Sport gambling is a tricky thing to get the hang of— it really varies between sports. For football, you can truly rely on a team like the Baltimore Ravens to defeat the Tennessee Titans. In basketball, the Miami Heat is the team you want to choose if you want to have the best chances of doubling your money. However, in mixed martial arts, it’s a whole different ballgame.
There’s a saying that we’ve heard all of our lives, and it really applies to gambling on mixed martial arts. The saying is, “puncher’s chance”. For example, Joe Lauzon had a puncher’s chance at beating Jens Pulver at UFC 63. Forrest Griffin had a puncher’s chance at beating Shogun Rua at UFC 76. Rashad Evans had a puncher’s chance at beating Chuck Liddell at UFC 88. I’m sure you get the point; there are no such things as “locks” in the world of mixed martial arts.
When it comes to betting on this sport, you want to analyze everything that is on paper and on tape. Last thing a bettor wants to do is throw in rumors and theories into the betting equation. Also, keep in mind that gambling in the MMA world is a lot different than gambling on regular sports because you won’t make the most money based on who you think has the best chances of winning. Where the most money is made in MMA gambling is when you bet on the underdogs who have the best chance of winning.
The underdogs for UFC 157 are not too appealing. The preliminary bouts are all stacked fairly evenly. The odds on the main card are spread so far apart that you either run a risk of losing a lot of money for such a small profit or waste money betting on an underdog that has a very little chance of winning. However, if you had to bet on an underdog to win on the card, who better to choose than Dan Henderson?
Lyoto Machida (-220) vs. Dan Henderson (+170)
Bet $100 on Machida to win $45.45
Bet $100 on Henderson to win $170
One of the biggest factors that a majority of bookies think Henderson has going against him is the fact that he’s been sitting out of action for all this time and has acquired “ring rust”. First of all, ring rust is one of the most popular urban myths that some fighters claim to be true and some squash the theory as soon as it’s brought up. Everything that we need to know about ring rust in gambling is as followed: Never make ring rust a variable. You’re already playing a risky game when you put money on fights. Why make it more difficult by throwing in something you do not know to be 100% true until the fight is over? The only variables you should be considering when making a bet is what has been done in the octagon. Like I said before, the last thing a bettor wants to do is throw in rumors and theories into a betting equation. Concentrate on styles, stats and past results.
Dan Henderson will have to adapt his style of fighting greatly if he wants to walk out of the octagon with a victory on Saturday. Lyoto Machida is one of the most elusive fighters in the octagon and early on in his career he barely ever got hit or taken down.
In his fights against Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans he was only hit with significant strikes 22 times and did not get taken down once. However, after a couple fights in the UFC it wasn’t really secret anymore how elusive he was. The more and more tape that was available of Machida fighting different opponents, the easier it became to adapt to his style. Rampage Jackson connected with 16 significant strikes. Shogun Rua connected with 17 and Jon Jones connected with 24. Once fighters continued to evolve and the level of competition he started fighting improved, the mystique behind Machida’s style started fading. His style of fighting is still dangerous (see UFC 129), but it’s simply not as effective as it once was.
“Can Dan Henderson adapt?” is still an important question, though. His resume contains a list of fighters with different approaches from striking, some strategic and some unorthodox. It is well known that Henderson likes to wait for the perfect time to throw his right hand, but in recent interviews it sounds like he knows he can’t do that in this fight. He’s going to have to close the distance and strike close, cutting down the time and space for Machida to throw one of his quick counters. Henderson said he has found some success within his camp of mimicking Machida’s style.
Small things to consider during the bet are that Dan Henderson is simply one of the toughest men to grace the octagon. He’s never been knocked out, and despite his age he constantly defies the odds. Out of everybody on this card, Dan Henderson is the underdog with the best chances to help you make some profit.
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