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Everything you need to know for Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Last week, we broke down the Spivac vs. Lewis and provided insight on how the fight was going to go down and what was the best price for each fighter.

BCDC Data Scientist, Brandon Bergstrom, is 31-13 with over 19.75U on these 50/50 or main event fight picks. We will be breaking down this main event in a similar fashion with good statistics, statistical modeling, machine learning models, and finally best price for the fighters.

Betting Stats

Islam Makhachev has won 11 fights in a row. Alexander Volkanovski has won 12 fights in a row. Makhachev has finished 7 out of his last 9 fights since January 20, 2018.
Makhachev has won 6 of his previous 7 bouts when facing an opponent with a longer reach. Alexander Volkanovski is +310, which is cheaper than 100.0% of his previous UFC fights (12 fights total). Lightweights priced between -360 to -400 are 8-2 in the last 10 fights. (Islam Makhachev) Makhachev in his last three fights averages 5 minutes in the octagon. Volkanovski in his last three fights averages 22 minutes in the octagon.
Volkanovski has a record of 8-0 when facing an opponent with a smaller reach.

Our type of fight models project this to be a ground fight, which should favor Makhachev. Also, our models project a knockout in the second round… for anyone looking for pizza money action by machine learning models.

Decision Percentage will be 0.31397182

Knockout Percentage will be 0.5919048

Submission Percentage will be 0.09412337

Round 1 Percentage will be 0.0002589201

Round 2 Percentage will be 0.34625393

Round 3 Percentage will be 0.22755505

Round 4 Percentage will be 0.0041261693

Round 5 Percentage will be 0.07265547


Instead of our typical stats that I show for the prefight to help myself identify who will win. I am going to show a dominance graph instead.

Calculating Dominance Score Example KO win = 5 Points Example Split Decision Win = 1 Example U Decision Win = 2.78 Example U Decision Loss = -2.78 Not all wins are created equal. Historical data is how we create the point system for different outcomes. Volk has had 1 less fight

Both fighters have fought the same amount. However, Volkanovski will have to show more power in order to make Islam back off with the takedown or regret going for it. Makhachev is the more dominant fighter and at a higher weight class. I don’t see where Volk wins unless he stuffs takedowns and wins by volume striking.

This graph shows you stats to help you see an edge in the fighters.

Statistical Modeling

Statistical Simulation Prediction
Fights simulated: 1000
Wins for Islam Makhachev 998
Wins for Alexander Volkanovski 2

Using Bayesian Simulation and not machine learning models. beforethecagedoorcloses is 74% sure that Volkanovski is the better fighter with a risk of being wrong at 7%.

Last week, our statistical simulation predicted Spivac (6-5) and our Bayesian Simulation predicted Spivac (7-4)

Our Machine Learning Model currently has a prediction accuracy of 65.83%. Its prediction for this fight is that Islam Makhachev will win.

Best Price for the Fight

I expect a finish this weekend. I see the model’s projection of a ground fight that will not go the distance as my viewpoint too. The models have Islam winning and by knockout. Volkanovski does not win by anything other than a decision so to say he will finish Makhachev is laughable. However, he can win the fight his 94% defense on takedowns. However, I just see the same fight that Hooker had against Makhachev. Makhachev by money line or finish is going to be priced okay. I don’t see any reason why you should bet on Volkanovski outside of price. I see it playing out the same as the statistical simulation with 2% chance Volkanovski wins. Islam -380 is my take on this, and I would be willing to lose 4X my money on this fight. I believe there is still edge on the straight pick.

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