Competitions and tournaments that pit people against each other with nothing but their physical ability to win, have been a part of many cultures for thousands of years. When you bring all the skills of the fighting world into the ring, it is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that comes to mind. Betting on heated battles between two people is nothing new, but this form of fighting competition is more exciting than any other.
The popularity of the sport has risen significantly in the past few years and the odds on offer at sportsbooks have steadily increased as well. Our team of experts have done some intensive research to find out more about UFC and MMA along with the betting options as well. Here at CasinoTop, we want you to be fully prepared to enjoy the fights, know the players and make informed decisions when you bet on these matches. Let’s have a look at the world of fighting competitions at its finest.
Just like any other sport, you will need to see the odds at a sportsbook before placing any bets. For that, you’ll need to sign up for an account with the sportsbook of your choice. Every website will have a similar process to signing up but might differ slightly. Here is a broad overview of what you can expect when signing up for a new account:
The first step is to find a sportsbook that has a generous welcome offer. There are many sportsbooks out there but only a few will offer a welcome bonus that suits your needs. You can compare these welcome bonuses by looking at the MMA betting sites that we recommend.
When you find the best online sportsbook for you, then register for a new account. Enter your details and verify your account, not forgetting to check the terms and conditions for the welcome bonus. You might need a promotional code or the welcome bonus will be automatically credited to your account after your first deposit.
Find the payment option that works for you and make your first deposit into your sportsbook account.
Find the betting market that you want to make use of, check the odds and event and place your wager.
The UFC is the organization that promotes MMA fighting events. Most sites will receive data from UFC to fuel the odds that you find at an online sportsbook. These odds will be presented to you and you will have an opportunity to view how your stake will be used and what the potential profit will be. Odds can be difficult to understand at times, but we have a breakdown below to make things easier.
The main UFC: Fight Night event features a bout between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez. If you want to place a bet to predict who will win then betting on the moneyline is what you want to look at. The odds are as follows:
The numbers shown above explains that the positive number belongs to the favourite of the match, the one that the bookmaker believes will win. The contestant with a negative number is the underdog and if the underdog wins, the payout is more profitable given the amount of risk. To win $100 in profit, bettors will need to place a minimum bet of $215. With the underdog, if you bet $100 you will win $175.
If you aren’t confident about who will win the match, but you feel that you know how long the match will last. In this case, look at the options for over and under bets, there should be a category for total rounds. The odds should look something like this:
The odds can be interpreted the same way as on the moneyline.
Furthermore, when looking at the odds at a sportsbook, there will be a number of prop bets available. Prop bets will be presented in the format of the moneyline. It could be which round the fight will be won, if the fighter will go the distance or if the match will be decided by the judges.
The odds can also be presented to you in fractional or decimal formats.
In the format above, the fraction represents how much you will win when you bet a certain amount. If you bet the number on the right, $100, then you will get $43 and your initial stake for the two contestants to go the distance.
When represented as decimal odds, here’s what it looks like:
This is the simplest format, as the amount that you bet can differ and there isn’t a minimum amount you need to consider based on the odds. Whatever you bet, the amount won will come from the wager multiplied by the odds. In this case, if you think the match will go the distance then multiply your stake by 1.43. If you think that the match won’t go the distance, then multiply your stake by 2.65.
It’s best to know the types of bets you will encounter when looking at the odds and betting markets for UFC events. Here are the most common:
Bettors can place a bet on different outcomes of a fight. Fighters can win by submission, TKO or KO, but these are not the only outcomes. Points can also be used to determine a winner or a decision from the judges. The way the match victory is determined will affect the way you bet.
The odds can differ depending on which outcome you choose when it comes to over-under bets. The most common one in MMA, is predicting how many rounds there will be in a fight. The bookmaker will state what it thinks the total will be and you will bet whether the outcome will be over that number or under.
A selection is made in a tournament, where you would predict the winner in several matches. Each bet will count as a leg of the bet, so you would need to win each of your bets for a big win. After each leg, the winnings are taken and then multiplied by the odds of the next leg.
This is probably the simplest and most common way of betting when it comes to UFC hosted MMA events. You predict who will win and place your bets accordingly. It doesn’t matter if the fighter wins by submission, KO, decision or points, just as long as they win.
