My list is a little bit longer than 5, but these are some fighters we all mostly know and are familiar with. We are going to talk about 5 or so fighters that I want to fade in 2021, but today, let’s cover who I think will win and also have affordable betting odds next year.
— UFC (@ufc) December 27, 2020
Okay, so Kevin Holland just rocked the world of mixed martial arts with 5 wins in 5 tries, with 4 of them coming by way of finish. This, of course, includes his most recent shellacking of Ronaldo Jacare Souza with punches from his butt.
Cool story, Kevin. The only problem is that everyone knows your story. You’re likely going to be overvalued heading into 2021.
So, we have to recognize these things when we have the chance to get out ahead of the sportsbooks. We know he has momentum and his skills and ability are at a higher level than most of us once thought, so he seems like a great guy to bet on in 2021.
Well, maybe. He is fighting Derek Brunson. Holland will most likely get taken down. So, will he easily knock out another top control specialist from his butt? Probably not. He is probably going to get grinded out by the vet.
Maybe it’s even. Nope. Kev is already a (-175) favorite. That is preposterous and I am on Derek B in this spot. I know he has some TKO losses but the fight is very close to a pick em and I lean towards the All American wrestler in this spot.
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
I was just trying to make a point and we made a pick. That’s okay. It happens.
The point is that finding out who to fade and who to bet on can be tricky. There will always be a couple of points on the betting line that is due to a fighter’s last fight. If they lost their last fight, no matter to whom, they will be more affordable.
That’s what we are looking for sometimes, and guys who are winning but are likely to get matched up with fighters they can beat. These first two fighters I want to talk about don’t really fall into any of the categories I have been speaking of, but they are two of the best globally, and I expect both to shine in 2021.
Let’s take a look at 5 total mixed martial arts fighters who we will target with our betting plays next year.
Just because you lose to Khabib, doesn’t mean you suck!
People have to get that through their polar heads. Khabib is the best 155-pound fighter of all time and a nightmare stylistic matchup for Conor McGregor at the same time.
Before we get into what 2021 could have in store for Conor McGregor as well as us bettors, let’s flashback to the “Old Conor,” my favorite, and some of his words of wisdom on the Law of Attraction.
He’s right, ya know?
You guys believe in The Secret? The Law of Attraction?
I do. I have practiced it quite a bit myself, and it works. Of course, I haven’t taken it to the level that Conor McGregor did, but who has? The Irishman is undoubtedly the best version of himself heading into his UFC 257 main event rematch with Dustin Poirier.
I’m sure he used The Secret to pull himself out of the potential grip of a cocaine addiction, which brought along the slapping of old men in bars, the throwing of moving equipment into bus windows, and having to tap and simultaneously relinquish your world title belt to your arch-nemesis, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
I have been saying it for a long time, guys, even before the Cowboy Cerrone fight. Conor doesn’t suck! Newsflash! Top O’ the Marrnin!
The guy is good, really, really good. If it weren’t for this Dagestani legend who has been training for UFC stardom and success ever since he was 4 years old wrestling bears, then Conor would likely still be the world champion at 155 pounds.
The wrestling training he did in preparation for the Khabib fight was enough to level up his takedown defense. We, of course, didn’t really get to see too much of it as Khabib takes everybody down.
Against Cowboy, though, a fighter with an explosive double leg who used in his next fight with success against Anthony Pettis was shut down completely. It was funny too. Cowboy said I’m gonna stand with him.
Well, the first left hand Conor threw, Cerrone shot under it only to eat a hard hip check from a lightning-fast reaction from McGregor. A few slim shady shoulder strikes later, and Cowboy was a little fuzzy wuzzy.
Now, I questioned a few things myself after this fight. I didn’t think it was rigged like many silly folks that call themselves fans did.
I’m not completely naive. I am sure there have been several fights in the history of the UFC that have been jobbed but that’s fighting and when there is sports betting involved, there will be some corruption.
I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Donald slipped to his right directly into the left head kick. I even said to my friends: It isn’t like Conor faked or feinted!
Well, run the tape back.
