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UFC Fight Island Betting Trends

Though the fights aren’t exactly on the beach with the water in the background as some assumed or wished for, the allure is still intriguing, and I have dived into the numbers to pick out the best UFC Fight Island betting trends.

With the coronavirus leading to travel restrictions in many countries, the UFC had to get innovative by building a venue on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, with the site being coined “Fight Island.”

The UFC has many fighters across the globe, including seven champions who live outside of the U.S. Some of them have been struggling to enter America with the travel restrictions and the Flash Forum was built to get the international fighters some bouts.

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The UFC has held 10 events at Fight Island, including three pay-per-views. The promotion has begun its 2021 schedule from Abu Dhabi, with three cards in one week. We want to help you cash in with the UFC Fight Island betting trends through the 10 previous cards.

Unfamiliar with betting on MMA? Don’t worry, we have you covered with a fantastic UFC Betting Guide and all kinds of UFC Fight News to help you get in the action.

Favorites Dominating The Fight Island Betting Trends

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing favorites win at a higher rate in empty arenas than when there was a crowd. In the 34 events with no fans in the stands, favorites have won 65.9 percent of the bouts. In the seven events in 2020 with audiences, the chalk won 60 percent of the fights.

This trend has held true on Fight Island but at a higher rate. There have been 132 fights already in Abu Dhabi; of the 115 fights with a clear favorite and victor – two had pick’em odds and two ended in a draw – the chalk won 86 of the bouts for a 67.2 percent clip.

In the three PPVs – UFC 251, UFC 253 and UFC 254 – the favorites went 26-8 with five of the six title faves walking away with the strap. Only Jan Blachowicz won the championship as an underdog vs Dominick Reyes.

UFC Fight Island Betting Trends: Favorites vs Underdogs

Favorites Underdogs Favorites Winning Percentage
86 42 67.2%

Fighters Are Taking Their Time On Fight Island

Another Fight Island betting trend may be useful in round betting or making wagers on fights to go the distance. Odds Shark’s own Gilles Gallant was having a time betting on “fight to not go the distance” while the UFC was at home base in the Apex Performance Center, which has a smaller cage that resulted in more action.

The best play-by-play man in the game, Jon Anik, informed the public via Twitter that the Apex cage was 30.5 percent smaller than the cage you see on Fight Island.

For this reason, we have seen a lot more fights go OVER 1.5 rounds, which is the typical line, or go the distance. Of the 132 fights on Fight Island, 87 have gone OVER 1.5 rounds and 71 have gone the distance – that is 53.8 percent going to the judges’ scorecards. For perspective, at the Apex facility, 45.2 percent of the fights went the full length.

UFC Fight Island Betting Trends: Finishes vs Decisions

Finishes Decisions Decision Percentage
60 71 53.8

Submissions or Knockouts? Does One Have An Edge On Fight Island?

In 2020, with 455 total fights, there were 126 knockouts and 73 submissions, giving a slight edge in the standup compared to the jiu-jitsu game. This is not an aberration as over the past six years, there have been more knockouts than submissions – around the 60 percent range that we saw last year.

At the start of Fight Island, we were actually seeing more submissions than knockouts. However, with six knockouts to no submissions in UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs Sandhagen, the T/KOs jumped out to the lead and remain there at 37-23.

At UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs Figueiredo 2, there were five submission wins, tying UFC Fight Night: Waterson vs Hill for the most submissions on a card in 2020.

UFC Fight Island: Knockouts vs Submissions

Knockouts Submissions Total Number Of Fights
37 23 132