How to bet on UFC Fights
For many years, boxing was the only combat sport that would attract gamblers, but over the last decade, the MMA (mixed martial arts) promotion, the UFC has made its presence known by attracting a global audience of millions and creating its very own superstars.
Despite its growing popularity, in contrast to most sports, the promotion is still very much in its infancy, and as a result, has a constantly growing and changing betting market.
If having a flutter on UFC seems like something that would appeal to you, then look no further because we here at Bonus Bets have got you covered with our in-depth guide to betting on the sport.
UFC’s schedule is becoming increasingly busy as time goes by but, for the most part, they have stuck with the same structure over the last few years.
They regularly host UFC Fight Night events which will feature their under and mid-card performers and occasionally a main-event fighter, but most of their big name fighters are reserved for their pay-per-view cards, which are usually held around once a month.
The company is also continuing to expand its presence and will no doubt be holding more frequent shows in the future. As it stands, however, there are plenty of opportunities to bet on them and there are also other option MMA promotions available such as Bellator and the PFL.
Types of bets
There are a wide variety of markets available on UFC, most of which are incredibly similar to the markets offered for boxing.
The most common types of bets placed on UFC are as follows:
The most common type of bet placed on a UFC fight. The outright winner or result bet has three options, either one of fighter A or B wins, or the contest ends in a draw.
In this market, draws are incredibly rare but not impossible, while there will often be one clear favourite in a lot of fights outside of the marquee matches.
Type of victory bets
UFC is an incredibly brutal sport and a fight can be brought to an end in a variety of different ways.
Here is a quick rundown of the ways a UFC fight can come to an end:
When one of the fighters is placed in a submission hold and either physically taps out or verbally quits.
When one fighter knocks his opponent unconscious.
Technical Knock Out (TKO)
When the referee has to stop the fight because one fighter is injured, or he believes the fight is over.
When the scorecards held by the three judges indicate a clear winner, either because the three judges have unanimously agreed on a winner, or two of the three have agreed on a winner.
This happens when the fight is stopped for an injury after a certain period of time and the fight is decided by the judges. This is incredibly uncommon.
When a fighter is disqualified for breaking the rules
Draw: When three of the judges have scored the fight as a draw, either unanimously or through a split vote.
Like in boxing, placing an over/under bet on the number of rounds in a UFC fight is becoming increasingly popular.
Unlike boxing, however, UFC fights tend to be much quicker, with championship matches or main event matches going for five rounds of five minutes each, and non-championship matches lasting only three.
The most common of these bets in a non-championship fight would be over/under 1.5, whereas in a championship fight it would typically be over/under 2.5. So if a fight goes past the halfway mark in the second round, and you had bet on over 2.5, then you would win the bet.
Another type of bet that is becoming increasingly popular with UFC is betting on which fighter will win a specific round, as opposed to a fight.
These bets can be very difficult to call but can pay out well if you have a good knowledge of the sport and are able to predict the outcome of more than one round.
With the UFC still being a relatively young promotion, the level of interest in the sport is not as big as it would be for sports such as football or boxing. As a result, bookmakers won’t typically have too many special bets available on the sport for smaller fights.
For the promotion’s marquee fights though, there will often be a range of proposition bets available and with some of the bigger personalities in the promotion there may even be some novelty bets such as ‘who will accompany them to the ring’ or ‘what colour shorts will they wear?’ available.
These bets are not really considered serious ways to win money though and are often just added for a bit of fun.
Where to bet
Most bookmakers tend to offer a good range of odds on UFC, but Bet365
and William Hill
tend to offer the best odds in the UK market.
UFC Betting strategy
In many ways, UFC is very similar to boxing in that a deep knowledge of the fighters involved is essential to making sure you get the right result.
There is a lot more to analysing UFC fighters than just their body type and weight, however. MMA is made up of several different martial arts styles and it is crucial to know which fighters match up well against certain styles of fighting.
For example, a fighter who is an excellent striker may struggle against a mat based fighter who has a background in wrestling if he is taken down early.
UFC can be an incredibly complicated sport to predict and it is recommended that you make sure you do your research before parting with your cash here.