How to Bet On The UFC/MMA

A Complete Beginners Betting Guide

The UFC has emerged as one of the most popular sports on the planet thanks to the exhilarating entertainment it provides to the UFC acolytes. The franchise has soared over the past decade and it has transformed many fighters into household names, including Conor McGregor, Kamaru Usman, Dustin Poirier, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and Chuck Lidell to name a small cohort.

A fantastic way to ramp up the excitement that arises when watching the brutal and exciting fight unfolding is to place a bet on a plethora of outcomes. Every strike, kick, takedown is suddenly charged with joy or fear when you have a stake in the action. 

However, betting on the UFC can be a slight minefield in the nascent legal sports betting section. It can be confusing, laden with jargon and bizarre figures, so we have created a handy UFC betting guide to help you journey through UFC betting. These are the key UFC betting markets you will need to familiarise yourself with.

How To Bet On The UFC?

As well as offering a phenomenal diversity of fighting styles, UFC serves up a rich and dense variety of betting markets. So, how do you use these markets to bet on the UFC and heighten the thrill of the fight? Let’s have a look at the most popular UFC betting markets.

Outright Winner

If you’re a novice to the UFC betting world, then this simplistic bet is the most basic bet available. All you have to do is pick which of the two fighters you think will win a given fight. This bet simply involves selecting the fighter you think will emerge victoriously. Sportsbooks understand that millions of punters love betting on the UFC, so they’ve worked hard to offer betting lines on a number of fights that take place each week. 

They hire expert odds compilers who assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each fighter, taking into account age, experience, height, weight, reach, power, knockout record, wrestling ability, fatigue, injury concerns and more. Once they have examined the fighters’ records and attributes, they will assign a set of odds to each fighter.

For example, Kamaru Usman was installed as the ⅓ heavy favourite when he fought Colby Covington at UFC 268 in 2021. He was riding a 14-fight winning streak and had already beaten Covington prior – a man with 14 victories and one over the challenger already – who is the welterweight titleholder. For that reason, Usman prevailed as a heavy favourite. If you were to have bet a $20 win on Usman, the bookmaker would have returned $26.67 including stake. 

Odds this short mean that you will get back less than you staked if you place a winning bet. Simply put, you will receive $1 for every $3 that you stake on a successful bet. So no matter how much you decide to spend, the most you can ever expect back is about one-third of what you bet.

Over/Under Rounds

This market asks you to pick how many rounds you think a given fight will last. It’s best to always study a form of the two fighters locking horns in the octagon to have the best possible chance of success.

A knockout artist like Conor McGregor rarely completes all five rounds whether he wins or loses, the Irishman opts to throw the kitchen sink at fighters, whereas a more cautious fighter like Tyron Woodley is often willing to drag a fight out to a decision. 

Method of Victory

Fighters in the UFC can win either by submission, KO/TKO (knockout, technical knockout) decision or disqualification of the opponent. This market gives you the chance to predict which fighter will win and by which manner of victory.

A wrestling champion like Khabib Nurmagomedov is far more likely to win via submission than by KO, whereas a stand-up knockout king like Robbie Lawler almost always stalks his prey for a devastating KO finish.

Exact Round Finish

The great part about betting on the UFC is that you have opportunities to get paid big when you have precise predictions. One of the most lucrative betting opportunities in the UFC is exact round finish, with this bet all you have to do is bet on what round you believe the fight is going to end. If you pick the correct round, you’re in for a payday.

Accumulator Bet/Parlay

A UFC accumulator bet is a great option for sports bettors, as it allows multiple selections into one wager in order to gain a higher potential payout. If one fighter is perceived as clearly superior, you might find odds of 1/5  on him or her. For example, a $10 wager would earn you a profit of just $2 and many punters might not think it’s worth the risk. 

With a UFC accumulator, you combine multiple favourites into one wager and earn a strong payout if they all win. That is the catch though: each of your predictions must prove correct, and if just one fighter lets you down then your bet is busted and you lose your stake. You can include any MMA bets into a parlay – include round betting, method of victory, will the fight go the distance and so on – but outright betting is the most common.