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Fighters Who Finish Fights

MMA Betting Strategy: The Added Value of Fighters Who Finish Fights

By Loot, MMA Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

When we handicap fights in MMA, we go over a lot of different things. One thing we should perhaps pay more attention to are fighters whose track records show a majority of fights ending inside the distance. Then, we can see most of our bets decided by organic means--either win or lose.

In MMA betting, especially with all the 3-round fights, there is no way we can absorb any judging miscues. All it takes if for a few judges to judge one round incorrectly for our bets to become losers. It’s actually more painful to see your fighter come out on the wrong side of a bum decision than it is to just have your fighter suffer a knockout.

This is not meant to impugn judges in the sport. For the most part, they do a credible job. It’s just the nature of the sport gives way to a variety of interpretations. One judge might prefer the fighter who has isolated moments of striking success, while another judge prefers the element of control. With all the different techniques and the short number of rounds, you’re going to see some iffy decisions.

In other sports, we have to deal with officials spoiling our bets. But in MMA, the judges are not just deliberating over details of the game, they’re deciding the actual result. It raises the need for bettors to do their best to circumvent this huge role officials have on a fight. When we bet on MMA, we have to take the leap of faith and hope the judges do their job correctly. A lot of our wagers will end up going to the scorecards and that’s part of doing business when betting MMA.

That doesn’t mean we can’t refine our betting a little bit in an effort to not have the vast majority of our wagers decided by scorecards. Fighters can fall into a number of categories. Some have been fighting for years with barely any fights going the distance. Other guys you see have almost all their fights go to the scorecards. Other fighters give you a mix of the two different types of results.

If able to remove the element of human error from our wagering profile, we should try to do it. If we’re not careful, we might find ourselves mostly betting on fighters in fights that seem very likely to go the distance. And in some of those instances, you will fall prey to a bad decision. Have it happen enough times and you’ll either want to stop betting on MMA or you’ll be searching for other answers.

We may see two fighters, both going off at the same odds. One is a finish-fighter, while the other tends to grind it out more in his victories, usually going the distance. We should lean a little more toward the guy who finishes fights in that case. We want to be careful, because that fighter’s ability to finish fights has already been accounted for in the odds that are set. We don’t want to give extra undue credit to a fighter because he ends fights quickly.

It’s just that when faced with two possible bets, the advantages in picking the finishing fighter are considerable. Sure, we will end up on the wrong side of some knockouts from time to time, but again, being on the wrong end of a decision doesn’t feel any better. When betting on fights that are ended inside the distance, there is a more real feel to it. The result is emphatic and beyond dispute. There will be decisions where the result is so clean-cut that the judges aren’t really that important.

It’s just that when a fight is in any way close, it’s better to have the fighters themselves decide it. Otherwise, if the fight has any glimmer of doubt, something can go wrong. A guy can lay on top of his opponent for 3 minutes, get his face smashed for the other 2 minutes, and still get credit for the round. Conversely, a fighter can control a guy for 4 1/2 minutes, get hit with a few shots in the other 30 seconds, and end up losing the round. Let’s make sure to not have our bets fall at the mercy of the judges. If always betting on fights you figure will be competitive and that will likely go the distance, MMA betting can be painful.

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