As with betting on any sport, there are different levels of expertise. Our team of gambling experts have put together some tips to help you improve your betting strategy regardless of where you find yourself on the expertise spectrum. There are also some general tips to get better at MMA betting:
Furthermore, you will need to gather as much information about the fighters as you possibly can. Find out more about what their strengths and weaknesses are along with how they fight and what type of fighting styles they are weak against.
There are plenty of factors you will want to consider and this will be part of the statistics, this will include the above mentioned factors about the fighters. You will also be looking at things such as how long the fighter has been doing the sport, how many times they have won and lost fights, fighting class and more. The more you know, the easier it will be to analyze the odds and place your bets.
Those are just a few of the questions that will get answered as you learn more about the fighters you want to back with your bets. Never give up on gathering more information, especially as a beginner. The more you know now and the things you learn consistently will help you adapt your betting strategies in the future.
The acronym, MMA, stands for mixed martial arts. Like boxing, it pits two fighters against each other in a ring in the shape of an octagon. However, unlike boxers, the fighters in MMA can decide on what type of fighting technique they want to use during the fight. The contending fighters are assigned their opponents according to weight classes.
Several promoters of MMA events exist and the sport continues to gain more promoters. However, the most notable organization in MMA is the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. This organization is considered to be the major league of MMA organizations, similar to the NFL, NBA, MLB and the like. It was established in 1993, but only had one event or tournament that put fighters with varying skills up against each other for the ultimate victory.
The one-off event was a great success, which led to the increased popularity of the sport and UFC began organizing and hosting more MMA events. The increased and increasing popularity of the sport can be credited to the success of UFC bringing it to the forefront.
When the tournament first started, it was made up of eight fighters that would participate in a single-elimination contest with fighters from different fighting backgrounds and skills. The original event was only meant to be held once and never again. However, the MMA event was so popular that subsequent UFC tournaments and events were then held and the popularity of the sport increased.
When it all started, the fights were not regulated and were intended to be a match that had no rules. So, any fighters would go up against each other regardless of weight classes. The thought was that fighters could show off their skill and technique and that it would be more than enough to overpower their opponent.
Due to the brutality of the fights, many states in the US saw it fit to ban MMA events. To give MMA events legality in the country, the UFC consulted and worked with many athletic commissions to regulate and revamp the sport and its rules. In time the sport became more refined and the skill and technique used by the fighters were watched more closely and now play a key role in deciding who the winner of a match is.
Even with the new rules in place, the sport still needed more viewership and a lot more interest. The UFC gained a lot of ground after the organization was purchased by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and their partner Dana White. However, even under its new leadership, the organization was still struggling. Many people did not know much about the sport and the fights were broadcasted on pay-per-view, which wasn’t getting much attention.
Things changed when MMA and the UFC got more media attention and that came in the form of the well-renowned TV series The Ultimate Fighter. The popularity of the series allowed the sport to reach millions of viewers. Viewers got more insight into the sport and the fighters involved which led to more viewers wanting to see them fight on pay-per-view events.
The UFC is not the only MMA promoter that organizes MMA events. Many other MMA promoters exist around the world. Some promoters are more focused on fighters and events which are held on a local level whereas the UFC will feature fighters from around the world.
Other MMA promoters such as Invicta, Rizin Fighting Federation, ONE Championship, Fight Nights Global and Bellator also exist. However, none of these organizations is as well-known as the UFC. The best fighters from around the world know this as well and tend to make their way to the UFC to face the best of the best.
While odds for other promoters and their events do exist, it will take more effort and time to find it. The UFC has an esteemed reputation that is shown in the quality of their events which leads to more and better quality odds at nearly all reputable sportsbooks.
Fighters will weigh in and are then divided into these weight classes. When UFC events first started, fighters of different sizes and weights were pitted against each other. However, this led to unnecessarily brutal matches. To help even the playing field, these weight classes were added along with other rules that result in fair matchups.
|UFC Weight Classes||Weight Range (lbs)||Men||Women|
|Strawweight||Max. 115 lbs (52.1 kg)||❌||✔️|
|Flyweight||116 – 125 lbs (52.6 – 56.7 kg)||✔️||✔️|
|Bantamweight||126-135 lbs (57.1 – 61.2 kg)||✔️||✔️|
|Featherweight||136-145 lbs (61.7 – 65.7 kg)||✔️||✔️|
|Lightweight||146-155 lbs (66.2 – 70.3 kg)||✔️||❌|
|Welterweight||156-170 lbs (70.8 – 77.1 kg)||✔️||❌|
|Middleweight||171-185 lbs (77.6 – 83.9 kg)||✔️||❌|
|Light Heavyweight||186-205 lbs (84.4 – 93.0 kg)||✔️||❌|
|Heavyweight||206-265 lbs (93.4 – 120.2 kg)||✔️||❌|
The concept that gave rise to MMA was to see how fighters who have trained in different fighting styles would fare against each other. The experiment of sorts was to see if a wrestler could best judo fighter or if a taekwondo expert could beat a boxer.
