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Oct 3, 2017
Oct 3, 2017

UFC 216: Johnson vs. Borg betting preview

Live odds for Johnson vs. Borg

What do previous fight odds tell us?

Can Borg end Johnson's run?

Where is the betting value ahead of UFC 216?

UFC 216: Johnson vs. Borg betting preview

On October7 2017, pound for pound great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson defends his Flyweight championship against number three challenger Ray Borg in a rescheduled bout following a cancellation at UFC 215. This article looks at the factors to consider when analysing the Johnson vs. Borg odds.

Live Johnson vs. Borg odds

Johnson vs. Borg betting: The best in the UFC?

In a sport like MMA, which has long since achieved mainstream appeal, it’s tough for any one competitor to stand out as the best in the game. That, however, is exactly what Demetrious Johnson has done. While Conor McGregor has stolen the headlines in recent times, Johnson stands above him in the pound for pound rankings.

Simply put, the flyweight division belongs to Johnson. After losing a Bantamweight title match six years ago, Johnson fought to a draw with Ian McCall in the UFC’s inaugural Flyweight match, won the rematch, then beat Joe Benavidez for the tournament win and the championship.

While Conor McGregor has stolen the headlines in recent times, Johnson stands above him in the pound for pound rankings.

There’s been no other champion in the division’s history, with Johnson having now won 12 consecutive UFC fights, toppling the top challengers more than once. He’s a giant among the UFC’s most diminutive fighters.

Now, Johnson faces Borg, a riser with a solid but unspectacular record. Borg is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jussier Formiga, the division’s number six challenger; he’s never fought anyone else in the top 10. Training with the sport’s most successful coach (Jackson Wink), can the young challenger manage what others haven’t?

Or, as indicated by the Johnson vs. Borg odds, will Johnson’s dominance continue?

Demetrious Johnson’s recent betting odds at Pinnacle

Demetrious Johnson’s recent betting odds at Pinnacle

Name (Date)

Open

Highest

Lowest

Close

Result

Wilson Reis (2017-04-15)

1.14

1.15

1.11

1.11

Win

Tim Elliott (2016-12-03)

1.12

1.12

1.11

1.11

Win

Henry Cejudo (2016-04-23)

1.26

1.29

1.24

1.29

Win

Ray Borg’s recent betting odds at Pinnacle

Ray Borg’s recent betting odds at Pinnacle

Name (Date)

Open

Highest

Lowest

Close

Result

Jussier Formiga (2017-03-11)

2.05

2.12

1.76

1.76

Win

Louis Smolka (2016-12-30)

2.15

2.20

1.75

1.80

Win

Justin Scoggins (2016-02-16)

1.33

1.58

1.32

1.58

Loss

Johnson is like clockwork. His numbers reflect his dominance and make it difficult to bet on him due to minimal returns, or against him for a likely loss. The odds he’s been given lately have only been seen by a handful of fighters at their peaks; like them, he’ll continue to get those odds until the inevitable passage of time happens.

Borg, though, has seen major fluctuations in his recent markets at Pinnacle and bettors seem to know what’s up. He lost after opening as early favourite only to see that favour shrink; he won after opening a slight underdog only to see the market shift him to favourite status. These are factors worth analysing during Johnson vs. Borg betting.

There’s a sample size issue here but, if the market makes strong moves one way or another, that could prove a hint to where the sharp money is. If you prefer learning about betting through images, our Head of Analytics has created a visualisation of a betting edge.

Johnson vs. Borg: The tale of the tape

Johnson vs. Borg: The tale of the tape

Johnson

Name

Borg

5’3”

Height

5’4”

66”

Reach

63”

125 lbs.

Weight

125 lbs.

26-2-1

Record

12-2

5

Wins by KO

2

10

Wins by Sub

6

0

Losses by KO

0

0

Losses by Sub

0

Johnson vs. Borg betting: The match up

Neither fighter has ever been knocked out or submitted; that’s worth noting if Over/Under bets are your preferred market. It’s important to remember here that Borg has never been five rounds, so the test is whether you think his cardio will hold up. Under 4.5 rounds is 1.800* with Pinnacle.

Borg isn’t much of a striker, landing an abnormally low 1.51 strikes per minute. In a heavier weight class, that would be his undoing. But, with only 125lb fighters packing strikes in the Flyweight division, he can afford to absorb some damage while looking for the takedown or submission.

Tim Elliott managed to take Johnson down four times in their fight. The problem was knowing what to do with Mighty Mouse once he had him down.

Striking isn’t Johnson’s forte, per se, but he lands more than twice as many shots as Borg and with more accuracy. Furthermore, Johnson is better at not getting hit, with opponents landing just one in three shots. If Johnson can keep the fight off the mat he’ll almost certainly win.

The real question in the Johnson vs. Borg betting is whether Borg can find a chink in Johnson’s takedown armour. Johnson is a wrestler by pedigree and part of what makes his striking effective is the threat of his takedowns. His takedown defence is good too but not elite.

Tim Elliott managed to take Johnson down four times in their fight less than a year ago. The problem was knowing what to do with Mighty Mouse once he had him down.

Finding value in the Johnson vs. Borg odds

The obvious answer here is a Johnson win. Borg more or less needs to; avoid taking a pummelling on his feet, take Johnson down, keep Johnson down, stop Johnson’s excellent wrestling from being a factor and find a way to submit Johnson to score the win.

That’s a long checklist, especially for a challenger who’s never fought five rounds or been the focus of a main event. The Johnson vs. Borg odds certainly reflect this.

If you think his reign isn’t close to ending, backing Johnson is the closest thing you’ll ever find to a sure thing in betting.

There will come a day when time catches up with Johnson. Maintaining focus could prove an issue if he doesn’t find himself subjected to a real challenge anytime soon. Still, Johnson is just 31 years old, usually the peak age for elite MMA fighters, and hasn’t shown any recent signs of slowing down.

If you think his reign isn’t close to ending, backing Johnson is the closest thing you’ll ever find to a sure thing in betting.

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