Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of, if not the fastest growing professional sport on the planet. There are numerous MMA organisations, however the clear leader in presence and revenue generation in the sport is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The UFC was established in the United States however over the years have held events across the world with regular appearances in Brazil, the United Kingdom with Australia also a regular fixture on the organisation’s calendar.
The UFC’s schedule is relatively consistent with their pay-per-view scale events held monthly and their smaller fight night events, held on nearly all other weeks. This allows punters to consider betting on MMA throughout the calendar year.
The beauty of MMA is that each fighter enters their bout possessing a skill set that may differ slightly or significantly to their opponent, which may result in a fight unfolded in a completely unexpected manner.
MMA offers three forms of fight finishes – by knockout, submission or points decision via the judges scorecards.
The traditional option in MMA is ‘match’ betting where you simply need to decide the winner of the bout between the two combatants.
In MMA, you can get a lot of matchups where two fighters possess a completely different range of skill sets which may present opportunities to exploit in the betting markets. Upsets are quite common.
The sport pops up with some highly unexpected results where significant returns can be made from this betting option. One of the most famous upsets in the sport’s history was in fact in Melbourne at UFC 193, where Holly Holm knocked out undefeated women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the second round.
Ahead of the bout she was paying over $9 head to head, with Rousey paying a ridiculously short $1.06.
The round betting option is great option for punters who feel they have an idea of how the contest will break down and ultimately conclude. Compared to boxing, MMA fights can have more abrupt finishes where it is not uncommon for a high profile title bout to conclude within a minute or two after the landing of a major blow.
With smaller gloves and the ability to elbow, kick and choke, the nature of the contest can see a bout conclude rather unexpectedly.
Therefore, betting markets are generally framed quite differently to boxing, with the first and second rounds the shortest priced ones.
The total rounds option allows you to select whether the fight will go over or under the nominated amounts of rounds set by the bookmaker.
This is the closest equivalent to line betting in the sport, which pays similar odds to line betting but don’t have to consider who wins the fight, just the length of the contest.
Unlike boxing which has three outcomes for victory, a fighter win by knockout or decision along with the draw, MMA has four. The previously mentioned three along with a victory via submission.
However, it is worth noting that draws in MMA are even less likely of an occurrence given fights are held over either 3 rounds or 5 rounds, compared with boxing, whose fights are held over an even number of rounds, 12 rounds for world title bouts.
The method of victory option is a terrific choice if you are confident in your selected fighter’s fighting style and ability to execute it against their opponent.
The method and round betting combo is a terrific option for punters who wish to extract as much value out of a fight as possible.
You have the ability to select whether the fight will end by either knockout or submission and combine that with the round this will happen. In a five round main event or title fight, this results in ten different options per fighter.
If you are confident in your fighter’s style and method of execution, you may find this quite a useful option. You can choose to use this option across multiple fights and combine them into a multi to get extraordinary returns.
The double chance option is a terrific choice for punters who are confident in who they believe will win the fight, but aren’t completely certain on the manner of victory.
You have the option to select your fighter to win in three different combos – by KO or submission, by KO or points and by submission or points.
This option offers slightly greater odds than ‘match’ betting, but less than the more exotic method and round options.
With MMA having three potential fight outcomes, this method offers punters with the choice of selecting whether the fight will end by either knockout, submission or on points.
This is a handy option if you are confident on how the fight will end but not on who will win.
The alternate method and round combo option is handy if you are unsure on who will win the fight but are confident on the method of victory and round in which this will occur.
This method provides less generous odds than the method and round combo, but certainly makes a handy option if you wish to enjoy the fight and not worry about who wins.
There are a host of other betting options available to punters in the sport, which include:
Will fight go the distance?
Here you have the ability to choose whether the fight will or won’t end before the scheduled conclusion of the bout.
What round will fight end?
This option allows punters to select which round the fight will end where you don’t have to pick a winner or method of victory.
Fight to start round?
This option offers the ability to choose whether the fight will commence the nominated round. You have the option to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and this is available for each round of the fight from round 2.