–> Moose’s Note: After receiving a rash of shit on calculation of ROI, this Case Study was edited to omit those erroneous calculations. I’m not too big to admit my mistakes… now piss off.

As of Oct 15, 2009, year-to-date, there have been 15 UFC events. The majority of the UFC events have been what I consider “real” UFC cards – those commonly shown on Pay-Per-View consisting of the most well-known names in the organization, however, there have been a smattering of UFC Fight Nights and The Ultimate Fighter events commonly featuring up-and-coming fighters or those looking to make the permanent leap to the Pay-Per-View cards. Of the 15 events, all had a main event usually reflected in the name of the event (ex. UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira). Some events even featured a “co-main event”, however, in cases like this, it was usually fairly obvious which of the two co-main events was the more important fight – or what I consider the true main event.

Taking all that into consideration, the following reflects the results of the main event in each of the 15 UFC events so far this year. A quick look at the results reveals something quite interesting to the MMA gambler – the favorite won 13 of the 15 fights. Wow… that’s a significant trend! Using the published lines at fight time, I did some quick analysis of a common MMA gambling technique – betting on all favorites or betting on all underdogs. The majority of the betting public usually bets on favorites in any sport – not just MMA, so the favorite winning 13 of 15 fights in any context is a blow to Vegas or online sportsbooks. In the analysis below, blindly betting $100 on the favorite in each UFC main event fight would have resulted in total winnings of $438.26. Not too shabby. Conversely, blindly betting $100 on the underdog in each UFC main event fights would have resulted in a total loss of $1025 – a catastrophic loss. While past performance is no guarantee of future results, the trend here is that this year’s UFC main event favorites win frequently. As always, the numbers never lie.

By the Numbers:
15 fights total – 13 favorites won, 2 underdogs won
–> $100 wagered on the favorite in each UFC Main Event fight would have resulted in winning $438.26 total
–> $100 wagered on the underdog in each UFC Main Event fight would have resulted in losing $1025 total

Event: Sep 19, 2009 – UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort
Main Event: Vitor Belfort (-110) def. Rich Franklin (-120) via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1, 3:02
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Franklin) Result: Loses $100
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Belfort) Result: Wins $110

Event: Sep 16, 2009 – UFC Fight Night 19: Diaz vs. Guillard
Main Event: Nate Diaz (-265) def. Melvin Guillard (+205) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) – Round 2, 2:13
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Diaz) Result: Wins $37.74
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Guillard) Result: Loses $100

Event: Aug 29, 2009 – UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira
Main Event: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+160) def. Randy Couture (-185) via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Couture) Result: Loses $100
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Nogueira) Result: Wins $165

Event: Aug 08, 2009 – UFC 101: Declaration
Main Event: B.J. Penn (-240) def. Kenny Florian (+220) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 4, 3:54
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Penn) Result: Wins $41.67
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Florian) Result: Loses $100

Event: Jul 11, 2009 – UFC 100
Main Event: Brock Lesnar (-230) def Frank Mir (+210) via KO (Punches) – Round 2, 1:48
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Lesnar) Result: Wins $43.48
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Mir) Result: Loses $100

Event: Jun 20, 2009 – The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale
Main Event: Diego Sanchez (-300) def. Clay Guida (-240) via Split Decision Split Decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Sanchez) Result: Wins $33.33
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Guida) Result: Loses $100

Event: Jun 13, 2009 – UFC 99: Franklin vs. Silva
Main Event: Rich Franklin (-140) def. Wanderlei Silva (+120) via Unanimous Decision
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Franklin) Result: Wins $71.43
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Silva) Result: Loses $100

Event: May 23, 2009 – UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida
Main Event: Lyoto Machida (-200) def. Rashad Evans (+170) via TKO (Punches) – Round 2, 3:57
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Machida) Result: Wins $50.00
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Evans) Result: Loses $100

Event: Apr 18, 2009 – UFC 97: Redemption
Main Event: Anderson Silva (-500) def. Thales Leites (+400) via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 50-46)
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Silva) Result: Wins $20.00
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Leites) Result: Loses $100

Event: Apr 01, 2009 – UFC Fight Night 18: Condit vs. Kampmann
Main Event: Martin Kampmann (-125) def. Carlos Condit (+105) via Split Decision
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Kampmann) Result: Wins $80.00
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Condit) Result: Loses $100

Event: Mar 07, 2009 – UFC 96: Jackson vs. Jardine
Main Event: Quinton Jackson (-305) def. Keith Jardine (+275) via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Jackson) Result: Wins $32.79
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Jardine) Result: Loses $100

Event: Feb 21, 2009 – UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson
Main Event: Diego Sanchez (-320) def. Joe Stevenson (+260) via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Sanchez) Result: Wins $31.25
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Stevenson) Result: Loses $100

Event: Feb 07, 2009 – UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Stephens
Main Event: Joe Lauzon (-180) def. Jeremy Stephens (+150) via Submission (Armbar) – Round 2, 4:43
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Lauzon) Result: Wins $55.56
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Stephens) Result: Loses $100

Event: Jan 31, 2009 – UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn II
Main Event: Georges St. Pierre (-185) def. B.J. Penn (+160) via TKO (Corner Stoppage) – Round 4, 5:00
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (St. Pierre) Result: Wins $54.05
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Penn) Result: Loses $100

Event: Jan 17, 2009 – UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson
Main Event: Dan Henderson (-115) def. Rich Franklin (-105) via Split Decision
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Favorite (Henderson) Result: Wins $86.96
–> Betting $100 on Main Event Underdog (Franklin) Result: Loses $100

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