When it comes to competing, any fighting style is allowed in UFC events. So, before you start placing any bets, you should educate yourself on the different fighting styles you will encounter during these events. Here are some of the most well-known fighting styles:
This fighting style mimics a dance and the movements made by the fighter are fluid. The fighting style always has a rhythm and great timing which also results in an unpredictable fighting pattern that is also very acrobatic and complex.
A fighting style originating in Korea that utilizes kicking and punching techniques. Fighters train in defense and offense by using their hands and feet.
This fighting style is a combination of freestyle wrestling and judo which originated in Russia. Fighters focus on techniques such as submissions, grappling, takedowns and throws. These methods are used to incapacitate the opponent, while the combat version makes use of added elbow and knee strikes as well as kicks and punches.
A hybrid fighting technique that involves several disciplines, but known as Chinese kickboxing or Chinese boxing. The discipline makes use of the whole body and is based on techniques from kung-fu, boxing, wrestling and kickboxing to name a few. It is best known for the use of successive blows in close contact and methods of submission.
This fighting technique is more of a category given that there are many different types of karate that fighters will lean toward. However, these fighters train hard to push the body to its limits. Techniques involve striking through kicks and punches, making use of several body parts to inflict blows and counter-striking plays a major role.
The fighting style originated in Japan and focuses on beating an opponent with a pin or cleanly throwing them to the ground without taking any damage. Mastering an opponent is another key aspect that involves applying pressure to your opponent’s neck or joints to get them to yield. It also involves using the weight and force of the opponent against them.
A long-standing fighting technique that uses the hands and arms for offense and defense. These fighters are adept at striking quickly and know how to move during a fight to gain distance from a threatening opponent or get in close when it counts. The focus is set on the power and agility of their punches, so fighters in the same weight class from other disciplines might be shocked at how much power a boxer really has.
A fighting discipline that sees fighters moving quickly, absorbing strikes and striking quickly. These strikes are unpredictable as these fighters have trained to use every part of their body to issue strikes. Fighters in this discipline are weaker when it comes to opponents that focus on the ground game and focus on victory by KO instead of submission.
Professional wrestlers have good control over their bodies, whether they need to change weight classes, bring opponents to the ground or keep themselves from being grounded. Wrestlers train to strengthen their centre of gravity and don’t often use striking techniques.
This is a fighting style based on submission holds and ground fighting. It is all about close contact and finding the right position to dominate your opponent and bring them to the ground. Fighters that use Brazilian jiu-jitsu often lack punching and kicking speed and strength.
Getting to know the fighters that participate in UFC and other MMA events is crucial when you need to know who to back or how to bet. Fighters in the UFC along with the quality of the events are considered to be the best of the best. So, we put together a list of some of the best MMA fighters out there.
