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Old 10-14-2007, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can you handicap a fighter? How?

I am thinking about entering the world of betting.When I was a math major, my professor was one of the world's leading authorities on the computer handicapping of horses.
I was not interested in his expertise along those lines at the time, although I understand that his expertise proved to be very rewarding financially.
I believe that what he did was assign statistical weights to such things as the speed of the horse, the number of races the horse had won, the trainer, the jockey, etc.
I am wondering if the same thing has been done for fighters?
Has anyone ever taken the statistics on fighters and use these statistics to predict who will win?
If they have, how successful have they been?
Thinking about it,
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All i gotta say is Matt Serra vs GSP who in the hell can honestly say they saw that coming?

Used that example because no matter how something looks on paper and all that anything can happen in mma Couture has proved that multiple times as well.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For sure than can be done with MMA. There are TONNES of upsets in Horse Racing (Thorobread & Harness). Those would be exceptions and there is always "variance". There is some guy, somewhere who has it figured out and is doing well.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sure it could be done, but you would have to compare it more to football than horse racing or even boxing. Sometimes the moods of these fighters days before the fight determines how well they will do. You have to figure if that fighter has been caught abusing substances, what their diet it, if they were keeping their cardio up. Other factors like if they are a ground guy and now are obsessed with ko's a la Matt Hughes. I mean MMA is so much emotion and attitude that it really adds up for some big upsets. Look at Griffen, he decided that he was not going to be some high ranking fighters fodder. Granted he may not have been in the best shape, but dammit if Griffen didn't go like no tomorrow. Same for Sylvia against Couture. I still think part of the reason we didn't see Sylvia throw any big bombs (not that I thought he would have won anyways) is because he was still upset by the "betrayl" of Couture if you will.

Long story short, could it be done? Yes. But the accuracy would be as high as the bandwagon jumping on this forum.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You could cut his hand off or something?...









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Old 10-15-2007, 12:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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lol

honestly i dont think you can really predict anything at all,too much uncertainty%.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Statistical analysis is all just calculation. It's close but not perfect. There are some variables we can't take into account, but statistical analysis and stylistic analysis are just basic terms for what guys like Couture do when they're picking fights. Most of us still didn't see Serra KOing GSP coming, or Gonzaga LHKing CroCop, but some guys run as high as 90% on their betting.

There are alot of ways to do it. One is to look strictly at paper, and that works for some guys. They look at statistics like wins and losses in a certain organizations, under certain rules, against certain types of opponents. They analyze style matchups by looking at wins and losses not just in terms of basics, but also in terms of round, type (decision, submission, KO, stoppage), timing (end of the round, right off the bat, more scattered).

The paper guys do pretty well when they look at details, like the ways guys lose as well as the ways that guys win. That's really the key.

I'm a style matchup guy. If I'm looking to bet on a fighter (whether it's money or pride), I want to watch tape on both of the guys, look for mistakes they make habitually, which of their opponents mistakes are they good at taking advantage of, the quality of coaching, setups in the transition game, distance control, footwork (standing and on the ground) and other little things. It's the details, I've been learning recently, that can really change the results of a fight.

That said, I don't ignore paper all together. I definitely pay some attention to stats as well as fun facts. For instance, I knew that Anderson Silva would beat Travis Lutter on the ground because he had superior training in BJJ under Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who knows how to practically apply Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA.

Paying attention to all of the nuances makes it alot more difficult than just some system. I'm sure that you could use an algorithm to handicap, but why? You'll miss things and make mistakes, just like everybody else. That's what makes the sport (and sports in general) exciting.

Find your own damn methodology.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i dont think it would be anywhere near 90%.. heres why.

on paper you get tons of fights where the fighters have identical or near identical records, off the top of my head Fitch and Sanchez for instance. strickly on paper it would be really hard to say.

other times you get huges upsets. serra, gonzaga, couture

then guys that seem unstoppable until they fizzle. belfort comes to mind.

all that just says to me that any cash value associated with stat analysis of big league mma is basically guessing, a guy with good mma knowledge would be able to do the same or better without any analysis of fighter data.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMAmatt
i dont think it would be anywhere near 90%.. heres why.

on paper you get tons of fights where the fighters have identical or near identical records, off the top of my head Fitch and Sanchez for instance. strickly on paper it would be really hard to say.

other times you get huges upsets. serra, gonzaga, couture

then guys that seem unstoppable until they fizzle. belfort comes to mind.

all that just says to me that any cash value associated with stat analysis of big league mma is basically guessing, a guy with good mma knowledge would be able to do the same or better without any analysis of fighter data.
This is where you're wrong. Fitch vs. Sanchez wasn't a similar matchup on paper, and the proof is that you're not looking at the little things. While that's a match that somepaper gamblers lost (I bet on Fitch, but mostly because I've trained with him and figured he'd have a psychological edge on Sanchez as much as a technical edge), it's because they only looked at Sanchez coming back from his first loss, while Fitch has lost a few times before.

Here are a few of the factors that the paper betters I know looked at when analyzing the fight:

Streaking (Sanchez is -1, Sanchez is +5 in the Octagon)

Uncharted water factor (Sanchez is coming back from his first loss, making his bet a little bit shaky, while Fitch has beaten a half dozen guys substantially)

Wrestler matchup (Diego's last loss was to a wrestler, which is where Fitch's strengths have been)

There are some more, but I wasn't looking at the fight that way, so I don't know.

You also have to count all of the stepping stone matchups. While alot of those have been wierd this year, over the long term, the majority of fight fans pick winners, because alot of winners are easy to pick. High profile matchups are the ones designed to not do that, but all of the other ones (and there are alot more others ones, are the exact opposite).

So many matchups are easy to pick that even when I have a pretty bad night, I'm still going 6 for 9 and dropping the high profile matchups or one undercard. If I go 9 for 9, that's a good night, but long term, I'm about 93 percent right now.

Is MMA unpredictable? Yes, that's why we love the sport. But there are still ways of guessing within a smaller margin of error, and alot of fans are getting better and better at it, myself included.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i think that if you studied with this guy, and understand his stuff, try and either come up with something and present it to us, or teach us about it and see what the members hear can come up with!!!

good little research project...
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