful $197 on bets placed $1,320 (~15%). Below are the bets in more detail:

  • $195 on Lee at +130 – won $253 on Lee’s win.
  • $145 on Gaudelha at +160 – lost $145 on Joanna’s win.
  • $130 on Pearson at +290 & $100 on Pearson to finish at +700 – lost $230 on Brooks’ win.
  • $120 on Taveres at +175 – lost $120 on Choi’s win.
  • $120 on Bruno at +140 – lost $120 on Maynard’s win.
  • $370 on Nicolau at +122 – won $452 on Nicolau’s win. After winning prior two fights I increased weighting on my highest conviction bet, which was this one.
  • $120 on Ferreira at +105 – won $126 on Ferreira’s win.
  • $20 on Zafir at +275 – lost $20 on Jingliang’s win.

Didn’t have much conviction or time, so I didn’t place many bets of size. That said, overall it was still a relatively favourable result, so I’ll sleep well tonight.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Pre-Fight Summary

Bets placed total $970, with ~$1,500 potential upside in the <0.1% case they all go my way. Below are the bets in more detail:

  • $195 on Lee at +130.
  • $145 on Gaudelha at +160.
  • $130 on Pearson at +290.
  • $120 on Taveres at +175.
  • $120 on Bruno at +140.
  • $120 on Nicolau at +127.
  • $120 on Ferreira at +105.
  • $20 on Zafir at +275.

Disappointed I couldn’t find more value or move on conviction calls earlier. Maybe I should have taken the day off my actual job before the card. Hopefully live betting brings some opportunity…

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Lee vs. Matthews

Lee is currently listed at +145. The last time he was the underdog was seven fights ago when he faced Iaquinta February 2014. I think it’s justifiable to wager a small percentage on Lee here.

Lee is taking this fight on short notice, and by the sounds of things he seems to be looking past Matthews, which is not a good sign (but also par for the course for Lee). I think Matthews has more weapons on the feet & strikes at a very high level, can threaten the submission from more places than Lee can, likely has better cardio in the later rounds and I think can maintain a better pace throughout. On the other hand, Lee likely has the better jab, is the better wrestler of the two and is also the bigger man. Overall, it’s very close but Matthews should have the edge.

Assume a ~45% type probability for Lee and on the Kelly criterion implies ~7% type portfolio weighting. Preliminary plans are to go to +/- 1% the day of the fight.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Smith vs. Ferreira

I really don’t expect this one to last two full rounds and the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a coin flip. Ferreira is the underdog at +130 or implied 44% chance of winning. Despite probably having the worse chin, Mutante is the bigger man, has better training partners, is most likely better on the ground and is probably the better striker too.

Current plans are to go to ~0-1% portfolio weighting on Ferreira once the July 7th card comes and goes.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Moraga vs. Nicolau

Time of writing Moraga is listed at -170 or an implied 63% chance of winning vs. Nicolau at +155 or an implied ~39%. Moraga is a vet who has faced much better competition than Nicolau, so I get why he’s the favorite. That said, Nicolau really impressed me in his last fight vs. Rodrigues, is a quintessential Nova Uniao fighter and has a ton of experience for only being 23 years old.

Despite my own questions how the weight cut will impact Nicolau going down to Flyweight and knowing historically betting on the dog at this weight class has only worked out ~23% of the time (in the past 43 fights), I’m taking Nicolau here. I think he has what it takes to be top ten in either Flyweight or Bantamweight in the next couple years and I think Moraga is at the age where it’s tough to see him get significantly better between fights. Let’s give Nicolau ~45% chance of winning… I plan to move close to ~1% weighting on the day of the fight.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Maynard vs. Bruno

