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How Bettors are Winning Big on the UFC's Little Guys

Let’s face it: not many people pay much attention to the flyweight division. Time and time again, we hear hard-core fans tout Demetrious Johnson as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet (and rightfully so) but he is not able to move the needle. The rest of the division is largely filled with aimless fighters who either live in Mighty Mouse’s shadow or need to consider changing weight classes.

However, the 125 lbs division has offered a prime spot for bettors. Since the start of 2016, there have been 29 flyweight bouts to date. This is the second-fewest fights in any division – with only women’s bantamweight offering fewer bouts. And though this is comparably a smaller sample size than higher weight classes, flyweight fights have gone to a decision an astounding 81.5% of the time since the beginning of 2016.

That is easily the highest rate of decisions – or any method of victory, for that matter – of any division in the UFC. Which means that bettors have plenty of opportunities to make a pretty safe bet in a typically overlooked portion of UFC cards.

Books aren’t completely out of the loop on this one, as you can be laying some pretty decent juice on the “fight goes to a decision” prop at times. The highest line since the beginning of 2016 saw two flyweight fights close at -260 to make it to the scorecards. That may sound inexcusable to bettors of other sports, but MMA bettors know that you can be looking at way more chalk when it comes to straight-up betting.

Let's use an easily missed flyweight bout on UFC 210 as an example. That contest opened the card and saw highly touted prospect Magomed Bibulatov close as a -650 favorite against relative unknown Jenel Lausa (+425). As you would expect from that line, Bibulatov won easily. However, the fight went to a decision. You could have gotten the fight to go to a decision at -160 or the OVER of 2.5 rounds at -175.

Of course, the reason this is such a profitable spot for bettors is the sheer size – or lack thereof – of the fighters. When you weigh 125 lbs, you are not likely to pack much power in your hands. Flash KOs are basically non-existent with just two flyweight fights since the start of 2016 ending via knockout. Most of the fighters in the division base their game plan on speed, agility and technical prowess. This makes them an interesting spectacle for dedicated fans, but the casual viewers tend to gloss over the little guys.

The mean closing line for the “fight goes to a decision” prop since the beginning of 2016 is -135. So, for a $100 bet, you would bank an average of $74.07. Is that sexy? Not really. But, if you blindly wagered the “fight goes the distance” prop in every flyweight bout since the start of 2016, you’d be up a healthy $1051.70 as of April 18.

So there’s that. You’re not going to wow anyone with this bet, but it is currently the safest wager you can find in MMA. Take the safer route here and find your risky plays elsewhere.