If you are interested in the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and the UFC, then you will already be well aware of how exciting it can get, especially if placing a bet on the outcome. In this guide, we will look at how to bet on MMA, MMA betting tips, the best MMA betting strategy, the variety of bet types and even more so you can put your money down with confidence.

How to bet on MMA in 2022

How to bet on MMA in 2024

Fans of fighting used to look to the boxing ring for some action, but not anymore. Quickly, MMA is taking its place and more people are interested in betting on MMA than ever before. From the biggest UFC fights to smaller Bellator fights, there will be the right bets for you.

Here are the best betting sites for MMA bets:

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MMA Betting Explained: MMA Betting Lines

Once you have chosen your preferred MMA betting site, then it’s time to decide which bets you want to make. If you’re new, you may want to start with a simple winner bet, but if you’re more experienced you may go for an exotic bet. Here are the main types of MMA bets you might find:

  • Moneyline Bets 
  • Method of Victory
  • Double Chance Bets
  • Go the Distance
  • Over/Under Bets
  • Fight Awards Bets
  • Props Bets
  • Live Bets

Moneyline Bets: Bet on the Winner

The most popular of all bets, perfect for new MMA bettors! You simply need to bet on which fighter you think will win.

One fighter will always be the favorite, and the other will be the underdog. Bookies calculate the implied probability of winning for each fighter to set the moneyline. Favorites have a minus value next to their name, while underdog fighters have a plus sign next to their name. Very rarely, the odds are almost the same for both fighters: this is called a pick’em fight. Because ties are such a rarity in UFC fights, betting on the draw tends to be a higher-risk, higher-payout option. When the draw is available as a third option in the sportsbook, it’s known as a three-way moneyline.

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When you place a moneyline bet, as long as your chosen fighter beats his opponent, you win your bet. How long it takes for a fighter to win, or how he accomplishes a win is not relevant. This is a great advantage for newcomers to the world of UFC betting. The only drawback is that the amount you need to wager is directly related to the percentage of bettors placing bets on the same fighter, as well as on the fighter’s chances of winning. So, in short, if everyone is placing their bets on a heavy favorite, then you’ll need to pay a higher price to bet on him, and will also receive a smaller payout if he wins. On the other hand, if no one is betting on an underdog, the price for placing a wager on him will be low, and the payout, if he wins, will be large!

  • Example: Alex Pereira (+120) vs. Israel Adesanya (-150)

Take this example bout between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya. This is the fourth time this two will be facing each other in a match. Pereira has actually defeated Adesanya on 3 occasions already, but sportsbooks still have listed him as the underdog for this event as he will be looking to reclaim his belt. The +120 next to Pereira’s name indicates that you need to wager $100 to potentially win I’m $120 if he wins. Adesanya is the favorite, and at -150 odds you need to bet $150 to potentially win $100. In the unlikely event of a draw, you will receive the exact amount you wagered back (as long as the draw is not listed as a third option). In this scenario, considering Pereira has beaten Adesanya three times already, it would be smart to bet on Pereira, as he might seek to retain his title and defeat Adesanya for the fourth time.

Xbet Moneyline betting

Method of Victory Bets: How they Win

If you feel more confident, you could try and predict how the fighter will win. You don’t need to guess who will win – just how they will win. Knowing each fighter’s fight style will help you make the best decision. Kumaru Usman, for instance, rarely wins by submission, so even if you think he will win, you should probably not choose submission for your method of victory wagers.

A fighter may win a match in different ways. The main methods of victory include:

  • Submission: A fighter losses by submission when he gives up and decides not to continue fighting, often to avoid potentially serious injuries.
  • Knockout (KO): A fighter wins a bout when his opponent is knocked down due to a strike or slam, and cannot rise by the end of the referee’s count to 10.
  • Technical Knockout (TKO): In these cases, the referee ends the fight because one of the fighters is unable to continue fighting, either due to an injury or the inability to defend himself. The referee declares the TKO, without counting to 10, to prevent further injuries.
  • Disqualification (DQ): This happens when a fighter fouls his opponent repeatedly or incurs other forms of rule-breaking.
  • Decision: This takes place when the three judges vote and award a win, a loss, or a draw depending on the result agreed upon by the majority of the judges. When the judges make a decision, the fight does not end in a knockout, disqualification, submission, or any other type of ending.
  • Technical Decision (TD): A fight is terminated due to an unintentional foul, typically a headbutt. Often, the winner is named according to the scorecards up until the fight had to be ended.

