Interest in boxing and 'entertainment-style' wrestling has waned a little in recent years as a new form of fighting has piqued the public interest – MMA (mixed martial arts), a format of combat in which two opponents fight each other using whatever combat style they choose.
The pinnacle of this sport is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the number one crown that any individual fighter can win. As interest in MMA has grown, so has interest in the UFC. The top UFC bouts are viewed by millions of interested spectators all across the globe via TV channels and online.
Naturally, as the UFC is a sporting contest that unlike wresting's WWE is a pure elimination tournament, interest in UFC betting has risen too. Nearly every online sports book now gives its punters the chance of indulging in a little bit of UFC betting. This article will go through everything you need to know about UFC betting.
MMA as a discipline began to come to the viewing and sports betting public's imagination in the early 1990s. In the beginning, it was little more than a sideshow – posing questions such as 'can a boxer beat a wrestler'. Two TV production companies created 'UFC' in 1993, the initial contest held at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. UFC1 was won by Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Royce Gracie. The event was supposed to be a one-off, but proved to be so popular that 'UFC2' was held four months later.
The early UFC bouts were organised on a “there are no rules!” basis – although both biting and eye-gouging were actually against the rules, plus other tactics such as hair pulling and headbutting were frowned upon. The UFC now does have a stricter series of rules. A bout takes place within an octagonal area, and can last no longer than five rounds each lasting a maximum of five minutes. Male competitors only wear shorts (female competitors are allowed to wear tops for obvious reasons) and no footwear is allowed.
Bouts can end a number of ways:
Fighters can also forfeit a fight, or if – following an illegal move that did not result in disqualification – one of the fighters is unable to continue the bout is judged a 'no contest'.
The larger percentage of sports books will only offer outrights or props for UFC tournaments, or winner/loser odds for individual bouts. The only other main market for most bouts is an over/under wager on a set figure of the number of rounds the contests last. This is usually 1.5 or 2.5, depending on the fighters involved in the bout and the styles of fighting they employ. Most UFC bouts are over very quickly due to the 'violent' nature of the competition. You do not see many UFC bouts that 'go the distance' and such bouts never become as prolonged as a boxing match, for example.
For the bigger bouts featuring established MMA or UFC stars such as Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz you may be able to wager on different markets. You might be able to wager upon the method by which the bout is decided, for example. Usually, the 'method of victory' is grouped into two sets, with 'Knockout, Technical Knockout, Disqualification or Submission' grouped as one set, and 'Decision or Technical Decision' as the other set.
You may also wager upon which round the fight will decided in, and whether the bout will be decided by points or whether the bout will end in a draw. You can also bet if you think the fight will 'go the distance'.
All the above markets are found available for typical UFC bouts only. For the final Ultimate Fighting Championship deciding bout, during which interest in the UFC will reach maximum saturation levels, you may find that the leading sports books will offer a greater range of markets for you to be able to gamble upon.
There's a real no-holds-barred battle to be the number one sports book for UFC betting. UFC and MMA is fast overtaking boxing as the number one discipline among wagering fighting fans and the smartest sports books are beginning to make sure that they supply plenty of wagering options for those with a passion for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
One site with a real punch is Betsafe. This comprehensive sports betting site has excellent coverage of all the latest UFC bouts including qualifiers and the main events themselves. You will find a superb range of markets available for each bout, and for the biggest bouts you will be offered a substantial number of options. Don't forget to check out Betsafe's substantial range of betting bonuses and promotions too.
Another site we heartily recommend for UFC betting is 10Bet. This site does have a slight preference for US sports, which is great as UFC is based in the USA of course. 10Bet gives coverage to other MMA leagues such as Cage Warriors and Bellator, but coverage of the UFC is the most comprehensive, as you might expect. All UFC bouts – both big and small – are featured, so you can always bet on your favourite fighter to triumph. Keep an eye on their promotions page too for any UFC-related bonus deals that might pop up.
Want to expand your range of fighting bets? Our in-depth guide to the world of WWE will give you the information you need!