Often referred to as “cage fighting”, UFC is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, so it’s no surprise that UFC betting has caught on in a big way in recent years, with free bets and betting offers available on a regular basis.
But what is UFC and how do you bet on this growing sport?
Well, UFC is a form of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) which allows for full-contact fighting using striking, grappling and ground fighting throughout the contest.
Through Dana White’s innovative Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) platform, MMA fighters have been able to display their skills to a captive audience from inside the Octagon.
With stars such as Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov, the sport has grown worldwide, attracting millions of fans spanning generations.
A plethora of betting markets can be found on each fight, with praise given to the UFC model for more evenly matched contests than in boxing.
UFC & MMA Betting Offers & Free bets
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Most bookmakers will offer MMA and UFC-specific betting offers in the build-up to a big fight weekend. Here are some of the best free bets and betting offers currently available:
- BetVictor are one of the best bookmakers when it comes to MMA sign up offers. Before a big fight, they will offer exclusive prices to customers who sign up, wagering £10 on the contest. These price boosts can be significant and often lead to some huge wins!
- SportingBet offer £10 insurance in free bets on 5-fold accas for ANY sport. Often, during a fight card, there will be a handful of fights you want to place a wager on. With this unique acca/parlay insurance, you can bet safe in the knowledge you’ll receive a refund in free bets if your selections don’t come in!
- Paddy Power love a fight. Their “free bet” sign up offer is great for placing a bet on the UFC. New customers can place a £20 bet on a UFC fight, safe in the knowledge that if their selection loses, they’ll be refunded in CASH.
How to claim UFC Free Bets
There’s a huge variety of bookmakers sign-up ‘Welcome Offers’ to choose from on our website, the majority of which can be used as UFC free bets.
Simply by choosing which welcome offers or betting bonuses catches your eye, you can pick up lots of free UFC bets just by following this easy general process…
- Find a betting offer you like and use our special links to sign-up or claim them
- Ensure you check the main T&C’s, before registering and making your first deposit (sometimes a qualifying bet is also needed). Make sure you check for minimum deposits, stakes and also any minimum odds that may be required.
- If you need to make a qualifying bet, choose a UFC betting market on which to have your first bet. (You can usually place this bet on any sport you like.)
- Once deposited and your first bet is placed, you should now be qualified for your chosen Welcome Bonus or UFC betting offer. It’s that easy!
How to Bet on UFC Fights
UFC betting is now very easy wherever you are in the world. You can bet via a variety of excellent betting sites or mobile betting apps, from reputable brands such as Paddy Power, William Hill and bet365 meaning you can even bet whilst on the move.
Once you have selected and registered with your preferred bookmaker(s), simply navigate to the ‘UFC/MMA’ section of their Sportsbook platform. From there, you will find all the different fight dates and UFC fights listed. Each fight will have lots of different betting markets to choose from so there are usually plenty of other betting options in addition to the basic ‘Match Winner’ betting market.
To place your UFC bets, simply add your selections to your ‘Betting Slip’ by clicking on the odds, enter your stakes and finally confirm your bets. Then sit back and let the cage fighting unfold! With some online Sportsbooks, you can even bet after the fight has begun, which adds an exciting live betting element to how you can bet on UFC.
UFC Betting Tips & Strategies
Like betting on any sport, it’s important to employ tactics when tackling MMA betting.
Try not to dive in, instead, stand back and assess your options:
- Form is crucial in MMA betting. Check out how each fighter has performed in recent outings and crucially at what weight. Sometimes fighters will campaign at different weights – moving up or down a weight class can have serious implications for their chances in the contest.
- Read into how each fighters’ training camp has gone. Weight cutting is an important part of the sport (not including the heavyweight division). If a fighter has reportedly struggled in camp preparing for a fight, judge their price accordingly.
- Have several betting accounts. Certain bookmakers will price boost on particular markets, so having the flexibility to choose between accounts will see you reap the biggest rewards from your betting.
- Practice analyzing a fighter’s strengths and weaknesses to determine how you think the fight might play out. If a fighter has lost by a significant number of knockouts, a fight against a heavy-hitting striker may cause them further problems. The same goes for submissions.
UFC Betting Markets
There are a number of markets you can choose from when betting on an MMA contest:
- To win fight – this is who you think will be the winner of the contest. Fighter A or Fighter B. You can also back the draw, usually at a significantly high price.
- Fight outcome/Method of victory – this is by what method you think the fight will end. In MMA, the choices range from KO/TKO/Submission to Decision or Technical Decision (winning on the scorecards)
- Round betting – this is betting on what round you think the fight will end in. You can attribute this prediction to either fighter.
- Total rounds – this is backing under or over a line of fight duration. For example, if you bet under 2.5 rounds, you are backing the fight to be over inside the first two rounds or 2 minutes, 30 seconds of the third round.
- Fight to go the distance – this is simply betting YES or NO whether the fight will last the distance, or be stopped prematurely due to a KO, TKO, Submission or Disqualification.
UFC Best Betting Sites
As MMA grows, more and more bookmakers are picking up extensive markets for each fights:
- Bet365 tend to offer the most markets for fights, and will post their prop markets before a majority of other bookmakers. You’ll be offered all the undercard fights with Bet365, whereas some bookmakers choose to just limit customers to the main event.
- Betfred consistently offer market-leading prices for MMA contests. Especially in the ‘Fight outcome’ market, Betfred have historically led the way.
- The Betfair Exchange allows customers to wager against other customers – a huge advantage in a sport like MMA where support for particular fighters can be tribal.
The rankings in MMA will be forever changing, but here is an indication of the top five in each weight class (as of July 2020):
- Heavyweight – Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Derrick Lewis
- Light heavyweight – Jon Jones, Jan Blachowicz, Thiago Santos, Phil Davis, Vadim Nemkov
- Middleweight – Israel Adesanya, Paulo Henrique Costa, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Gegard Mousasi
- Welterweight – Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley
- Lightweight – Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, Charles Oliveira
- Featherweight – Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway, Patricio Freire, Chan Sung Jung, Josh Emmett
- Bantamweight – Petr Yan, Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling, Jose Aldo, Cody Garbrandt
- Flyweight – Deiveson Figueiredo, Joseph Benavidez, Brandon Moreno, Alex Perez, Askar Askarov
How to Watch the UFC/MMA Online
BT Sport have the UK rights to MMA and UFC cards.
UFC & MMA FAQs
How do over/unders work in UFC?
Over/unders work on a round basis in MMA. You’ll back whether you think a fight will last, for example, under or over 2.5 rounds.
How often do underdogs win in UFC?
It’s a sport where underdogs often prevail due to the close matching of opponents in the UFC. There aren’t many mismatches (like in boxing), so there is usually a good chance that the slight favourite will lose.
Is it easy to bet on MMA fights online?
There are plenty of bookmakers who will allow you to bet on MMA fights online. As well as backing the winner of fights, there are plenty of other prop markets available to wager on.
Can you parlay UFC Fights?
Yes. You can create parlay bets, or accas on as many fights as you desire.