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How to bet on MMA and UFC fights

Ultimate guide: How to bet on MMA and UFC fights

Learn the best tips and strategies on how to bet on MMA and UFC fights with our ultimate betting guide.

Published on 25 Oct 2023

Table of Contents:

Betting on MMA, particularly on UFC fights, is one of the fastest-growing markets among bookmakers worldwide with mixed martial arts having many fans who love to bet on events such as UFC Fight Night and ending with the main cards on the UFC schedule as well as smaller tournaments such as Bellator and other international leagues.

Types of MMA competitions around the world

  • UFC: The numbered pay-per-view UFC (PPV) events are the pinnacle of major MMA events. These cards typically include at least one title fight and showcase fighters who occupy the highest ranks in the promotion.
  • UFC Fight Night: Fights between lower-ranked fighters are typically held every week in UFC Fight Night events. These fighters are often less experienced than the professionals who participate in the major PPV fights.
  • Bellator: This promotion also holds numbered PPV events that are largely similar to UFC events. The rules for the fights are similar, but fights are held in a circular ring instead of UFC’s famous octagon.
  • Legacy Fighting Alliance: Based in Houston, this promotion has hosted over 160 major fights and has featured popular UFC fighters like Holly Holm.

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Types of bets in MMA

To understand how to bet on MMA and UFC fights, you need to understand the different types of bets. Here we will tell you about the most popular ones:

  • Winner: This is the classic bet where you simply choose who you think will win the fight. Most sportsbooks offer this bet as a two-way market, so your bet will be refunded in the event of a draw.
  • Round: This is a simple bet where you choose which round you think the fight will end in, regardless of the outcome. You can bet on any method of finish, including knockout, submission, disqualification, or decision.
  • Outright: This is a bet placed in advance of an event, allowing you to get good early odds. However, this can be risky because fighters have plenty of time to get injured or have an unsuccessful training camp.
  • Method: This type of bet lets you choose how a fighter will win the fight. For instance, in UFC, you can choose KO/TKO/DQ, submission, or decision. You can increase the odds by making a combined bet on the method, the winner, and/or the round.
  • Accumulator: This is a bet where several individual predictions are combined into a single bet with a multiplied odd. To win, each of the predictions must be successful.
  • Total: This bet is placed on the number of rounds a fight will go. For example, a bet on “total over 2.5 rounds” means the fight must last at least three rounds for a successful outcome.
  • Handicap: This bet is based on the distribution of judges’ scores when a fight ends in a decision. For example, if the judges score the fight as Jon Jones 144, and Cyril Gane 141, you can bet on the fighter with the lower score and still win.

How to bet on MMA: Tips

We have gathered the most relevant tips for betting on UFC. Whether you are betting on an undercard or a main event, the tips below are applicable regardless of which fight you decide to bet on.

  1. Bet in real-time to get the best odds. Live betting has unique advantages over pre-bout betting. The odds for real-time bets are often much better than those for pre-bout bets.
  2. Do not always bet big on the favorites. Upsets happen frequently in the UFC. Do not believe that you can earn more profit by betting more on a favorite. Bet intelligently, not solely based on the odds.
  3. Think strategically: Consider factors such as age, height, position, and fighting style. Try to imagine how each fighter will try to take the other down. For example, in the final of Ultimate Fighter 13, Anthony Pettis triumphed via an array of unorthodox striking techniques while Clay Guida smothered him on the mat.
  4. Do not be biased. Do not let your personal prejudices block you from making sound betting decisions. If all indicators suggest that your favorite is likely to lose, either bet against him or avoid the bet entirely.
  5. Always consider location. Traveling can affect a fighter, and specific climates can also have an impact. At UFC 188, Fabricio Werdum defeated an exhausted Cain Velasquez, who arrived in high-altitude Mexico City one day before the fight. Meanwhile, Werdum had already set up his training camp there and had acclimated to the conditions.

MMA betting guide: strategies for success

Knowing how to bet on MMA and UFC is one thing; equipping yourself with reliable MMA betting strategies is another. Placing bets on MMA requires taking into account numerous factors, and there are several tried-and-tested strategies that are often used in UFC betting.

  • Pay attention to training camps. Knowledge of a fighter’s training camp can provide crucial insight into the upcoming fight. Watch for whether a fighter transitioning to a different weight class is slower. See if a “green” fighter is struggling during sparring. It’s possible that the fighter suffered a concussion during training camp. All of these are factors that can help predict the outcome of the fight.
  • Pay attention to cage size. UFC uses two different cage sizes, and while the difference in size is slight, statistics don’t lie. Data shows that in the smaller cage, the rate of finishes is 12% higher than in the typical larger UFC octagon. This is important to keep in mind when betting on UFC Fight Night tournaments, where smaller cages are often used.
  • Pay attention to weigh-ins. Look for factors such as poor weight cutting, when fighters look sluggish or unhealthy. But most importantly, check what weight class the fighters usually compete in, as well as their off-season weight. Some fighters may cut a huge amount of weight as if it’s nothing, while others seem to lose all of their striking power in the process.

Remember that successful bets require careful analysis and discipline. Try to make sensible decisions, and your MMA bets will provide you not only with exciting entertainment, but also the opportunity to win. Stay updated with FBR to gain more valuable tips for your bets!

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