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UFC: Do Brazilians Fare Better On Home Soil?

Leo Santos, Demian Maia and Erick Silva pose for a photo with the Brazilian flag

Brazil has been integral to the growth of mixed martial arts. Maybe no other country has supplied the world with as many important fighters or combat styles. Which means, of course, the biggest company in the MMA landscape, the UFC, pays plenty of respect to Brazil with huge events held in the nation.

The sport of MMA is a phenomenon in Brazil. And with such a fervent crowd cheering on their native fighters, one must wonder: do Brazilian fighters rise to the occasion or fold under the pressure?

The UFC has held 30 events in Brazil with 271 fights pitting homegrown talent against a foreigner. In those bouts, the Brazilian fighters have gone 177-94 SU – that’s a 65.3 percent victory rate.

The UFC has held seven events in Brazil since the start of 2016. Of the 37 undercard fights in that span to feature a Brazilian vs a non-Brazilian, the local fighters have gone 28-9.

Obviously, there are a lot of factors that play into the above numbers. Foreign fighters are flying to a country far from their own in front of hostile crowds. And to be quite frank, a lot of these fighters are booked to lose. The UFC doesn’t want to go into a business hotbed like Brazil and book all of their national fighters in tough matches. Don’t get me wrong, when you get to the main card, the fights are usually booked pretty tight but when you get to the curtain jerker, you want to get the home fans excited for the night ahead.

Let’s take recent history as an example. The UFC has held seven events in Brazil since the start of 2016. Of the 37 undercard fights in that span to feature a Brazilian vs a non-Brazilian, the local fighters have gone 28-9 (75.7 percent).

A lot of these fighters are going to be laying plenty of chalk. It’s just the nature of the beast but if you had bet $100 on each of the above 37 fights, you would be up $1,011.40. That’s not the sexiest way to bet, I know, but of those 28 winners only seven were plus-money underdogs and only two were larger than +125.

All in all, Brazilian fighters tend to win in Brazil. It shouldn’t be that much of a shock, all things considered. Nonetheless, we now know for sure that Brazilian fighters step up in front of their family and friends. 

*All calculations based on betting lines as of May 7, 2018.

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