How to Bet on MMA

Published: 11th December 2019
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 29th March 2021

How to Bet on MMA – Your Guide to MMA Betting

Mixed martial arts or MMA is a prevalent sport among sports bettors internationally. Whether you have no clue how it works or you’re a superfan looking to cash some winning tickets, this guide should help you with betting on MMA.

Introduction to Betting on MMA

Pretty much all of the top betting sites here offer MMA betting, but some are better than others. Betting on MMA is different from team sports. Most championships have a set schedule, so you’ll know the match is happening. MMA is quite different: it has no set schedule for the year. The promotions and fighters negotiate each fight, one at a time.

If you have made sports bets before, MMA betting should be an easy adaptation. MMA sports betting is an exciting endeavour as you can wager as soon as a scheduled fight pops up. Sometimes UFC betting even allows you to place a bet on a rumoured match before it is confirmed. When this happens, the bookie will set a cut-off date after which they will refund your stakes. For the biggest fights, you’ll also find bookmakers offering promotions and fantastic free bets well in advance to whet your appetite.

Here’s Why You Should Bet On MMA

If you are a fan of the sport, you probably don’t need much convincing. However, if you don’t know much about the UFC match and would like to place MMA betting odds, here are some motivators.

Tick IconBad Lines

Bad lines are most common in MMA sports betting. Bookies haven’t quite perfected the art of betting odds and lines as with other games because sports betting on MMA is entirely new in the world of punters.

Although this doesn’t sound like a good thing, it can be very beneficial to those who are MMA fans. The fans might be at a better spot because they know more about the rules and intricate details about the fighters than the bookies do. Even the best MMA betting sites are unlikely to have specialists setting the odds, which could mean bad lines. You could score great deals if you manage to find those.

Tick IconAccess to Information

MMA fighters usually have day jobs and train in gyms that are accessible by the general public. This access means that it’s much easier to find information and bookmakers often won’t have insider information. Everything that they know, you can learn, too. MMA fighters are much more accessible than your usual sports stars, so it’s much easier for you to make an educated bet.

Tick IconEmotional Betting

As emotional beings, people tend to bet on their favourite fighters, or against their least favourite. This form of betting tends to move the lines and affect the betting odds for MMA. By knowing your opponents and taking the emotion out of the equation, you could strike gold.

MMA Organisations

MMA organisations have been popping up all across the globe as the sport has gained popularity in recent years. Those different organisations also actively promote MMA. Due to their commitment, the sport is considered one of the fastest-growing fight styles today.

UFC LogoUnited Fighting Championship (UFC)

UFC was the first great MMA promotion. The UFC is to thank for the incredible growth of MMA. They have worked hard with the various bodies to ensure that the sport becomes mainstream.

Bellator iconBellator MMA

Bellator is a close second to UFC. The best fighters who haven’t signed with UFC are on the Bellator roster. This organisation puts together tournaments to promote the sport and determine its title challengers.

ONE ChampionshipONE Championship

While the UFC and Bellator reign in the Western world, ONE runs the East. Only five years old, this promotion holds the best fighters in Asia and has had over 40 events.

Understanding MMA Odds

To understand MMA betting in the UK, you should realise that the sportsbooks are in this to make money, too. You can’t find value bets if you don’t understand how betting on MMA works.

The bookie needs to have the same amount of money wagered on each side. It’s likely to alter the odds so they can make money irrelevant of which side wins. If you’d like to check the safety of your bet before going all-in, use an MMA betting calculator. It will help you make sense of the odds. See below MMA betting odds explained.

Altering the Odds

Bookies will usually alter the odds in favour of the fighter that is less likely to win. As crazy as this sounds, it convinces punters to bet on the other side. It will release the first line of odds based on the odds they feel will get even bets. The odds will then be altered based on how the stakes come in. Say for example Michael Chandler takes on Matt Mitrione and Mitrione is favoured to win, the odds would look something like this:

  • Michael Chandler: 8/5
  • Matt Mitrione: 7/16

The public will support Mitrione to win and place large bets on him when they see these odds. These bets throw the amount of money on each side out of balance. Subsequently, the bookie will compensate by skewing the odds in favour of Chandler. As mentioned earlier, the bookmaker needs both sides to have an equal amount of money, so they don’t lose. After adjusting the odds, it might look something like this:

  • Michael Chandler: 16/5
  • Matt Mitrione: 3/16

If you placed a £50 wager on Michael Chandler during the first line of odds, you stand to win £80. Placing the same wager on Chandler after the odds change could mean winning £160. On the other hand, if you bet £160 on Mitrione during the first odds, you win £70. If you wait till after the odds change and place the same wager, you’ll only win £30.

Different Types of MMA Bets

You’ll start to understand how MMA betting works once you get the hang of the following wager types.

