A now very well developed product, Mixed Martial Arts has been growing very rapidly in its popularity for betting.
If you simply just want to bet on who you think will win the fight no matter how, this is called the moneyline. The moneyline will display which fighter is expected to win, known as the favorite. And who is expected to lose, the underdog. If you bet the favorite, you will not win as much money as you bet. If you bet the underdog, you win more money than you bet. Which side you take will always depend on how likely it is that side ones.
You can also predict how long you think the fight will last. This is called the “over/under” or the “total”. An MMA fight consists of “rounds” that last 5 minutes each. Fights normally are scheduled for 3 rounds, but title bouts are scheduled to go 5. MMA fights are often decided inside the ring, not by the judges. If the over/under is shown as 1.5 rounds, that means if you think it will be a short fight if you bet the under. But if you think it could go the whole way, maybe you give the over a try.
Betting on the over/under means the payout will be -110 no matter which side you take. A sportsbook could potentially adjust the payout of a particular side along the way, but would only considering doing so if the majority of the wagers were coming in on one side.
You can win an MMA fight by forcing your opponent to submit and quit fighting. When they do this they tap with their hand, anywhere they can, and the referee then breaks up the fight. You can also win by knocking them out, or with a technical knockout if the referee voluntarily stops the fight to prevent the losing fighter from getting too injured. Or if the fight goes the distance, the 3 judges watching ringside determine the winner with a point system. The winner of each round gets 10 points, and the loser gets 9 or less. Points may be deducted from fighters who break any rules such as poking their opponent in the eye. If any of the judges considered the round to be evenly fought, it will be scored 10-10. It’s unusual, but fights do occasionally end in a tie.
If a fight goes to a decision, there are a few different types of decision you can specifically bet on. A unanimous decision, meaning, all 3 judges ruled in favor of the same fighter, regardless who it is. A majority decision, which is when 2 judges have ruled the same fighter, but the other has ruled the fight a tie. And finally, a split decision. This is when 2 judges have ruled one fighter and the other judge ruled the other.
You can bet on the fight ending by either submission, or knockout, without picking which fighter will win. You can simply bet on that’s how you think the fight will end. You can bet on which round you think the fight will end, and also which fighter you think will win in what round. This type of bet yields a higher payout since you are making a very specific prediction.
Here is an example of what an MMA line could look like:
Martha Stewart by decision +200
Martha Stewart by KO or TKO +135
Martha Stewart by Submission +175
Rhonda Rousey by decision -180
Rhonda Rousey by KO or TKO -140
Rhonda Rousey by Submission -300
A parlay is a type of bet that requires you to make multiple predictions, and in order for you to win they must all be correct. If there’s 4 fights going on a particular night, and you really love who you think will win in 2 of them, you can parlay both of them to win and get a better payout if they both win than if you just bet each of them straight up. It’s a simple higher risk higher reward scenario since if you do bet each fighter straight up, and 1 out of 2 win, you still get to cash in a ticket.
Some sportsbooks will offer odds on a fighter, either giving them or taking points from them before the fight starts. For example, if Fighter 1 was -2.5 points favorited over Fighter 2, Fighter 1 must win the fight by at least 3 points for this bet to be a winner. Of course if they win in some other fashion, you will still have a winner. Since Fighter 1 must win by at least 3 points, then that means Fighter 2 can still lose the fight by up to 2 points and still be a winning bet.
If, hypothetically, Fighter 1 wins all 3 rounds by scores of 10-9, the final score will be 30-27 and means the favorite (Fighter 1) will have won. But if the final round was scored 10-10, then the final score would be 30-28, and Fighter 2 will be a winning bet since they were +2.5, and they did not get beat by 3 or more points.
Certain sportsbooks may also permit you to make even more specific prop wagers. A prop bet is a very specific type of wager that in many cases does not directly concern the outcome of the event. You can bet on the Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night, and Knockout of the Night.
These awards are handed out by the UFC after all the fights are finished. All these awards have to do with which fight was the best fight, which fighter locked in the best submission, and who had the best knockout. You would vary your bets on these types of props based on which fighters you know to be the type to often win by knockout, or submission. Or maybe just which fight is the most anticipated of them all and therefore may be awarded as the night’s best fight. In any case, since whichever pick you make is going to be a longshot to one degree or another, the payout will be very high.
Some websites also allow live betting, which gives you the choice of betting on a UFC fight while it is going on. New odds on the fight are posted in between rounds.