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The Ultimate Guide on How to Bet on UFC

How to bet UFC

The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Vegas Insider makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of information given or the outcome of any game or event.

If you want to learn about how to bet on UFC fights, you’ve come to the right place.

Before you can start wagering, it’s essential to understand how the sport works. You’ll need to know the rules, fighters, and how to calculate UFC odds before you can make any accurate selections.

That’s where we’ve got you covered. Our guide will take you through everything you need to know about betting on UFC. With our tips, you’ll learn more about making predictions and choosing the best picks for your wagers. By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to bet on UFC.

Without further ado, let’s delve into this blood sport’s details and how to bet on UFC matches.

Learn How to Bet on UFC Fights: Know the Rules of the Cage

Before you can learn anything about how to bet on UFC fights, you need to know the cage’s rules. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Two men enter, one man leaves,” you’d know that these fights aren’t for the faint of heart.

While not a fight to the death, knockouts occur, and injuries aren’t uncommon when you’re receiving such blows. If you’re at all interested in profitable betting and understanding UFC odds, you need to know the rules:

  • Fights must occur in a ring or fenced area (the cage), and mouthguards are mandatory.
  • Men must wear groin protectors, while women are required to wear a protective chest piece. Fighters must wear gloves that weigh between four to six ounces.
  • Each bout lasts five rounds of five minutes each, with a one-minute rest in between.
  • Three judges evaluate the match from various vantage points outside the ring. They keep an eye on the fighter techniques such as striking, grappling, control of the cage, aggressiveness, and defense, using a 10-point scoring system.
  • The referee may not be one of these officials.
  • Spitting, kicking the head of a downed opponent, and hair-pulling are three of the 31 different fouls. If a fighter commits a series of these offenses, the referee must call for a DQ.

Some fighters skirt the lines of these rules, which can affect your UFC predictions. They use these regulations to create or enhance their styles, and, if you know the rules, you can understand how combatants’ techniques and judges’ votes can influence the outcome of a fight. That’ll help you learn how to bet on UFC matches.

The Difference Between MMA and UFC: A Little History

People rarely understand that there are some differences between MMA and the UFC. When people talk about mixed martial arts, they’re often talking about the Ultimate Fighting Championship instead. Are there any real differences between the two?

Yes, and no.

MMA is a sport, not a league or an institution. The UFC, on the other hand, organizes the fights. In other words, the Championship is to MMA as the NBA is to basketball. Everyone can become a mixed martial artist, but not all these fighters can compete with the best in the UFC.

Interestingly, MMA rules can vary significantly from one organization to the next, while all UFC fights must obey the rules we mentioned before. Some MMA tournaments have very lax regulations, and contests can become incredibly dangerous.

For example, in Japan, fighters can continue to kick their opponent’s head, even if they’re down. In United Fighting Championship matches, that’ll get you disqualified. That’s why it’s essential to study the rules when you’re learning how to bet on UFC bouts.

The Early Beginnings of MMA vs. the UFC

While there’s no real way to pinpoint when MMA first started, we have a good idea of when one of the first examples took place.

It was essentially a publicity stunt, Muhammad Ali, one of the great boxers in existence, faced off against a famous Japanese professional wrestler, Antonio Inoki.

It was a terrible fight. Neither competitor was aware it was supposed to be a real fight until they were told in the last round. Inoki dropped to his back, crawled up to Ali, and started kicking the boxer’s legs repeatedly. However, Ali had no interest in wrestling with Inoki and remained standing. The fight was a draw, but it laid the groundwork for a unique, bloody future sport.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has similar origins. However, instead of being an unplanned fiasco, the UFC was the ultimate bloodsport. Fighters from across the world came together to show their skills, determined to prove that their fighting style was the best. It was brutal and had only three rules: no groin strikes, no eye-gouging, no biting.

There were no rounds or safeguards, and competitors would keep fighting until someone tapped out or a KO occurred.

It was only after Dana White bought the UFC that it started cleaning up its act, becoming the sport we know today. After establishing the Unified Rules of MMA in 2001, the Championship elected to abide by the regulations, laying its groundwork to become what it is today.

