UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Post-Fight Summary

Ended the night up $1,241, which was largely due to Alvarez and a good result in my books considering I made some fairly silly mistakes. For more details on the bets:

  • $1,300 on Alvarez at +375, with $3,000 on Dos Anjos at -360 – won $1,875 on Alvarez’s win.
  • $650 on Herrera at +360, with $80 on Luque R1 at +200, $50 on Luque R2 at +350 & $20 on Luque R3 at +900 – lost $544 on Luque win.
  • $520 on Lopes at +214 – lost $520 on Birchak win.
  • $500 on Sajewski at +210, with $940 on Burns at -188 – ended flat on Sajewski’s loss.
  • $403 on Doane at +192, with $515 on Munhoz at -188 – lost $129 on Munhoz win.
  • $358 on Lewis at +130 – won $465 on Lewis’ win.
  • $327 on Mina at +107 – won $350 on Mina’s win.
  • $260 on Jouban at +115, with $130 on Muhammad at +120 – won $169 on Jouban’s win.
  • $195 on Clarke at +260 – lost $195 on Duffy’s win.
  • $130 on Baghdad at +155 – lost $130 on Makdessi’s win.
  • $100 on Sanders at +150 – lost $100 on Arante’s win.

Overall, it turned out better than it should have. I was comfortable with most of the losses, but Clarke & Luque stuck out as my biggest mistakes. I didn’t do enough work on both, and shouldn’t have weighted my bets so high on underfollowed fights (more sharp’s likely setting the line than not) I didn’t have high conviction they could win. I also hedged too much on Alvarez too soon. Hindsight is 20/20, but Alvarez was my best idea coming in so this takeaway isn’t just influenced by the result. I also should have spent more time looking at wagers in aggregate and concentrated more in my best ideas. Lessons learnt I hope. Now off to the next card!

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Pre-Fight Summary

First card of the open roll, and initial bets are in!

Bets placed total $9,327 (including hedges), with ~$2,980 potential downside if I lose all of them and ~$7,540 potential upside in the <0.1% case they all go my way. Ratio of potential upside to downside of 2.53x implies I need to be right ~28% of the time to break-even. This simple metric doesn’t tell the full picture of risk/reward, so below are the bets in more detail:

  • $1,300 on Alvarez at +375, with $3,000 on Dos Anjos at -360.
  • $650 on Herrera at +360, with $80 on Luque R1 at +200, $50 on Luque R2 at +350 & $20 on Luque R3 at +900.
  • $520 on Lopes at +214.
  • $500 on Sajewski at +210, with $940 on Burns at -188.
  • $403 on Doane at +192, with $515 on Munhoz at -188.
  • $358 on Lewis at +130.
  • $327 on Mina at +107.
  • $260 on Jouban at +115, with $130 on Muhammad at +120.
  • $195 on Clarke at +260.
  • $130 on Baghdad at +155.
  • $100 on Sanders at +150

Bets may be added tomorrow pre-fight, and weights will change as the wins/losses roll through along by adjustments made via live betting. I’ll be back for a re-cap Friday. Wish me luck!

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Herrera vs. Luque

Can someone please let me know why Herrera is +360 or an implied 1 in 5 here? I don’t get it, I must be missing something obvious here? Luque is 8-5-1… I mean he trains with beasts, mixes up his strikes well and his last submission was impressive, but implied ~20% chances Herrera beats him? That seems insane. Herrera has trained out of Jackson’s, has a better record and in his last TKO’d the opponent ending the fight 30 seconds into the first round. Heavy hands and accurate. I want to put this fight close to 50/50… I’m currently over 3% portfolio weighting, seeking more information to decide whether to go to ~5-10%…

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Vieira vs. Beltran

Despite being a 33 year old Bantamweight, Vieira should be the favorite. I think he likely finishes Beltran by submission in round 1 or 2. But Beltran is one of those scrappers with good hands, fights every second of every round, has a ton of heart & can scramble – you can never really count him out. +158 on Beltran implies 39% probability of winning. I could justify 45% ish type odds here on Beltran based on styles & division historical results, but this coming weekend has too many fights and resources are limited, so I’m going with less than ~0.5% weighting and moving on.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Burns vs. Sajewski

Burns has a very high finish rate done via strikes & submission, has more experience, has faced much better competition and comes from a better camp. Historically betting on Featherweight underdogs has been a money losing proposition, with just 6 of the past 37 (where odds were +200) pulling off the upset. Sajewski can finish and is a real fighter / competitor, but at +216 or 32% type probability I’m unlikely to go more than ~0.5% weighting on Sajewski, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Sanders vs. Arantes

