When it comes to MMA betting, it’s always good to go with a winner that you can rely on no matter what the odds. They don’t necessarily have to be champions, just fighters on the rise who will likely steamroll the competition on their way to the top. And then there are fighters who are simply too risky to bet on.
It should come as no surprise the man many consider the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time would top this list. But it’s not so much about how good he is, it’s the lack of quality competition that would present a challenge to the fighter known as “Bones.’
He’s showed a lack of interest in moving up to heavyweight, which leaves Jones few opponents who would have a reasonable chance of unseating him as champion. Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz all sit atop the 205-pound rankings. None of these individuals would pose much of a threat to Jones.
Unless he moves up to heavyweight, there are very few challenges for Jon Jones and that cements him as arguably the safest bet in all of MMA.
He’s undefeated and has only lost one round in his MMA career to Conor McGregor. There is no fighter as dominant as The Eagle in the UFC and there has yet to be an opponent who has been able to exploit a weakness in the Russian.
His latest outing was yet another exhibition in pure dominance as he ran roughshod over Dustin Poirier to unify the UFC lightweight championship. Once again, Khabib used his superior grappling to control every aspect of the fight before submitting Poirier in the third round.
If you look into the crystal ball, there are few who would be able to offset Khabib in the grappling department and even less that could take a round from him. Looking at the landscape of the division, fights with Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and a potential rematch with Conor McGregor don’t necessarily equate to fights that Nurmagomedov can or will lose. Instead, they appear to be fights that will only bolster his resume and eventually have him in the conversation as greatest mixed martial artist practitioner of all time.
Simply put, few are equipped to even give Nurmagomedov a challenge. No reason to bet against him.
When you look at the dominant forces in a division, Valentina Shevchenko serves as the complete package and is unmatched in the division.
It’s not even close.
Since moving down from women’s bantamweight, Shevchenko has been virtually untouchable. Already a well-rounded fighter, Shevchenko no longer has to worry about size being an issue heading into a fight. If you look at the women’s flyweight division, few can come remotely close to Shevchenko’s skillset.
Yes, she’s going to be a prohibitive favorite in every fight she’s in moving forward. But there’s little to no risk that Valentina Shevchenko will be defeated.
The division is just too volatile to feel comfortable betting on, unless it is the under. For the most part, every single heavyweight is capable of scoring a knockout at any given moment. Some are safer bets than others, but the best will eventually clash and one punch in those tiny gloves will change everything. The fact that Stipe Miocic is the longest reigning champion in heavyweight division history with three consecutive title defenses tells you all you need to know about this division.
Pick your spots but never feel safe.
He may be the “champ champ’ and sitting pretty high on the pound for pound list, but Cejudo extending his run as a two-division champion is far from certain. Remember, Cejudo lost to Joseph Benavidez a little over two years ago and barely got past Demetrious Johnson. Of course, he’s been exceptional. But he’s also ambitious with ideas of going after a third would title in another weight class.
All this moving around in weight could eventually catch up with him should he try his hand at featherweight, where Max Holloway would certainly welcome the challenge. There’s also Benavidez at flyweight and a trio of opponents in Aljamain Sterling, Cory Sandhagen and Petr Yan who could all give him problems.
Eventually, he’s going to bite off more than he can chew.