|Julianna Peña||She is known as “The Venezuelan Vixen” and proved herself in 2021 by beating the former bantamweight champion, Amanda Nuñez. In December 2021, Peña won the championship by submission in the second round of their match. In January of the same year, Peña also won against Sara McMann by way of submission.|
|Marina Rodriguez||A fighter that doesn’t crave media attention, but has outperformed in the octagon with laser focus. The strawweight fighter left with victories over fighters such as Michelle Waterson, Amanda Ribas and Mackenzie Dern in 2021.|
|Glover Teixeira||This fighter went up against Jon Jones seven years ago, to try and grab the light heavyweight title but was unsuccessful. In 2021, he contended and was able to walk away with a victory against Jan Blachowicz by way of submission in the second round of their match.|
|Brandon Moreno||He is the first native of Mexico to steal the glory to become a UFC Champion. In 2020, his match against Deiveson Figueiredo I the flyweight division ended in a draw after a gruelling five rounds. However, when the two fighters had their rematch in June 2021, he won the match by submission in the third round showing just how much he had improved.|
|Max Holloway||A fighter that has received a lot of scrutiny and doubt from UFC fans. Holloway lost to Connor McGregor in 2013 but found his way back when he won against Brian Ortega in 2018. However, after holding his title for about a year, he lost to Alexander Volkanovski in 2019. The fighter did not let it get him down as he impressed everyone with his match against Calvin Kattar in January 2021 and then went on to beat Yair Rodriques in November of the same year.|
|Islam Makhachev||The fighter put on a show in 2021 by winning all of the three fights he contested in by way of submission against Dan Hooker, Thiago Moises and Drew Dober. Fans of the fighter have waited a long time to see him at his best, especially since he has only appeared on the roster eight times in the four years since competing in the UFC.|
|Rose Namajunas||The fighter proved herself worthy of the strawweight champion title when she defeated Zhang Weili reclaiming the title. In November, she went up against Zhang again and was successful at defending her title. The two fights from these contenders turned out to be completely different and also showed how well Namajunas was able to adapt and use a wide range of fighting skills to claim victory.|
|Cyril Gane||He joined the UFC and his stats showed that he was a specialist at striking in 2019. However, as time went on and everyone had a chance to see what he was capable of, he had a lot more experience and fighting skills under his belt. He ended the year 2021, with three victories against Derrick Lewis, Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. He has achieved the interim heavyweight title and will be fighting to make it undisputed in January 2022.|
|Charles Oliveira||After having a rough time consistently, Oliviera showed up in May with a bang. He was up against Michael Chandler and it took five minutes and 19 seconds before he came back in the second round and became the lightweight UFC champion of the world. He subsequently defended his title against Dustin Poirier and did so successfully to end the year in 2021.|
|Kamaru Usman||Years ago Usman warned other contenders and informed fans that he would be a problem for any opponent in his weight class. He remained true to his word, by remaining in the conversation related to being a world champion and an all-time great welterweight contender. In February 2021, he took out Gilbert Burns, with a bit more effort than he was hoping for. However, in his April match against Jorge Masvidal, he ended the match with a KO in the second round.|
There are a lot of words associated with MMA and the UFC events that you will hear from spectators, contenders and commentators. You should know what some of the most common terms are, which might also help you understand prop bets during these matches.
This technique uses the legs and wraps them around the opponent’s neck to choke them.
A way to signal that a fighter has given up the match. The fighter will tap on the mat, on their opponent or themselves, usually while in a submission hold.
The defending fighter will firmly place their hands on their opponent's head and push down, then push their legs back, to increase the weight on their opponent's head to bring them down.
Wrap an arm around the opponent’s neck from behind, add pressure until they start to lose consciousness
A category of techniques that involves isolating your opponent’s leg and adding pressure to the knees, feet or toes.
This move is used for submission by holding your opponent’s leg and pulling it away from the opponent so they feel pain in the leg socket or knee joint.
Pulling back an opponent's arm and applying pressure to the shoulder or the elbow.
The fighter wraps their arms around their opponent's neck from the front and applies pressure, to completely submit the opponent, the fighter’s legs are then simultaneously wrapped around the opponent to bring them down.
When a player is down, they will wrap their legs around their opponent’s body to restrict their movements and soften any blows.
Close combat technique that involves restricting an opponent’s movement by using the hands and the arms to put pressure on the upper body and also involves grappling.
A fighter holds their opponent’s arm with their legs and has their hands on the opponent’s hand, to twist the hand in one direction and the rest of the arm in the other direction to create pressure and a submission.
When you have to risk real money to make money it can be stressful. However, online sportsbooks will offer betting bonuses to allow bettors to place risk-free bets with a chance of turning it into real money. Here are some of the common bonuses offered for MMA and the UFC.
Bettors can place a wager and use this bonus to win back the money in case they lose. If your bet is successful and you used the risk-free bet, you will receive the amount you wagered in bonus credits. It’s not real money, but you do get another opportunity to place a winning bet.
When you create a parlay bet, you already stand a chance of winning big, if all your bets are successful. Using an odds boost increases the winning odds so that you stand a chance of winning even more.
Most online sportsbooks will offer you a welcome bonus but these can differ between websites. In most cases, you will be offered a deposit match bonus up to a certain value. These bonuses can be 100% of what you deposit or vary in percentage. You receive bonus credit to place even more bets on your favourite MMA events.
