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UFC Gambling Analysis: Breaking Down 2011 Underdog Performance

Tito Ortiz was both a success and a failure at odds longer than +300 this year.
Tito Ortiz was both a success and a failure at odds longer than +300 this year.

After noticing that no underdog with longer odds than +135 (Constantinos Philippou) pulled off a win at UFC 133, it got me wondering how underdog wins have broken down in the UFC lately. I went back over every 2011 fight and used the fighter's best available odds at belltime. Here is how the data breaks down:

    Odds Range         Record    
+115 to +149   18-16-1 (.514)  
+150 to +199 7-28-1 (.194)
+200 to +249 8-19 (.296)
+250 to +299 4-14 (.222)
+300 and above 5-27 (.156)

There were nine fights that were "pick 'em" fights with closer than +115 odds which I did not count.

The first thing that jumped out to me was seeing that underdogs under +150 actually have a winning record to this point in the year. There is a huge drop from +150 to +199, which is surprising given that coming in I assumed we'd see a pretty steady decline as odds got longer.

The five men to win at over +300 were Rani Yahya (+300 vs. Mike Brown), Dennis Siver (+354 vs. George Sotiropoulos), George Roop (+400 vs. Josh Grispi), Charlie Brenneman (+425 vs. Rick Story) and Tito Ortiz (+525 vs. Ryan Bader).

Clearly, what I'm saying is that you should run out and lay some money on Donald Cerrone (+115) and Ed Herman (+123) for tonight's UFC on Versus 5 card but stay away from Ben Henderson at +150.

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