As you would expect, odds will vary depending on the method of victory. Bookmakers set the lines for each method of victory according to the probability of a fight ending a certain way, and then adjust the odds once the public starts betting. For example, the more likely a fight is to end with a knockout, the lower the payout will be for that option. In the same manner, if it isn’t very likely that a fight will end by submission, then betting on this victory method would offer a large payout. Bookies typically also offer the option to bet on whether the decision will be unanimous, or, on the contrary, if the winning fighter will win by split or majority decision. 


Double Chance Bets: Two in One

This is simply a mix of the above two wagers. You need to bet on who you think will win and how you think they will win. In this case, most sportsbooks will let you select two methods of victory, as well as the fighter you think will win. This is slightly less risky than the first two but doesn’t offer the highest payouts.

In order to win, your chosen fighter must win and he must do so by one of the two victory methods you selected. You will lose your bet if either the player doesn’t win, or if he does win but by any other victory method than those you picked.

Double chance bets come in handy when a fighter is either very skilled in submission or if a fighter is quite bad in submission. If a fighter tends to win by submission, you can bet on him winning by submission and points. If a fighter is not skilled in submission, you may wager on him winning by knockout or a decision.

Sportsbooks will list each fighter’s name to win, along with the methods by which they will win. The odds will vary depending on the fighter and the methods of victory selected. Double chance bets are a great choice for bettors with a very clear picture of how a fight will go down.

For example, imagine you want to place a double chance bet on a bout between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw. You could place a double chance bet on Garbrandt to win and do so by decision or technical decision. This means that you will win the bet if Garbrandt wins by the judge’s decision or technical decision. On the other hand, if he wins by KO or TKO, your bet will lose.

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Go the Distance: A Points Decision

One of the most popular rounds betting examples is betting on whether you think the fight will go the distance, as in last the full number of rounds scheduled. This is a simple yes or no 50-50 bet.

Go the Distance: A Points Decision

Basically, if you predict a fight will go on to the last round and the winner will be decided by the judge’s scorecards, then you have to place a wager on the Yes option.  In this case, all scheduled rounds will be fought and both opponents will still stand by the end of the fight. On the other hand, if you believe a fight will end before the number of rounds scheduled, either due to KO/KTO, submission, or disqualification, then you should go for the No option. 

The only aspect that matters for this type of UFC bet is the duration of the fight. When betting on who will go the distance, you don’t need to worry about who will win and who will lose. So, a good strategy when placing this wager would be to look at the number of rounds fought by each player during their career.

Additionally, many bookies offer the option to bet on the exact number of rounds a bout will last. But that’s not all: you can even bet on the exact minute the fight will end. This type of betting is riskier than if the fight will go the distance, but the potential payout is much larger.


Over/Under Rounds: How Far Will it Go?

This is a simple over/under bet. For example, the sportsbook will set a number–usually 1.5 in a regular three-round bout or 2.5 in a championship fight. You need to predict whether the fight will be over or under that number of rounds.

If you bet on a fight to last Over 2.5 rounds and that fight has been scheduled to last 5 rounds, your bet will win if the fight lasts more than 3 rounds. The method of victory and the winner of the fight is irrelevant for over/under rounds betting. Standard UFC fights are usually scheduled to last 3 five-minute rounds, while UFC title fights tend to be scheduled for 5 five-minute rounds. 

To win big with UFC over/under rounds betting, you need to consider all the statistical data that may impact the duration of the fight. Always check the number of rounds scheduled, the location, the judging officials, the total number of rounds each fighter has fought, and any other data that could point toward the duration of the upcoming fight you intend to wager on.

Take into account that, generally, heavyweight fights don’t typically go the distance, while strawweight fights do tend to last the scheduled number of rounds.

As an example, imagine there’s an upcoming UFC fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, and the fight is scheduled to last 5 rounds. In this case, you have to predict how many rounds it will take for either fighter to beat his opponent. If you believe the fight will be a quick finish, you might bet the under. If you think the fighters will have a more competitive and drawn-out battle, you might bet the over. So, if you predict the fight will end in the 3rd round or after that, your bet will win if a fighter is defeated in the third, fourth, or fifth round, or if the fight goes the distance and is decided by the judges. However, if the fight ends in the first or second round, you will lose your bet.


Fight Award Bets: Winner, Winner!

Many MMA promotions give out special fight bonuses such as the Fight of the Night, or the Performance of the Night. UFC hands out these bonus awards after each fight night comes to an end. All you have to do is predict which fight and which fighter will receive the award bonuses! Fight Award bets are fun and low-risk but don’t offer big payouts. Additionally, take into consideration that most bookies only offer Fight Award odds for the more popular events, as it’s not the most popular type of MMA betting.


