Spectators betting on fights has a storied history that goes back to a time long before fights were ever broadcast. In fact, it was bookies taking bets on boxing matches that became one of the largest contributors to bringing sports betting into the mainstream.
Mixed Martial Arts (otherwise known as MMA) as it exists today, really took form in the ’90s, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) got the public’s attention in a big way when Royce Gracie won the first UFC tournament in 1993. The catalyst for the sport came in 2006 during a rematch between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz which got bigger ratings and pay-per-view sales than some comparably huge boxing matches, and became PPV’s biggest money-making promotion until that point in history.
How to Bet on UFC Fights in Canada
Betting on Mixed Martial Arts is a lot like betting on boxing, in that you can bet on the winner, but you can also bet on a variety of different aspects of the fight, such as how many rounds it will go and what the method of victory will be. Most sportsbooks will even allow you to bet on who will win each individual round. That’s not even including the huge number of prop bets that you can wager on leading up to fight. Entertaining fighters like Conor McGregor are so popular with bettors that there are sometimes more prop bets available on the fighter’s pre and post-fight behaviour than there are regular fight bets.
MMA fights follow the same structure as boxing in many ways. There are both men’s and women’s divisions that cover all of the regulation weight classes. Currently, the largest MMA organization is the UFC, but there are others, such as Bellator, that are seeing some increase in popularity as the sport continues to expand.
- Before you place your first bet on an MMA fight, it’s important to get familiar with how the odds work. You can get specific UFC betting information in this article, but if you want to understand more than the basics, you can read our complete guide to sports betting.
- Get to know the fighters. You’ll be a much more successful UFC bettor if you know the details on the fighters. How many fights have they won in their professional career? What is their fighting style? How long has it been since their last fight? All of this information is key to making an informed MMA bet.
- Once you’re familiar with the ins and outs of the kinds of bets you can make, you’ll want to choose the right sportsbook. There are plenty of factors that should be taken into consideration, including what deposit and withdrawal methods the sportsbook uses, the level of security they employ to protect your information, and how efficient and helpful their customer service is. Sports Interaction checks all those boxes and we offer a sign-up bonus to our new bettors. Click here to learn more!
Moneyline Betting on UFC and Bellator
Moneyline betting is the most common, and is the easiest to grasp in terms of how you place your bet. Simply put, you put your money on who you think will win the fight. How much you could win will depend on the lines set out by the oddsmakers. To learn more about the moneyline in sports betting, click here. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of moneyline betting for MMA.
In this example, we have Dustin Poirier (+170) fighting Max Holloway (-225). The plus symbol in front of the 170 in this case means that Poirier is the underdog. If you were to bet on him to win the fight, your winnings would be greater than if you’d bet on Holloway who is the favourite. If you put $100 down on Poirier, and he won, you’d be up $170 for a total of $270 including your bet. A safer bet on the favourite in this case would earn you $44.44 for a total of $144.44 including your bet.
In this example, we have Holly Holm as the +245 underdog, and Amanda Nunes as the clear -355 favourite. A bet on Holly Holm to beat Nunes would put an extra $245 dollars in your pocket for risking $100 on the underdog. Bettors who took that chance on Holm at UFC 193 got a lot richer after her shocking second round knockout of the previously unbeaten Ronda Rousey. Holm was a +700 underdog heading into that fight.
Betting on Total Rounds and Victory Method
Are you confident that you can not only predict the winner of a fight, but also HOW they’ll win and in how many rounds they’ll do it in? Then betting on the Method of Victory and or the Total Rounds will appeal to you, and those bets are available for every major MMA fight. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
As we can see in our example, oddsmakers have calculated that the most likely way this fight ends is by a Max Holloway KO/TKO/DQ, which they’ve priced at +115. A $100 bet on that outcome would earn you $115 on top of your initial bet for a total of $215. The longest odds listed for Method of Victory for this fight is the unlikely outcome of the fight being called a draw. A Draw is one of the rarest judged decisions in boxing and in MMA, which is why those odds are priced at +5300. With your $100 bet on that outcome, a Draw would earn you $5400 in total.
For the total rounds that an MMA fight will go, sportsbooks use the Over/Under bet style. For a full explanation of Over/Under bets, click here.
Oddsmakers have priced the over +2.5 at -160, meaning that the odds are better that the fight will go more than halfway through the third round. If the round is 5 minutes, the halfway is 2 minutes 30 seconds.
For our example, we are looking at the Over/Under odds for the Holloway vs. Poirier bout. What’s that .5 mean for you? It means that if you bet the over, and the fight goes more than half way through the third round, you win. If it ends before half way through the third round, you lose the bet.
How much do you win? Let’s say for our example that the fight ends in the fifth round with a TKO from Max Holloway. If you bet $100 that the fight would go over the +2.5 rounds at the listed price of -160, you’d win a total of $162.50.
Now that you’re up to speed on how to bet on UFC fights, you’re ready to make your first bet!