How to Read UFC Betting Odds

We’re on to another of our UFC betting tips: reading and interpreting the odds. Before you can start wagering on the fights, you need to know how to read the odds and use them to your advantage.

Like many other sports, the negative value represents the favorite in UFC betting odds. Underdogs, on the other hand, have a higher number, usually indicated by a plus sign.

For example, let’s say that Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov goes up against the insane Conor “The Notorious One” McGregor. Nurmagomedov is one of the most successful, undefeated MMA fighters, and his Sambo techniques have left many a combatant – McGregor included – on the floor.

However, by Nurmagomedov’s admission, Connor is the fighter who poses the biggest challenge. Now, let’s imagine that you get the following UFC betting odds for this fight:

  • Nurmagomedov -150
  • McGregor +110

The Eagle, being undefeated, would naturally be the favorite. However, McGregor is no slouch, and he’d be a hard underdog to keep down.

Now, let’s say you're going to be betting on UFC matches between these two combatants. If you wagered $100 on McGregor, you could win $110 if he’s victorious. However, if you bet on Nurmagomedov, you’d need to put down $150 to win another $100.

While it’s essential to understand the odds as part of knowing how to bet on UFC, you also need to know what types of bets you can place:

UFC Moneyline

Also called match betting, a moneyline wager is probably the simplest type of bet to understand. You need only pick a winner, and if your mauler walks away with the victory, you’ll get your cash. The UFC betting odds for these matches are rather average unless there’s a clear favorite.

UFC Over/Under

Over/Under bets are relatively easy wagers to place when betting on UFC fights. A bookie will list a particular time, and you need to bet on whether the fight will end before or after the named period.

For example, the Nurmagomedov-McGregor match would likely get a 1.5 round Over Under, since both fighters are aggressive. The fight must end before 2.5 minutes in the second round to win this bet as an under bet. For an over wager, the match must cross the 2.5-minute mark in round two.

You might see Over Under 2.5 round listings, meaning that the bout must pass or end by the third round’s 2.5-minute mark.

Finally, you’ll see Over Under 3.5 round, which means that the match must cross the halfway mark in the fourth round. This listing is standard for championship matches, and you should shop around for the best UFC betting odds before wagering.

UFC Prop Bets

There are a lot of different types of prop bets. If you want to have some fun, you need to know how to bet on UFC events that fall under this category.

For example, you can bet on whether a fight will “Go the Distance.” That means that the match needs to last the full five rounds.

You can also wager on “Inside the Distance.” Like the bet mentioned above, this type means that you need to bet on your UFC pick to win within a certain number of rounds.

Round and Method of Victory bets may also be considered prop wagers. Keep in mind that the UFC betting odds for prop bets are usually quite risky. You’ll have to shop around to get the best ones and compare different sportsbooks before making a wager.

However, these longer UFC odds can also result in lucrative wins. Don’t shy away from prop bets entirely; just make informed decisions.

UFC Round Betting / Total Rounds

A Round, or Total Rounds bet requires a bettor to pick the round they think the match will end in. There are five rounds, and you need to select just the round, not a specific time. For example, if you think that Nurmagomedov will drop McGregor in the fourth round, he’s your UFC pick for the Round Bet.

UFC Method of Victory Wagers

If you want to learn how to bet on UFC fights, you need to know your fighters. These men and women follow different disciplines, and each one prefers to end their matches uniquely.

Try to get a good idea of how each fighter prefers to end a matchup. It’s one of the best UFC betting tips we can give.

You can’t determine your UFC picks if you don’t know how fighters like to drop their opponents. There are four ways a match can end:

  • Knockout (KO)
  • Technical Knockout (TKO)
  • Decision (Judges)
  • Submission

Depending on a fighter’s style, he might prefer a knockout over a submission, while others might find themselves locked in battle until the judges render a decision.

A knockout is self-explanatory, and we shouldn’t need to go over it again as part of our ‘How to Bet on UFC’ guide. For those who don’t know, a knockout means that one of the combatants gets knocked unconscious, ending the fight.

A TKO means that both fighters remain conscious. However, if one fighter can no longer defend themselves against oncoming blows, the referee ends the fight.

When understanding how to bet on UFC fights, know this: few things are more embarrassing for a fighter than defeat by submission. Essentially, a fighter needs to tap to signal their loss. For many, this is admitting defeat and giving up – not a common habit amongst competitors.