Gray Maynard is 39, has been TKO or KO’d in three of his last four, almost got knocked out in his last decision loss and his last win was in 2012 (split decision over the Carpenter). Bruno only has wins via submission or decision with zero KO’s on his record after 18 fights. With Bruno coming out of Nova Uniao, and Maynard having helped Aldo in training camps in the past, I want to think this factor gives Bruno better odds of ending Maynard than his fight history might suggest, but that’s presumptuous. Currently odds for Bruno are +123. I like him closer to +150, and will likely do nothing on this one unless we get to around this level.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Silva vs. Holbrook

I’m really looking forward to watching this fight. Joaquim Silva is a very exciting & dynamic striker, pushes the action and is more than willing to take two shots if he can get three in (which works with his chin). Holbrook should have lost his first UFC fight, but you can’t deny it showed he has really good scrambling ability and he can threaten submissions from a variety of places on a much higher level than his blue belt ranking might lead you to believe. Also, he was a golden gloves state champ, has a history at a lower level of competition ending fights within the first, likes to push the pace and likely wants to turn this one into a stand-up battle. I’d take either over +150. We’re not there today but will continue to watch the lines to see if the opportunity might arise.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Choi vs. Tavares

Tavares is listed at +174 or an implied ~36% chance of winning. I think there’s likely value on Tavares.

Choi just might have the touch of death in his hands, but he hasn’t really fought anyone notably enough or had enough UFC fights to really confirm it. I suppose the logic is if Khabib can TKO Tavares, should be easy work for Choi? OK, maybe… Tavares has taken down 15 of his last 17 opponents and is a beast on the mat with 14 total wins by submission. Choi on the other hand is relatively unproven in his ground game. Tavares does get hit, but… he has taken shots and survived. Give Tavares ~45% chance of winning on Kelly the number is ridiculously high… I’m looking to go to 5% today, assuming I lose all the fight wagers prior.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Pearson vs. Brooks

Time of writing Will Brooks is -356 vs. Pearson +314. Brooks has beat Michael Chandler twice and is 17-1 overall. Chandler’s only losses are to Eddie Alvarez & Will Brooks. He’s likely a top five guy in the UFC. Pearson on the other hand seems to only lose to top 15 guys. He’s a vet and legit top 20 in arguably the toughest division in the UFC, his relevant losses have been close and he’s a real fighter. I can justify a higher probability for Pearson than the 24% implied by the odds. However, I think Brooks will ultimately win and given there are 33 fights over three days this coming weekend, think it’s probably best to decide on 0-0.5% and move on to other areas I might have more conviction.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale – July 8, 2016 – Jędrzejczyk vs. Gadelha

Even if you were counting the multiple eye pokes & head butt for Jedrzejczyk in their first match as strikes, the split decision victory for Joanna was the wrong decision. Gadelha held her own on the feet and took Joanna down an amazing seven times in the fight (including three times in round 2 and three times in round 3), clearly winning rounds 2 & 3.

So why is Joanna a favorite? Maybe it’s because with more time in round 1 Joanna could have finished Claudia? OK, that moment in round 1 did show Claudia is susceptible to the KO, but Gadelha ended the round with good space & her feet pointed to Joanna in defensive Jiu Jitsu form on her back, so that’s a stretch… Maybe it’s because Joanna has gotten that much better at defending takedowns since December 2014? Esparza & Penne don’t even compare to Claudia (yes even Esparza), while Letourneau was ~20% or 1/5 in their match, so it can’t be this… Maybe it’s the belief in a five round bout Claudia will likely slow down in rounds four and five, favouring Joanna for the decision win? This is fair, but it’s unjustified based on her history and probably not worth much more than 5% even if you were being conservative… Maybe it’s because Joanna has the win on the record (even though it’s undeserved), has a ton of hype behind her and is the champ who gets way more air time in the press? This is the most likely reason in my view, and is a situation that often brings out strange odds.

Gadelha at +160 implies ~38% chance of winning – let’s be conservative and give her a ~45% chance. On these numbers Kelly suggests 11 units. I’m at one percent today at +160 and will look to grow on fight week somewhere between 5-10%, assuming current information & odds hold.