Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is somewhat of a newcomer to the world of sports betting. MMA is basically where two people fight with a set of rules in a cage or “octagon,” but these people are very skilled athletes in their respective weight classes.
Betting on these athletes is a task in itself since there are numerous ways for these fighters to win and likely different outcomes. Anything can also happen within a blink of an eye, and every fighter is always susceptible to being submitted or knocked out regardless if they are a favorite. This is the beauty of MMA and even more specifically the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Unlike other traditional sports, it can be difficult to break down various leagues and fighters but it is possible with a good strategy.
Looking ahead, this guide will point you in the right direction. After reading, you can start your own investigation on what works best for your MMA betting needs.
How the MMA Season is Constructed
There is quite a bit of deciding factors that play a role in determining a season or schedule within a MMA organization. Some have tournaments while others have events.
Most of the time, like the UFC or even Bellator, they will have events. This is when you have a main attraction and a co-main attraction. These are typically referred to as main and co-main events that have other fights on the card. They also might even have preliminary cards, in which a handful of matchups are on one card to somewhat open up for the main event. Think of this as an opening act to the main event.
The key here for the promotion is to match up fighters, to the best of their ability, so that a good fight is available for the fans. You would not want an inexperienced fighter up against the champion since that would not make for great television. Instead, you want to have equally matched opponents or as close as you can. This also allows fighters to make the most of their matchups, so when they do defeat a quality fighter, they can look for better competition within their respective division.
This is somewhat the opposite of what happens in tournaments like Dana White’s Contender Series. This is a UFC promotion that allows competitive fighters trying to earn a UFC contract. These groups of fighters will compete for weeks at a time in order to work their way to a contract. It is arguably one of the world’s toughest job interviews.
Where to Bet on MMA
If you were to search that phrase online, you would definitely find a handful of betting sites. These sportsbooks, if you are not familiar with them, are online sportsbooks where customers can place bets on events.
If you do not have access to the internet, you would need to visit your local casino or place that provides a legal sportsbook. The key word here is legal, so make sure whichever decision you make is going to be legal in person or online.
For most bettors, online is the way to go. The most common websites for MMA betting are:
Depending on your location, you could have a better opportunity with a sportsbook or a casino that partners with one. With nearly 400 different events going on a year, you have plenty of betting opportunities to choose from so you do not need to rush into a sportsbook without doing your research first.
You should obviously check for user reviews first and see what others are saying about them. Then, if still interested, check out the payment methods, betting options, and even the signup bonus.
Most sportsbooks these days will offer incentives for joining and placing bets. You can even, in some cases, have a risk free bet or free money to play with.
Different Types of MMA Bets
When it comes to MMA betting, you not only have more than one fight to choose from but multiple betting options within the fight itself. Some are very straightforward, so it is important to keep things simple.
The moneyline, for example, is a betting option where you pick who you think will win the fight. Let us look at an example:
Fighter A: -135
Fighter B: +115
Here, Fighter A is represented by a minus sign, so this means they are the favorite to win. To read this, you would have to wager $135 in order to get a return of $100 if they win. Fighter B is represented by a positive sign, so this means they are the underdog. To read this, you would have to wager $100 in order to have a return of $115.
Another betting type is round betting or the over/under. This is where you choose between the fight lasting up until a certain point or below a certain amount of rounds.
One more example of MMA betting opportunities is the method of victory. A fight can result in a variety of different ways, such as a decision (split, unanimous, majority), draw, KO/TKO, or even by submission.
These can become quite profitable because you really have to get this one right with the amount of options available. You also do not have to choose all of these. Keep in mind your options before placing a bet on a fighter.
How to Live Bet on the MMA
Live betting MMA is becoming ever more popular, just like the sport itself. You really get to enjoy the experience firsthand as you watch the fighters compete and make bets along the way. First, your sportsbook will need to allow live betting. Then, you can watch the fight in real time and make bets along the way.
Say you bet on a fighter to win by knockout in the first round. Well, the round ended, and their opponent looked very good in the first round. In live betting, you could create another bet to counter that one and go from there.
There are different things to look at as the fight goes on. These include the pace of the fight, a strategy that is working for one fighter, and even maybe just a slow start to the champion who was not supposed to lose.
Tips for Betting the MMA
There is not a clear-cut example of what to do to get exactly every fight correct. In fact, it is nearly impossible. However, getting them correct more often than not is the key here. So with that in mind, there are a few tips you can do to improve your MMA betting situation.
Start with the proper research. Depending on what MMA promotion you choose to follow and bet on, you might want to stick to one that is familiar instead of trying to cover multiple leagues. After that, you will need to be aware of each fighter or at least the ones you intend to bet on. Taking any bias out of the equation, you need to look at their stats and see their weak points.
Once you decide who you want to bet on, try practicing your bets for a while. Simply write what you think will happen and go from there. This way, you will not lose any money, and you have the experience firsthand.
Another few tips would be to stay on top of current news and bet on fights often once you are comfortable. You will need to stay up to date with select fighters and any issues such as injuries or illnesses.
Finally, keep a watch on how much money you are using to place bets. You always want to either set up a budget or make yourself a limit for the day in order to preserve your cash flow. This also helps with developing healthy betting habits. You do not want this to become a gambling problem, so take the right steps now.
MMA Betting FAQ
What are southpaw and orthodox stances?
A southpaw stance is where a fighter’s right foot is forward, and their left is back. For the orthodox stance, it is the opposite where the left foot is forward and the right is back. However, hand strength is most important, especially if they are left-handed.
Do the weigh-ins matter?
Weigh-ins are important to catch up on at times before a big fight. If a fighter is trying to greatly reduce weight in time for a fight, they could look exhausted and drained. This could potentially affect their performance, like strength and cardio.
Tips for the method of victory?
You do not have to make this complicated if you are not sure how to bet on the method of victory just yet. But a good rule of thumb is to see what your favorite fighter is good at and see if their opponent is bad at defending against it.
Does the record matter?
The record does not always indicate a great fighter. If a fighter is undefeated but competes against subpar opponents, their record is meaningless. Take a very good fighter that competes in a tough division and see how they have performed.
How do I study the fighters?
The internet is full of useful information. For example, if you choose to bet on the UFC, then you can find just about everything you want to know about certain fighters on their website. This will show you their tendencies and up to date stats with their time in the UFC.