Signs That a Fighter Has Good or Bad Wagering Value

MMA Betting: Signs That a Fighter Has Good/Bad Wagering Value

By Loot, MMA Handicapper,

In all forms of betting, the most astute professionals are the ones who are able to isolate gambling scenarios where they have optimal value. This couldn’t be more true in a sport like MMA, where one’s betting success is firmly entrenched in the ability to find good value. Those who consistently pounce on good-value situations are likely to thrive, while those who get the short end of the value stick are bound to fail.

Every situation will be different. There are some telltale signs, however, that could indicate which side of the fence you are on. Fighters with certain characteristics are simply more prone to having good value, while others often spell trouble at the betting window.

Obscure fighters can be had at a good price. It’s important to note that fighters who even make it to a position where they are in a fight that is open for betting have already put in a certain amount of work. There is a little history to reflect upon, being that fighters typically don’t just explode on the scene and begin appearing in fights that are on the betting board.

While some of these fighters might be obscure in relation to the bigger names in the sport, they didn’t just roll out of bed and begin appearing in fights that was wager-able. When paying attention to the lower reaches of the sport, you can sometimes find a diamond-in-the-rough who will have great value betting until people know about him.

For fighters to gain publicity, they usually need to be exciting. While many fighters who register low on the thrills-meter have found success in MMA, the more-discussed fighters will invariably be the more exciting guys. A gap can sometimes exist where the issue of excitement is confused with excellence. Therefore, there are many boring fighters whose actual level of fighting merit exceeds their level of publicity. Their work in the octagon is not as eye-catching as others. There are many elements of MMA and some are just more visually-pleasing than others. Fighters who have a more dull vibe still win and should be a key part of who you select when you bet on MMA.

We tend to look for good up-and-coming fighters to come out of certain areas. In addition, we get a warm and comfortable feeling selecting fighters who train out of certain cities. Naturally through conditioning, we expect fighters from Brazil to be really good. Southern California has some really good camps, as does Vegas. So when we see a certain list of connections like that, our mind can make projections that may or not be warranted.

While there is a reason we have these prejudices about MMA, they can sometimes blind us more than help. First of all, no one ever became a giant in the world of MMA betting by making elementary observations, such as where a fighter is from. Second of all, just because a lot of great fighters came out of Brazil doesn’t mean they are immune to losing. Not every great fighter is from Brazil, trains at some big-name camp in Vegas, or is connected to people you’ve heard of before.

This is not an invitation to just start blindly betting all fighters who are either obscure, boring, or unconnected. A lot of those fighters have those qualities precisely because they aren’t going to make it. But the opposite usually does not contain positive betting value. Fighters whose popularity is robust, come from well-known places of MMA success, or are compelling to watch usually do not have the best value.


When a fighter has no connections and a minimal fan base, the bookie has to go above and beyond the normal call of duty to create betting action on that fighter. Contrast that to a fighter with booming popularity, where the bookie has no need to make it tantalizing. This has nothing to do with who is winning the fight or saying that the more well-known fighter won’t win more than he loses in these types of scenarios. It simply means that when you bet on the popular, connected, and exciting fighter, your payoff will usually be less than what is really deserved. And when you wager on the dark-horse guy, your win will usually be more substantial than what the true odds really were.

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