How To Bet on UFC Fights: An Online Guide for Beginners

For fans of MMA’s premier promotion, the UFC, there is nothing better than drinking in a full fight card and taking a punt on which fighters you think will leave the Octagon with a victory. Watching the action with your mates, spouse, or by your lonesome (each to their own) can be exciting, but having the odd flutter on your favourite fighters can really add a little spice to proceedings.

The UFC showcases some of the best talent in the sport, and fans are as dedicated as any sport on the planet. With such interest in fights comes the study of fighters, and for those who fancy a punt on the bouts, this knowledge can often come in very handy. While guarantees are seldom in the fight game, knowing who to back can seriously enhance your chances of making coin.

There is no fun whatsoever in losing your cold hard cash, so the onus is on you to make sure you know what you are doing when you pick your MMA bets. For those new to betting on the UFC, we have compiled a guide which should help you understand the process with ease.

Find a sportsbook or betting website

So, you’re ready to get down to making your picks. Perhaps you have discussed them and compared them with those of your mates, and have been laughed at for some of them. If this is the case, just remember how many people laughed when Holly Holm dismantled the Ronda Rousey hype train.

Or when Chris Weidman knocked out many’s choice as the greatest of all time in Anderson Silva, or that occasion when Conor McGregor beat Jose Aldo in less time than it takes to put on your socks on a Monday morning.

As good as you are at predicting the results of fights, you will be nothing without a platform to place bets on UFC fights. These days, the majority of stakes are placed online.

There are hundreds of online sportsbooks which will be more than happy to accept your bets, as the competition is huge to get new players. Make sure the sportsbook you do choose offers odds on the UFC, however.

Understanding UFC betting terms

In the UFC, there are a few different types of bets you can wager on. These tend to be:

  • A bet on the result of the fight: Which fighter will win, or if it will be a draw
  • Method of victory: A win by KO or submission, for example
  • Round betting: Which round a fighter will win
  • How the fight will end: Like method of victory, but without choosing who will win

Total rounds: How many rounds the fight will go

All of these bets are fairly straightforward. You can mix them up to build double, treble, or accumulator bets, which means choosing more than one fighter to win their bouts on the night.

UFC odds explained

As those that understand odds will agree, they make look complicated at first but are bread and butter once you get used to them. In the UK, bookmakers will typically present odds as fractional, by default.

In the United States, odds are more likely to be: Vegas Odds, wherever you play. In Canada and Australia, for example, odds are decimal; these are probably the most straightforward to understand for novices.

So what do these mean, you might be asking?

We explain how these odds work, below.

Fractional Odds

There is nothing difficult at all with fractional odds. While many cite decimal odds as very easy to understand, the same can definitely be said for those in a fractional format.

With fractional odds, you will see two numbers, which can be either 1,2, or (in rare cases) 3 digits. For example, these can be 4/1, 1/4, or 40/1. The good thing about the UFC – when compared to boxing, for example – is that fights are generally contested where both fighters are around the same level of skill. This makes things even easier to understand.

The number/s to the right represent your stake and the numbers to the left are the price offered. So, hypothetically, if you bet £10 on Conor McGregor (2/1) to beat Nate Diaz (4/1) you will get £2 for every pound you bet. A successful bet yields returns of £30 in this example (including stake).

U.S./Vegas Odds:

These are represented differently. With Vegas Odds, you will see + and – symbols. These indicate the strength of the fighter, from the perspective of the casino, and the odds that they are willing to offer. These odds are based on you winning a value bet, which is $100 in the USA.

The – symbol means how much you need to bet to make $100, while the + means how much a $100 bet would make you.

For example:

A $10 bet on Daniel Cormier (+150) to beat Stipe Miocic (-185) will pay more than if you had bet on Stipe. Cormier’s +150 represents the underdog, as the odds are against him. Stipe’s odds of -150 mean that there is more chance of him winning. A $100 bet on Cormier pays $250, in this case.

Decimal Odds:

Decimal odds, as previously mentioned, are very simple to understand. The easiest way to work out decimal odds is to take your stake and simply multiply it by the odds shown.

For example:

A £10 bet on Max Holloway (5.60) to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov (2.35) will get you £56 plus your stake. If you opt for Khabib, you are looking at £23.50 plus your stake. Simples. Please note that most betting sites have a function for you to change the format of the odds with the click of a button.

Research the fight to predict a winning outcome

So you are almost certain that a fighter is going to do nothing less than wipe the floor with his opponent. You are so confident that you are going to put everything you own minus the buttons on your shirt on them to win. It’s a certainty: they haven’t lost a fight in 2 years, looked great last time out, and there is no way they can lose.

…and there you are, with your head in hands, as the sure thing is being wheeled out of the octagon with no discernible facial features.

There are many negative things that can contribute to a fighter’s mindset and potentially leave them a little out of sorts on fight night. Injuries, relationship break-ups, the death of relatives, scandals outside of the Octagon, botched weight cuts. You name it.

The best way to get around this is to do your research. This can be done by reading about a fighter and their opponent ahead of fight night. Doing this may save you, or even earn you, a nice packet at the end of the night.