Handicapping, in general, is a method of balancing the fighter’s varying abilities or attributes to equalize their chances of winning. Handicappers then go through the process of analyzing games to predict who will win and profit from it via betting.
All sporting events, such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), can be handicapped. If you plan to wager on an MMA fight, you should first learn how to handicap a fight properly. It would be best to consider the following factors to handicap MMA bouts and increase your chances of winning properly.
Fighting Styles of Each Fighter
The fighter’s fighting style is the first factor when you handicap Sports Betting Odds in MMA. A fighter’s fighting style is vital in handicapping MMA odds. You have to understand how the fighting style of each fighter works against each other.
A tougher, quicker, more athletic fighter could frequently lose a fight if they didn’t manage their rival’s fighting style. Fighters can usually adjust to and cope with certain types of fighters but find it difficult against others.
Therefore, when you handicap an MMA fight using the fighter’s fighting styles, here are the questions that you should answer:
- What is the fighter’s real fighting style?
- What are their other skills?
- What are the fighter’s weaknesses?
- How do both fighters’ strengths and weaknesses compare?
- Can they make up for the differences?
Fight Record of the Fighters
The next factor you should look into is the fighter’s win/loss record. This is the part where you will surely find your research more valuable. You should look up each fighter and consider the following:
- How many fights do they have in a year?
- Who were their three most recent opponents?
- How did they fare against those opponents?
- Were they up against wrestlers/grapplers or a knockout artist?
You can pinpoint each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses by answering these questions. As a result, you will be able to have a complete overview of the fight, which will help you choose the best option.
Fighter’s Height and Reach Advantages
Height and reach are other important factors in all combat sports. For example, a taller fighter with a longer reach can typically attack their opponent safely. However, with the greater height and reach, they could also risk becoming a bigger target if their opposing fighter gets past their range.
Fighters with height and reach advantages should have a dependable defensive skill to counter this disadvantage. However, you must consider that both tall and short fighters have advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, a taller fighter can have an increased range and better defensive skills, especially in individual sports like MMA. However, being taller also means that you have an increased center of gravity and a disadvantage in the weight class, which is a significant disadvantage.
Meanwhile, a short fighter needs to come in closer to their opponent to hit them, putting them at a greater risk.
Cutting Down Weight
Weight cuts in combat sports are a huge issue. When a fighter wants to qualify for a smaller weight class to gain an advantage over their opponents, they need to break down their bodies.
Most fighters who cut weight face great difficulty, while a few may experience no issue. So, when you are handicapping a fight, you should pay close attention to the weigh-ins and investigate how the fighter looks and acts on that day. Are they doing or feeling better losing weight? Do they look dehydrated and fatigued?
The latter indicates that the fighter is not suitable for cutting weights and clearly didn’t have a concrete plan for doing it. This factor can have a huge impact on the fight.
When it comes to aging, the body can only take so much. However, when it comes to combat sports, the age of the fighter is a huge factor. This is because aging causes so much wear and tear on the body and could affect a fighter’s performance.
In MMA, in particular, younger fighters have a better chance of winning than their older opponent, especially if the age gap is significant. However, exceptions are still possible depending on the experience that comes with the fighter’s age.
A good example is Glover Texiera, who became a light heavyweight champion at 42. Andrei Arlovski and Alexey Oleynik are also two MMA veterans who are still doing great in the industry today.
The Favorite Is Not Always the Best Choice
Many believe that betting on the favorite is the safer path to take when it comes to sports betting, including MMA. However, upsets do happen in MMA. So don’t settle that many bettors favored a specific fighter. Instead, look closely and deeply at their characteristics.
Staying on the right path in betting is the main goal of handicapping, so you should not be tempted to go where everybody goes. The biggest upsets in MMA are Juliana Pena, Chris Weidman, and Holly Holmes.
So, despite what people tell you about the favorite and underdog, you should steer clear from it and instead focus on all the other information you gather from handicapping the fight.
The final words in this article will serve as a reminder to Bettors. Mixed Martial Arts is a highly volatile sport. Although you handicapped a fight perfectly, huge disappointments could still happen. No scheme could predict an outcome 100%. Therefore, it is best that after you do you’re handicapping perfectly, you should still be wary of betting a huge amount.
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