Planning to bet on UFC? BonusFinder has prepared a betting guide on MMA and UFC to help get you started.
⭐ Guide to UFC & MMA Betting
Mixed Martial Arts is undoubtedly an incredibly exciting sports betting option. MMA is intense, fast-paced, and more often than not very unpredictable. Seasoned MMA and UFC bettors can capitalize on their knowledge of the sport and make excellent money while wagering.
Now, although online betting on the UFC fights online is tons of fun, it can be very difficult at times. That’s why the team at BonusFinder US has compiled a list full of great UFC betting advice. Whether you want to know about Mixed Martial Arts rules or the different types of bets, we’ve got you covered!
⭐ Basics of UFC Betting: Rules of the Cage
In order to place educated bets on any sport, you first need to get to know the basics. UFC and MMA betting boils down to a showdown between two fighters. Each individual fighter have their own fighting style, areas they excel in, and things they struggle with. Many seasoned bettors could spend hours studying statistics before placing their bet on UFC fights, but having extensive knowledge of MMA is by no means a prerequisite to betting.
There are some basics that aspiring MMA or UFC bettors should know before wagering, such as the basic rules of the fight.
Rules of MMA Fights
An MMA fight consists of three five-minute rounds, with the exception of championship fights where there are five rounds of five minutes. If there’s a knockout, submission, or stoppage at any point of a round, the fight will end.
MMA fighters are masters of multiple fighting disciplines and martial arts, many having trained, for example, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and boxing.
Different fighting promoters have some slight variances in their respective sets of rules. The baseline is that in the actual fights, pretty much anything is allowed barring eye pokes, groin strikes, and kicking a fallen opponent. Therefore, the fighters can win the fight using a multitude of ways.
UFC fights are scored on a round-by-round basis. The basis of scoring is that the winner of the round gets 10 points, and the loser of the round will have points deducted depending on their performance. Typically a round ends with the winner receiving 10 and the loser receiving 9 points. There’s also the possibility of a round ending 10-8 if the loser of the round is beaten badly. Score gaps any bigger than that are extremely rare.
When placing your live bets on the match winner, it’s important to remember that 10-8 rounds can lead to eventual draws. Especially when compared to boxing, this happens quite often in the UFC.
Understanding the Fights
Scores are given for a fighter who takes down their opponent, controls them on the ground, or lands a successful punch or a kick. Therefore, UFC bettors must note that it is not always the fighter causing outright more damage that is winning the round, or even the fight. Sometimes, this is not reflected in the live odds at UFC betting sites, making this a perfect opportunity for making money.
⭐ Bet Types
MMA bets come in many forms, and online sportsbooks have a lot of UFC betting markets. However, if you want to bet on the UFC, understanding the ins and outs of the most common bet types will help you when making your MMA betting picks.
In moneyline bets, you bet on the winner of the fight. Unlike other sports, there is no spread to cover, as you either lose the fight or don’t. Therefore spread bets are not available for the UFC.
The moneyline odds often change during the fight week, so it’s important to keep an eye on the two fighters leading up to the fight night if you plan to place a moneyline bet.
Round betting is the equivalent of an over / under bet in other sports. You can bet on which round the fight will end, or whether the fight will go over or under 2.5 rounds. When you are unsure about the winner, choosing this bet type might be the right call for you.
Method of Victory
Method of Victory is probably the most exciting UFC bet. One fighter can usually win by submission, KO, TKO, or Decision. The TKO (technical knockout) is awarded when the referee needs to step in and stop the fight. For betting purposes, it’s important to note that rendering the opponent unconscious with a strangle or a choke will also be counted as a TKO.
Best online sportsbooks also offer live betting opportunities for UFC. Live betting is exactly what it sounds like, and means that you can bet live during the fight (not in Las Vegas, though). This is the real Holy Grail of combat sports betting, as situations happen quickly, and betting sites don’t always have time to react to the changes.