Proposition Bets: Will it Happen?

This is betting on whether you think something will happen in the fight or not. It could be betting on whether a fighter will land a takedown. These are harder to predict but lots of fun!

In many sportsbooks, the method of victory and the double chance bets are actually considered prop bets. Aside from these, other MMA Prop Bets include who will land more strikes and if points will be deducted from a fighter, among many other odds. Some bookies go as far as which fighter will be the first to start bleeding!

In many cases, and especially when it comes to high-profile fights, you can find quite atypical odds, such as if a fighter will wear a certain color or say a certain phrase. As an example, in UFC 229, bettors could bet on the total curse words said by Conor McGregor, and other funny bets such as if McGregor would take a sip of whisky, eat a piece of chewing gum, or wear sunglasses. Keep in mind, however, that, more often than not, the more “bizarre” UFC Prop Bets will have betting caps.

Props: The Creative Bets

Live Bets: After the Action Starts

MMA sports betting sites will usually also allow you to bet on a fight after it has started. It could be betting on the method of victory, who will win or who will land the first strike. Basically, most UFC betting lines described above will be also available as live bets. Depending on what is happening, you can get excellent value odds if you bet at the right time.

The key to making the best MMA live bets is being able to observe and understand each fighter-both on a physical and mental level-to quickly anticipate what will happen next. Paying close attention during the first round is particularly important, as it can often give you a pretty accurate idea of how the fight will develop. That may sound complicated, but you don’t need to predict every single detail to win your bet. You can maybe get a sense of who will win, even if you can’t tell when that will happen. On the other hand, you might be able to diagnose during which round the fight will end, or in which way it will finish, even if you don’t have an insight into who will be the one to win.

When it comes to UFC in-game wagering, odds will typically be updated at the end of every round, depending on what happened previously. The odds for the same bet can vary greatly from round to round.

To better illustrate how this works, imagine a match-up between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Before the fight started, the pre-fight moneyline on Jones to win was at -250 (meaning you had to wager $250 to win $100), while Gustafsson was listed as the underdog at +500 odds. But, then, as the fight progresses, Gustafsson starts putting up an increasingly strong performance and is even landing some significant strikes on Jones. You will now see that the live odds for Gustafsson to win have increased to +300 (meaning you would win $300 for every $100 you bet), while Jon Jones will have moved to -100 odds. It would make sense to now place a live bet of $100 on Gustafsson to win. If he does end up pulling off the upset and winning the fight, you would receive a payout of $300 for your live bet. If you decide instead to bet on Jones winning, and he did so, you would receive $100. So, in essence, live betting can often enable you to cash in on better odds with reduced risks.

Live/In-game Betting: Odds Change by the Minute

MMA Betting Glossary

If you want to know how to bet on MMA properly these are some of the terms you need to know:

MMA Betting Term Definition
Accumulator (Parlay) A series of bets placed into one big bet (all parts of the bet must win)
Chalk The fighter that is expected to win
Disqualified A player that keeps breaking the rules will be removed from the fight and the other opponent automatically wins
KO Knockout – If a fighter doesn’t get up after a count of 10
Majority Decision If the fighter scores more points on 2 scorecards but draws the third.
Split Decision A fighter scores more points on 2 judge cards but fewer on the 3rd card
TKO Technical Knockout – the referee stops the fight
Unanimous Decision The fighter wins by points on all 3 of the judges’ scorecards
Go the Distance The fight lasts all the way to the end
Even Money When the fighters are given equal odds and equal chances of winning.

Best MMA Betting Tips: MMA Betting Strategy

So, you know what type of bet you’re interested in and you know what MMA sportsbook you like the look of. Let’s take a look at the biggest question of all… how to give yourself the best chance of winning. Here are our top MMA betting tips and MMA betting strategy to consider:


Know their Styles

Styles make fights! At least for the most part. Many fighters may be on par when it comes to talent and past wins, and yet their styles may be vastly different. In many cases, a highly-accomplished fighter will lose a matchup simply because his fighting style isn’t the most fitting to beat their contender. Being familiar with the fighting styles of each of the two fighters before a match-up can potentially earn you a big payout. Understanding this can also help you get a much clearer picture of the method of victory.


Examine Fight Records

Scanning a fighter’s entire fight history may be useful to predict what will happen during a matchup. Yet, if two fighters have already gone up against each other in the past, that would definitely be the most revealing information you can find. When looking at past performances, always take into consideration additional info such as the weight class they were fighting in, the age they were, etc. This will help you make more precise comparisons.


