Lies, damned lies, and statistics. This is a phrase often used to describe how useful numbers are in determining the outcome of a future event, based upon previous occurrences of a similar kind.

This past weekend, I agreed to take part in a friendly competition with our friends over at to see if their statistics could outperform my instincts when it comes to betting on MMA—UFC 170, in particular.

We have seen, throughout the years, many occasions whereby the odds makers have been upset in MMA, whether it be Matt Serra’s stoppage of Georges St-Pierre, Gabriel Gonzaga’s head-kick knockout of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic or even Chris Weidman’s more recent stoppage of Anderson Silva.

As such, it is a general rule that if you are looking to bet for the sole purpose of making money, do not bet on MMA. The sport is too varied and the margins too small to make the risk worth the reward. If, instead, you want to make a bet to increase your interest level or engagement with a certain fight, then betting on MMA will most certainly do that for you.

The thrill of your predictions coming true is a great feeling, especially, if like me, you have to stay up until 5 or 6 a.m. to see them happen live before your very eyes.

As a disclaimer at this point, I would like to say that whilst I represented The MMA Corner in this venture, the bets were my own and as such the results only reflect on my own abilities to predict the future.

I was tasked with looking through the UFC 170 fight card to find no more than four bets to place on the fights using a fake $1000 to see who yielded the greater return.

The Methodology

I decided that my best solution would be to pick two “bankers” that I was sure about making me a return, so that I had two other bets to play around with in order to maximize the profits. I felt that if I could choose two bets to round off my picks that would produce high returns, then it could seal a victory for me in the competition overall.

The Picks

When I looked at the card, Raphael Assuncao stood out immediately as a near certainty to get the victory in my eyes. Assuncao, in my opinion, is the next in line for a shot at the title, given he remains the only top contender that Renan Barao has not already beaten at least once.

My second pick was Zach Makovsky, who I was impressed enough with against Scott Jorgensen that I did not envisage him struggling to overcome Josh Sampo with relative ease. I see Makovsky making a real run towards the top and being a viable opponent for Demetrious Johnson, who, like Barao, is running out of opponents he has not already faced and beaten.

For my third pick, I decided I would pin my hopes on wrestling continuing its dominance in MMA and overcoming even the best judo that Ronda Rousey had to offer against Sara McMann. I felt that at the odds being offered, McMann was most certainly worth the risk.

For my final pick, I admittedly was blinded by the size of the returns and decided to lay a sizable bet on a four-strong parlay consisting of Alexis Davis, Eric Koch, Aljamain Sterling and Demian Maia, which at the time seemed like a strong bet given the rewards.

  • $100 on Sara McMann (at 7/2 odds, to profit $350)
  • $400 on Raphael Assuncao (at 2/5 odds, to profit $160)
  • $200 on Zach Makovsky (at 8/15 odds, to profit $106.67)
  • $300 on a parlay with Demian Maia, Alexis Davis, Eric Koch and Aljamain Sterling (if all four win, it would profit $2712.40)
MMA Odds Breaker’s Picks
  • $250 on Jessica Eye (at 5/4 odds, to profit $312.50)
  • $250 on TJ Waldburger (at 13/8 odds, to profit $406.25)
  • $250 on Stephen Thompson (at 8/11 odds, to profit $181.82)
  • $250 on a parlay with Aljamain Sterling, Ronda Rousey and Erik Koch (If all three win, profit $257.41)

When I saw these picks from the guys at MMA Odds Breaker, I did think that it had serious potential to produce returns on every single line. However, I felt that Mike Pyle was in the midst of a surge up the rankings at welterweight and Waldburger simply wasn’t the guy to stop that run.

As for Eye, I was simply not sure what to expect from her. The trials and tribulations of her drug-test issue with the Texas commission could have either provided extra motivation or extra distraction. It was simply an unknown that I didn’t feel comfortable with.

The Results

I was quietly confident of doing well, given I had made some profits on MMA betting in the past. But as it turns out, statistics do not lie. The guys at MMA Odds Breaker are where they are for a reason.

Overall, both sets of bets produced losses. If I had made the bets myself, I would have been down a total of $133.33, whilst the MMA Odds Breaker guys would have suffered a smaller loss of just $60.77.

This goes to show that even if you are the most well-informed MMA observer, you never truly know what will happen inside the cage.

Thankfully, I didn’t go with my bets outlined above using my own money. Instead, I opted to play it a little safer and made a small profit thanks to a parlay featuring Alexis Davis, Raphael Assuncao, Eric Koch and Zach Makovsky. It’s always easier to take risks when it’s not your own money on the line, though there was a moment there when Maia had Rory MacDonald’s back in the first round that I was kicking myself, wishing I had placed the parlay above in reality.

I’d like to thank Reed Kuhn, Brian Hemminger and all of the guys over at MMA Odds Breaker for being very open to the idea (and for being humble in their victory, too).

About The Author

Greg Byron
Staff Writer

Greg Byron started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after his brother introduced him to a local MMA fighter/coach when he was just 16 years old. Greg has trained for nearly a decade in both BJJ and MMA, competing in several grappling events within the UK. In addition to MMA, Greg possesses a law degree and works for a firm in northern part of England.