This is it, folks. For all the marbles. It comes down to one final event to determine whether I win or lose the competition. No matter what happens on Saturday night, it was a fun ride and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you're feeling nostalgic, take a look back at the competition's debut post and reminisce.
Let's start, as we always do, with a recap of the previous event. In this case, we're looking back at UFC on FOX 11.
Bet: Edson Barboza wins by decision (+298)
Wager: 10 units
Result: LOST 10 units
Barboza looked to be the significantly sharper striker in this match-up, as myself and several others predicted. At the same time, his chin looked as suspect as most also predicted (myself not included). I admitted being concerned, but not ultimately scared away. Donald Cerrone was able to drop Barboza with a jab, vindicating many of you who commented on the article. I still like the play in hindsight, but my level of confidence in Barboza's chin went from shaky to unplayable in the future.
Bet: Jorge Masvidal wins by decision (+110)
Wager: 10 units
Result: WON 11 units
There was very little surprise in this match-up. Pat Healy gave it everything he had, but Masvidal's takedown defense (even while unnecessarily backing himself up against the cage) was simply too good. The striking differential between Masvidal and Healy was a chasm that continued to grow as the fight went on. I liked this play quite a bit coming in.
Bet: Khabib Nurmagomedov wins by decision (-106)
Wager: 10 units
Result: WON 9.43 units
I was confident that Nurmagomedov would be able to control Rafael dos Anjos, but did not expect it to look so easy. Dos Anjos is an elite fighter and he couldn't make an offensive move in 15 minutes of fighting. Nurmagomedov's grappling is scary and I could see his betting lines moving into UFC champion territory. His style presents a problem for every opponent. The more interesting question betting-wise is when he'll get his next finish.
Bet: Yoel Romero (+105)
Wager: 10 units
Result: WON 10.5 units
Romero looked incredible. He exchanged well with Brad Tavares on the feet and used his offensive wrestling game as effectively as we've seen in the Octagon. I thought this fight was close to a coin flip due to Romero's tendency to take minutes at a time off, but he ended up bullying Tavares from bell to bell. The public drove Romero's line up to something like +140 before it closed, so kudos to anybody who got great value near fight time.
UFC on FOX 11 Result: +20.93 units
Total After Nine Events: 225.05 units
I've got 225.05 units to play with for UFC 172 and 400 units is the goal. Any all-in bet on a line of -125 or greater earns me the victory, whether it's a straight bet or a parlay that equates to the magic number. I fully intended to bet on Bobby Green for this card and he was at -120 before being pulled. It's an unfortunate circumstance, but I've simply got to be a little more creative now.
Before I reveal the final play(s) for Ric's Picks, I thought I'd do something special for the final event. I'm sure you're sick of me after 10 articles and many months together, so I enlisted the help of Luca Fury to bring another voice (literally) to this thing. Luca runs FurysFightPicks.com, where he also provides his betting picks for every MMA card. He's somebody whose opinion and knowledge I respect a great deal, so I hope you enjoy this conversation where we break down the entire card for UFC 172.
Without further ado, I present Ric's Picks for UFC 172.
Wager: 212.7 units
Potential Winnings: 187.37 units
I was looking at this parlay without the handicap on Jones early on, but it fell just short of my desired goal. Going all-in on Jones (-500), Rockhold (-800), and Benavidez (-380) only yielded 158.72 units, while I needed at least 175 units. The newly released line on Jones with a handicap of -5.5 hits my magic number. I think Jones (-5.5) at -270 is fantastic value and even a good straight bet for the event, so it's now the deciding piece in this competition.
If you're unfamiliar with how the handicap works in MMA, Jones must either finish Glover Teixeira inside the distance OR win by at least 6 total points on the judges' cards. For example, three 50-45 scores would equate to a win by 15 points, while three 49-46 scores would equate to a win by 9 points, etc. The decision does not need to be uniform or even unanimous, but Jones must win by 6 total points across the three judges' cards for this bet to cash (assuming he has not already finished the fight).
Wager: 12.35 units
Potential Winnings: 396.71 units
The back-up plan with impossible odds came down to this parlay or betting on a draw in Jones/Teixeira or Rockhold/Boetsch. Why not have some fun?
I urge you not to replicate either of these bets in any capacity. My entire bankroll being on the line increases the foolishness, so never do that. These bets are for the purpose of winning a competition with specific constraints, but if you're interested in true analysis, listen to the recording above or ask in the comments section below.
I appreciate everybody who participated in this competition along the way, whether we agreed, disagreed, or something in-between. We made it. Thank you.
At Risk: 225.05 units
Potential Profit: 619.05 units
DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend betting units that resemble the amounts wagered in this competition. Due to its nature, I am attempting to profit at an advanced rate and risking significantly more than is advisable for proper bankroll management. Please evaluate the breakdowns provided and adjust accordingly.