UFC & MMA Betting

What are the MMA Events to bet on – A Guide for Beginners



What are the MMA Events to bet on – A Guide for Beginners

Mixed Martial Arts have evolved into one of the biggest sports in the world. While Boxing remains the go-to combat sport for the majority of people, MMA has the potential to outgrow it in the future. With this said, which are the biggest MMA events you can bet on?

How to bet on MMA: Which are the best organizations?

In the world of mixed martial arts, there is a rigid hierarchy in terms of the level of promotions. The undisputed leader is the UFC. We recommend betting on fights in this league because it has transparent refereeing and many good fighters that you can read before the fight and get an approximate picture of the fight. Moreover, you can watch the previous fights of any athlete to assess the level of his skills.

The promotions of the “second-tier” are lagging behind – Bellator, PFL, LFA, Invicta FC, and others. Bellator also has good fighters, and given that matchmakers intercept athletes fired from the UFC, there should be no problems with analysis. Of course, in such leagues, there are many no-names and guys with records of 1-0, 2-0, 1-2, but no one forces you to bet on such fighters.

PFL, LFA, and Invicta FC are the unspoken farm leagues of the UFC. The champions and top fighters of these organizations regularly move to the Dana White promotion. Here you will also find bright young fighters (prospects) that you can bet on. Moreover, when these fighters move to the UFC, the bettor will already have an idea about them and will not need to spend extra time studying the debutants. Also, these promotions are united by more or less objective and transparent refereeing.

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The rest of the promotions are outright third-rate. They are distinguished by the generally low level of athletes, the incompetent work of judges or referees, and more.

mma events to bet on

MMA Events to Bet on: Ultimate Fighting Championship

There can be no comparison between the UFC and all other MMA organizations – the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a multi-billion dollar company that has millions and millions of fans around the world. It is home to all of the biggest MMA stars in the world and it is the organization that hosts the biggest number of events yearly with Fight Nights almost every Saturday. See our dedicated article to understand what's the difference between UFC and MMA.

The simplest reason to bet on MMA events of the UFC is the fact that you will find them in most bookmakers nowadays. While certain platforms might also have Bellator or other MMA events, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is available everywhere.

Next up, as the biggest organization, it is the easiest to understand. Each organization has different rules and the ones in the UFC are straightforward and simple. Moreover, there is an abundance of information about every single fighter on the roster – whether he/she is a star or a newcomer.

This is key for MMA betting as this is a sport that requires additional analysis. There are countless subtleties that go hand-in-hand with MMA betting and proper coverage is vital. When it comes to the UFC, you have countless websites that provide stats, analysis, and all other kinds of information.

Last but not least, betting on the UFC is more diverse than betting on smaller leagues. In most cases, you will see two main markets for MMA – Moneyline and total rounds. For the UFC, bookmakers often add additional options like Method of Victory, Number of rounds, Victory in a specific round, method of victory in a specific round, and more. It is easier or at least more fun to bet on MMA events that have better markets.

MMA Events to Bet on: Bellator

If you have followed the MMA world for a while, you would know that Bellator is the second-biggest organization right now. There are actually plenty of fans out there that prefer the Bellator events to the UFC and there are more than enough reasons why.

As a start, if you are a UFC fan, you would know that plenty of UFC fighters transferred from Bellator. Some of them were successful there, others not. But more importantly, this is not a one-way process – many former UFC fighters actually sign contracts with Bellator too. So, if you are new to Bellator betting, you will certainly find some well-known names of the past in the Bellator rankings.

In the UFC, there is often a massive difference between the Top 10 ranked fighters and the smaller names in the division. It is often easy to predict the outcome of fights and this is why people love betting on the UFC. In Bellator, the divisions are much more equipollent – that is, there isn't such a massive gap in skills and class between the fighters. This is a good reason why a lot of people prefer to watch Bellator events – the fights are often more thrilling than your typical UFC bout.

The main problem with betting on Bellator is that the events are available in fewer bookmakers than the UFC. Overall, most of the bigger bookies will have the UFC weekly but when it comes to Bellator, you will have to make an account on smaller platforms. Some good suggestions are Betway Sports and 20Bet, which have coverage of Bellator events.

bet on mma events

How to Bet on MMA: fighter selection, analysis, and more

When learning how to bet on MMA, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the different styles can help bettors gain an edge over the bookie. Other factors to consider when betting on MMA are a fighter's win and loss rates and their ranking status. As MMA is still growing as a sport, statistical research remains a powerful betting tool.

Once you feel confident about the basics of MMA betting, you can analyze more detailed statistics to find value in odds such as takedown accuracy or defense. They are listed on the official UFC website or reputable MMA sites.

Fight Camp and Preparation

Mixed martial artists can often be watched during their training or sparring, and there will always be constant news and analysis of how they prepare for a particular fight. This is valuable information that players can benefit from when they learn how to bet on MMA.

When analyzing the training of fighters, the status of their training partners should be taken into account. For example, they may train with high-quality sparring partners or even top athletes from another discipline (such as wrestling or judo).

Along with training partners, of course, the class of trainers should also be taken into account. Some of them, such as John Kavanagh, is known for professionalizing their fighters; others, such as Ronda Rousey's coach Edmond Tarverdyan, has been criticized for limiting their fighters' abilities.

Importance of weight and injuries

MMA bettors will need to take into account the fighter's pre-fight weight and what it means for the upcoming fight. For example, a naturally heavier fighter may struggle to gain a quick advantage. How will this affect his work in the octagon?

A good example is Conor McGregor. While his talent and ability meant he rarely ran into trouble in the lower weight classes, when he first faced Nate Diaz, the opposite happened. McGregor went from 145 pounds to 170 pounds for this fight. Diaz, however, weighed in at 169 pounds before returning to his natural weight between the weigh-in and the fight. This gave him a huge advantage.

Fighters may claim to be 100% healthy, but often hide injuries so as not to expose them to opponents. Naturally, this hides information from bettors. Therefore, when researching a fighter's pre-match preparation, it's always a good idea to look at potential injuries, even if they're supposed to be non-existent.

Fighting Styles

There is a lot to learn about the different fighting styles and which ones are advantageous over others. There is one simple fact, however. Wrestlers have been dominating the UFC for a while now. If you take a closer look at the best fighters in most divisions, you will see that most of them have a background in wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu.

This doesn't mean that a boxer or a kickboxer cannot win over a wrestler, it simply means that being a strong wrestler gives you some advantage.

But overall, here are some simple tips for beginners. When analyzing a fight, make sure to go deeper into the history of both fighters. You can open Wikipedia and see that a fighter is a wrestler but that refers to what he did best when he started his career. As the years' pass, fighters evolve and often change their styles. So a basic source like Wikipedia is not enough.

You should also consider some simple factors during your analysis. Imagine you have a great wrestler against a great boxer. The wrestler will go for submissions from the start while the boxer will try to keep the fight on the feet. Which one has a better chance to win?

To get an answer, you need to look for additional stats like takedown defense. If the boxer is a terrible wrestler, then the other fighter will have a bigger chance to win the fight because a single takedown can lead to a quick end.

However, if the boxer has a good takedown defense and has not been taken down a lot in previous fights, it would mean that the wrestler will have a hard time.

Our recommendation is to search for professional analysis instead of doing it yourself. There are countless MMA websites that provide such services along with predictions for the actual outcomes. It will save you time and effort but remember – the final decision for your bets should be yours. Overall, there is a lot to learn about how to bet on MMA but since it has become a massive sport, it is not hard to obtain knowledge and information.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.