Yeah it’s been a while, but there’s plenty of resources on my blogroll if you want more serious coverage. I want to help those of you who may be forced to pick a fight at an event viewing party, at a bar, a pick ’em league, or perhaps this will help if you have money on the line. That said, this isn’t designed for the serious fight gambler or any gambler actually. Please take that as my disclaimer that I’m not responsible if you find yourself broke.
Most serious fans have probably seen these rules posted before, and I’m not taking any credit for any of these ideas.
First, some classic rules if you have some contests where you are looking for a deciding factor:
-bet on wrestlers
-bet on Russians
-bet against bad tattoos and bad haircuts
-physique really isn’t an indicator unless you’re seeing a guy start to look sloppy or see a guy making huge improvements
-the amount of weight cut, size, and reach do matter. Mike Brown is a big featherweight and knows how to use his physicality and technical prowess to create problems for other fighters.
It’s always prudent to look for guys with quality experience tied against competition from the top organizations: UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Pride, DREAM, Sengoku, Shooto, DEEP, Bellator, etc. Competition against other recognizable names gauge a fighters level.
Look for guys that train with serious camps. There are plenty of mcdojos out there so look for guys that train with elite competitors such as: American Top Team, Black House, Xtreme Couture, Nova Uniao, Brazilian Top Team, Jackson’s MMA, etc.
Look for guys who have a specialty. Guys who are world class at grappling (Demian Maia, Jake Shields, Dan Henderson) tend to experience success. Guys who specialize in striking ( Cro Cop, Anderson Silva, Thiago Alves) also experience success. The point is that you need to be good at something.
Specialization aside, look for people who can compete in all areas, and are proficient in blending techniques through transition. Fighters who can use striking to setup up a takedown, ground and pound to setup a guard pass or submission, or effectively feint takedowns to achieve the clinch are dangerous and tend to be good picks. Examples include Fedor, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Miguel Torres, etc.
Look at how a fighter can win. Fedor or Anderson Silva can win with dominant striking or grappling. Guys who can stand up and bang, but don’t have any ground weapons may be at a disadvantage against a guy who can strike and grapple. Multiple areas of proficiency give a fighter a place to go if their inital gameplan doesn’t work. Torres had difficulty with Mizugaki’s striking in the pocket, but was able to adapt and move to the clinch and take control of the fight. Being able to finish from anywhere just increases percentages.
Look for mismatches. Cheick Kongo was favored by some odds makers against Cain Velazquez, but is known to be most vulnerable on the ground. What is Velazquez’s strength? Why he was an All American wrestler, and in that fight, Velazquez is wobbled standing numerous times, but always gets the fight to the ground. Demian Maia submitting guys with submission vulnerabilities is another prime example.
Got more ideas, let me know….