One of the newest and fastest-growing sports in the world is MMA (especially UFC) and the sport is expected to continue to gain followers and become even more mainstream.
What you have is the two warriors ready to settle in a steel cage. There’s no shortage of fists and feet flying around, ferocious brawls, blood, and devastating KOs.
But even as you enjoy the free-for-all nature of rumble, you have to ask yourself. Where is smart money located?
And largely because of its volatile and unpredictable nature, MMA/UFC can be challenging, to wager, to say the least. But don’t worry because we have our list of 9 tips to make it easier for you.
These tips will help you become a profitable MMA bettor, but to beat the bookmakers in the UK you will need to do a lot of research and fully immerse yourself in MMA.
Know Which Stats To Use
As in any sport, it helps to consider statistics when handicapping fighters. MMA didn’t become popular until the 1990s, so you won’t find a huge amount of stats like you would find for boxing which also has some of the most expensive PPV prices among martial arts sports. This presents some challenges as a bettor, but the good news is that bookmakers are in the same boat as you. This can result in some great value and big prizes.
Here are some statistics to keep in mind when doing your analysis:
- Basic physical information about the fighter: height, age, weight. Also, note the range.
- Recent and past performances of each fighter. You should mainly pay attention to the last couple of fights.
- The number of recent fights. Fighters in the cage these days may be more tired, but they are also more prepared.
- All fighter stances.
- Average takedowns and submissions. Takedown accuracy.
- Striking and takedown defense.
- Accuracy of shots and shots he landed per minute.
- Strike absorption.
As you start analyzing MMA fighters, you may find that there are other useful stats. With these stats, you can guess who is likely to win the next fight, how the action unfolds, and how you might win. You can make prop bets and win big.
Take The Unconventional Fighter Who Is On A Role
If you’re determined to bet on an outright winner, watch out for versatile combatants who can fend off the Tough Guy/KO artists who are always looking for a steady ground & pound diet to finish the fight.
Look for a fighter who has his 3-4 or more win streak in any number of ways. The safest way to go in an MMA/UFC fight is to pick a fighter who can take down your opponent at any given time and attack your opponent from every angle imaginable. Pay special attention to fighters with good defensive skills coupled with solid punches, powerful submissions, and deadly Jiu-Jitsu.
The First Loser Often Becomes The Rematch Winner
Not always, but wait for a very close fight that both fighters (McGregor/Diaz) seem likely to win regardless of the initial outcome. Defeated fighters often learn more than their opponents and are always a little hungry to win, so they make greater, more focused progress in training for rematches. Remember that the first game should be tight.
Take a Young Fighter
Experience and wisdom are key in many sports, but the young fighter’s explosive and ferocious nature shines through in MMA. The young fighter has won 62% of his UFC fights as of January 2020.
Over the past eight years, young fighters had a much higher win rate in MMA than older fighters.
Although this table is very useful, I must say that when fighters of the same age meet this is not very useful. However, the following stats are very important when choosing MMA bets: Younger fighters won 61% of the time when fighters were separated by more than five years. If the fighters were more than 10 years apart from each other, the younger fighter won 64% of the time.
As time goes on, it becomes clear that supporting young fighters pays off. However, you will have to pay attention to your form as there are older fighters who know how to win skillful fights.
Don’t Neglect Conditioning
How important conditioning is to a particular battle depends on several other factors: how quickly each fighter tends to get involved, and how long the battle tends to last.
Fighters who knock out their opponents early in the fight usually don’t need stamina every round. On the other hand, this may not be the case when facing off against an opponent who challenges you to fight and win otherwise.
Mental conditioning also plays a role. Some fighters may have the physical condition to last multiple rounds in combat but may experience mental exhaustion if the fight exceeds a certain amount of time.
Take a Better Striker
If there are two fighters with similar odds, bet on the two forwards. Strike stats account for strikes landed per minute, strike accuracy, and strikes absorbed per minute. The superior forward has a 64% win rate in the UFC. This is a powerful stance.
As of February 2022, the Octagon has had a total of 546 UFC fights. Of these, 225 were his KOs, 138 were submitted, 141 were unanimous, 31 were split decisions, 3 were majority votes, and 3 were disqualified. Knockouts are the most common here, and good striking power is required to knock out an opponent. Some weight classes have a higher KO rate for him than others, so it’s important to pay attention to specific weight classes.
Take In Account The Downtime
Downtime is an equally important factor when evaluating a fighter’s physical form. Fans call such athletes “rusty”. During downtime, athletes lose their athleticism and their bodies become less accustomed to the extreme conditions of the octagon. Because of this, rusty fighters often lose early. They do not have time to quickly adapt to the octagon and react in a timely manner to the enemy’s dangerous movements.
Late Replacement – Better Never Than Late
Many MMA fights go through late changes, and it’s not uncommon for fighters to retire. A replacement is someone who has less than a month to prepare. In UFC history, a late substitute has lost 64% of his matches.
The average odds for all late substitutes in the UFC are +181. This generally means that late substitutes are underdogs.
Bet Mostly Conservative
Hey, there’s always crazy stuff going on in MMA/UFC. One kick, one punch, one guillotine choke, and you’re done. So when making the decision to bet big, be careful not to bet more than you are willing to lose.