Let’s Gamble: UFC 157 Bettor Breakdown
by Jon Kirschner on February 22, 2013

Mixed martial arts is a risky sport to bet on. Like I always say, there is no such thing as a “lock” when it comes to gambling. However, we here at Inside Fights put in enough tape-watching and studying to convey where the true value is when it comes to betting on a card. This article is not so much of a “who we think will win” piece, as it is a way to let the reader know what the chances are of the underdog actually pulling through with the win. This is Bettor Breakdown.

Ronda Rousey (-1100) vs. Liz Carmouche (+600)
Bet $100 on Rousey to win $9.09 or $100 on Carmouche to win $600
Lyoto Machida (-220) vs. Dan Henderson (+170)
Bet $100 on Machida to win $45.45 or $100 on Henderson to win $170
Urijah Faber (-370) vs. Ivan Menjivar (+280)
Bet $100 on Faber to win $27.03 or $100 on Menjivar to win $280
Josh Koscheck (-500) vs. Robbie Lawler (+350)
Bet $100 on Josh Koscheck to win $20.00 or $100 on Lawler to win $350
Court McGee (-300) vs. Josh Neer (+220)
Bet $100 on Court McGee to win $33.33 or $100 on Neer to win $220

Unfortunately there are not a lot of fights on the main-card that should be catching a bettor’s eye.

Ronda Rousey has proven that she is an absolute animal. Her reign of terror on the women’s division is reminiscent of the path of destruction Mike Tyson laid behind him with the heavyweight division in the 90s; it is downright scary. One may think that Ronda winning is as close to a lock as anything can get, but history tends to repeat itself. Nobody wants to be “Buster Douglas’d” (Buster Douglas ended Mike Tyson’s reign of terror)… not the bookies, not the bettor, and definitely not Ronda Rousey. The possibility of Ronda Rosuey losing is always there. Betting $10 to win $.90 is downright stupid; that $10 could have been spread throughout the card on picks that made more sense.

Another contest to stay away from is Josh Koscheck and Robbie Lawler. Although Lawler is a great athlete and has proven himself as a top talent of Strikeforce, he has never fought somebody the caliber of Josh Koscheck. If Lawler gets a decision win over Koscheck, he will likely remain an underdog in future fights in the eyes of the bookies and that’s when you’ll want to bet on him. Until then, let this fight be and just have fun watching it.

Josh Neer is currently 2-2 in his current stint with the UFC, and his 5th bout is going to be no easy task. Court McGee will be making his welterweight debut against Neer this Saturday, moving down from middleweight. McGee’s style is a grinding one and with his size advantage over Neer, there’s no reason to believe he won’t have the advantage in that department. Neer’s striking is not necessarily elite, however it isn’t good enough to give you a reason to bet against McGee. McGee can walk away with a victory if he utilizes a good distance-game combined with a grinding offense; no reason to bet against the favorite here.

This is a risky bet, but the payoff would be nice if all the stars align. Urijah Faber, despite losing to Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao in his last three title fights, is still an elite competitor in whatever weight class he chooses to fight in. He always bounces back strong after a loss, however he usually has clear advantages over the opponents he is lined up with. Ivan Menjivar is no slouch, and actually has a better chance at winning than the bookies are giving him.

They are about equal on the grappling front with neither man being submitted in the last ten years. They both have impressive striking, however I would give Ivan Menjivar the advantage when it comes to knockout power. All signs are pointing to a fun contest where styles may neutralize each other, and my prediction is that it will go to decision. Despite not proving himself against elite competition yet, the odds are too good to pass up: Bet on Menjivar beating Faber.

In the co-main event, we will see two light-heavyweight titans duke it out in the middle of the octagon, in what has all the ingredients to be “Fight of the Night”. Lyoto Machida is coming fresh-off a victory over Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX and impressed his peers with the vicious knockout. If Dan Henderson is going to want to avoid a loss in similar fashion, he is going to have to fight with an intelligent gameplan and not rely only on his right-hand.

Two factors that a lot of people think Henderson has going against him is ring-rust and not being able to deal with Machida’s elusive style.

Let’s get one thing straight: Ring rust should not be a factor you take into consideration when betting. If you’re betting in the first place, you are taking a huge risk and you want to bet as intelligently as possible. Making something you “think” will be a variable rather than studying what’s on paper and what’s on tape is silly. Some fighters believe in ring rust, some don’t. It’s not like Dan Henderson has been sitting on his bum for the past year doing absolutely nothing. If he hasn’t been doing everything he could have done to put himself in “fight shape”, then he shouldn’t be in the octagon in the first place.

Dealing with Machida’s elusive style will be a difficult task to overcome, but it’s manageable. It’s no secret now that Lyoto is elusive. It was all the rage when he first became a household-name in the UFC— nobody could hit him and it was scary. In his last few fights, though, he’s been hit. Maybe his opponents have adapted, but it’s not a secret anymore that Machida keeps his distance and chooses his shots. Henderson stood with guys like Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort. Now, none of those guys may be as elusive as Machida (with the exception of “The Spider”), but they’re no slouches either. Taking all things into consideration, Dan Henderson is likely your best underdog bet on this card.

The Verdict/TL;DR
Stay Away From… Court McGee vs. Josh Neer
Stay Away From… Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler
Bet On… Ivan Menjivar defeating Urijah Faber
Bet On… Dan Henderson defeating Lyoto Machida
Stay Away From… Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche

Agree? Disagree? Give us your feedback. Comment below or Tweet me @JonBKirschner!

Gamble (noun) – An act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success.” If you are gambling your rent money because you think you have a “lock”, don’t. First, there is no such thing as a “lock”. Unless the game is fixed, you run a chance of losing. Whether it be mixed martial arts or football, everybody has a “puncher’s chance” at winning. Secondly, gambling is not a way to make ends meet; it should be a way for people who can afford to gamble to have fun. If you or anybody you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-800-522-4700.


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