Sanders is currently +150. I’d consider Jerrod a one dimensional wrestler (not in reality, but as an MMA fighter) which is not enough today to become a contender in smaller weight classes, but he’s so dominant in that one dimension you can never really count him out. Arantes hasn’t shown solid takedown defense (e.g. Fili took him down 5 of 8 attempts or 62% in their matchup vs. ~45% average historically) or great threat of a guillotine in the past, and it’s tough to bet that his jiu jitsu / sneaky transition / sweep game will be effective against the much larger and stronger Sanders. Although I’m tempted to take the underdog assuming historic probabilities for the division (i.e. 42% of the time dogs have won in last 60), I don’t like betting anything really material on 36 year olds with history of injury in a small man weight class where speed often really matters (unless the odds are compelling). I have less than 0.5% weighting on Jerrod and am done looking at this fight because the risk reward doesn’t seem real compelling and therefore the marginal benefit of doing more isn’t really there in my view, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Doane vs. Munhoz

At time of writing Doane is +201 or an implied one in three. I believe there is very good reason to believe this fight will be much closer than the odds imply.

Munhoz is on a bit of a hype train. It’s rare to hear commentators speak about Munhoz without saying things like “he could compete with any top ten guy in the division today”, “he’s the complete package”, mentioning he trains at Kings & Blackhouse, bringing up his long list of impressive Jiu Jitsu accolades, etc.. Watching tape I’d think he probably could compete with most of the top 15 in the division, but I also think a good chunk of 15-30 could compete with Munhoz and that Doane has actually shown he can compete with the top 10.

Before looking at why Doane can very likely make this competitive or win on his own merits, consider a few other items. Munhoz got popped for PED’s in his fight Oct 2014 in Canada. His last fight was in Brazil… even then, Rivera beat Munhoz in his own backyard. July 7th will be held in Las Vegas… don’t know one way or another, but let’s read between the lines, make some assumptions and factor some degree of risked probability in. This probably favors Doane.

Now on Doane, he’s proven you can’t count him out even against top 10 guys, which makes ~33% type odds seem just strange. For example, Alcantara in 2014 was very likely a better fighter (& definitely a bigger man) than Munhoz is today. Doane won round three in my opinion vs. Alcantara, and if he hadn’t got tee’d off on those brief moments in rounds 1 & 2 (both rounds Doane landed more shots, got more takedowns in 2 and the same in round 1) he could have very likely got the win.

Finally consider some history, the past 60 UFC fights in the Bantamweight division 42% of the time the underdog pulled off the upset.

Giving Doane a conservative ~40% chance of winning implies on the Kelly criterion ~10% type portfolio weighting. I generally don’t like to bet over 5% unless I actually believe the underdog is likely to win. I’m at ~1% today and think that might grow to 2-4%, assuming current odds and information holds.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Lopes vs. Birchak

Time of writing Lopes is +192 or an implied 34% chance of winning. I think there is some value here on Lopes.

Birchak is the better striker, has great feet and when he chooses too can be very effective striking from range. But Birchak has a tendency to get excited and want to brawl when he finds some success at distance. If he steps into Lopes’ striking range and chooses to trade blows, this fight could be quite even. Lopes can bang, I believe has the better chin, has good takedown timing during exchanges and should have the edge on the mat if it goes there.

Let’s give Lopes a 40% chance of winning, and this implies ~9% type bank roll type bet on Lopes using the Kelly formula. I’m currently at just under 2% at +220 and will look to move towards 5% closer to the fight, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Makdessi vs. Baghdad

Time of writing Baghdad is +167 or an implied 37% chance of winning.

I’m not quite there, but I want to like Baghdad more here. The Sultan was one of McGregor’s favorites on his season coaching the Ultimate Fighter, spars / trains with Anderson Silva and was a world champion in Muay Thai. There’s other reasons to like this match up for Baghdad as well thinking: 1) It would be out of character for Makdessi to try to take him down (where his game is arguably the weakest), 2) Makdessi likely won’t bring an unconventional / darting approach to striking like that which worked well for Erosa, and he isn’t as dangerous in his wrestling as say Story was when he dominated the Sultan. If I had to guess this will be a standing battle, and although Cowboy is no proxy for Baghdad, the fight did show effective Muay Thai can be more than enough against the Canadian, and 3) Baghdad has a seven inch reach advantage, and Makdessi’s last fight against Medeiros showed good distance management can be enough to get the decision.

I believe Makdessi will most likely win but at +167 I think it might be worth just under 1% on Baghdad. I’m there today and am happy to keep this level, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Pyle vs. Mina

Time of writing Mina is listed at +100 or 50/50. Mike Pyle is 40 years young, and has been KO/TKO’d in round 1 in two of his last five. Mina hasn’t looked great since joining the UFC and Pyle is probably the better fighter, but I think they’ll both get shots in & Mina is probably more durable. A low conviction 0.5% weighting on Mina in this one and feel OK staying here, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Duffy vs. Clarke

Time of writing Duffy is listed at -362 vs. Clarke at +260. The odds basically imply that if these men meet 5 times Duffy leaves with his hand raised four.

