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Why Being a Super-Fan Means Little in Betting

MMA Betting: Why Being a Super-Fan Means Little in Betting

By Loot, MMA Handicapper,

There are some misnomers about the transition from being a fan and becoming someone who is successful at MMA wagering. A lot of people think that being a super-fan makes it easy to become good at MMA wagering. Well, let's not completely dismiss that because a deep knowledge of the sport is in fact a prerequisite. But it takes a lot more than that.

The world of MMA wagering is not merely a graduate school for fans with an advanced knowledge of the game. Those who are good at MMA wagering have a different set of skills than a fan possesses. Knowing a lot about a ton of different fighters at all levels of MMA is great. Unless the other skills are developed, however, that knowledge might just get you into trouble.

Remember you're not striving to be an MMA analyst, but a bettor. That means gambling. You have a better chance winning at MMA wagering with a robust knowledge of gambling than you do just knowing about MMA. There is a whole different world of gambling knowledge. You need to know the mathematics and theories that govern this world if you hope to stand a chance.

On top of mere gambling is the specific discipline of MMA wagering--a form of gambling that is completely unique. Being a sound sports-betting guy is a good start, but being good at boxing or football wagering does not guarantee success in MMA betting. There are a slew of specific factors exclusive to MMA. How do odds work? Who sets the odds? Why do odds change? Why does a fighter seem to have good/bad odds? What are all the different bets in MMA? What are the pitfalls made by most of the general betting public? There's a million of them.

As a fan, we value the opinion of certain people. There are guys on TV, radio, and Internet whose opinions are truly worthwhile. Just remember they are catering to the sensibilities of fans, not to the betting man. Analyzing MMA for a fan and for a betting man are two different things. Unless they're specifically applying their insights to the world of MMA betting, they're not really telling us what we need to know.

When betting on MMA, everything is relative to the odds. You might hear a talking head on TV say a fighter who is a 6-1 underdog is going to lose. But does he put that into perspective with the odds in mind? We know a 6-1 underdog is supposed to lose, but is it possible that his actual chances to win are probably more in the 3 or 4-1 range? If so, that means there is value betting on him. Joe Rogan isn't really going to break that all down for you. Not that he should--it's not his job.

Anyone who bets MMA started out as a fan. Becoming good at MMA wagering, however, comes down to how far you can distance yourself from the mindset of a fan. Being that the term "fan" stems from the word "fanatic," it's clear we want less of that in our wagering profile. That means becoming more a fan of the sport and less of individual fighters or styles.

A fan brings some bad things to the table of MMA wagering--namely his prejudices and perspectives. There are fighters we like, ones we hate, styles we favor, and ones that put us to sleep. If we start putting our money where our heart is, we're sure to come up short. This isn't about putting your money where your heart and mouth are, it's about trying to win wagers. That means sometimes going against our sensibilities as fans. It means betting on fighters we think are total jerks or backing a fighter with a negative style that bores viewers.

Many fans fall into the trap of basing a fighter's entire worth on the one or two times they saw them fight. They might think a fighter is great because he was deadly the two times they saw him. Or they might assume a fighter "sucks" because he got knocked out in one minute the one time they saw him fight.


The astute betting man knows to only value his observations so much. There is a lot that happened that his eye didn't catch. He knows a fighter is seldom as good as he appears on his best night. He also knows when a fighter looks terrible, he probably won't be as bad in the next fight. He doesn't jump to conclusions based on limited viewing.

This is not a knock on fans, nor is this meant to imply that there isn't upside in MMA wagering if you are a knowledgable fan. It's just a reminder that being a great fan and a great bettor are two vastly different things. Having great awareness of MMA can only be used to earn money when accompanied by all the other chops required to be a sound MMA bettor.

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