Over here in the UK our love of Football has made us accustomed to Brazilian supporters. Their festival-style flamboyance and love of “joga bonito” – the beautiful game – makes them some of the most beloved and least threatening of all international football fans.
This playfulness does not extend to the Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts fans however… Wednesday 9th October sees UFC Fight Night 29 – Maia vs Shields come to us all the way across the Atlantic from Sao Paulo, Brazil and you can be sure to see the other side of Brazilian sporting support. Throughout fights which take place in Brazil the fans are heard shrieking a chorus of "Vai morrer! Vai morrer!" (“you’re going to die”) at the foreign opponents.
While this may seem like a mere piece of trivia it has a huge impact on the betting landscape for a UFC event. 60% of all UFC fights will go to the judges’ scorecards and, regardless of skill or experience, any judge is more likely to lean towards the fighter who sends the stadium wild with excitement every time he lands any old strike.
With this in mind, I believe that the betting value lies in the following plays, a fairly-safe medium stake accumulator and a lower risk outright pick:
Demian Maia vs Jakes Shields Betting Tips
At 1/3 outright, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Demian Maia may seem to be overvalued. However, I believe this price is still very good for the 170-pounder as he has been red hot ever since making the drop from 185. Sporting probably the best submission-game in the entire UFC, Maia also outclasses Shields on the feet with his much improved striking arsenal. These advantages over the American, who looked dire in his last fight winning a controversial split-decision, mean that he wins 90% of the time – that 1/3 doesn’t look so steep now after all. I recommend putting it in a 3-way acca with these 2 next picks. If you’re looking for a bit more juice, Maia via points @ 2/1 with Bet365 is looking like a good shot.
Thiago Silva vs Matt Hamill Betting Tips
No: the PSG Centre Back hasn’t made a move to MMA! This light-heavyweight clash is similar to the last match-up where I side with the bookie’s favourite who is also a Brazilian. Thiago Silva is offered at the same value as Maia at 1/3 but I have to say he is also a safe pick for our accumulator. Silva has vicious, heavy-handed boxing which will really test the chin of Matt ‘The Hammer’ Hamill. From what I have researched, at the age of 36 Hamill has had to make his fight career a part-time pursuit while he makes more consistent money in other ways. Silva however is a full-time pro with a mean spirit. The Brazilians only career loses have come from best-in-the-business Rashad Evans, No 1-contender Gustaffasen and Lyoto Machida. With the fanatic Brazilian support driving him forward I don’t believe this winning record will end for Silva – add him to the 3-way acca at 1/3 with William Hill.
Mike Pierce vs Rouisimar Palhares Betting Tips
To break my trend of backing all of the Brazilians, I believe in this match-up the American Mike Pierce should have his hand raised; most likely via a stomach-churning knockout. The maths is fairly simple – put a fighter with a confirmed soft chin in a cage and add a ruthless knockout-artist… Pierce is one of the most underrated fighters in the Welterweight division. Though he finds himself being a 1/3 favourite against Palhares, this is because the UFC keep giving him bottom-feeders. He should be given a fight against a ranked opponent. One of Pierce’s most recent fights was a narrow split-decision loss to Jonny Hendricks, a man who is now ranked no2 in the Welterweight division. Chuck Pierce into the 3-way acca with all 3 legs at 1/3.
UFC Betting Tips Tonight
3-fold on Demian Maia, Thiago Silva and Pierce at 6/4 with William Hill.
If you want to add further juice to this accumulator, Ildemar Alcantara outclasses his lower-level opponent and you can get him for 1/4.
Erick Silva vs Dong Hyun Kim Betting Tip
I’ve made a big deal about the importance of the home crowd in my picks. However this can work the other way with bookies overvaluing certain fighters just because they find themselves fighting in Brazil. I believe this is the case with Dong Hyun Kim who finds himself as the 11/5 underdog. I believe if this fight were happening anywhere else both fighters would be being offered much closer to even money. Indeed Kim has a better record than Silva with fights against stiffer competition (including a big win over Silva’s mentor Paulo Thiago). I wouldn’t recommend betting the house on Kim but a small risk flutter could pay dividends at 11/5. As long as the accumulator cashes in you should still be up regardless of how this co-main event transpires.
Recommended play Dong Hyun Kim @ 11/5 with Sky Bet
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