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17/09/2022 7:00 pm

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UFC Betting Explained

There are many ways to wager on a UFC fight, and the most straightforward is, of course, the money line. Unlike other combat sports like boxing, for instance, the UFC is very competitive and uncertain, so money line odds are usually decent for bettors. It is also possible to wager on the fights in many other ways, like the method of victory, how many rounds the fight will last, punch and takedown stat metrics, etc. With so many fights played on a card, parlay betting is also becoming more and more popular among UFC betting fans. 

UFC Wager Types

Let’s look now at the most popular ways of betting on the UFC. 

UFC Moneyline Betting

This is the most straightforward type of UFC wager, as the bettor just needs to decide which fighter will be the winner of a particular fight. The sportsbooks will set a favorite and an underdog, although odds will be very similar if there is an even match, and this is called a pick’em fight. A moneyline betting market on UFC will look something similar to this:  Fighter A -300 Fighter B +240 Despite only 1.7% of all UFC fights ending with a draw, this is still a potentially 3-way moneyline market, with the remote possibility of a draw. If you fancy your chances to back a draw, you will generally get odds as high as +8000.  

UFC Over/under rounds Betting

When betting on UFC over/under market, the sportsbook will set a line based on how long they expect the fight to last. The bettor will have to decide if you believe the contest will go over or under that line. Let’s say that a bout has an over/under of 1.5 rounds, and the odds are -200 for the under and +275 for the over. In this case, the bettor would have to wager $200 to win $100 on the fight that will last less than 1.5 rounds or bet $100 to win $275 if the contest will go more than 1.5 rounds. Rounds in UFC last five minutes, so there may be some confusion with the lines set with half points. Let’s clarify this. If you place a wager on the fight to last over 2.5 rounds, and the fight is stopped three minutes into the third round, your bet will be a winner. But if you bet on the fight to last over 2.5 rounds, and this is stopped one minute into the third round, then you will lose your wager. 

UFC Props or proposition bets

Prop bets are all these wagers that are not directly related to the fight’s outcome. They are very popular as they represent an innovative and entertaining way of betting on the UFC. Below are some examples of UFC prop bets that you will find with most online sportsbooks. 

  • How the fight will end
  • Points Spread
  • Fight to go the distance
  • Players touching their gloves

The number of prop bets provided depends on the sportsbooks, with some offering more and some offering less. 

UFC Round Betting

If you think you know in which round the fight will end, you should try UFC Round Betting. Some fighters have an impressive record of winning bouts early, and you can capitalize on these situations by wagering on the exact round of their win. 

UFC Method of Victory Betting

Another way of wagering on the UFC is to bet on the specific outcome of a fight. A bout can end for several reasons: decision (split, unanimous, majority), technical decision, draw, KO/TKO, or submission. For each of these options, sportsbooks will provide odds, depending on how even the match is expected to be, similar to what we have seen with moneyline and round betting. 

UFC Futures Betting Markets

Similarly to other sports, you can place UFC bets where the outcome is sometimes expected in the future. Futures betting in UFC usually refers to who will win specific weight categories title belts, with odds that tend to be pretty high, even for the main favorites. One of the most common UFC Futures bet is to predict who will be the UFC Champion at the end of the year. 

How to be successful with UFC & MMA betting

Similarly to other sports, it is crucial to research before wagering. This also applies to very knowledgeable UFC betting experts, and it is what our team does daily. Nowadays, there are plenty of stats available, and you can research everything about a fighter: previous fights results, form and styles and so on. If you don’t have time to do so, don’t worry, as we have a team of experts here at BettingPicks4You that will do all the hard work on your behalf. All our UFC/MMA picks are well-researched with our experienced cappers that go the extra mile to ensure they have all the critical information to make a betting verdict. Our UFC picks cover most of the weekly fights and are accompanied by a complete analysis and rationale that will explain why certain selections are advised. Everything is completely free so take advantage of our popular UFC and MMA betting predictions. 

UFC & MMA Betting Strategies

Now that you have got the basics of UFC and MMA betting let’s look at the most popular betting strategies to wager on this sport. 

Back the Younger Fighter

Experience is key in many sports, but the fierce and explosive nature of younger fighters cannot be underestimated in MMA. Looking at the stats, 62% of UFC fights in the last two years have been won by the younger fighter. That percentage even increases if we extend our look to the previous eight years, so backing a younger fighter is a proven strategy that can deliver dividends. 

