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A Complete Guide to Betting on MMA

For too long, the only sport that fight fans were able to bet on was boxing. However, the sport of MMA through companies such as Bellator and UFC has become more popular over recent years and has given punters a new sport to place stakes on. Punters have been able to place stakes on an array of different markets for the biggest events.

Fighters such as Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey have taken the sport to a new level and encouraged more people to tune in and see what the fuss is about. Once they do, they are immediately hooked on the captivating action inside the octagon. The combat sport allows for a variety of different styles to be displayed while the interest in tactics used by fighters is enthralling. Before learning about the betting markets, it is first essential to know more about the sport and what research should be employed before stakes are placed.

Basic MMA Rules

All punters who are thinking of placing a wager on a big MMA match up must first gain a vital grasp on the rules of the sport. Each round lasts five minutes, with the number of rounds depending on the fight. Should it be a title fight or a special matchup, then the fight could last for up to five rounds, while the majority of non-title fights last for three rounds. Fighters can win bouts through KO, DQ, submission, TKO or via judges’ decision. The submission method of victory is unique to MMA and it is when a fighter can take their opponent to the ground and put them in a hold. A submission victory is awarded when their opponent ‘taps out’.

Most MMA fights takes place in a cage (the UFC calls theirs the ‘octagon’); this cage is six feet high and can be up to 30 feet long. The greater area is needed to encourage athletes to showcase all their skills in the area of mixed material arts. Fighters are separated into weight categories, while both women and men are able to perform in the octagon. The following table from Pinnacle shows the weight classes used by the UFC.

UFC Male Weight Classes UFC Female Weight Classes
Strawweight 115 lb Strawweight 115lb
Flyweight 125 lb Flyweight 125 lb
Bantamweight 135 lb Bantamweight 135 lb
Featherweight 145 lb Featherweight 145 lb
Lightweight 155 lb
Welterweight 170 lb
Middleweight 185 lb
Light Heavyweight 205 lb
Heavyweight 265 lb

MMA Betting Research

Unlike other sports, the research process for MMA punters needs to be thorough and must consider multiple elements. The first case that should be looked at is a fighter’s record, and how many times they have won by submission and knockout. Next, if there is a previous head to head meeting between the fighters, this could be crucial in deciding which way the fight will ultimately go. The most interest difference is the various styles that are included in the world of MMA. Any punter that is to place a bet on a fight should consider the style of fighting that your pick prefers. The fighter could be skilled in one of these:

Muay Thai Boxing
Wrestling Taekwondo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Karate
Judo Kickboxing

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each of these styles holds the key for punters in their betting experience on MMA. For example, fighters you specialise in boxing won’t be happy being taken to the ground, and would prefer to be involved in a war with their opponent with both fighters throwing punches. This is due to boxers being uncomfortable when it comes to the ground; like a fish out of water.

MMA Betting Markets

Some of the most extensive betting markets can be found at bookmakers Paddy Power. Paddy Power also offer the most special bets for events including Conor McGregor. However, these are the most popular methods of betting on MMA events.

Match Betting

Just like any other sport that you’re available to place a wager on; the most common way to bet is by placing a stake on the fighter that you believe will win the bout. It may not be the most lucrative of options, but it allows the punter to stake as much as they like if they feel that one fighter has no chance of losing. For instance, a punter could be a stake on Max Holloway beating Frankie Edgar; if Holloway wins, then the punter wins the money. The method of victory doesn’t matter, as long as they win; the punter wins.

Method of Victory Betting

As we have mentioned already, the method of victory depends on what the fighters taking part specialise in. If they are a boxer, then they will look for a knockout win, while wrestlers will look for a submission victory. Punters can combine the winner of the fight and how they believe they will do it in this market. This ensures it is a lucrative option for the punter. However, unlike the match betting market; the punt is only a winning one if your bet is correct.

Round Betting

Other punters would prefer to place a stake on the round in which a fighter will win as opposed to the method in which they do it. Here punters can lay a stake on a bet along with the round that the fighter will win in. If the punter correctly predicts the winner and the round, then it is a lucrative market. However, for the bet to be a winner, they must be correct. Instead, punters could opt to place a stake on just the round and not combine it with a fighter. This diminishes the odds but could still be more profitable than putting a stake merely on the fight winner.

Fight Going Distance Betting

Some bookmakers also offer yes or no bets regarding the question of whether the fight will go the distance. The fighters involved and their styles determine the odds, but should the punter be well read then this could be a smart market to bet on.

Only Bets What You Can Afford

With the rush and thrill of watching MMA, it’s easy to let you betting get carried away. Betting on the MMA should only be done to add more excitement to the fight, and should not be seen as a money-making adventure. Always gamble responsibly. For a quick guide on how to control your betting, check out this handy money management infographic below by

betting responsibly infographic from
Betting responsibly infographic from

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