UFC Betting Guide
The UFC launched in 1993, but the organization didn’t start to become mainstream until 2001. In the last decade the promotion has grown into a popular sport across the world and now thousands of fans are beginning to start wagering on the sport online.
This guide will take a look at the various wager types and where to bet on the UFC online. The UFC is unlike other sports like the NFL or MLB where you can wager on dozens of markets. A lot of online sportsbooks only post odds on winner markets for the UFC but they are slowly adding more markets.
Best Bookmakers for UFC Betting
UFC Fight Results – Betting on Winner Markets
- UFC Money Line – Bet on Which Fighter Will Win
The most common UFC bet type and one that every sports betting site will offer is the money line. All you need to do is predict what fighter will win the fight, which isn’t necessarily that difficult in most fights. However, the odds on the best fighters will be short.
Let’s take a look at an upcoming example. Jon Jones (-700) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (+500). Jones will most likely win and retain his title, but you have to bet $700 to win $100 at the current odds. Risking that much to win a small amount is never ideal in any sport.
- UFC Method of Victory – Bet on How a Fighter Will Win
I love the method of victory market because you can take big favorites and often bet them at plus money. Let’s look at a recent fight. I bet on Joseph Benavidez to win by TKO/KO over Jussier Da Silva. Benavidez was a big favorite, but paid +165 to win by TKO/KO.
If you follow the fighters in the UFC you’d know that Benavidez has been working on his striking with Alpha Male and he’d likely try to come out and finish Silva with striking, which is exactly what he did. Benavidez come out in the 1st round and won by TKO.
You can wager on a fighter winning the fight by TKO/KO, submission or decision in the method of victory market. I wager on MOV if the favorite is above –200 and I want to bet the fighter SU. I rarely bet the MOV in close fights because the ML presents better value.
- UFC Winner Props – When Will a Fighter Win
A few bookmakers post odds on a fighter winning each round and your goal is to predict the exact round that a fighter will win. This bet is a bookie’s dream because of the house edge being so big. I never bet on this market, but wanted to mention it in the article.
UFC Round Betting – How Long Will a Fight Last
- UFC Over/Under – Will a Fight Last Over or Under the Total
With the majority of fights being scheduled for 3 rounds in the UFC (5-Rounds for Title Fights) most over/under lines are set at O/U 2.5 rounds. You have to pick whether the fight is going to last longer than the round total posted by your bookmaker.
In some cases, such as with two big strikers who win by TKO/KO a lot, the over/under may be set at 1.5 rounds. This bet can have a lot of value, but I tend to stick to fights where one or both of the fighters are known to wrestle their way to decision victories.
For example, Benson Henderson was 7-0 in the UFC with all his wins coming by decision before losing to Pettis. Henderson doesn’t beat fighters with power. He grapples them up against the cage or mat and doesn’t mind winning his fights by decision.
- UFC Round Props – Will the Fight go the Distance or Not
If you think the fight will go the distance you’ll find better value in this market than the over/under rounds market. With an O2.5 round bet the wager wins after the 2:30 mark of the 3rd round whereas with this bet the fight has to go to the judges’ scorecards.
UFC Fight Bonus Prop Bets
Each event the UFC rewards the best fighters with fight night bonuses to increase their wages. There are 3 fight bonuses to be won, which includes the Fights of the Night, Submission of the Night and Knockout of the Night during every UFC event.
Typically you can find a lot of value in these markets, as the odds are often above 10/1 if you avoid the big favorites. I tend to avoid the FOTN market because it often goes to the main event or co-main event, but there is often value in the SOTN and KOTN odds.
The only way you can win the KOTN or SOTN fight bonus is by having the best submission or knockout. When you look at the fights try to find value on the main card for these fight bonuses. Often there will only be 1-2 knockouts and/or submissions on a card.
UFC Parlay Betting – Increase Payout Odds with Multiple Selections
In a lot of sports you want to avoid betting parlays with too many selections. While that rings true in the UFC to a degree I still think that parlays are the best bet for a new handicapper with a limited bankroll if that person is willing to learn how to handicap UFC.
I don’t think it’s a smart bet to parlay multiple method of victory selections together. However, if you’ve looked at the card and you have 4 big favorites that you don’t think will lose then parlaying them together is often more feasible than betting them all SU.
There is always a risk that one selection will lose on a parlay, but even if one big favorite loses SU if could cost you money. Let’s take a look at a quick example from UFC 165, which is later this month. I think Jones –700, Pegado –550 and Nurmagomedov –220 win.
Let’s say you want to try and win $300. This parlay basically pays even money. You’d have to bet $311 to win $300. If you bet each of the fighters SU on the money line to win $100 on each you’d have to bet a total of $1470 between the three fighters.
Let’s say Pegado loses only. You’d lose $311 on the parlay. Since you win $100 on Jones and $100 on Nurmagomedov SU you’d take the $200 and subtract it from the $550 you bet on Pegado to find out that you lost $350 by betting them all SU on the money line.
UFC Live Betting – Bet on the Fights In-Play
Only a handful of bookmakers have live betting on the UFC and only a couple of them are worth joining for the live markets. Lots of UFC handicappers wager on in-play markets more than other markets because it gives them an idea of how the fight is transpiring.
In a sport like this it’s hard to bounce back and win, so riding the momentum is often the best bet. The best UFC live bookmakers will post in-play odds on the money line, over/under round betting, method of victory and basically every market described above.
Some sites allow you to bet on fights right up until they start, but only a few let you bet on the fights after starting. Being able to see the action and then place your bet is beneficial and you’ll often find that your judgement is much better after viewing a round.