Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing sports in the world and since sports betting is now legal, you can bet on the UFC easily.
How to bet on UFC ?
The menu for MMA betting isn’t as broad as other sports on the odds board and options will depend on the magnitude of the bout – title fights tend to stir up more betting markets – but most UFC betting options include these three types of bets:
Odds to win
The most common way to bet on MMA odds is to wager on which fighter will win the bout. Oddsmakers use head-to-head moneylines to set these markets, calculating an implied probability for each fighter and then setting a corresponding moneyline for that bet.
For example, FIGHTER A is the reigning champion and is riding a five-fight winning streak in which they’ve been dominant, including four knockout finishes. FIGHTER B is a veteran of the sport but their career is on a decline after splitting wins and losses in their last six bouts, including two bad defeats by knockout.
Since FIGHTER A has a higher implied probability to win (75-80%), oddsmakers have set them as the favorite, with their moneyline odds reflecting those chances of winning the match. FIGHTER B has a lower implied probability of winning (25-30%) and is installed as the underdog, also reflective of their chances of victory.
FIGHTER A -400 (bet $400 to win $100)
FIGHTER B +275 (bet $100 to win $275)
Some sportsbooks offer a three-way line on fight odds, with a DRAW match as a betting option. A draw doesn’t often occur and therefore carries a much higher potential payout than betting on which fighter will win.
Another popular MMA betting option is taking the Over/Under for round totals, allowing you to bet on when you think the fight will end.
Depending on the matchup, style of the fighters involved, and the number of rounds scheduled, oddsmakers will set an Over/Under total on the expected number of rounds completed. On top of that, they will set a price for both the Over and the Under – also known as the vig or juice – depending on the implied probability of the fight reaching that round total.
For example, the bout between FIGHTER A vs. FIGHTER B is a championship match that is scheduled for five rounds. The round total is set at 3.5 (or the 2:30 mark of Round 3 as MMA rounds last five mintues).
But because FIGHTER A has the potential to end the fight early with a knockout and FIGHTER B has suffered some bad KO losses in recent outings, the Under 3.5 rounds has a higher implied probability and the vig is adjusted to reflect those chances.
OVER 3.5 rounds -105 (bet $105 to win $100)
UNDER 3.5 rounds -130 (bet $130 to win $100)
Method of victory props
If you want to get more specific with your UFC betting picks — and earn a larger payout — you can choose to bet on a fighter’s method of victory. Not only does the fighter you select have to win the bout, but they must also win via the method selected.
The most common method of victory options for MMA betting are:
- Win by knockout/TKO/DQ
- Win by submission
- Win by decision
Due to this betting market being more specific than the outright winner odds and harder to predict, each method of victory prop carries varying prices but do offer larger returns than the outright odds. The vig attached to each prop reflects the implied probability of each possible finish.
For example, if FIGHTER A is known for their knockout power, a bet on a KO/TKO/DQ win will not pay out as much as a win via submission or decision. If FIGHTER B is more a defensive expert with solid submission skills, their method of victory odds could see a higher implied probability toward a submission finish or a win on the judges’ scorecards.