UFC iconFight Winner

This is the simplest form of betting on MMA, but it is no less exciting than any other mentioned in this review of MMA betting. The clue is very much in the name with this bet. All you need to do it correctly predict which fighter will win the bout. The odds aren’t even money each, as most bouts aren’t 50/50. You’ll find a favourite – the traders pick – and a second favourite – the warrior with a slightly better price attached. If your selection wins, you win. The odds aren’t great with this bet – unless landing a massive upset – so many prefer to play the fight winner market in accumulators and multiples. Big returns for small stakes is the aim with an acca.

UFC iconRound Betting

Bet on round betting and you have a few options here. The most basic is predicting which round a certain fighter will win in. So, for example, you could place your cash on the favourite to win in round three. The odds on this type of bet are usually very attractive, due to the difficulty in getting it right. There are other ways to play round betting, however. You can choose the winning round without siding with either fighter. You can play total rounds, which could be the bout lasting more or less than 1.5 rounds. In other words, will the fight end in the first or second half. Going to points would pay over 1.5 rounds as a winner. Remember, unlike boxing where there are 12 rounds in a championship bout, MMA fights only have three rounds of five minutes each.

UFC iconMoneyline

Also known as match betting, this type of bet refers to the outcome of the fight. Moneyline is the easiest wager to place in UFC betting. Most punters prefer accumulator bets for this type. The reason for this is that moneyline has lower odds, and the accumulator increases the winnings.

UFC iconOver/Under Bets

This bet looks at how many rounds you think will be in the fight. So, if you know that the fighter finishes his opponent quickly, say, within the first three rounds, you’ll want to find a bookie that supports bets under 3.5 betting line.

UFC iconMethod of Victory

This method is when you bet on how the fight will end. These include the knockout, decision, technical knockout, or submission.

UFC iconAccumulator Bets

An ACCA is one bet with varied selections, which allows you to bet on multiple fights for a small stake. Keep in mind that although the winnings can be fantastic for a small stake if one leg loses the entire bet fails. If you do this, check out sites with accumulator insurance offers, which make a risky bet just a little bit safer.

How to Place a Bet on MMA

Thanks to the hard work of the UFC and Bellator, most bookmakers now offer markets covering most of their top fights. The first step towards placing a bet is deciding whether you want to bet through an online sportsbook or an in-person bookie. It’s essential to use a vetted bookie to prevent con artists from getting the better of you.

If you want to place wagers from the comfort of your home, be sure to use a trusted and reputable online bookie.

Best Betting Sites for MMA Betting

If you’re looking for the MMA betting sites with the best odds for fighters, look no further. Listed below you’ll find the online bookies that our team has vetted and deemed the best for betting on MMA.

UniBet Logo SmallUnibet

Although this bookmaker is Scandinavian in origin, Unibet has made quite a name for itself in the UK. It offers bonuses that will get you started. One of them is its welcome offer, which requires a £10 deposit to receive £20 in free bets. It offers great odds for MMA betting and you can also take advantage of features such as live streaming and cash out, as well as plenty of Unibet promotions.

coral logoCoral

As one of the oldest bookies around, this is a dependable brand. Coral regularly has offers for MMA punters. It has a £30 free bet for new users with a minimum of £10 for the first bet. It offers a great number of MMA promotions when the big fights are on and also offers features such as cash out, partial cashout build a bet and live streaming.

Other top betting sites for MMA betting include Ladbrokes, 888sport and Bet365.

Popular MMA Betting Strategies

There are many strategies for MMA betting online. If you’re a newbie, you’ll find that most MMA betting tips suggest choosing a strategy.

red crossDon’t Bet on Every Fight

The downfall of most punters is that they get trigger happy and place wagers on far too many fights. It’s best to research a match thoroughly before placing a bet. This way, you ensure that you have the best winning chance.

If you feel like betting on a fight that you haven’t been able to research, opt for a smaller bet.

Tick IconCheck Around for Best Odds

As mentioned above, the bookmaker’s change the odds so that both sides of the bet have the same amount of money. We’ve already discussed that people tend to bet with their hearts instead of their brains. This behaviour can alter the odds in your favour. Keep checking for stakes that you might find favourable and place your bet before the odds are re-evaluated.

You most likely won’t find the same numbers at two bookmakers as the odds are played off of the public’s betting habits. Shop around to ensure that you find the best deals and odds.

Tick IconDo Some Reading

Being in the know will tremendously increase your chance of winning. Read up on each fighter’s style, how that measures up in the ring, and what fighting techniques make for good opponents.

Follow the news as this might let you in on personal or external factors that can change the direction the match will go.

Tick IconBe Aware of the Location

Location is not only important in real estate. Altitudes are a significant factor in the fighter’s ability to perform. If the athlete usually trains at sea level, he can’t be in his best shape at higher altitudes. The change in oxygen level will affect his physical ability.

Other factors are travel time and jet lag. Arriving at the location right before the match can also affect the performance.

MMA Live Streaming

Live streaming is a bonus that top sportsbooks offer. By placing a bet, you get to enjoy the fight live, through the bookie’s site or app. Below is a list of bookmakers that offer live streaming and excellent UFC odds.


joe profile pic

About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.