MMA (mixed martial arts) is one of the most popular sports to bet on and the UFC is the primary promotion that provides MMA events. Betting on UFC/MMA can be straightforward or complex depending on what you think will happen. In a nutshell, UFC/MMA betting is when fans choose what happens inside the cage and there are many ways to profit off this.
MMA Betting Tips
What to Bet on UFC/MMA Odds
Straight Pick: the bread-and-butter of UFC/MMA betting. Pick the fighter to win the fight. It’s that simple. However, because not all fighters are equal, the odds will reflect differently per fighter. It becomes more of a strategy on finding which fighters are worth betting relative to their odds.
Will A Fight End Or Not?: another standard bet is picking if the fight will go to a decision or not. This is about as straightforward as a straight pick on a fighter but is a different beast altogether. This may be a simpler version of:
Over/Unders (Round Totals): this is MMA’s version of team totals in other sports like football and basketball. The oddsmaker sets a total amount of rounds (usually 2.5 in a three-round fight or 4.5 in a five-round fight) and you pick if the fight will end under or over the round total.
e.g. If a fight is set at 2.5 rounds, it means two-and-a-half rounds into the fight.
Betting on “under” means the fight ends before the 2:30 mark of the third round while betting on “over” means it will end after the 2:30 mark (since UFC/MMA rounds are five minutes)
Method of Victory: this is one of the most popular prop bets for UFC/MMA. It is a more specific version of the straight pick since it involves how the fighter wins the fight. In order for the bet to cash, the fighter must win exactly based on the conditions:
Win by T/KO: the fighter must win by either knockout or technical knockout; this is ruled when the fighter knocks the other fighter unconscious, or the referee stops the fight due to strikes (no submitting), or the other fighter gets injured or ruled out of the fight in between rounds.
Win by Submission: the fighter must win by making the other fight tap out or verbally quit; this usually happens when a fighter has a submission hold (e.g. a rear-naked choke, an armbar etc.) but can also happens by strikes provided the opponent taps out or verbally submits.
Win Inside Distance: the fighter must finish the opponent either by T/KO or submission
Win by Decision: the fighter must win via judges’ decision; this can only happen if the fighter doesn’t knockout or submit the opponent.
Round of Victory: in contrast to Method of Victory, this bet involves what round the fighter wins the fight.
Since MMA is an unpredictable sport, upsets happen often. Even with how carefully analyzed the sport is now, there is no such thing as a “sure bet.” There are other ways to manipulate the odds and get better returns.
Parlay: a parlay is when you bet on two or more bets together in a single bet. It can be any type of bet (i.e. straight bet, prop, over/under) Doing this makes the payout better and is often a strategy used by bettors when betting on multiple favourites as opposed to betting them individually.
Here are some examples of parlays:
Tony Ferguson (-355) and Sean O’Malley (-325), when put together in a parlay is -148
McGregor Wins by T/KO (+180), Volkov vs Lewis Goes to Decision (+160), and Anthony Pettis (+245) in a three-bet parlay pays out at +2412.
Adding a bet increases the odds exponentially but it also makes winning the bet even harder.
This is a calculated risk as all bets in a parlay must win or the bet is lost. Even if just a single bet fails to win (a loss or a push), the entire parlay loses.
Placing a parlay bet differs per book. Some books only allow a maximum amount of parlays. The payout is also different. Check each sportsbook to compare.