UFC Fight Night 29 will continue the UFC’s effort at globalization of the brand on Wednesday, October 9 which goes down in Barueri, Brazil. The fights will be live on the UFC’s new home, Fox Sports 1. Compared to recent cards from Brazil, this one is a blockbuster! We can predict the entire main card of 6 fights. Our model requires 3 prior fights recorded statistically (generally includes UFC, Strikeforce, Pride, Affliction, WEC) for both fighters in order to predict a fight. As a comparison, at UFC 163: Aldo vs Jung (yeah, they made you pay for this terrible card!), we could predict just 3 fights mathematically.
UFC Fight Night 29 features a solid main event for a free TV show between Demian Maia and Jake Shields. Both men (obviously), are much more known for their submission prowress than their knockout power. This is evidenced by their respective submission to knockout ratios. Maia has 9 subs and just 3 TKOs, while Shields has 10 submissions to 3 knockouts. Even when these guys win by decision, it sometimes turns into a grappling contest. A great example of this is Maia’s last win over Jon Fitch in February. He basically smothered Fitch with a body triangle for 3 full rounds, winning an incredibly boring decision. Maia only recently joined the welterweight ranks after a successfuly run at middleweight where he made it all the way to Anderson Silva before being absolutely dominated by the champ in one of the worst fights that has ever taken place inside the octagon. Since turning welterweight though, Maia is 3-0 with victories over mid-upper tier guys. Shields just began fighting for the UFC a couple years ago, entering the promotion riding a 13 fight win streak. He took a split decision victory over Martin Kampmann in his debut which gave him an immediate title shot with Georges St Pierre. St Pierre defeated Shields in a decision, 50-45, 48-47, 48-47. In terms of stats, both guys stand 6′ tall and have a 72″ reach. Shields lands about 1 strike more per minute, but also absorbs a quarter extra strike (absorbed strikes have a bigger effect mathematically). In terms of grappling, Shields lands 3.31 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Maia lands 3.35 and both guys land at 33% accuracy. Maia is better at defending takedowns however, with 53% defended to Shields’ 38%. As well, Maia tends to be more active with his submissions, going for 1.58 and Shields going for 1.32. One big differentiator between these two fighters that is not evident from the stats is the level of competition. Maia has been fighting the best the UFC has to offer, while Shields has been fighting a lower level of competition in Strikeforce. So while the stats look even, Maia actually holds a significant edge. Our model has Maia as a huge favourite, and our analysis is in agreement. At 1.38 to 1, however, we don’t see any value in placing the straight bet. We will parlay it with 2 fights at UFC 166 to get the odds up over 2 to 1.
The only other fight at UFC Fight Night 29 that the odds are out for so far is Erick Silva vs Dong Hyun Kim. Our model has Silva winning, but the edge isn’t very big. We have seen in the past (Silva vs High) that because Silva tends to finish quickly, his one decision loss vs Jon Fitch has too big of an effect on his overall statistics. Therefore, at the current line on Silva of about 1.4 to 1, there’s no way we could confidently place a bet. The under 1.5 rounds sits at 2.40 to 1, which is definitely tempting, but we will hold off for now. When the lines come out on Silva to get the finish, for example, there could definitely be value there if its 2 to 1 or higher.
We are looking forward to predicting fights in a busy month of October for the UFC. UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs Shields goes down on the 9th of October, UFC 166: Velasquez vs Dos Santos III goes down on the 19th of October and on the 26th of October is UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs Munoz. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
Maia over Shields. (Will be part of an upcoming parlay)
Silva over Hyun Kim
Here are the best odds for Fight Night 29, from BestFightOdds.com