UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs Rockhold went down last night in front of a boisterous 8,000 or so Brazilians in the Arena Jaragua in Brazil on Fuel TV and FX. This event was our first chance to test out our newly updated UFC prediction model. Interestingly, of the 13 fights on the card, 12 were won by Brazilian born fighters. This either indicates that the UFC intentionally gives Brazilian fighters easier fights in Brazil, or that the “home field advantage” actually has a positive affect in MMA. Comparing this with the results we have seen in our prediction model, our statistics show the opposite effect, that fighting at home actually reduces winning probability by 5%. Maybe we need a special case for Brazilians fighting in Brazil, but we will see how the next few cards in Brazil go.
In the main event, we had Luke Rockhold defeating Vitor Belfort. As many MMA analysts stated before the fight, Rockhold just had to survive the first half of the fight in order to be able to do his best against a tired Belfort. Belfort made Rockhold look bad early when he shoved Rockhold’s head into the ground following a botched takedown attempt. From that point forward, Rockhold was taunting the Brazilian a bit, but Belfort was able to land a nasty spinning roundhouse to Rockhold’s head, knocking Rockhold silly and finishing him with punches on the ground. We lost 1.5 units on this fight, our biggest bet of the card.
In two fights on this night, we decided to bet against the model because the guy we were predicting to win was only by a slight margin and the odds were great for the opponent. In the co-main event of the night, we had Chris Camozzi defeating Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Unfortunately, Souza was able to make short work of his opponent, quickly getting the top position and earning a submission choke with his incredible jiu jitsu talent allowing him to lock in an arm triangle choke. The second fight where we chose to bet against our model was when we chose to bet on John Cholish to defeat Gleison Tibau. In that fight as well, our horse lost by submission, this time by guillotine choke in the second round. In each of these fights, we lost a half unit, thus we lost 1 unit in our speculative plays on the night.
In the lone bet we won on the night, we predicted Rafael Dos Anjos defeating Evan Dunham. The decision in this fight was not without controversy. All 3 judges scored the fight 29-28 for Dos Anjos, but it was an incredibly close fight. In our opinion, Dos Anjos took the first round for sure. He was definitely better in the stand up and even though Dunham landed a takedown, Dos Anjos was able to mitigate Dunham’s offense from the top. In the second round, we felt that Dunham turned a corner and did much better in the striking department so we gave that one to him. We also gave the third to Dunham, but we feel the case can be made that Dunham slowed a little in the third and Dos Anjos could have taken it on the score cards. Dos Anjos’s victory won us 0.588 units.
Profit: -1.91 units
Prediction Record: 3-1
Old Model Record: 2-2
Bet Record: 1-3
We’ll be back later this week with our full predictions for UFC 160: Velasquez vs Silva II!