Age Win %

Under 25 61%

25-30 59%

31-35 51%

36-40 46%

Over 40 42%

Things are more complicated when two fighters of similar ages are against each other, but it is pretty clear that when fighters were five or more years apart, the younger fighter prevailed 61% of the time. This percentage goes up to 64% when there were 10 or more years apart. So, over a more extended period of time, it looks as if backing the younger fighter could pay off. 

Be wary of late replacements

The MMA fights schedule is affected by many changes, with lots of fighters pulling out. During the history of the UFC, we have seen that late replacements have reached 64% of all fights. As you would expect, late replacement is the underdog, with the average odds of +181. The majority of late replacements lose, and this is not surprising, as a UFC fight is not something that can be improvised. So, if you see a late replacement, consider backing the opponent, as this strategy is likely to payoff over some time. 

Back the better striker

If there is a fight where two opponents have close odds, backing the better striker seems to be the best option. Stats tell us that the better striker has seen a 64% win rate in the UFC, which is quite something. The majority of wins were knockouts, of which good striking performance is needed to knock your opponent out. It is also important to check the weight divisions, as some have higher KO rates compared with others. 

UFC & MMA Betting Do’s & Don’ts

Let’s now look at the Do’s and Don’ts when betting on the UFC and MMA, as for the feedback received by our experts.  

MMA Betting Do’s

Keep up with the MMA news: the MMA attracts lots of media attention, and you can also find plenty of information on social media. So to try getting an edge against bookmakers, make sure to stay up to date with the latest news affecting your UFC bets. Also, keep a close eye on underdog opportunities, and make the most of them. 

Parlay your bets: many fights will usually have heavy favorites, and adding multiple favorites selections into a parlay bet could be a great way of increasing the odds. Parlay betting is available with lots of online sportsbooks, and it is an excellent way of wagering on UFC/MMA nights. 

MMA Betting Don’ts

  • Don’t bet with emotion: becoming a fan of a certain fighter is very easy, but don’t back him just because it is your favorite. Always make sure to check the data, and don’t wager with emotions. 
  • Don’t always back the favorite: MMA odds are difficult to set, and it is not unusual to see favorites losing during major MMA events. So instead of backing the favorites blindly, always look at the actual chances of both fighters and look for underdog opportunities when it makes sense. 
  • Don’t just look at their record: surely, a winning record is a good indication of the strength of a fighter, but you cannot base your predictions just on that. Other variables can influence the outcome of a bout, like, for instance, the opponent, the venue, the training and so on. 

MMA History  

MMA, which stands for mixed martial arts, is a hybrid sport that uses different techniques from boxing, judo, BJJ, Karate, Muay Thai, wrestling and others. It started as a brutal sport which didn’t have rules, but it has evolved and is now one of the fastest-growing spectator sports of this century. The name comes from the Olympic Games in 648 BCE, as it was the combat sport of ancient Greece. 

This fighting style resurfaced in the 20th century in Brazil, as a fight ‘without rules’. The first UFC event took place in North America in the 1990s. UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship, which has become the leading promoter of MMA events. Nowadays, it has more than 40 live events per year, broadcast in more than 165 countries. 

UFC Weight Classes

Every UFC fight has a specific weight class, with opponents of similar weight. There are several UFC weight classes available, and these are for men and women. 

How to wager on MMA FAQs

Is it legal to wager on UFC fights?

Yes, wagering on the UFC fights is entirely legal at licensed online sportsbooks in your state. Similarly to other sports, there aren’t restrictions on wagering real money on UFC, but make sure the online sports betting is legal in your state.  

Where can I bet on UFC/MMA?

You can wager on UFC/MMA with the majority of online sportsbooks. However, if you are unsure which one to sign up with, just visit our online sports betting review section, where you will find all the details of the most trusted and popular operators in the US.

What are the best UFC wagers?

The best UFC wagers are different for every player. Some bettors prefer prop and futures bets, where the odds are generally higher, while others want an immediate return and are more inclined towards moneyline and round betting. 

Are there UFC prop bets?

Yes, there are plenty of UFC prop wagers available with the best operators in the US. Examples of prop bets are: how the fight will end (method of win); which fighter will win the first round? Will the bout go to distance? As they are usually more difficult to hit, UFC prop bets tend to have longer odds, so the payouts are higher than a regular moneyline wager. 

How to be successful when betting on MMA?

Being successful as MMA bettors depends on many factors. Knowledge, research, quality of selections, odds, and correct betting strategies are some of the factors that will influence your chances of success.