How To Bet On MMA: UFC Betting Strategy Guide

UFC Betting Guide
  • Understand the basics of MMA and how to implement that for betting on MMA fights.
  • How to bet on UFC fights will be explained in detail.
  • How to use an MMA betting strategy to make the biggest profit when betting.
  • Wondering where to bet on UFC fights online? We have that covered too.

The origins of Mixed Martial Arts date back to ancient Olympic games in 648 BC, that combined wrestling with striking. These days it’s become one of the fastest growing sports in the world, thanks to the Gracie family who introduced Brazilian JiuJitsu to the US in the 1990s.

How to Bet on MMA: Table of Contents

It has grown an incredible amount from UFC 1 in 1993, which had 86k pay-per-views, to UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor which sold 2.4m PPV’s. This how-to bet on MMA guide is one of many from our sports betting guides.

Where to Bet on UFC Online

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The $600 Deposit Match offered by Bet99, the $1,000 in Bonus Bet from BetMGM, and the $500 2nd Chance Free Bet from BetRivers are all fantastic offers that you should consider. With so many fights taking place in MMA and UFC, having some extra funds to play with can be very helpful when it comes to placing bets and improving your overall betting strategy.

Using all our expertise we have complied a list of the best UFC betting sites. From early UFC betting lines to unique betting props for all the major fight cards. These sites are known for generous odds from some of the NY online sportsbooks so you can get the most value from your bets.

Rules Of The Cage

MMA combines punches, kicks, knees, elbows and grappling to form the most well rounded form of combat.

Two fighters enter the bout, one will come victorious unless there’s a draw. Three judges are cage-side and judge the fight based on a 10 point scoring system. 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round, and 9 points or less to the loser. A (10-9) round is scored when a contestant wins by a close margin, a (10-8) is when a contestant overwhelms the other fighter with a mix of strikes and grappling. A (10-8) would be a complete one-sided dominant performance. In rare occurrences when the round is evenly matched, it is scored (10-10).

UFC 205: Majority draw between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson

Judges take a mix of different factors into consideration, such as effective striking, grappling, dominance, aggressiveness, and defense. Effective striking is determined by the significant legal strikes landed and also illegal strikes, which can lead to a point deduction based on the referee’s opinion.

Takedowns are a major component for MMA betting, take Khabib Nurmagomedov for example who landed 21 takedowns on Abel Trujillo at UFC 160. This also shows dominance in the judge’s eyes and once Khabib has his opponents down he tortures them with multiple draining shots to the head and limbs.

Know Your Fighter

MMA fighters traditionally came from one specific area that they are excel at. For example, Demian Maia comes from a Brazilian JiuJitsu background, with 13 submission victories under his belt. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson comes from a kickboxing and karate background, so expect him to out-point his opponents and typically win by decision or TKO.

There are UFC fighter stat sites out there such as that breakdown key strengths and weakness for specific fighters. It’s important to take note of knockdowns landed, strikes landed per minute, takedowns landed, accuracy and defense.

Submission Attempts via

Knowing your fighters stance in any combat sport is essential, MMA isn’t any different. When we say stance we mean Orthodox (left foot forward, right foot behind and utilize the right punch for power) vs Southpaw (left foot forward, right foot behind and power left punch). Orthodox are more common and Southpaws tend to give fighters more difficulty, such as Conor McGregor when he faced Eddie Alvarez. These days fighters can switch between both, Anderson Silva was one of the first to become successful at switching stances between Orthodox and Southpaw.

A fighters MMA record speaks volumes, we use Try to find consistent fighters that fight on a regular basis with enough time to heal in between fights. If you are picking an underdog that had recent back-to-back losses, perhaps see if the match-making will work in their favour this time.

Michael Bisping’s MMA record. Bisping took a short notice fight 3 weeks after losing to GSP, which didn’t work in his favour against Kevin Gastelum. As you can see here he was on an impressive winning streak prior to this. Image via

Every little bit of knowledge absorbed will benefit you, we recommend keeping up to date with upcoming MMA events, watching/listening to MMA Podcasts to find all the latest fight info, and getting comfortable with the MMA scene. Watch the weigh-ins the evening before the event, as this can be key to seeing the size difference during the face-off and also the mental side of MMA such as nerves, which is a major component heading into an MMA contest.

