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Introduction to UFC Betting

The UFC and other mixed martial arts events can offer a very lucrative betting opportunity. In team sports, the underdog has to put together a complete game to get the win, but in MMA a fight can end in a split second if somebody lands the right punch, knee, kick or elbow. 

Of course, there are certain fighters with higher skill levels than others, Anderson Silva, for example, once won 16 straight fights, while others have rattled off 13 wins in a row. Therefore, it isn’t always lucrative to take the underdog.

Check out all the fighters’ profile here

UFC Betting Odds & Examples


When betting on the UFC, you first have to understand moneyline odds. Without this, you have no idea of which fighter is considered to win and how much money you will make. 

If you see a fighter with negative odds, that means they are the favorite to win. If you see the positive number, they are considered the underdog or least likely to win. 

Moneyline Betting Example

Kamaru Usman-275
Colby Covington+240

Usman is the favorite here, so you would have to wager $275 in order to make $100. For Covington, for every $100 you wager, you earn $240 if he wins. 

Betting on the winner outright is the most common bet toe of the UFC. It does not pay out as much compared to the other bets available, but it is the simplest way to get started. 


The other betting options are parlays. Parlays are consecutive correct picks in one bet slip that turn out to be true. However, all of your picks must be correct in order for it to payout. 


The method of victory means you think a fighter will win specifically by TKO/KO, decision, or submission. You could also choose disqualification, but those do not happen too often.  


The over/under means you think a fight will last over or under the given amount of rounds. So if you see 1.5, this means you think the fight will make it to the second round for the over bet, while the under means the fight will end in the first round. 


As for prop bets, these are very similar to the method of victory and other types of bets already mentioned. Instead of picking the winner and how they do it, you could just choose if you think the fight will go the distance (scored by judges). 

The other prop bets are somewhat like a future bet, as what you think will happen later. This could be who you think will be the champion in a given division at the end of the year. 

Learn more about prop bets with our guides

How to Bet on UFC

Betting on the UFC can be frustrating at times, especially when you think a fight will go one way and your betting choice was clipped with a lucky punch to the face that ended it. It has a volatile nature, so expect some tough losses. 

The goal would be to bet on a handful of fights and not just one. You have the luxury of cherry picking some of the more obvious battles and earn a little on the easy wins.  

Moneyline Betting Example

Mackenzie Dern-650
Jessica Penne+425

You notice Dern has a huge advantage, according to the odds. The best advice would be to look up that matchup and see why there is a significant difference between the two. If it checks out, you could simply choose that fighter to win and nothing more, just to get your feet wet. 

Tips, Tricks And Advice For UFC Betting

As with all wagering, being familiar with the sport is the No. 1 rule for long-term UFC betting success. Know the fighter’s recent trends. If an experienced fighter is on a long losing streak, it probably means their careers are ending soon. If a man or woman suffered a series of losses, then took a long break, it means they could’ve been injured. If they’re now healthy, perhaps there’s value as an underdog. 

UFC Betting Overview

There’s no such thing as a UFC point spread in the manner that’s been traditional. Fights are scored, but not all go to a decision. A combatant could win by points, TKO, submission or even have the fight end in a draw. The most popular UFC wager is just picking the winner, regardless of how they get the job done. 

UFC Wagering Primer

The most popular type of UFC betting is selecting the winner. Sometimes a fight looks like a mismatch, so the favorite is going to be -800 (bet $800 to win $100). Others may be a little more even, with the favorite priced at just -125 (bet $125 to win $100). 

What many people like to do is wager on not just who will win, but how. This type of UFC betting is much more lucrative, as that hypothetical -800 favorite just to win could be priced down to -150 to do so by submission. 

Beware that this type of MMA betting can be very frustrating if you take the fighter to win by submission, but they score a first-round knockout. It’s the right side, just not the right result, the same as having your team win a game, but not cover. 

Fighter's style

It’s also incredibly important to know “how” a fighter fights. For example, 21 of Derrick Lewis’ first 26 MMA wins came by knockout, with only one by submission. Six of Charles Oliveira’s 10 wins during his streak were by submission. 

Knowing a fighter’s style can not only help with selecting a winner, but also in over/under wagers jn terms of how long the fight will go.

To UFC Successful Betting

One of the major reasons UFC betting can be profitable is because you only have to do homework on two people. There’s no other fighters in the octagon. A couple of offensive lineman injured in football or a point guard having a bad hand in basketball are damaging, but they have a surrounding team to compensate. Fighters, as we know, are by themselves. 


Aside from how the victory is going to take place, UFC betting also offers when the win will happen. Does the fight go over or under 1½ rounds, 2½ rounds, or does it go the distance? The odds of change, depending on the fighters’ styles, since two “knockout” fighters with heavy fists probably won’t go the distance. However lightweight fighters with minimal submission skills usually require more rounds before someone gets the win. 

Once you get comfortable with UFC odds, you’ll come to recognize they can be quite “wrong” at times. Sometimes, oddsmakers have to make a fighter favored because he/she is so popular, despite knowing full well they’re probably going to get stomped, anyway. 

Success in UFC betting comes with time, work and some luck as well. 

UFC History

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has roots back to 1993. With influences from Greek Olympic Games and a Brazilian Vale Tudo fighting style, the company was in search of the best fighting style that eventually led to anything goes. 

The UFC helped shape MMA to the United States to pick the champion that had the best style. This was a group of fighters with backgrounds in jiu-jitsu, boxing, grappling, wrestling, karate, sumo, and other combat skills. 

In 2001, the sport had new ownership, and it started to be reconstructed into the promotion that you see today. This meant more controlled environments for the fighters, rules, and even weight classes to separate them. 

In addition, it has grown to be the most watched fighting program out there. It is no wonder people want to bet on it, especially how appealing it is to watch. 

UFC Betting FAQ

How often does the underdog succeed?

The underdog in a fight has statistically shown to win around 30 percent of their fights. This number oscillates quite a bit every year, especially since the UFC puts together close matchups.

Does age play a role in victory?

Age is a good indicator of explosive and somewhat reckless performances that lead to exciting results. An older fighter or veteran might have the experience to withstand certain attacks. The larger the gap, the more likely it is that the younger fighter wins, but only if the stats back it up.

Do last minute fighters stand a chance?

Sadly, a fighter coming in on late notice usually does not stand a chance against the other fighter who has been training for months. While it is nice to see the show go on, nearly 65 percent of all last minute replacement fighters are either coming off of vacation, or they just fought a few weeks back.

Should I choose the better striker?

Yes, the better striker, more often than not, usually prevails in a striking war. In the lighter weight divisions, the better striker tends to land knockouts around 30 percent of the time. This likelihood of a knockout nearly doubles for the better striker for the heavier weight classes.

Should I bet on a popular event?

You can enjoy all the UFC events that they offer and bet on as you wish. As long as you are comfortable with your research, you should be fine. If not, try writing down your prediction and just watching the fights play out.
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