It’s been five years since the UFC debuted the flyweight division. From the moment he won the four-man tournament final over Joseph Benavidez, the flyweight division has been ruled by one man, Demetrious Johnson, of whom time and time again, we hear is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.
And yet, as is often noted, fan interest remains minimal. Johnson has repeatedly flopped on pay-per-view, and his recent win over Tim Elliott headlined a TUF Finale in front of 2,000 or so fans at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s been easy to fixate on DJ’s popularity woes, but that particular talking point is part of a bigger picture issues for the whole of the division, the truth remains that not many people pay much attention to the flyweight division.
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.
From a different perspective, the one we really care about, the 125 lbs division has offered a prime spot for bettors. Since the start of 2016, there have been 27 flyweight bouts to date. This is the second-fewest fights in any division. 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 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 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.
Take the safer route to win big on the UFC’s little guys, sign up at Heritagesports