The MMA fans guide to the football World Cup


It’s been a worry for every MMA fan online who has a year round interest in soccer. Once the world cup starts every casual soccer fan/hardcore MMA fan will bombard us real fans of both sports with uninformed tweets and status’ even though they probably haven’t seen a ball kicked since Andres Iniesta won Spain the world cup in 2010.

So I’m here to help. Below is a team-by-team comparison guide to the world cup for the hardcore MMA fan who wants to sound like they know the something about futbol.



If they were an MMA fighter – Vitor Belfort.

Just like Vitor, Brazil are former world champions who are on the verge of recapturing their title after years without it. They will have all their match-ups in the host country of Brazil (They are big draws in Brazil). Scary at their best.

Betting odds – 3/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Brad Tavares.

Although talented and having the ability to win a few, nobody expects them to do much. Saying that, they could shock us and go further than we think.

Betting odds – 150/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Paul Sass

Apart from an unbelievable finisher (Javier Hernandez as the Sassangle) they don’t have much else.

Betting odds – 150/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Yves Edwards.

Every useful asset they have is curtailed by age. Will probably be going home early.

Betting odds – 500/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Jon Jones

The reigning champions and consensus best in the world. Their title, though, could be at risk as the are forced to travel abroad to defend it. Biggest tests are ahead.

Betting odds – 13/2


If they were an MMA fighter – Carlos Condit

Talented in all areas except defence. Good enough to beat anyone at their best. Varied and exciting attack.

Betting odds – 30/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Rafael Dos Anjos

Talented South American who is a challenge to the big boys but is unlikely to ever win anything.

Betting odds – 50/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Charlie Brenneman

Just happy to be at the big show for as long as they can. Will get knocked out early on.

Betting odds – 500/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Dominick Cruz

Really talented and have beaten some of the best in the world but their chances have been damaged by a horrible injury (to star striker Falcao)

Betting odds – 30/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Fabio Maldonado

Greece are specialists at taking a barrage of attacks while holding out to the end, sometimes getting a single knock out blow to seal the deal. Will be knocked out once they meet the big hitters.

Greece – 250/1

The Ivory Coast

If they were an MMA fighter – Brad Pickett

Very talented, likeable and exciting but getting on in age.

Betting odds – 125/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Kid Yamamoto

Unbeatable in Asia, probably won’t win a match outside of it.

Betting odds – 150/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Brandon Thatch

Extremely exciting attacking team who have the ability to score a lot but may have their run curtailed by injury (to forward Luis Suarez)

Betting odds – 30/1

Costa Rica

If they were an MMA fighter – Dave Herman

Not sure how they got to the big show, will be knocked out in the first round.

Betting odds – 2000/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Michael Bisping

Always flatters to deceive. Seemingly talented but just don’t have enough to progress to the top. Will leave their die-hard fans devastated…. Again.

Betting odds – 28/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Anderson Silva

Another former champion who is getting on in years. Nobody really knows how far they could go. Could surprise us all.

Betting odds – 25/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Jake Shields

The team nobody likes to come up against. Have been known to bore their way to a win over some of the best in the world.

Betting odds – 125/1


If they were an MMA fighter – CB Dolloway

Not too sure what they are good at but they manage to eek out victories.

Betting odds – 150/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Junior Dos Santos

World champion from a few years ago who have been overtaken by others. Very talented and could challenge for top honours again but have excuses at the ready for failure.

Betting odds – 22/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Takenori Sato

Not too sure how they made it here but congratulations to them.

Betting odds – 3000/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Anthony Pettis

Without doubt the best attacking arsenal in the world and If they can put everything together they might just be the best all around in the world. Cannot miss any time they are in action.

Betting odds – 9/2

Bosnia and Herzegovina

If they were an MMA fighter – Denis Siver

Solid Europeans who won’t trouble the engraver anytime soon.

Betting odds – 175/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Bubba McDaniel

Won’t be at the big show for long.

Betting odds – 1500/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Roy Nelson

Been around for a while. Know enough about them to realise they won’t get within touching distance of a title.

Betting odds – 250/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Cain Velasquez

Another one with a claim to being the very best in the world. Efficient, strong in all areas and will probably beat 90% of what they come up against with ease.

Betting odds – 11/2


If they were an MMA fighter – Dan Henderson

Banking on their one truly impressive asset (Cristiano Ronaldo) to take them all the way. Can never rule them out because of it.

Betting odds – 28/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Ryan Bader

A good middle of the pack team who will be beaten by the other more impressive teams on their way to the top.

Betting odds – 200/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Jake Ellenberger

Look good from afar, hyped to the max but simply don’t have what it takes. Will lose to anybody good.

Betting odds – 200/1




If they were an MMA fighter – Conor McGregor

Young, exciting and have all the talent in the world. Not many people outside of their home country believe in them, but they have a great chance to become world champions sooner rather than later.

Betting odds – 20/1


If they were an MMA fighter – Christian M’Pumbu

Don’t know too much about them apart from they aren’t very good.

Betting odds – 2000/1


If they were an MMA fighter – BJ Penn

Not as good as they used to be but might have something left in the tank. Remains to be seen.

Betting odds – 80/1

Korea Republic

If they were an MMA fighter – Costa Phillippou

Not a bad team, but not a very good one either. Unlikely to go too far.

Betting odds – 400/1

You can follow Sean on twitter – @SeanSheehanBA

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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