How UFC and MMA Betting Works

Betting on UFC and MMA is typically broken down to the following areas of placing bets.

UFC Moneyline

A moneyline bet simply refers to the final result of a fight, if you are betting on a single fighter to win. This is also referred to match betting and is combat sports betting in its simplest form.

UFC Over/Under Round Bets

This is an estimated bet of how many rounds you think the fight will last. For example, if you know a fighter is prone to finishing their opponent within the first two rounds such as Francis Ngannou, then you could find a sportsbook with an under 2.5 betting line to wager on.

UFC Method of Victory

The method of victory is key to knowing your fighters as we explained above. The task here is to decide how the fight will end, either by knockout (KO), technical knockout (TKO), decision or submission.

  • Knockout (KO) is literally when one fighter is turned unconscious, even briefly and the referee protects the hurt fighter by stopping the fight.
  • Technical knockout (TKO) is more common in MMA, where the referee has to interfere as one fighter is unable to defend themselves due to strikes.
  • Submission usually involves one fighter “tapping” to a hold or move that the other opponent is performing on them. One fighter’s cornermen can also stop the fight, by “throwing in the towel” which is also counted as a submission.
  • Disqualification (DQ) can happen for a number of reasons during the fight or prior to it. There are a number of illegal moves such as eye gouging, head butting etc.. it is on the referee to warrant a DQ.
  • Decision involves the fight ending without any of the above, where the judges will decide who won on their scorecards.

MMA Betting Strategy

Betting on underpriced underdogs based on insightful knowledge of both fighters styles and recent performances is key to success in MMA betting. That’s why we can help with the latest UFC betting odds, predictions, and tips, listed in our UFC and MMA section.

Placing single bets on overwhelming favorites isn’t worth it unless you are putting a few hundred down. These UFC fighters Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Amanda Nunes will more than likely be favorites heading into their next UFC fights.

What is the best MMA betting strategy?

When it comes to betting on MMA, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that guarantees success. However, there are some tips and strategies that can improve your chances of winning. One popular strategy is to do your research before placing any bets. This includes analyzing a fighter’s past performance, style, and strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it’s important to pay attention to the weigh-ins to gain insight into how an athlete will perform on the night of the fight.

It’s also recommended to look for value bets, which are bets with favorable odds that offer a higher potential payout than their perceived probability of winning. This can involve betting on an underdog fighter who may have a better chance of winning than the odds suggest. Additionally, it’s important to manage your bankroll and avoid chasing losses by placing bigger bets in an attempt to recoup previous losses.

To find the best MMA betting strategy for you, it’s important to consider your own betting style and preferences. Some bettors prefer to bet on individual fights, while others prefer to bet on entire cards or even entire seasons. It’s also important to choose a reputable and reliable sportsbook, such as BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or FanDuel, which offer competitive odds and a variety of betting markets.

Ultimately, the best MMA betting strategy is one that combines careful research, smart bankroll management, and a deep understanding of the sport and its fighters. By following these tips and developing your own unique betting strategy, you can improve your chances of success in MMA betting.

MMA Parlay Betting

A parlay is a single bet that combines two or more individual wagers for a higher payout.

Betting Insider Journal Tip: Parlay a slight favorite with an underpriced underdog is a sensible MMA betting strategy. We will use the first UFC on ESPN as an example:

  • Henry Cejudo (+200) vs T.J. Dillashaw (-260)
  • Gregor Gillespie (-500) vs. Yancy Medeiros (+375)

Picking Henry Cejudo an underpriced underdog at (+200) combined with a big favorite Gregor Gillespie (-500) over Yancy Medeiros who lost prior to this fight. This parlay combined is (+260), so if you were to wager $100 the parlay payout would be $260.

Tip: It’s tempting to parlay multiple MMA bouts together on the one bet. However, we recommend limiting your parlays to 3 picks at a time, as your chances of predicting more correct picks are significantly less.