Conor did feint the left handover so quickly and followed it up with a same side head kick. Muay Thai 101. If they are slipping your punch, good. Put a kick right behind it.
I remember training at a small school in Bozeman, Montana and the coach was a former boxer and bless her heart, she was trying a little too hard to use head movement in her Muay Thai training.
It became the #1 goal of every student’s Muay Thai training to slip slip slip but what bothered me is that she knew she was setting them up for failure because when it came time to spar: Mike, no head kicks, okay?
Conor is a fast starter and Cerrone a slow starter. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise the fight went the way it did. I don’t really see Dustin Poirier being able to impose his will on the Irishman at UFC 257 in less than a month.
— UFC (@ufc) December 27, 2020
C-Mac will pick apart Dustin with laser-like precision much as he did in their first fight but with maybe fewer kicks this time. Then again, maybe not. You never know what tricks Conor has up his sleeve.
After Dustin, I think Mystic Mac will fight for the vacant world title against…
If it’s Justin Gaethje, I have Conor smoking him as well with his hands. We have seen Gaethje put away with strikes before and one of those guys who did that was Eddie Alvarez…
Anyone remember UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden when McGregor made Eddie look like he was just a little shoe shine boy his whole life not the King of the Underground?
I still have Conor to beat Charles Oliveira. To me, McGregor’s striking when it isn’t faced with the impending takedown of doom from Nurmagomedov is the best in the world in mixed martial arts.
His boxing is outstanding and go back and watch his first fight with Poirier or his battle with Chad Mendes. Kicks, kicks, kicks!
No, I’m serious. Minus the Matt Hamill 12 to 6 elbows DQ debacle, Jon is, in fact, undefeated. So, assuming you’re a betting man or woman if you’re reading this, the guy could have and hopefully will in the future make you a lot of money.
I know his personality just leaves most people with a bad taste in their mouths but looking past his arrogance and careless behavior, he is one of the very best mixed martial artists we have ever seen.
I mean, it is pretty difficult to argue against his body of work. Nobody has beaten him. I know Khabib is undefeated as well but the quality and quantity of the two athletes’ opponents is not at all comparable.
Has Jon always been a jerk, though? Let’s flashback to 2012 before he won the UFC’s Light Heavyweight World Title and his world changed drastically for the “better”.
I don’t care about any of that, though, even the steroids. As long as I have cashed my ticket before they make the fight a no contest, I’m good. He can take all the steroids and blame it on Cialis all he wants.
Hey, at least he didn’t pull an Israel Adesanya and say that his sagging pec was due to marijuana usage. I don’t know what the boys down under are smoking and I don’t care how good it is. If man boobs are a side effect, I will pass pass pass.
Inside the Octagon, Jon has been nearly perfect although his last two fights have been a little hairy at times. I think the speed of a lot of these newcomers at 205 is starting to mess with Jon. He likes for things to play out slowly and under control.
Reyes and Santos charged at him over and over and over and he just backed up and evaded, never really landing a counter of significance.
Then the judges and fans would see him walking down his opponent but never really throwing anything other than oblique kick feelers and front kicks. Then, he would run when they came at him.
It worked, though, and I expect him to be even better at heavyweight. He won’t be at a speed disadvantage nearly as often and will still hold several inches of reach over the majority of the division.
Whether or not he will be able to take the larger men down is still to be determined. That is the big question for me but until somebody beats the guy, he has my money.
He is also a pretty good play to win by decision lately. 7 of his last 9 fights have gone the distance. Some would say those aren’t GOAT numbers but that 0 next to his name says otherwise.
Here is his fight, his UFC debut mind you with Islam Makhachev and even though he lost, you can tell the then 22-year old Armenian is a force. Islam was 16-1 at the time.
Well, Paul took that fight on short notice and Rafy took full advantage.
Do you remember the betting odds for the Brazilian’s original matchup with the Dagestani? (-600) mas o menos for Islam. That’s how good he is and you saw how well Arman fought him and that was nearly a couple of years ago.
You have to understand that one way to more often than not predict a fighter’s improvement is look at their athletic ability, their rawness, their ceiling as opposed to their floor and if they are young enough, you will see jumps in skill level in between fights.