⭐ UFC Betting Odds
Sports betting odds change rapidly in the MMA world, and UFC is no exception. One of the two fighters could bomb their weight cut and fail to make the weight class. This would potentially shift the odds in favor of one fighter or the other. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the changing lines to get the best odds when you bet on the UFC.
⭐ Best UFC Betting Tips
In addition to general betting tips, there are several sports-specific betting tips for UFC and MMA in general. Fighting is much more than a number game; every UFC card has its share of surprises. Picking out these surprises can lead to a big win.
Best Sportsbook odds usually involve a massive underdog, who is highly unlikely to win. However, in a sport where every fighter can end the fight with one punch, there’s rarely any reason for odds higher than +500. Regardless, even top UFC sportsbooks have odds up to +1,100. If you think about it, those are about the best odds you could imagine for a sport where almost anything can happen. Therefore, placing a few bucks on the massive underdog can lead to a massive potential payout.
Bet the Underdogs
As UFC has become one of the most popular sports on the planet, it has attracted the attention of a lot of casual fans. These “casuals” tend to pump the line for the fan favorite, especially before a big fight. Therefore, popular fighters might be massive favorites, although their chance of winning is around 50%.
The perfect example of this was Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 2. Poirier, former Interim Lightweight Champion who had won 8 out of his last 9, was a +375 underdog against the fan favorite McGregor, who had only spent 45 seconds in the Octagon in the past 2.5 years. Poirier won the fight by a second-round knockout.
Study the Matchups
Styles make fights. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt might not be the best bet against a strong puncher with a good takedown defense. Fighters with a certain style tend to fight better against a certain style. Make sure that you take this into consideration when placing your bets. That being said, the best MMA fighters have the tendency to find a way to win the fight, no matter the matchup.
Over / Unders
Sometimes a bet on the fight is a lot more likely to win than a bet on the fighters. If you’re watching two heavyweights like Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou going at it, you’d assume one is getting knocked out. However, the winner might not be so easy to predict. Therefore, it’s better to bet that the fight will not go the distance.
Know Your Fighters
Knowing the fighters is extremely helpful. If you know that someone had a tough last fight, but also realize that they had a bad weight cut, you might not count them out for their next bout. Also, even if someone has a good takedown defense, but you know that they haven’t really faced wrestlers, you’ll know that the takedown defense stat is most likely inflated.
⭐ UFC Events
There are several different types of UFC events you can bet on. However, each UFC fight night will have a main event, which will conclude the evening. In the case of numbered UFC events, like UFC 265, it will always be a championship fight.
List of Current Champions
As of March 2023, here are the current UFC champions.
UFC Fight Night Events
Smaller events without a championship on the line are called UFC Fight Nights, and they often feature fighters at the beginning of their career. You can sometimes find great odds for UFC bets at these events, as the feature lesser-known fighters.
⭐ UFC Betting in the US
UFC betting takes place on any betting site that offers legal sports betting. There are plenty of regulated sportsbooks to choose from. DraftKings, for example, is an official partner and an avid sponsor of UFC events, so you can expect to find excellent betting options from their betting site.
You can wager on UFC in the regulated sports betting states:
⭐ UFC Betting FAQs
1️⃣ Is UFC betting legal?
Yes, there is no rule preventing anyone of legal age in a legal state from placing bets on the UFC. MMA is just like any other sport.
2️⃣ Can I bet on UFC online?
Yes, if you live in DC or one of the states in America that allow online betting. If you live in a state that hasn't legalized UFC wagers yet, you can always try FanDuel or DraftKings daily fantasy to win real money.
3️⃣ What is the method of victory?
The method of victory is either KO (Knock Out), TKO (Technical Knock Out, so a referee's stoppage), Submission, or Decision.
4️⃣ What's the best betting site for UFC?
DraftKings is the official partner of the UFC, so they're naturally number one. However, other sites such as PointsBet also feature great bonuses and odds for betting on the UFC.