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Inspired by Jack Slack’s “All in on Coker,” I decided in January to come up with my own game based on Vegas odds. In January of 2020 I made a “New Year’s Resolution” to bet on every women’s fight in the UFC’s calendar year. I would start off betting $25 on each women’s fight at the first card of the year and flip what I won the last week and bet that on the next card. The goal was to see how rich I could truly get.
Betting on Women’s Favorites: The Beginning
So I was off to find a bookie who would take bets on all UFC fights and potentially deal in small increments, which we would need. I eventually found one and set my first bets for UFC 246. There were three women’s fights on the Conor McGregor card and I started the year going 2-1 but I was up $18 already. I could tell it was going to be a great year.
Time goes on and I float around under the $100 mark for a few cards, but haven’t gone bankrupt just yet. I’m starting to think that the old gambling adage is right: the house always wins. But I eventually pop over $100 and I’m starting to see some return. Then I’m over $200, $300, and eventually $400. Then we go on the first Fight Island card. We have two fights, Liana Jojua versus Diana Belbita and Taila Santos versus Molly McCann. With McCann and Belbita being the favorites and with my recent success, I wasn’t particularly worried. Then Jojua upset Belbita and I began to panic a bit. Sure enough, my worst nightmare came true, Santos beat Molly McCann and I went bankrupt.
Now down to no money, I could do like any self respecting adult would do and wash my hands of this experiment and learn my lesson. But we’re taking gambling here and any self respecting gambler knows that all it takes is one good hit and you’re way up. So, instead of releasing this article early, I re-up for Fight Island 2. But it was a card with one woman fight so I decided to play some catch up and put up $100. Luckily, Lipski got the kneebar over Luana Carolina and I survived. But it wouldn’t last long. Three fight cards later, Jennifer Maia upsets Katlyn Chookagian and I’m down to zero again.
Remember though, gambling mentality, so I really-up again, now being in the hole $275. UFC Vegas 6 and UFC 252 go off with no problem and BANG, I’m bankrupt again! I decide it’s not worth it anymore and almost quit, I’ve lost enough money. But I decide, one last ride. Re-up, one hundred more dollars.
It’s UFC Vegas 8 and if I go bankrupt again, I’m pulling the plug. Viana beats Witmire, and I’m one fight away from being done. And then, Grasso gets her win and I’m on to the next week. Every week is like this until a favorite wins a fight. I’m on edge.
Finishing the Year Strong-ish
Then I start seeing some returns. I’m up over $200 again, but overall, I’m in the hole $375. I get up over $400 and I feel like I should cash out. Instead, I keep going for science. It’s only one fight this week: Xiaonan Yan and Claudia Gadelha. Yan is the favorite and I like her a lot, I know she won’t let me down. And guess what! She doesn’t. My $463 bet paid me out $708, over $300 in profit. I should cash out. But noooooo….I’m going to get over $1000.
That $700 starts whittling away card by card but I’m not washed yet. It’s now UFC Vegas 17. Two women’s fights and I can end this misery by only losing $25 should Gillian Robertson and Sijara Eubanks win their fight.
First fight up: Robertson-Santos. This fight is near even for both and Robertson closes as technically the favorite. Gillian is great, but man, does Santos have the experience edge. I almost cheat and place a bet on Santos, but I cannot do that, it wouldn’t be very scientific of me. Should have though, screw science, I’m about the money. Santos dominates Robertson on the ground all night. So now I move on to the final women’s fight of the year, aiming to only lose my dignity and $175 in this experiment.
Who do I have to rely on to save my year? None other than 6-5 Sijara Eubanks who takes on 14-5 PANNIE KIANZAD. I am totally cooked. My gut was right, Kianzad was good money as a slight underdog but this stupid science experiment got me hooked and I couldn’t change the course of this ship now, I’ve come too far. I stand in my living room, hands on my head, as Bruce Buffer announces, “And the winner by unanimous decision.” The pause seems like an eternity, I know Sarj lost, but I am still hoping for a miracle. “Pannie Banzai Kianzad!” I’m now broke again. No more fights to work with.
Moral to the story: never bet against the house, even when betting with the house.
If you’d like to see the data, I’ve compiled it in a spreadsheet below, as a picture now, for you to fact check. There’s also a nifty line graft showing you the path my money goes from $700 to zero! Enjoy my misery!
Also, stay tuned next year, as I release my new article: MMA Mathematics: Betting on All UFC Favorites in 2021