Who’s the Coach?

Coaches may not be the ones landing the strikes, but they still have a huge impact on their fighter’s performance. After all, coaches are the ones who set up a fighter’s training schedule, create the strategies to go up against different opponents, push the necessary technique improvements, select training partners, and come up with the roadmap for each camp. Researching MMA coaches before placing your UFC bets can literally make the difference between an epic loss, and a large payout.


Pay Attention to the Weigh-Ins

Some fighters have to drop a lot of weight before a weigh-in, including undergoing severe dehydration. This is usually visible on their face when they weigh-in. Because the weigh-in is one day before the fight, total rehydration is difficult and this can affect the brain, leaving the fighter more susceptible to knockout.


Is it in a Ring or Cage?

Some fights are promoted as being cage fights – and some ring. The type of environment it is being fought could benefit one of the fighters depending on their style. MMA fights in a ring have four corners and ropes. Cage fights have eight 135-degree corners and metal-chained walls. Cages usually benefit wrestlers and grapplers.


The Size of the Cage

Movement-based fighters are usually at a disadvantage in a smaller cage. Smaller cages mean more exchanges and more engagement – and a higher chance the fight won’t go the distance. In other words, you can definitely expect more strikes in a smaller cage, and the probability of a knockout or submission is certainly higher.


Avoid Betting on a Heavy Favorite

There is still the chance of an upset and you won’t gain much even if you do win. Research the fighters and scour the different fights to look for the best value bet based on your knowledge of how likely they are. Know fight styles, records, forms, and how they perform in different environments.


Research, Research, Research

Know everything you can about your fighters. Read through their fight records thoroughly, and check out as many UFC picks as possible. Look at the fighter’s age, consider their pace, their reach, and their stance, and be familiar with any old and recent injuries. Are they south-paw? Look at which fight style usually comes out victorious. Look at previous fights against opponents with that fighting style and bet based on knowledge rather than personal fights. Remember: a fighter’s style may be very effective against certain fight styles, and completely ineffective against others.


Avoid Biases

As hard as it may be, steer clear of subjectivity. Of course, nothing would be as thrilling as watching your favorite fighter beat his long-time foe in an epic knockout match. But the most successful bettors don’t let biases interfere with their betting strategy, as tough as it may be. Every factor must be considered and weighed in for you to make the best possible bets. And yet, sometimes, a great payout might also mean that your favorite fighter has won in all his glory.


Manage Your Bankroll

This is the same no matter what sports you are looking to bet on. Be picky when choosing your MMA wagers. Choose value bets and don’t try and bet on every fight. Remember that small wins count to, and that they can build up over time. Make a budget and stick to it. Never start chasing your losses and learn how to manage your bankroll effectively here.


How to Bet on MMA and Win

Hopefully, you have some idea of how it works – now let’s look at exactly how to bet on MMA and win:

  1. Look through our list of MMA betting sites and UFC betting apps and pick your favorite – As a UFC fan, you’ll want to choose a bookie that offers great odds, as well as a wide variety of lines for UFC fights. Be sure to check out our reviews, as all of our partners offer competitive odds and live betting options for UFC events.
  2. Click on register and open a new betting account – Once you’ve chosen your favorite sportsbook, the next step is to create a new account! This is a straightforward process that requires you to provide some personal details, like your name, email, and date of birth. After filling out the registration form, you’ll receive a confirmation email.
  3. Pick your preferred payment option and make the first deposit into your account – To start betting on UFC fights, you need to make a deposit into your account. Most sportsbooks offer a wide range of payment options, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers.
  4. Claim your welcome bonus – As a new customer, you can claim your welcome bonus, which in many cases, will match your initial deposit. This means that your first deposit will potentially be doubled, giving you a lot more range to bet on UFC fights.
  5. Research as much as possible – Examine odds as well as every detail about the fighters involved. Remember: before placing your bets on UFC fights, it’s essential to do your homework. This means evaluating the odds and taking your time to study the fighters involved, their fighting styles, strengths, weaknesses, recent form, and injury history.
  6. Look through the MMA fights, choose your bet, click on the odds and enter your stake – Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to place your bets on the UFC fights. You can browse through the various markets offered by your chosen sportsbook for the upcoming UFC events, including the moneyline, round betting, method of victory, and more. Choose the lines you want to bet on. Click on the odds offered by the site and enter the amount you want to stake.
  7. Confirm your bet and wait for the action – Sit back, and let the fights begin! If your bet wins, you’ll receive your winnings in your betting account.

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