The Odds Model Is The Best Model and UFC 294 Predictions
The Odds model is now called "WolfTicketsAI" everywhere on the site, is a better performing model than originally reported, and work is being done to add financial returns to the site to better reflect performance.
Mistakes Were Made
In a previous post I explained the reasoning behind building a new model that looked to optimize for betting profitability and reported that it was better than the existing model which leveraged odds information but was focused purely on accuracy(getting a prediction correct).
Unfortunately I had a mistake in the data that was used to evaluate the two models against each other for performance and when all of the predictions were used the profit optimized model was simply not better.
To review the predictions and their performance yourself, download the csv: here.
Making this worse, I built a blended model that leveraged the accuracy of the Profit model for the main card and the Odds model for the undercard as a base. But I forgot the golden rule:
ACCURACY != PROFITABILITY
To fully explore this point for 2022 take a look at the performance of the blended model, returning 25.15% for the year if you placed even bets on each prediction:
If you used the same even betting strategy with the odds based model your returns would have been 29.72%:
Even better returns exists if you were willing to parlay a few predictions.
The blended model is simply worse than the odds model, so it has been removed.
The odds model is now called WolfTicketsAI, the profit and plain models are still shown on the site.
Note: The reason the accuracy figures tend to drop as the scores get higher is: there are fewer predictions of that score or higher, so a wrong bet is more costly to your returns(less of a chance to make up losses).
Updates to WolfTicketsAI:
A few things have already been changed on the site:
- The blended model has been removed as a feature completely.
- The default model on the homepage is now the odds model and has been renamed everywhere to be the WolfTickets.AI prediction.
- The default model on the homepage for recent performance, is now also the odds model.
- The details page for events now starts with the odds model under its new name.
- The results page does the same.
There are even more things on the way:
- Returns on even betting will be reported for each event by model.
- Each event's history page will show the returns by various betting strategies again.
- Each event's predictions detail page will show the fighters to select for various strategies.
- The detailed table for the prediction will expand to include more data on wins/losses by methods as well.
UFC 294 Predictions
I can't wait to see the rematch of Makhachev vs Volkanovski, it should be another example of the best of this sport but here's the predictions for everything to get you ready:
For the full details on each prediction and real time odds, check out WolfTickets.AI
Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski
This lightweight title fight at UFC 284 is a rematch between champion Islam Makhachev and former featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski. The Great challenged Makhachev for the belt in February and lost a close decision, but his relentless pressure fighting style earned him a rematch. Though Volkanovski is moving up a weight class, his recent TKO of Yair Rodriguez shows his capability for a KO win. However, Makhachev's grappling pedigree and win streak present a stiff test. Volkanovski must avoid the Dagestani's takedowns to utilize his technical striking. While an upset is possible, Makhachev remains the heavy favorite according to WolfTicketsAI given his continued dominance since their first fight. This should be a tactical battle between two elite fighters.
Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev
WolfTicketsAI predicts Khamzat Chimaev to defeat Kamaru Usman in their upcoming UFC middleweight bout at UFC 294. This prediction is reasonable based on several factors:
Usman is coming off back-to-back losses to Leon Edwards, including dropping the UFC welterweight title in a stunning 5th round KO. He hasn't fought at middleweight before, so this is a new weight class for the 36-year old.
Chimaev is undefeated at 12-0 in his pro MMA career, with dominant finishes in the UFC over top competition like Gilbert Burns. At 29, he's in his athletic prime and moving back down to middleweight where he's had success.
In terms of recent performance metrics, Chimaev has significant advantages in knockdowns, striking accuracy and impact. He also has never been taken down in his UFC fights, while Usman's takedown defense has slipped recently.
While Usman is the more experienced fighter overall, his late career slide and bout at 185 lbs make Chimaev the safer pick here as an emerging elite fighter still gaining momentum.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker
Ankalaev is the clear favorite going into this light heavyweight matchup, and for good reason. With an 18-1 record and coming off a controversial split draw against Jan Blachowicz for the vacant title, Ankalaev has been on a tear through the 205 lb division. His wrestling, grappling, and power striking have proven extremely difficult to deal with. Walker will be a unique challenge with his 6'6 frame and dangerous kicks, but his 7 UFC losses show inconsistency. WolfTicketsAI is smart to predict Ankalaev here. He was robbed of the belt last time, and will be fiercely determined to make a statement that he is the top contender, leaving Walker starched on the canvas.
Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves
Aliskerov is riding high after a first round KO of Phil Hawes back in May. With 14 wins and just 1 loss, he's proven to be a dangerous striker who can end fights suddenly. Alves on the other hand has struggled as of late, losing 4 of his last 6. While he has more experience than Aliskerov, his downward trajectory indicates that his best days may be behind him. WolfTicketsAI has predicted Aliskerov to get his hand raised in this one. Given Aliskerov's momentum and Alves' recent skid, this seems like a sound prediction. Aliskerov's fight ending power coupled with Alves' deteriorating durability spells trouble for the veteran. Don't be surprised if Aliskerov adds another KO to his highlight reel.
