As Ultimate Fighting Championship approaches its 200th pay-per-view event next week, it’s time to sit back and reflect. MMAOddsBreaker.com keeps its readers informed on all things betting, so what fighters, if you bet them every time they ever competed, would have netted you the most profit overall? MMAOddsBreaker writer and Fightnomics analyst Reed Kuhn crunched the numbers, assuming a base value of a $100 bet (or a bet to win $100) over every fight which had betting odds in a fighter’s career and the top answers shouldn’t be too surprising:
Frankie Edgar’s back-to-back victories over BJ Penn were two of the biggest upsets in UFC title fight history, the first fight in particular, and Edgar has consistently come through as an underdog throughout his storied career. Edgar is joined by Michael Bisping, who has pulled off a pair of huge upsets in his most recent bouts to become the UFC Middleweight Champion. The above graph includes every bout in a fighter’s career, so how about if we narrow it down to UFC fights only? While Edgar remains the kingpin, one fighter in particular gains a huge boost and that’s former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, who’s four-fight losing streak in between UFC stints is removed from the equation.
One would think all-time greats like Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva would be at the top of the list, but you have to remember that St. Pierre and Silva have rarely, if ever, been underdogs in their careers. Both men had lengthy reigns at the top of the welterweight and middleweight divisions, but you’d have to risk quite a pretty penny to get a $100 profit, so the return on investment, while consistent, wasn’t nearly as profitable overall.