The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has grown in popularity over the past couple of decades and with that increase in popularity, there has been a lot of interest in betting on the fights.
The best part about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events is that they are fast-paced and unpredictable in nature which makes betting on UFC fights offers a unique thrill.
This comprehensive guide on how to bet on UFC fights will make sure you know everything you need to in order to get started placing wagers on the action.
Basics of Betting on UFC Fights
When it comes to betting on MMA there are a variety of options available. I’ll list them below before going into more depth.
The most straightforward kind of bet where you are simply picking who the winner of the fight will be. This is the most popular way to wager on the UFC.
The sportsbooks will set a total for the number of rounds they expect the fight to go. If you think it’ll be a short contest then you would take the “under,” but if you think it’ll go to the end you’ll want to select the “over.”
Prop bets are specific wagers on how a fight will end. You can bet each fighter to win by knockout, submission, or decision.
A high-risk but high-reward way to bet on the UFC, with parlays you are essentially combining multiple bets into one. You’ll need all of your wagers to win in order to cash this ticket, but the payouts can be rather significant.
If you want to wait to see how the fight is going, live betting is also an option.
I think it’s best to wait until there is a break in the action to bet. A lot of times the feed you are watching the event on has a slight delay from the one the books are using to set their odds. There is nothing worse than getting a bet in on a fighter and then seeing something unexpected happen right after.
However, live betting can be a useful tool in your handicapping arsenal. You get to see how the fights match up before placing your bets.
Understanding How to Read UFC Odds & MMA Betting Lines
When you are reading MMA moneylines the favorite is represented by the minus (-) sign while the underdog is represented by the plus (+) sign. The odds are based on $100 wagers. Let’s take a look at an example:
Conor McGregor +150
Khabib Nurmagomerdov -170
In this example, you’ll see McGregor listed as a +150 underdog. That means if you wager $100 on him to win you will win $150 if he gets the victory.
On the other side if you want to take Khabib you will have to wager $170 in order to cash $100 in profit when he wins.
For over/under rounds betting the example might be:
Over 2.5 -150
Under 2.5 +130
In this case if you think the fight will last more than 2.5 rounds you have to wager $150 in order to profit $100 while a $100 bet on the under would be to win $130.
The format above is in American odds, but you might also see decimal odds outside of North America.
Betting Strategies When Handicapping UFC Fights
There are a number of things you might want to look at when handicapping who is going to win a UFC fight or how long the MMA contest will last. Let’s take a look below with some details:
- Styles: every fighter has a unique style. They might be a striker, grabbler, or hybrid of both.
- Records: there is more than just a win/loss record to look at. You want to check out the quality of previous opponents and how the fights ended. Going past the win-loss records can give you an edge over other bettors.
- Physical Attributes: you will want to know the fight’s height, weight, and reach to see how they compare.
- External Factors: is either fight battling an injury or coming off of one? How long has it been since their last fight? Did they recently get knocked out? How good are the reports out of training camp?
- Publicity: does either fighter get outsized attention from the media? Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are my two favorite examples. Everyone and their brother would bet on these two no matter what the odds were. This left value on taking their opponents.
Tips for Betting on MMA Fights
You are going to want to do plenty of research before you make any UFC bets. This means watching old fights, catching up on interviews, and reading reports of the training sessions.
Is there a link between the fighters? Maybe fighter A beat fighter B, who beat fighter C, and now fighter A is going against fighter C. However, this doesn’t guarantee victory as different styles might pose more difficulty to some guys than others.
UFC betting is an exciting way to increase your enjoyment of the fights. However, you want to make sure to do your research and have a strategy in place. It is a lot more thrilling to watch and win than it is to watch and lose!