Duffy should be the favorite here & odds look generally in line, but it’s still worth considering a few things: 1) Clarke has been an average +234 in his past five fights, and won two (Al Iaquinta May 2014 +300 & John Maguire June 2013 +200). He’s always been the underdog, and provided value historically. 2) Mitch Clarke is very durable, an underrated wrestler (pride of the Walter Murray Marauders) and has a very sneaky ground game (that darce on Iaquinta was legendary). 3) Of the past 62 fights in the Lightweight division where the underdog was over +200, ~26% of the time the dog pulled off the upset.

Clarke at +260 implies 28% chance of winning. I’m not very confident in this one, so am just under 1% weighting and am happy to stay at this level, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Jouban vs. Muhammad

At time of writing Jouban is listed at +115 or 47% chance of winning. I think there is value here on Jouban, who in his last 15 fights has only lost to Tumenov, Alves & five round decision to Rhodes (nothing to be ashamed of).

Muhammad is undefeated at 9-0 (6 by decision). His distance management, takedown defense & counter punching looked nothing short of great against southpaw veteran Steve Carl in last bout April 2016 in Titan FC 38 title fight. I think some are willing to bet Muhammed will repeat this performance July 7, assuming he’s top tier because he’s trained with Pettis and are buying into his brash talk that he is just four fights away from a title shot. I think there’s merit to “never underestimating a man that overestimates himself”, but lets pump the brakes for a second and consider a few other items: 1) Carl is not on Jouban’s level in my view & that fight was not in the UFC. This matters, 2) Muhammed is taking this fight on short notice & adhering to Ramadan during training. This also matters.

There’s levels to this – Jouban has proven he belongs in one of the toughest division in the UFC, Muhammad has not. Putting money on Muhammed as the slight favorite asks the bettor to assumes a lot of optimistic things. Jouban should be at least -120 or 55% chance of winning in my view. Using the Kelly formula to approximate bet size suggests a ~16% portfolio weighting for Jouban. I’m currently just over 1% at +115 and have preliminary plans to go to ~5%, assuming current information and odds hold.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Nelson vs. Lewis

I have limited conviction betting on heavyweight fights within 70 / 30, but this one might be worth a small piece. Big Country nostalgia aside, there’s a good case Derrick Lewis should be even odds or even a small favorite here. He is about the scariest individual I can think of in the UFC today, currently on a three fight win streak with his last two ending via KO in the first rounds. Most recently he impressively survived a full mount & back take by BJJ veteran Gabriel Gonzaga before KO’ing Gonzaga late in the first. Lewis has frightening power and can close distance from the outer circle with a variety of strikes at speed & accuracy that rivals men 40 pounds lighter.

Roy Nelson is 2-5 in the past three years and Derrick Lewis was the one who called Big Country out after his last win, so I’d have to imagine he likes this match-up for reasons beyond a potential two spot ranking lift.

Give Lewis ~45% chance of winning and at +130 or ~43% suggests on Kelly just under three units / percent. I’m currently less than two percent going in and, pending greater information or a change in the odds, feel fine about where we sit today.

UFC Fight Night 90 – July 7, 2016 – Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez

Implied probability Alvarez beats Dos Anjos at +358 is 22%. This is insane.

Consider: 1) The past 26 UFC title defenses just 50% have been successful, 2) Of the 62 Lightweight fights in the past year and half above +200 (33 of which were above +300), ~26% of the time the underdog has won, 3) Alvarez was +309 going into Pettis & +153 going in Melendez, and 4) After losing via dominant wrestling to Khabib April 2014, Dos Anjos faced Jason High (unranked) June 2014 & he out wrestled the current champ winning round 1 in my eyes (before getting knocked out in round 2).

Alvarez is damn durable, very skillful changing levels, underrated in his ability to take angles & dart and has a great knack in making the right adjustments as fights progress. Dos Anjos is a savage, but is still very much hittable. It’s my belief Alvarez will be able to establish himself enough in his striking and/or manage the damage to get inside to test the champs clinch game & wrestling. Wrestling is where I think Alvarez has the greatest advantage over Dos Anjos, and if I’m wrong, I still think Alvarez can compete in almost every other facet at a level much greater than the 22% odds might lead some to believe.

Let’s be conservative. Giving Alvarez just a 30% chance of winning suggests on Kelly a ~10% type portfolio sized bet. I currently have seven units on Eddie at +375 and expect this to grow.