This is often a sign-up bonus but doesn’t have much value to it. However, it can be useful based on the odds and it comes in the form of a free bet which means that you won’t have to risk any of your money and stand a chance to turn bonus funds into real-money winnings.
There have been unprecedented wins when it comes to the UFC and there have been many bettors that have benefited from betting on the underdog. Here are some notable fights that have taken place over the past few years that have had great payouts.
Odds - Wilkinson: +555, Backstrom: -900
The gap was wide, even though both fighters had good stats based on their career records. These fighters also didn’t have much experience and bettors expected that the odds would be closer.
Odds – Eduardo: +600, Wineland: -900
Wineland was the favourite to win the match due to his pro fighting record while Eduardo was returning from a two-year break. The latter managed a KO against Wineland in the first round and whoever bet on Eduardo winning by KO was really happy as those odds were set at +1500.
Odds – Worthy: +640, Smith: -1000
This was the first match in the UFC for Worthy while Smith was already on a three-streak win with first-round KOs in each. However, Worthy took Smith out with a first-round KO and the odds on the newcomer doing that were +1100.
Odds – Saenz: +700, Alcantara: -1000
Saenz won against Alcantara even though he had only one victory in the UFC while Alacantara had won 6. It was a completely unexpected victory from Saenz.
Odds – Serra: +850, St-Pierre: -1300
With a six-fight winning streak, St-Pierre also had a 13-1 record in the UFC. It was a big surprise that Serra even got a title match with a record of 5-4 in the UFC. The underdog, Serra, managed a first-round TKO with the odds against him
Odds – Holm: +830, Rousey: -1400
Rousey was known for her speed having finished her previous three fights in just 64 seconds, combined. However, Holm was able to stand her ground and even managed to knock Rousey out early, in the first round.
Odds - Dobson: +950, Agapova: -1400
This was a title fight where Agapova had a record of 5 first-round Kos and 9 victories in the UFC at that point. Her opponent, Dobson, came into the match with a losing streak at her back but managed to get to the second round of the match to end it all with a TKO.
Odds – Dillashaw: +650, Barao: -1000
One of the most notable upsets in MMA history was this match between a veteran champion and an underdog. In nine years, Barao had not lost any fights and came into the octagon with a record of 32-1. The odds of Dillashaw taking the match by TKP were +2000 and he did so after a long-winded 5 rounds and in the fifth ended it with a TKO.
Odds – Beltran: +750, Gracie: -730
Even though Beltran had a decent fighting record of 10-3, many expected Gracie to take the match given his three-match winning streak at that point. However, Gracie was taken out in the second round.
Odds – Edgar: +588, Penn: -900
The fighters were evenly matched and the fight was expected to go the distance. However, there was a controversial finish. Even though many believed that Penn would make it out on top, Edgar took the win by way of a unanimous decision by the judges.
People that bet on sports are usually ones that enjoy watching sports as well. The same goes for the UFC and these matches can be watched anywhere you can pay-per-view or live-stream. So having access to the odds wherever you are is a great advantage.
Any reputable online sportsbook, like the websites we recommend for UFC betting, will have built its platforms for mobile use. You can easily access all your favourite betting markets and odds directly from a mobile browser on your smartphone or tablet.
So, you can enjoy the live excitement of all the fights, with your friends or family at any time, from anywhere. Some online sportsbooks have even gone as far as to create an app you can use on the go, for easier access to all features and betting options.
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Yes! The sport’s popularity has been growing in the past few years and the events are well-marketed. Fights in the UFC get a lot of attention and the entertainment is unrivalled, with odds that are competitive and worth your money if you are willing to take the risk.
The same way you would bet on any sport you are interested in. You will need to create an account with a reputable sportsbook. Before or even after you have signed up, make sure you study the fighters you are interested in and their opponents. Once you have an idea of their stats, look at the odds available for the matches you are interested in and place your bet.
Yes. It is a popular method of betting especially if you know what the fighters are capable of. Just remember that you need to win each leg of your parlay bet, to see a profit.
The odds for a moneyline bet are represented with negative and positive numbers. If the sportsbook believes the fighter will win the match, there will be a number next to their name with a positive sign (+150). If the fighter is the underdog, then the number next to their name will have a negative sign (-150).
Of course. A lot can happen during a UFC event and these will happen at a fast pace. These bets are usually represented as over/under bets and will look at things such as how many rounds the fight will last, how long will it take for a fighter to submit etc.