If a fight comes down to a decision, the judges score the match based on specific criteria, before picking a winner.

For a Method of Victory bet, you simply need to pick how you think a match will end.

UFC Live Betting and Where to Place These Wagers

There’s nothing like the thrill of placing live bets. However, before you start making these wagers, here’s another of our UFC betting tips:

Prepare. If there’s one thing you need to know about how to bet on UFC, it’s that the matches are incredibly fast-paced. They’re violent, unpredictable, and quick, much like the fighters themselves. While it might sound like fun, these types of wagers are just going to drain your bank like money-sucking black holes.

However, if you’re familiar with how to bet on UFC fights, and you already have your picks for every match, live betting can be very lucrative. You’ll have to make a few predictions of your own and go into the fight armed with as much knowledge as you can gather.

The in-fight betting options are much the same as the regular types of bets. You’ll find betting markets like Fight Result, Round Betting, Over/Under, and Method of Victory.

Now that you know one of the most crucial things about how to bet on UFC matches during play, you need to know where you can place your wagers. Some of the best options would be BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings.

UFC Future Champion Special

As the name implies, this type of bet allows you to pick the season’s future champion. However, it involves taking quite a significant risk. You’ll need to make several UFC predictions as you try to figure out how different match-ups will end. If you’re lucky, you can speculate which fighter will come out on top, several matches in advance.

More than any other type of bet, Future Champion requires bettors to have an extremely in-depth knowledge of different players and how different UFC picks might play out. Then they need to use that knowledge to make as informed a guess as possible.

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UFC betting tips

For our guide about how to bet on UFC, we’ve gathered some of the best tricks to get you started.

Here are some of our top UFC betting tips to help you get the most out of every wager:

Know Your Fighters

Knowing your fighters is, by far, the most critical UFC betting tip we can give.

The Championship was born because experienced combatants worldwide wanted to prove that their style was the best. The different disciplines include everything from boxing to wrestling and everything in between. If you don’t study the fighters before you start wagering, you’ll never learn how to bet on UFC.

Before you make any picks, look at historical records. For example, wrestling has produced more champions than any other fighting style. It’s almost become the required base for any serious and well-rounded fighter. That’s something to keep in mind when you make your UFC predictions.

Another thing you need to know is how combatants prefer to end their fights. Do they go for the knockout, or do they like to force a submission? When you learn how to bet on UFC matches, this knowledge can differentiate between a good and lousy pick.

Finally, you should also know how a combatant chooses to fight. Are they fast and accurate, or do they prefer to stay stationary and hand out powerful blows? Knowing a fighter’s style and track record will give you a better chance of making accurate UFC predictions and picking winners.

Watch Out for Southpaws

Another one of our essential UFC betting tips is to watch out for the Southpaws. These fighters tend to stand with their left foot forward and have a powerful punch on that side. This throws most fighters for a loop, which is why Conor McGregor is such a powerful competitor, and he’s one of the top UFC picks for many bettors.

Don’t Dismiss Underdogs

Betting on the favorites might be safe, but you won’t make much unless you’re putting down a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, wagering on an underdog comes with its own set of risks. That said, it’s been known for underdogs in the UFC to make significant impacts. Study a fighter’s track record and judge them on that rather than how new they are to the sport.

UFC Betting Apps

If you want to know how to bet on UFC on the go, we’ve got you covered. There are several amazing mobile apps available to American players so that you can get your UFC odds or place bets from anywhere, at any time.

Our top five apps are:

FanDuel and DraftKings have long been industry leaders, and when it comes to betting on the Championship via mobile, it’s no different. Their applications are easily accessible, show their UFC odds clearly, and provide excellent gambling experiences to US bettors.

BetMGM and PointsBet also have top-notch apps available, giving you quick access to updated odds and matches if you need to know how to bet on UFC on any given day.

Finally, we have BetRivers. While the app is also one of the best ones out there for UFC betting, it’s not available in all states yet. Here are other great UFC betting apps along with the best places to get sportsbook bonus codes.

Best UFC Betting Strategies

There’s an insane amount of UFC predictions and betting strategies available, and everyone has an opinion.