This is what we saw from Arman after he fought Islam Machachev.
Next up was Olivier Aubin Mercier, the huge Canadian 55er proved quite difficult to take down. Still, Arman was relentless and got him down twice on the way to a unanimous decision victory. Most recently, Arman fight Davi Ramos, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ADCC world champion who can bang, and Tsarukyan made it look easy.
- He was only hit 14 times against Makhachev.
- 23 times against Mercier
- Then 33 times when he tripled up Ramos in significant strikes landed.
I would say he is pretty stealthy in there but a big part of this is because of his wrestling pressure. Arman is going to push push push the pace and stay in your face.
Arman opened as a massive favorite against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 257. The money has come in on Nasrat so there has never been a better time to buy Tsarukyan. He is still a little pricey at (-185) but I favor both his striking and his wrestling over the German’s.
You could parlay or just play the Armenian straight up.
Here is one of Neil’s more memorable fights against Hector Lombard, his physical polar opposite at Welterweight.
Neil Magny really looks like he is putting it all together. Once a fighter who was bit by power punchers, he has some new tricks to play villain himself. Neil has taken up the Dagestani style of MMA grappling where he uses his limbs to trap one of his opponent’s limbs and proceeds to smack them around from there.
The Haitian Sensation has lost only one fight in the past 3 and a half years and that was a late TKO at the hands of Brazilian powerhouse, Santiago Ponzinibbio. Neil isn’t in a hurry to go back to fighting KO artists and apparently the company doesn’t want that either.
They are giving him a top ten matchup against Michael Chiesa but both men are grapplers. I give Mike the wrestling technique edge but Neil is a bit better athlete, longer, and naturally the larger man at 6’3”.
Unless he is fighting another knockout artist, I’m riding the Neil Magny train to the ticket window.
This is a bad man right here and outside of Conor McGregor, he may have the best hands in the UFC. Calvin Kattar is competing in the main event in our first Fight Night back after the holiday break against Max Blessed Holloway!
Calvin is the underdog too…I really don’t like to pick against Max but I’m 2/2 lately. Could make it 3/3!
You don’t hear much from Calvin Kattar because he isn’t in sunny SoCal, Vegas, South Florida, or Phuket. The Boston Finisher trains up in New England in that nasty wet cold. It is some of the worst weather up there.
I dated a girl that lived in Boston and I hated my skinny aching bones every single winter day.
Cal is a member of the newly named but not formed New England Cartel.
I will tell you right now. I have Calvin Kattar to beat Max Holloway. Sure, either man could win this fight and I think it will probably play out fairly closely but I don’t believe Max should be the favorite.
The only reason he is is because of seniority, essentially. Max was the champ for a long time and I get it. He is still very young but how has he evolved his game. Dustin Poirier added in takedowns to his skill set and it saved him late in the fight against Dan Hooker.
We will see now, though, because he has lost to the champ twice now so you would think something has got to change.
I think Kattar is the more technical boxer. Both men are the same height and Cal has 3 inches of reach on Max. Calvin has better kicks too and did you guys miss his punch morphing into an elbow mid-flight just before it crashed onto the face of Jeremy Stephens just before Kattar put him away?
He was up at (+180) which was incredible but I still like him where he is now at (+140) at Betonline.ag.
There you go, team. There are your five fighters to back with your bets in 2021. I could have hit y’all with a longer list but trust that we are all over every fight in hopes of finding value and capitalizing on it.
I didn’t just want to pick a bunch of guys or girls that are on a roll right now and everyone seems to know about it.
As I mentioned a moment ago:
This is a quick way to find fighters who are being overvalued. That is the antithesis of what we are trying to accomplish here. Let’s find someone coming off of a long layoff or a loss to a bad stylistic matchup. Those are the fighters who are going to be undervalued.
If we don’t have an edge on the sportsbooks, then we shouldn’t make a play. Sure, we could and we could win a few weeks in a row like that but over time, if you want to continue to make consistent money, we have to hammer those edges and leave the rest alone.