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UFC Betting News

UFC has come a long way since the 1990s when Senator John McCain led a campaign to ban the sport. Luckily for fighters and fans alike, UFC has climbed to the top of the sports social status list and stamped itself as a prestige event-based entertainment activity. People from around the world watch UFC and attend the events. OddsShark’s Ultimate Fighting Championship pages are full of UFC betting tips, odds and more to give you a better understanding of how to bet on UFC and (hopefully) win some money.

A Brief History of the UFC

The first ever UFC event (a pay-per-view affair) was held at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. It was in 1993 and the winner was Royce Gracie of the legendary Gracie family – they’re like the Kardashians of MMA. After UFC 1, the sport began to harbor interest from sponsors and its fanbase began to grow. Fighting for a place in the professional sports landscape, UFC expanded from just pay-per-view and created The Ultimate Fighter, a reality television show for Spike TV about up-and-coming MMA fighters. Due to the UFC’s mainstream exposure, fighters like George St-Pierre became household names. Dana White, who has held the position of UFC President since 2001, has contributed to the sport’s mainstream appeal by ensuring cards feature prominent fighters and events are heavily promoted. As of 2018, there have been over 400 events and female stars like Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg have become just as popular as their male counterparts. Names like Connor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, TJ Dillashaw, and Rose Namajunes have become as popular as other stars of the sports world like Tom Brady, Lebron James, Serena Williams and Sidney Crosby.

How to Bet on the UFC

When it comes to betting on the UFC, there are two main types of bets you can make. Both betting options give you a chance to place smart wagers on the matchups and fighters of your choice.

Moneyline

A moneyline bet is a wager you place on the fighter you believe will win the fight. Each fighter is given the moniker of underdog or favorite depending on if they are predicted to win or lose the match. For this example, we’ll use made-up fighters. Frankie “Frankenstein” Frankowitz is listed at -600 and his opponent Manny “Manners” McManus is listed at +450. In this scenario, Frankenstein is the favorite and Manners is the underdog. In order to win $100 on Frankenstein you’d have to bet $600. But, if you bet $100 on Manners, you’d net $450 if he wins. FYI, he’s called Manners because he’s super polite.

Over/Under

UFC betting odds will be provided for OVER/UNDER round betting wagers. This is a bet you can make on how many rounds a bout will last. For a three-round contest, a bet will usually be OVER/UNDER 1.5 rounds. For five-round matchups, the OVER/UNDER is typically 2.5 rounds. An example would be if M. Bison and Colonel William F. Guile from Street Fighter were squaring off for a five-round contest. The UFC betting odds for this pretend fight are +120 if the match goes over 2.5 rounds, and -140 if the match goes under 2.5 rounds. If you think it’ll be a quick fight, you would take the UNDER and have to wager $140 to make $100. If you think the fight will last more than 2.5 rounds, you would take the OVER and you’d have to wager $100 to win $120. If Colonel Guile KOs Bison in the middle of the second round, if you bet the UNDER, you’d win your wager. Sonic Boom!

For a more in-depth “how to bet on the UFC” page check out our Best UFC Betting Sites.

The Difference Between UFC and MMA

The difference between mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship is that MMA is the sport and UFC is an organization. Mixed martial arts is the style of fighting used in the UFC. It’s the same as how the NFL is a league and football is the sport. MMA is a combination of different styles of fighting like wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu and kick boxing. Mixed martial arts has been around since the early 1900s but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it gained steam. In 1993, upon the formation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, MMA became the powerhouse it is today. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas. John Wick would probably be the face of the UFC if he was a real person because he knows how to fight and would probably win all his fights. Don’t touch his dog.

UFC Terminology

When learning how to bet on the UFC, you should familiarize yourself with the terminology.

  • Cage: The ring where the competition takes place. This eight-sided enclosure is officially called The Octagon.
  • Card: The card is the list of matches that are taking place for a particular event. The main event is called the Main Event. A fight between Connor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov would be the Main Event.
  • Disqualification: When a fighter uses an intentional illegal move, ending the match. The other fighter is then declared the winner by default.
  • Forfeit: When a fighter prematurely ends the fight or fails to compete in the first place, they are guaranteeing their opponent’s victory. Reasons for forfeiting a match range from injuries sustained at the last minute or a fighter not showing up on the day of the fight for personal reasons.
  • Knockout: When a fighter is sent into a state of unconsciousness from their opponent’s legal strike.
  • No Contest: If a fighter performs an accidental illegal move leaving their opponent unable to continue, the match will be declared NC.
  • Rounds: Rounds are five minutes, with a one-minute break between each. Championship fights and Main Events consist of five rounds and all others use a three-round format.
  • Submission: This occurs when a fighter taps the mat or his opponent or verbally communicates that he/she is in too much distress or pain to continue the match.
  • Technical Knockout: When a fighter can’t continue with the bout. There are three types of TKOs:
  1. Referee stoppage: When the ref stops the fight because one of the participants cannot defend themselves anymore
  2. Doctor stoppage: When the ring side doctor deems that it is unsafe for a fighter to continue with the match
  3. Corner stoppage: When a fighter’s cornerman – you know, Mickey from Rocky – signals for the fight to end because his own fighter cannot continue

Weight Classes Explained

Our rankings are broken down into the official UFC weight classes. In order for a fight to take place in the United Sates, in a state-sanctioned venue, the fighters must fall within one of the designated weight classes. All weights are expressed in pounds. Since 2017, these have been the classes:

Men's Weight Classes
  • Heavyweight: 206-265 lbs.
  • Light Heavyweight: 186-205 lbs.
  • Middleweight: 171-185 lbs.
  • Welterweight: 156-170 lbs.
  • Lightweight: 145-155 lbs.
  • Featherweight: 136-145 lbs.
  • Bantamweight: 126-135 lbs.
  • Flyweight: 116-125 lbs.
Women's Weight Classes
  • Featherweight: 136-145 lbs.
  • Bantamweight: 126-135 lbs.
  • Flyweight: 116-125 lbs.
  • Strawweight: 106-115 lbs.
UFC Betting Tips
  • Choose a reputable sportsbook like any of the ones we champion on OddsShark
  • Line shopping can be advantageous when you’re trying to determine out how to bet on the UFC because UFC betting odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook
  • Don’t sleep on underdogs because they could net you some nice coin

For more on underdog betting check out our Underdogs vs Favorites page.