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov
This bantamweight matchup between Said Nurmagomedov and Muin Gafurov pits an established Dagestani veteran against a less experienced Tajik newcomer. Nurmagomedov has compiled an impressive 17-3 record professionally including wins over top contenders like Ricardo Ramos. However, he is coming off a close decision loss to Jonathan Martinez. Gafurov recently lost his UFC debut by decision to John Castaneda, so he'll look to rebound against Nurmagomedov's stifling wrestling. Nurmagomedov likely holds the technical and experience edges, and WolfTicketsAI is predicting him to exploit Gafurov's defensive wrestling holes for a bounce-back victory.
Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev
WolfTicketsAI has predicted Mokaev to reign supreme in his upcoming scrap with Elliott. The 23-year-old phenom is undefeated with 4 dominant wins in the Octagon, exhibiting vicious ground and pound and a nasty guillotine choke. Meanwhile the 36-year-old Elliott's best days appear behind him, with a 3 fight loss streak starting in 2019, and being 2-1 in his last 3 against lower ranked opposition. Elliott's slippery scrambles could frustrate early but Mokaev's relentless pressure and nasty top game should overwhelm as the fight wears on. Expect The Punisher to continue his rampage, notching another W to remain unbeaten.
Abu Azaitar vs. Sedriques Dumas
WolfTicketsAI is predicting Sedriques Dumas to defeat Abu Azaitar in their upcoming middleweight bout. Despite Azaitar's more extensive 14-3 record, he has lost 2 of his last 3 by KO which is concerning given Dumas' power. Dumas is younger at 28 and on a 1 fight win streak after losing his debut. His 0.77 takedown attempts per recent fight and 70% striking accuracy give him the tools to expose Azaitar's poor 25% takedown defense and 44% striking accuracy. While both have limited UFC records, Dumas' momentum coupled with Azaitar's proven vulnerability to strikes lead to the conclusion that the Reaper can continue his rise by handing Captain Morocco another violent loss.
Mike Breeden vs. Anshul Jubli
WolfTicketsAI has predicted Anshul Jubli to defeat Mike Breeden, which is a reasonable pick given the data. Jubli is undefeated with 7 wins and no losses or no contests. He has finished every UFC fight by KO/TKO showing dangerous striking accuracy, power, and defense. His striking stats are far superior to Breeden's in accuracy and impact. Breeden is on a 3 fight losing skid with 2 by KO/TKO which is concerning for his chin and Wolftickets likely factored this recent poor stretch into their prediction. Breeden does have more MMA experience but his 10-6 record shows inconsistency. Coming off 2 bad KO losses and facing a surging finisher like Jubli spells trouble for Breeden. The betting odds confirm Anshul Jubli as a heavy favorite. Look for the King of Lions to continue his reign of terror against the outmatched Money Breeden.
Nathaniel Wood vs. Muhammad Naimov
Muhammad "Hillman" Naimov has his work cut out for him taking on veteran contender Nathaniel "The Prospect" Wood in this featherweight matchup. While Naimov is a dangerous striker with knockout power, his limited UFC experience could be a problem against the crafty Wood. Wood has 20 wins under his belt and has faced top competition, recently defeating Fili and Jourdain. However, his 5 losses show he is beatable, including KO defeats to Dodson and Kenney. This fight likely comes down to whether Naimov can avoid Wood's submissions while landing his powerful strikes. WolfTicketsAI is predicting Wood, but don't count out the heavy-handed Naimov as the underdog. This should be an exciting scrap between a tested veteran and an upstart knockout artist.
Viktoriia Dudakova vs. Jinh Yu Frey
WolfTicketsAI has predicted Viktoriia Dudakova to defeat Jinh Yu Frey. This prediction seems reasonable based on the data provided. Dudakova is undefeated in her 7 professional fights, demonstrating potential as an up-and-coming contender. However, her record is still quite limited, so we must be cautious in evaluating her skills. In contrast, Frey is a veteran of the UFC with over 20 professional fights. But she has struggled as of late, losing 3 of her last 5 bouts. At 38 years old, she appears to be on the downslope of her career. Her recent defeats have exposed deficiencies in her striking defense and takedown ability. Additionally, Frey is coming 3 losses back to back including 1 KO which is always a dangerous sign. Fighters who suffer knockouts are more susceptible to being finished in subsequent fights. While Dudakova lacks experience, she seems to have momentum and athleticism on her side. WolfTicketsAI is wise to favor the young lioness over the aging former contender in this matchup. Barring a veteran resurgence from Frey, Dudakova should be able to outpoint her en route to a decision win.