The finale of twenty-fourth installment of The Ultimate Fighter is upon us, and with this season coming to an end, a variety of match-ups are not only peaking the interest of MMA fans, but also the wagering public looking to capitalize on some interesting numbers.
In the main event, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson (-1000) is a massive favorite over the show’s winner Timothy Elliott (+650). While Elliott earned his crack at UFC gold by going through the bracket of champions and being the last man standing, most oddsmakers don’t have him standing a chance vs. Mighty Mouse.
In life, there are few guarantees, and while Mighty Mouse appears to be a lock in this fight, risking any amount of money is simply not worth it for most better. To make any significant return, you have to risk copious amounts of coin.
But on the flip side, you don’t have to put up much on Elliott, to garner a significant return. You also don’t want to just throw away your money. There’s a difference between what I deem as a “Fun Bet” vs. a “Wasted Bet”. Of course there’s the argument we’ve all heard … in order to win big, you have to be willing to take a chance.
If you subscribe to that theory, then there are some monster numbers available in this bout. Tim winning at +650 is already a slick one. But if he can win inside the distance, you can get him at +1070. Think he can pull off the T/KO? There’s a +2000 out there for you to grab. But the biggest one is Elliott by submission: a whopping +2500.
One thing to consider in MMA is that there are a few sites that allow you to wager while “In-Play”, meaning you can put money down as the action unfolds. The odds will fluctuate as the action takes place, and if you catch it at the right time, you can nail a (smaller) profit by catching the odds at different times.
Looking at the rest of the card, there are some doozies one can consider.
In the co-main event, TUF 24 coach Joseph Benavidez (-200) is favored over fellow coach Henry Cejudo (+170). If you believe speed kills in prize fighting, then +485 on a Benavidez T/KO is tempting. But if you believe wrestling will neutralize speed in this bout, and grind out a victory, then Cejudo winning a decision at +242 could be your thing.
In the Jorge Masvidal (-245) vs. Jake Ellenberger (+205) welterweight tilt, it’s potentially all about believing which fighter will show up. If you think Jorge will punish Jake standing up, then +180 via T/KO is your best bet. But if you believe “The Juggernaut” is driving the resurgence bandwagon, you can get him at +900 for a T/KO.
Staying on the theme of fighters resurging and/or trying to remain relevant, we have Gray Maynard (+105) taking on submission guru Ryan Hall (-125). If styles make fights, then we have the prototypical “striker vs. grappler” match-up. Maynard lives to throw bombs but will have to be cognizant of Hall, who simply likes to avoid being hit, get the fight down to the ground, and submit his foes. If Maynard lands and gets the T/KO finish, you’ll get a very nice +330 for your money. But if Hall has his way, he will ensure you earn +255 on your wager.
The final bout you may want to consider is the ladies bantamweight scrap between Sara McMann (-165) and Alexis Davis (+145). While I generally like writing these pieces focussing on odds and match-ups that could provide us a finish, this one to me seems to be edging towards a decision. And I’m leaning towards the wrestler in this one, with a McMann decision at -112. It’s not much better than just picking her to win, but those small differences can add up.
How about you? What matchups or props do you feel should be ones that could money in the pockets of your fellow MMA wagers? Feel free to hit me up on social media with your thoughts anytime, at @ShowdownJoe.