For newbies who are learning how to bet on UFC fights, the information might be overwhelming. Don’t worry, though. Our guide will help you with a few top tips for the best strategies.

As we mentioned before, study a fighter’s track record. If he/she’s on a roll, they’re likely to have a strong chance to continue winning.

For example, Nurmagomedov has a clear history of success, and he’s the top undefeated MMA fighter. He always prepares for his fights, takes time to heal, and prepares for the specific countries and environments he’s to fight in. These are all excellent traits that a fighter must exhibit, and things you need to consider when learning how to bet on UFC fights.

It’s essential to do a lot of research if you want to know how to bet on UFC matches successfully. That means you’ll likely have to skip out on some fights, but that’s alright. It’s better to take your time and ensure that you have the right information, rather than making a pointless wager.

How to Bet on UFC FAQ

If you still have questions about betting on UFC fights, don’t worry. We’ve assembled a few of the most frequently asked questions about odds, tips, and more.

Are combat sports like MMA and the UFC legal?

Yes, though it depends on your location. Both mixed martial arts and the UFC itself are officially considered sporting events within the United States. Thus, they are both entirely legal in the nation. In other countries, such as South Africa and Singapore, MMA is also considered a legitimate, legal sport.

However, the situation isn’t the same everywhere. In the Republic of Ireland, for example, MMA isn’t considered a sport. Nevertheless, it’s more of a technical distinction, as both MMA and the UFC are legal in Ireland.

Is betting on UFC matches legal in the United States?

Yes, in some states. Sports betting in the United States was illegal almost everywhere until 2018. The only exceptions were Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. After the Supreme Court struck down the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, things changed. Today, well over a dozen states have legal and regulated betting markets.

Can I make money betting on UFC fights?

You might. However, betting on combat sports isn’t the best way to try to make money. Betting on UFC can be a thrilling way to enjoy the sport. However, gambling on combat sports is not a reliable way to make money. As they say, over the long term, the house always wins.

Professional handicappers make a living out of gambling on sports. That said, they spend decades amassing the expertise and skill required to do that, and still miss half their predictions. Gamble responsibly, and never stake money you can’t afford to lose.

Where can I bet on UFC matches?

UFC betting is currently available with major bookmakers in every state where sports betting is legal. As of March 2021, nearly two dozen states have regulated sports betting. Another five states already passed bills legalizing sports betting, and are currently drafting the corresponding regulatory frameworks.

Legal UFC betting states include Colorado, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Can I bet on the UFC online?

Yes, as long as online betting is available in your state. Not all US states with legal UFC betting allow online gambling. If you live in one of these states, you’ll have to visit a retail bookmaker in order to place any bets.

Where Can I Bet on UFC?

It depends on which betting sites are legal in your area. Popular options often include DraftKings, PointsBet, and BetMGM.

Before joining any of these betting sites, make sure that they have the markets you’re looking for and preferred UFC betting odds. It’s also important to check that they’re licensed and regulated. While we always recommend reputable providers, you must choose one that you trust.

Is Betting on UFC Legal?

Yes. There are no specific rules that cover betting on UFC matches. As a result, you can legally place wagers on any fights if sports betting is legal. In other words, if you can bet on any other sports from your location or country, UFC betting would also be permitted.

Are There Other Fighting Leagues to Bet on?

Of course! Your most popular betting options outside of the UFC would be regular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournaments or boxing (SBL). Each one has a few traits that make them unique, but all of them offer exciting betting opportunities for anyone interested in wagering on fights.

Final Thoughts on How to Bet on UFC

Though the Ultimate Fighting Championship isn’t the bloody sport it used to be, there’s nothing quite like watching two experienced fighters beat each other into submission. Better still is knowing how to bet on UFC fights and putting your knowledge of the sport to use.

Whether you’re an old hand at placing these wagers or just learning how to bet on UFC matches, just remember this guide’s tips. If you know the cage’s rules and your fighters, you’re already off to a strong start.

Without a thorough understanding of both these things, you’ll never understand how to make accurate UFC predictions or select the best pics.

However, you also need to know about the different types of bets you can place, and which strategies to use. With our lists of betting tips and tricks, you’re well on your way to learning how to bet on UFC fights like a pro.