Live MMA Betting

Betting on a live MMA fight is different than the other major sports. The odds tend to change quickly, so you have to be prepared to wager before the fight drastically changes to avail of current odds before they are updated. Sportsbooks also tend to freeze betting at stages of the fight due to major bets being placed last second. We recommend doing your research and not overreacting to the fight and sticking with your pre-fight picks until you are comfortable and profitable at MMA betting.

Now that you are more knowledgeable at MMA betting strategy, check out this how-to-bet on boxing guide, similarities can be drawn when it comes to betting on combat sports.

MMA Betting Strategies: Tips to Know

MMA betting strategies can be a lucrative venture for sports bettors who are willing to put in the effort and research. With numerous fights per card, bettors can find many opportunities to identify valuable odds and place wagers. However, to be successful in MMA betting, it is essential to pay attention to critical factors and learn which factors to ignore.

Watch the Weight-Ins

One critical factor to consider in MMA betting is the weigh-ins. Paying close attention to the weigh-ins can provide valuable insight into how an athlete will perform on the night of the fight. Extreme dehydration during the weight cut can lessen the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, making a fighter more susceptible to a knockout. By looking for signs that a fighter struggled through a problematic cut during weigh-ins, bettors can gain an advantage in placing their wagers.

MMA Handicap Betting

Another crucial factor to consider when betting on MMA is accurately handicapping the fights. Two or three times a month, several fights can be accurately handicapped and bet on by those willing to do the research. It is important to pay attention to each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses, their fighting styles, and their records.

When betting on MMA, it is also essential to learn which factors to ignore. For instance, a fighter’s popularity may not necessarily mean they will win the fight. It is crucial to look beyond the hype and analyze the fighters’ skills and records to make an informed decision.

MMA betting provides many opportunities for sports bettors to identify and take advantage of valuable odds. By paying attention to critical factors such as weigh-ins, accurately handicapping fights, and learning which factors to ignore, bettors can significantly improve their odds of winning. Therefore, if you are looking to make a profit through MMA betting, it is essential to put in the effort and research to make informed decisions.

How to Bet on MMA FAQ

What is MMA?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that involves the use of various fighting techniques, including striking and grappling, to defeat an opponent.

How do I bet on MMA fights?

To bet on MMA fights, you first need to find a reputable sportsbook that offers MMA betting. Once you have registered and deposited money into your account, you can browse the available MMA fights and place your bets on the fighter or outcome you think will win.

What are the different types of MMA bets?

There are several types of MMA bets, including moneyline bets, point spread bets, and prop bets. Moneyline bets are straightforward bets on the winner of the fight, while point spread bets involve betting on the margin of victory. Prop bets are wagers on specific aspects of the fight, such as the method of victory or the round in which the fight will end.

What is the moneyline in MMA betting?

The moneyline is the most common type of bet in MMA betting. It involves betting on the fighter you believe will win the fight. The odds for each fighter will be listed, with the underdog having higher odds than the favorite.

What are prop bets in MMA?

Prop bets are wagers on specific aspects of the fight, such as the method of victory or the round in which the fight will end. They can be an exciting way to bet on MMA fights and offer a range of options beyond simply betting on the winner.

How do I read MMA betting odds?

MMA betting odds are typically listed in the form of moneylines, with positive and negative numbers indicating the odds for each fighter. The negative number represents the favorite, while the positive number represents the underdog.

What factors should I consider before placing an MMA bet?

Before placing an MMA bet, you should consider the fighters’ records, fighting styles, strengths and weaknesses, and any injuries or recent performance history. It’s also essential to understand the different types of bets available and the odds for each fighter.

Is it legal is bet on MMA fights?

The legality of betting on MMA fights depends on the laws of your state or country. In many places, sports betting is legal, but it’s essential to check your local laws and regulations before placing any bets.

How does betting on a live MMA fight work?

Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is a type of betting that allows you to place wagers during the course of the fight. Expect to see the odds fluctuate during the fight and live-betting can be paused at anytime during the fight.


  • James is a passionate sports enthusiast, a seasoned betting expert, and the driving force behind Betting Insider Journal, a leading authority in iGaming and the world of sports betting news. With a lifelong fascination for sports and a knack for predicting the outcomes of games, James can be found either at the game or writing about the game.