Angela Hill has been thrust into the spotlight for Saturday’s card in Vegas. Is Michelle Waterson the better UFC pick as a slight underdog?
Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill
UFC Fight Night 177
Saturday 12th September 2020 at UFC APEX
Some people – even some very sharp people – never bet on favorites. It’s easier in general to find value with underdogs; in theory, they’re the ones being overlooked by the betting public. The theory looks even better when the favorite in question has been hyped way too much. Put them together, and voilà. Combat sports aren’t always kind to underdogs, though. It’s just you versus your opponent – no supporting cast to save the day, nowhere to hide your weaknesses.
Still, we might have the right formula this Saturday when Michelle Waterson enters the Octagon as a +103 dog at Heritage for her main event matchup with Angela Hill. Let’s make sure Waterson has a viable path to victory before we make our UFC picks.
Daves I Know
Actually, before we even do that, let’s remember what our colleague DaveBets discovered about underdogs: The value, at least since 2013, has been with fighters between +150 and +186. Faves between –233 and –400 have been profitable, too. Saturday’s tilt doesn’t fall into either of those ranges. This is still an intriguing matchup that deserves our attention. It was supposed to be the co-main for Fight Night 177, but on September 3, the bout between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira had to be called off when Teixeira tested positive for the coronavirus. That leaves us with two fighters who have had mixed results in the Women’s Strawweight division. Hill (12-8 lifetime, 7-8 UFC) is having an unexpected late-career renaissance, winning three of her last four; Waterson (17-8 lifetime, 5-4 UFC) has lost back-to-back fights, but has competed against much tougher competition overall. Not the greatest main event in UFC history.
And yet one of the more interesting. This Saturday, Hill will become the first Black woman to headline a UFC event, so that’s quite understandably where the publicity for this fight has been focused. A win here would be a win for the Black Lives Matter movement. A lot of people want to see this happen, and generally speaking, people bet on the outcomes they want to see. Not that a loss to Waterson should be considered a setback. These are two former Invicta FC champions, but Hill’s recent success in the Octagon has come against the likes of Hannah Cifers and Loma Lookboonmee, while Waterson’s losses were against former UFC Strawweight champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza – the latter by split decision at UFC 249.
Which is why we’re looking elsewhere on the UFC odds board. There may be some value on Waterson as the slight underdog, but she’s been going through some undisclosed personal issues that forced this matchup to be delayed for three weeks. So we’re turning to the prop market at BetOnline, where Saturday’s fight is –280 to go to the judges’ score cards. Each of Waterson’s last six fights went the distance, including her five-round fight against Jedrzejczyk; four of Hill’s last six fights, and 11 of her last 14, have ended the same way. It’s a Women’s Strawweight matchup. It is what it is.