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A Beginner’s Guide to MMA Betting

MMA is a sport that is rapidly growing in popularity with sports bettors around the world. The best-known MMA franchise is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but there are a number of other organisations, which means that there is always some betting action available. If you are new to the world of MMA, then in this guide you will find all that you need to understand the basics of the sport and start betting on it, and hopefully you will soon be placing numerous successful bets.  

MMA Basics 

At its heart, MMA is a combat sport that sees two fighters battle it out to win. Unlike in certain martial arts, such as karate, there are no points in MMA (unless the fight goes the distance), and the aim is to defeat your opponent.  

In the UFC, which is where most MMA betting happens, the fighters will compete for belts in different weight divisions and must then defend the belts. The actual rules can be a little bit complicated at first, but they are important to understand.  

The easiest way to win a fight is through a knockout. This is when one of the fighters is unable to continue, it does not mean that the fighter has to be unconscious. A technical knockout is when the referee or the onsite doctor ends the fight as they consider one of the fighters to be unable to continue safely.  

Fighters can also win through submission. For example, if a fighter gets their opponent in choke hold or twists their limbs until the opponent surrenders. A fighter will ‘tap out’ if they are giving up from submission and then loses the match.  

It is also possible for a fighter to lose if their team surrender. This may happen if they consider that the fighter is too damaged to continue and it would not be safe to do so.  

In the UFC, a fight lasts for five rounds with each round lasting up to five minutes. If neither fighter has won after the five rounds then it is up to the judges to decide upon the winner.  

Fighters must engage their opponents, they cannot simply dodge around the ring and doing so may lead to a warning from the referee. However, the sport has many different styles, and some fighters may attack more aggressively than others do.  

Betting on MMA 

Betting on MMA is a great deal of fun and there are many different types of bet available for each fight. In this section, we will take you through the different types of bet and explain how each of them works.  

Match Betting 

This is the most popular type of bet, and it is simply a bet on which of the two fighters will win. You do not need to worry about when in the fight or how the fighter will win; all you need to do is pick the winner. Sometimes you will also find odds on a draw, and these can be very generous as draws are rare in MMA.  

Number of Rounds 

If you want to be a bit more specific with your bets, you may wish to bet on how many rounds will take place in a fight. This is normally offered as an Over/Under bet, which means that you are betting on whether there will be more or less than a specific number of rounds. For example, you may see a bet offering Over/Under 3.5 rounds. This means that you can bet on the fight having at least four rounds (over) or no more than three (under).  

Fight to Go the Distance 

This is similar to Number of Rounds, but it is actually far simpler. All you are doing is betting on whether you think the fight will go the distance and then be decided by judges. It is a simple yes or no bet, but it can provide some excellent returns.  

Round and Method 

This is a very specific type of bet and as such, the odds are usually very generous. It is a bet on what round you think a fight will end in and how you think the fight will end. For example, you could place a bet on there being a technical knockout in the fourth round. You would then win as long as one of the fighters loses by a technical knockout in the fourth round. As noted, this is not easy to predict, so it offers the chance of great returns.  

Winning Method 

This is a hugely popular bet, especially for those who do a lot of research ahead of fight. It is a bet on how a fighter will win, by knockout, submission, and so on. The reason it is popular is that many fighters, particularly in the UFC, have specialities. Therefore, it is possible to see if a fighter regularly wins by the same method. For example, if a fighter has won the last 5 matches by technical knockout, then it is a relatively safe bet to make (although it is important to remember that surprises happen all of the time). You may also be able to bet on the judges’ decision. For example, you could find markets such as Fight to be Won by Unanimous Decision or Fight to be Won by Split or Majority Decision.  

Outright Bets 

If you enjoy long term betting, then outright bets are a fantastic option. You will often be able to place bets on fights that are not yet confirmed, as often it can take many months to negotiate the major fights. For instance, if there is a strong title contender, then it may take some time to arrange the challenge fight, but you may still be able to bet on it far ahead of time. Often this can be a way to find the best odds, and at most bookmakers, if the fight does not take place or is not scheduled by a specific date, then the bet will be refunded.  

In-Play Betting 

In-play betting is a great way to make watching a fight even more exciting. It allows you to bet on the action as you see it unfold. The odds are updated in real time, and this gives you the chance to spot some great betting opportunities. For instance, if one of the fighters has had a bad start but you think that they can turn it around and win, then you may find some generous odds early in the fight.  

What to Consider When Betting on MMA  

Regardless of what sport you are betting on, doing careful research before placing your bets is always the key to improving your success. When it comes to MMA, there are a number of things you should be looking into.  

To start with, you need to look into the different fighting styles. Styles do not always match up well against each other, and this can give one of the fighters a big advantage. For example, wrestlers may struggle against Muay Thai fighters. It is this mixture of styles that makes MMA so exciting and it is also key to understanding a fighter’s chances. Therefore, take the time to study the different styles and how they match up against each other.  

Of course, you also need to research individual fighters. There are a number of different factors to consider, each of which will give you a different type of knowledge that can be applied when placing bets. To start with, you can look at who fighters are training with. If they are training with champions and serious fighters, then you can expect them to be very good fighters. If they are training with complete unknowns, then it is much harder to judge their skills. Furthermore, you can also look to see if they have brought in specialists to help them prepare for specific opponents.  

Many people will start by looking at a fighter’s record and while this is a good idea, it is important how you interpret it. This is because of the mixture of styles discussed above. You need to see how a fighter has performed against specific types of opponents and look at their records in relation to whatever style they are going to be facing next.  

You should also do some research to make sure that a fighter is not injured. Just because they claim to be completely healthy, it doesn’t mean that they are. Nearly all MMA fighters go into the ring with some kind of injury so you should try to find out what the last injury was and how long it takes to heal properly. If they have not given themselves enough time, then it can have a serious impact on their performances. 

It is always worth looking at the coaches as some have far more success against certain types of fighters and other coaches. Coaches have a huge amount of influence on fighters and while they will not determine everything, they should certainly not be discounted.  

Finally, in the weeks leading up to a fight, be sure to keep a careful eye on the news. Often there will be a lot of hype in the news and this can be largely ignored. However, you may also pick up bits of information about how training is going, injuries, and so on, and this can be very valuable when deciding on what bets to place.  


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