UFC 152: How the Oddsmakers Got It All Wrong

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

September 22, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Demetrious Johnson takes down Joseph Benavidez in the flyweight championship during UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

UFC 152 was an underdog's paradise.

Eight of the 12 fights ended up in upsets. At least by the oddmakers' lines.

Jon Jones and Michael Bisping were able to hold court, but both had their scares as well. Vitor Belfort nearly ended the reign of the dominant champion in the first round, and Brian Stann put up a tough test for Bisping.

MMA continues to be a hard fight to place an accurate line on. With four-ounce gloves, anything can happen inside the Octagon.


Kyle Noke vs. Charlie Brenneman

Betting Odds: Brenneman (-235) over Noke (+185) at www.bovada.lv

Noke made short work of Brenneman and made some fans pretty good coin. A couple good punches, and it was all over for Brenneman.


Mitch Gagnon vs. Walel Watson

Betting Odds: Watson (-190) over Gagnon (+155) at www.bovada.lv

Another quick preliminary fight. Watson sunk in the rear naked choke and provided the second upset of the night. Albeit a mild upset.


Marcus Brimage vs. Jimy Hettes

Betting Odds: Hettes (-500) over Brimage (+350) at www.bovada.lv

The biggest upset of the night.

Brimage was always a live dog. He has shown his abilities since he was on The Ultimate Fighter, and coming in at +350 was a bit of an injustice.

The featherweight took it to Hettes and picked up a unanimous decision victory over the hot prospect.


Sean Pierson vs. Lance Benoist

Betting Odds: Benoist (-210) over Pierson (+170) at www.bovada.lv

Pierson outpointed Benoist for the decision upset on the FX broadcast. This was one of the more questionable lines of the night.

Pierson and Benoist have a common UFC victory over Matt Riddle, but beyond that, it was Pierson who held the advantages on paper. A longer UFC tenure, fighting against better competition and had momentum coming off a victory.

A close fight that should have been a pick 'em ended up as good value for bettors.


TJ Grant vs. Evan Dunham

Betting Odds: Dunham (-150) over Grant (+120) at www.bovada.lv

Grant, a slight underdog, managed to topple one of the biggest prospects at lightweight to keep his 155-pound record unblemished.

The victory instantly puts Grant on the list of fighters to watch in the lightweight division.


Vinny Magalhaes vs. Igor Pokrajac

Betting Odds: Pokrajac (-170) over Magalhaes (+140) at www.bovada.lv

The former The Ultimate Fighter Finale participant made his UFC return to a slick armbar finish over Pokrajac.

Pokrajac made the mistake of taking the fight where Magalhaes had the biggest advantage. By taking him down to the mat, he swung the odds firmly in to Magalhaes' favor and gave a few people a nice addition to their bank accounts.

Most would have thought he would keep it standing, but a bad decision is a solid one for those who saw value in Magalhaes.


Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira

Betting Odds: Oliveira (-250) over Swanson (+195) at www.bovada.lv

Swanson is now a title contender at featherweight.

Both individuals were seeking their third consecutive wins and were coming off impressive performances, and it would be Swanson who kept that streak going.

The powerful featherweight clubbed his way past Oliveira and moves forward in his quest to fight for the championship.

The oddsmakers' mistake was not having Swanson as the underdog, but having him at nearly 2:1 after his string of knockouts. The line should have been much closer entering the evening.


Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez

Betting Odds: Benavidez (-265) over Johnson (+205) at www.bovada.lv

Mighty Mouse being a 2:1 underdog was some of the best value on the entire card. A poor choice from the oddsmakers.

Yes, Benavidez was very impressive in the semifinals, but Johnson beat one of the very best flyweights over the course of two fights in Ian McCall. Benavidez had to sit on the sidelines while they competed and stayed active.

When a fight is this close, it is baffling to see Johnson sitting at +205 on the books. However, for the degenerate gamblers out there, it makes for enticing bets that can pay off in a big way.