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MMA Betting: How to Bet on UFC

UFC is an exciting sport to watch and even more exciting to wager on. There are countless opportunities to make some coin while watching two fighters pummel the daylights out of each other until only one is left standing. Online betting sites provide action on everything from a Saturday Fight Night extravaganza with cards stacked with top fighters to lesser bouts with newbies trying to make their name in the industry.

Here at Odds Shark, we believe that you should be a sports betting pro, no matter the sport. We’ll show you how to bet on UFC and understand the odds. Before you know it, you’ll be an MMA betting expert, ready to destroy the competition.

What’s the Difference between UFC and MMA?

Mixed martial arts is the style of fighting and Ultimate Fighting Championship is the company behind it. Sometimes UFC and MMA are used interchangeably and that’s OK with us and UFC president Dana White. It’s like how as a society, we call tissues “Kleenex” even though one is the thing you blow your nose with and one is the company that makes the things you blow your nose with.

How to Read UFC Odds

When you visit UFC betting sites, you’ll see odds displayed like this:

Conor McGregor -130

Khabib Nurmagomedov +225

We use American odds (-500) but you can switch between Decimal (1.20) and Fractional (1/5) odds. Bettors in the U.K. lean toward fractions, those in Europe and Australia use decimals and people in the Americas like their namesake odds.

The odds in this example are for a moneyline bet. To make this type of bet, you simply have to pick a fighter to win. In this scenario, Conor is the favorite and Khabib is the underdog. Faves are always shown by the minus sign (-), and dogs with the plus sign (+). This is universal across all betting sites.

Let’s say you like the southpaw. At -130, oddsmakers predict he has a 56.52 percent chance of winning. A $100 bet would give you $176.92 – your original money is returned along with your prize of $79.92.

On the other hand, if you like Nurmagomedov at +225 (30.77% shot at victory), you’d get $325 – you get your $100 back coupled with your loot of $225.

When picking a winner, you don’t have to go with the fave. If you feel strongly that the dog has a chance, a winning bet on a fighter with plus money (+) would give you a bigger payout because there’s more risk associated. Our Odds Calculator will tell you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet. You’ll also see the chance each side has of winning.

How to Bet on UFC

We’ve already covered the moneyline above. Now it’s time to delve into more advanced ways to bet on UFC fights. These types of bets require a little more handicapping on your part – or our part. We’ll do the heavy lifting in our UFC Betting News and Analysis section.

Totals: Round Betting

For the NFL (or XFL if you’re fancy), this kind of bet requires you to wager on the combined score from both teams. When it comes to UFC betting lines, the total refers to the number of rounds. Odds would appear like so:

Weili Zhang vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk

O 1.5 rounds

U 1.5 rounds

If you think the bout will take longer than 1.5 rounds, you would bet the OVER. If you think it will finish in less than 1.5 rounds, you would bet the UNDER.

To handicap a bet like this, you would look at a fighter’s stamina, stance and how long it usually takes them to get through a contest. If these fighters have met before, you could study their previous bouts as well.

Props: Method of Victory

Prop bets offer betting options galore. These are bets on the occurrence or non-occurrence of general match milestones that allow one fighter to triumph over the other. You can bet on whether the contest will end in a decision (split, unanimous, majority), KO/TKO, or submission. Additionally, you can wager on whether the fight will go the distance.

Parlays: A Big Batch of Bets

Parlays let you create a betting ticket with more than two bets on it. You can add a method of victory prop, a moneyline and basically any number of different bets you want. Some sportsbooks will let you include up to 15 bets on your parlay slip. It’s important to remember that if even one of your bets loses, the entire ticket is a bust like Gina Carano’s dialogue in Haywire. Dated reference alert!

Live Betting: Placing your UFC Bets During the Fight

What happens when you don’t have time to make your bets before the big fight? In-play betting lets you bet while a bout is unfolding. When you bet live, you can use the opportunity to hedge your bets. Let’s say you put big money on the favorite but they’re not doing so well. You can take the underdog and recoup potential losses. When you see live odds you like, jump on them. They will disappear as quickly as they appear.

Armed with your new knowledge of how to bet on UFC, you’re ready to wager. We hope all your future bets are knockouts.