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Outside the Octagon

MMA Betting: Outside the Octagon

By Loot, Mixed Martial Arts Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Be Aware of Training Camp

There was a time in the early days of the sport where you would know little until the two fighters got in the ring or octagon. Nowadays, the sport is no longer operating in the dark. Along with the exploding fan support in MMA has come a flood of increasing media attention. More people are watching and it's almost on par with other major sports, where almost everything is transparent--even the training.

Many camps keep things on the hush, but you can still extract little gems of knowledge out of a fighter's training. Maybe a fighter is struggling with weight. Little nagging injuries could be hampering his training. He may not seem focused, perhaps troubled by some outside distractions. Maybe training partners he normally dominates are getting the better of him suddenly. Maybe he didn't show up to camp for a few days. Any number of troubling signs like that would certainly make you ponder your bets a little more than normal.

Lifestyle

This is a sticky topic. MMA fighters are young men. And young men sometimes act out a little bit. But in a sport that requires so much singular focus, a near-Spartan lifestyle is required. Heaven forbid if our worst transgressions as 20-somethings were spread all over the Internet, but it's important to stay abreast of lifestyle issues of fighters who you might wager on in the near future.

It's important, however, to distinguish between truly relevant information and tidbits that could actually cloud the picture. If you see a fighter got busted for DUI, remember that for every guy who gets caught, another 100 are getting away with it. The knowledge of their personal lives we get from news wires cover a very limited scope of the total information that is out there.

Distractions

There are any number of things that come up in our daily lives from time to time that compromise our concentration. Often times, these issues can upend our entire state of mind. Things come up. You can have a loved one who is sick or has sadly passed away. The tax man might be on your tail. You might be having trouble making house payments. Trying to be a fighter while dealing with these kinds of issues can be a major liability.

Then there is the issue with women. MMA fighters have girlfriends and wives. Things can get sideways in relationships and leave a fighter in a very diminished mental state. If you're a defensive tackle or a right-fielder going through domestic strife, there are other guys to pick up the slack. You can hide it better. MMA requires a clear mind during training and certainly during the fight, where careers can turn in an instant.

Say for example you are thinking of betting on a favorite who has been on a good run. You hear he is going through marital problems and maybe has been seen drunk on the town. It's enough bad news to make you reconsider. Bet on him when he has a clearer head. Or maybe even take his opponent if the price justifies it. There are more than enough possible fights to be on so that you don't really need to put your money on fighters whose mental strength is not peak.

Stay Informed

In today's Internet age, there is no excuse for not being informed. By the time a fighter is even in a position to where you can bet on him, he's racked up enough of a track record where you can get a lot of information on him. They don't just pop up on TV one day. Their careers are imminently researchable.

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Watch the fights on youtube. Chart a fighter's progress. Watch especially closely when they're in fights against similarly-styled opponents as the ones they will be facing. Take notes and do so over the course of their entire careers, not just one or two fights. Listen to interviews. Find some of the sharper analysts in the sport and listen to them. It can be like panning for gold, but if you scour through enough information, you will emerge with some nuggets of information. And when it's time for you to make a pick, you will be armed with bundles of ammo. If there is one thing in common with successful bettors in all sports, it's that they're not lazy. When there is vital information inside or outside the field of play, they use it to their advantage.

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