UFC Fight Night 171 Betting Pick: Ricky Simon vs Ray Borg

We have a couple of spark plugs in this matchup!

I’m not saying both men are scrappers who love to throw hands. Nothing could be farther from the truth in regards to Ray Borg, actually.

The Tazmexican Devil, Ray, averages 1.36 strikes landed per minute and at a 52% clip. That means he throws less than 3 strikes per minute. Not much! I think Damien Maia throws more leather than that.

Ray only absorbs 1.68/minute, though, which is outstanding. This is primarily because he takes most of his opponents down and dominates position from there.

He knows if he postures up to land a few shots on the ground, his opponent could escape. As an MMA fan, I don’t like that style at all.

If you aren’t in there to finish your opponent, you’re essentially more of a competitor than a fighter. You are avoiding the fight within the fight. As a bettor and handicapper, though, I love guys like Ray Borg.

I can count on him to probably get the takedown and since he isn’t going for submissions or ground and pound, he can ride out the round and the judges have no choice but to score it for the Borg.

I just realized that he is only 26-years-old. Ray has been competing in the UFC for more than 6 years now!

He even fought for the Flyweight World Title against Demetrious Mighty Mouse Johnson. It didn’t go his way as he got suplexed and arm-barred almost simultaneously.

You didn’t get to see the tap but it came pretty quick. I showed you this because it was cool, not because I think Ricky Simon is going to be able to do the same thing.

Ray Borg is a grappling specialist who might be the best pound for pound scrambler in all of MMA so this move was all DJ.

I got my first look at Ricky Simon when he fought Urijah Faber in the California Kid’s first back in the UFC since retirement.

Faber was a 3 to 1 underdog and Ricky didn’t seem unbeatable to me so I picked the butt-chinned fighting hippie from Sacramento to score the upset.

Simon came out very strong landing powerful kicks but the wily veteran picked his shot and put away the almost-Canadian Vancouver, Washington native.

Both of Wednesday night’s competitors are great athletes but there will be a significant size discrepancy.

BetOnline.AG has some decent odds for us today and Sportbet.com as well. Let’s make our predictions for the main card matchup of Ricky Simon vs Ray Borg on UFC Fight Night 171 Jacksonville.

Drew Dober (-117) vs Alex Hernandez (+103)

Before we get into this pick, I want you guys to be able to see the difference in payouts for these odds. Some of you are quite familiar so feel free to keep scrolling down.

Difference in Payouts:

Let’s say I put 1 unit on Ricky Simon. If you win, you’re up 66.00 bucks. If you lose, you’re down 100.00.

(-152) denotes an implied probability of 60%. In order for me to safely bet Ricky Simon to win, I need at least a 5% edge on the sportsbooks. For me to get the edge I need to win in the long term, I would have to cap him at (-192) or 65%.

Now let’s throw 1 unit on Ray Borg, who is a (+138) underdog. Instead of netting 66.00 bucks, I make 138.00. That is more than double!

For us to get the 5% edge we need to bet Borg, we would have to cap him at (+112). That gives us the 47-42 edge in probability we were looking for.

Did you notice how we only had to move from 138 to 112 to get the same edge as we did when we capped Simon at (-192) and his actual odds of (-152)? That’s a 60% difference.

Smaller numbers count for higher percentages. You probably learned this in school or consider it common sense. Either way, I wanted to make that distinction so that you can use it to your advantage in the future.

Hopefully, that wasn’t too complicated.

The fight pick, to me, though, is pretty simple. As a rule, I don’t like to pick a wrestler to beat a bigger man.

Ray is a very strong grappler but had one too many missed weight cuts at 125 pounds so he moved up to bantamweight around this time last year. He lost his first fight to an underrated Casey Kenney but still managed to take him down 7 times.

Since then, he has two decision wins by out-grappling a couple of Brazilians who are naturally more Brazilian Jiu Jitsu based as opposed to American wrestling.

Ricky Simon is only a blue belt in BJJ so we know that isn’t his style. He is an adept striker. He really is. Very explosive too!

After the loss to Faber, Simon took on Rob Font, another very underrated fighter. Font is very tall and long for the weight class, has excellent boxing, and solid takedown defense. I think Rob would dominate Ray Borg also.

It is Simon’s submission victory over Merab Dvalishvili just over two years ago that impresses me the most. Merab is a very strong grappler much like Ray Borg but, of course, bigger.

Size isn’t everything. I know that but when it comes to wrestling which is rooted in strength, explosion, and physics, I don’t think the smaller man wins very much. BJJ is designed for the smaller guy to win. Wrestling is not.

I think Ricky keeps this one on the feet for the most part. Ray might get him down to his butt, and I don’t think those shoulder blades touch the mat for longer than a couple of seconds.

Simon is incredibly athletic and a great scrambler. He fights long with powerful kicks. I don’t think he finishes Ray but I believe the size will be the difference.

My Pick

In Conclusion

I hope you guys got something from my implied probability explanation as well as the illustration of side by side payouts for certain odds. There’s a reason the sportsbooks don’t put those percentages or payouts next to their betting lines.

There are enough people who don’t pay attention and just bet fights for “action”, that the books can make good money. There aren’t many people out there treating fighters like stocks and investing as opposed to gambling.

I’ve heard professional bettors or handicappers for all sports say exactly that.

It isn’t nearly as difficult getting an edge over the books in an MMA fight as it is in a regular season NBA game. Games today are 135-128.

Think about the impact the referees have on a game. It is significant to say the least. It’s very seldom an MMA referee affects the end result of a fight.

Compare that to just about every single NBA game when we are talking about point spreads and you see why MMA gives you a clear advantage over basketball. You just have to be knowledgeable about the sport, understand the implied probabilities, and not afraid to trust your instincts.

This fight will likely be an exciting one but I don’t think Ray Ray has anything for Simon in a striking battle.

Enjoy the fights and get those bets in NOW!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.