This is not an attempt to suggest the rating system is more accurate than gambling odds.  Gamblers can analyze each fight individually, while the rating system uses a variety of mathematical routines to supply a primary fighter rating that is focused on ranking recent achievement, with a secondary priority of gauging future expectation.

With that said, there are some caveats to using the rating vs. odds comparison straight-up — the “Gotcha” list:

  1. System inability to project the exact effects of a recent divisional change.
  2. System inability to project the exact effects of recent inactivity.
  3. Poor matchmaking / limited careers / “changing of the guard”.
  4. Notable home advantage.
  5. System inability to project style differences.
  6. System inability to factor in bad judging or overturned decisions.

But this stuff (especially #5) is pretty much common sense.  We try to partially factor in #1-#3 when we compute the ratings, but #5 and #6 is something that the human can factor in, that the system can’t.  For the sake of these articles, we’ll attempt to factor in #4 when relevant.  Home advantage can have a slight effect, but likely not enough to sway the “I’d bet on” decision.

Experienced gamblers know that it’s not about being right the most, it’s about making the most money.  So in the usual table, I’ll add the “I’d bet on” column and analyze the rating/odds gap plus points #1-4 that I listed above.I’ll leave #5 and #6 to the fully subjective analyses (except for when Leonard Garcia is involved for #6) — of which I’m sure there will be plenty.

The gotchas aren’t necessarily comprehensive, but I have noted them as I come across them and when they are considered in the decision.

Having said all that, let’s get started:


Fight Odds Favorite Rating Favorite I’d bet on “Gotchas”
Romero Palacio vs. Starks Romero Palacio (-154 / Small) Starks (1.90x / Large) PASS #2, #3
Bowling vs. Njokuani Njokuani (-169 / Small) Njokuani (1.10x / Pick ‘Em) PASS #1, #3
Dillashaw vs. Viana Dillashaw (-382 / Large) Dillashaw (1.16x / Very Small) Viana #3
Masvidal vs. Means Masvidal (-148 / Small) Masvidal (1.23x / Very Small) PASS
Benavidez vs. Uyenoyama Benavidez (-540 / Very Large) Benavidez (2.86x / Very Large) PASS
Jury vs. Nijem Jury (-284 / Moderate) Jury (2.11x / Large) Jury #3
Mendes vs. Elkins Mendes (-689 / Very Large) Mendes (1.05x / Pick ‘Em) Elkins
Larkin vs. Carmont Carmont (-145 / Small) Larkin (1.28x / Small) PASS #6
Mein vs. Brown Mein (-350 / Large) Mein (1.94x / Large) PASS
Diaz vs. Thomson Diaz (-201 / Moderate) Diaz (1.66x / Moderate) PASS
Cormier vs. Mir Cormier (-430 / Large) Cormier (1.24x / Very Small) PASS #3
Henderson vs. Melendez Henderson (-301 / Large) Henderson (1.84x / Large) PASS

The PASS suggests that the odds and ratings difference are nearly identical and/or there are too many gotchas, so neither fighter is a good bet.


Favorites to consider: Jury

Underdogs to consider:

  • Elkins over Mendes: I partially blame this on poor recent matchmaking for Mendes.  Two squash matches did nothing for his rating.  Even still, At such ridiculous odds, Elkins is worth a bet.
  • Viana over Dillashaw: Viana has a real shot at winning this one.  An attractive underdog bet.

Posted on April 18, 2013 by jcs

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