Mixed martial arts brings to the table a range of betting opportunities. With the rise in popularity of the sport, largely through the UFC, sportsbooks have incorporated more and MMA bets into their sportsbook.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) combines different disciplines under one umbrella and fighters can use any techniques from the likes of boxing, wrestling and martial arts disciplines.
So it is no longer a sport that is buried under superior popularity of other major sports like Football and Baseball.
Thanks to UFC, which originated in 1987 and allowed the spotlights to fall on the likes of Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva, MMA is now a massive spectator and bettor sport.
MMA Outright Winner Market
The first stop for an MMA fight will be the match outright. Similar to boxing betting, however, the outright winner market does fall under some serious scrutiny. That is because there is not always the greatest amount of value to be found within that market. It’s a sensible strategy to look beyond it, therefore.
Most MMA fights are a bit one-sided affairs. Even when Conor McGregor made his return to the Octagon in early 2020 after a couple of years away from the sport, he was still a strong odds-on favorite to beat opponent Donald Cerrone, who was touted as a tricky competitor.
So there wasn’t a great deal of value in things for bettors. Even when there is a bout that looks relatively evenly-matched, all that means is that the Moneyline on the market is going to be around even money.
So there is rarely a situation when there is going to be a tremendous amount of value to be fetched in a match outright unless an underdog is backed successfully to record a victory.
Understanding the fighters
Before moving on in this MMA betting guide, it is worth pausing for a moment to understand MMA. The bulk of the action that is going to happen in the sport happens in the UFC.
They are the ones who roll out the big fight nights on the weekends and because of the popularity of that, then that is what the sportsbooks focus on.
There is a need to understand the fighters, their perceived quality and their fighting styles. That is so that you are not just having a blind bet and following whatever the market says.
Just betting on the favorite because that is where the market line is at, could mean missing out on those opportunities when an underdog may have a chance. That’s like backing Tiger Woods in his prime to win every Major just because he was the favorite - he didn’t win them all!
But even if the favorite is still likely to come out and record a victory, the same knowledge applies. That is because knowing how the two fighters approach fights is going to have an impact on bets on other markets, such as the Rounds Totals and the Method of Victory.
Round Totals a good market to consider
This is an over/under market where a bettor takes an option on how many rounds will be played out. Most MMA fights are three rounds so unlike a boxing bout which is 12 rounds, there is not the wide variety of options.
So it is deciding on when the fight is going to end. If, as is common, you don’t expect to see the third round in a UFC fight, then the decision comes at under 1.5 or under 2.5 rounds for totals. So it is a fairly accessible market, especially for beginners to MMA betting.
Methods of victory backs up a selection
This is one of the more popular MMA betting markets. Because at times there is very little value on backing the favorite in a bout, selecting how they are going to win will add some.
The same basic outcome of the fighter who is favorite in the match to win is being supported. But there is then a condition of by what manner they will secure the victory.
Will it be by a knockout? A submission? A judge's decision? For all forms of betting, MMA included, we can’t stress enough the importance of understanding the participants.
If the favorite is more of a wrestler instead of being a heavy puncher, then that will influence selecting how they are going to win the fight.
Parlay MMA Betting
An alternative way to approach a fight card would be to consider a Parlay. That is selecting more than one fighter to win a respective match. This is also known as an accumulator. The more selections that are put into a Parlay then the harder it becomes to win.
But for a reasonable stance, selecting three favorites to win their matches, should total up to better value and less risk than selecting them all in individual bets. The risk with a Parlay is, of course, it only takes one leg of the bet to fail or the whole thing to lose.
Live In-Play MMA Betting
Taking things a step further, watching round betting during the actual fight could be a good approach to MMA betting. If one of the fighters are hit hard in the first minute of the fight, that could lead to some big market fluctuations.
Accessing MMA betting via mobile betting apps is a great way to quickly bet in rapidly changing markets.
Situations do happen when, what appeared to be lining up as an even match could suddenly look like ending quickly.
MMA Betting summary
MMA is one of the toughest sports on the planet and yet its popularity has come on leaps and bounds thanks to the money put into by the UFC.
They are sportsbooks that cover MMA betting very well and are likely to have plenty of market variety in proposition bets come fight night.