UFC Betting Guide

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
11 minute read
UFC Betting Guide

Betting on the UFC is the most exciting way to enjoy the action-packed sport of MMA, and a great opportunity to earn some cash.

UFC betting can be extremely profitable for those who understand the intricacies of MMA fighting and sports betting basics, and in this guide, we cover everything you need to get started.

Keep reading to learn how MMA betting works, how to place your wagers, and some of the best tips and strategies to get an edge. It’s time!

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How MMA Betting Works

MMA betting explained

To understand how MMA betting works, you need to understand how MMA odds work.

MMA betting odds or lines determine the probability of a specific event happening during a fight. In most cases, the likelihood of one fighter beating the other.

Generally speaking, the odds represent how much money you are risking if you lose and the amount of money you stand to profit if your bet is graded as a winner.

MMA Betting Odds Explained

Here is an example. At UFC 230, we had a fight between Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis.

Cormier was a heavy favorite with odds of -700, and Lewis was the underdog at +450.

UFC betting sites that serve US gamblers use American odds. These odds are centered around the amount you need to bet to win $100. For instance:

  • Betting on Cormier at -700, you had to wager $700 to win $100.
  • Betting on Lewis at +450, a $100 bet would’ve brought back $450 in profit.

How To Bet On UFC Fights Online

How to bet on UFC fights

If you are new to Mixed Martial Arts betting, follow this quick step-by-step guide, and you will be ready to bet on the next big event right away.

We’ll start by choosing the right sportsbook, taking advantage of UFC betting bonuses, making a deposit, and finally, placing your wagers with the best odds.

Don’t forget that we also share tips to place winning bets further down this guide.

  1. Pick An MMA Sportsbook

    Some sites are scams that you should avoid completely. Our experts have taken the time to review hundreds of sportsbooks and come up with the best MMA betting sites out there.

    There are many factors to take into account when picking a sportsbook. Be sure to take advantage of betting bonuses.
  2. Take Advantage Of Bonuses

    At top sportsbooks, you will get bonuses for your first deposit. Use your UFC bets to rollover the bonus and keep growing your bankroll.

    You need to make a set amount of wagers to take full advantage. Check our review of the best sports betting bonuses and take advantage of them.
  3. Make Your First Deposit

    Once you have chosen a site to bet and created your account, it’s time to make a deposit.

    There are a variety of payment methods, including credit card deposits, bank wires, and even cryptocurrencies. Choose the method that fits you best.
  4. Find UFC Betting Odds

    Browse through the gambling site to find the latest MMA/UFC betting odds for upcoming events. Analyze the betting markets and pick the wager that you think has the most value.
  5. Place Your UFC Bets

    Review your bet slip, making sure the betting amount is correct and that you have placed a wager on the correct fighter or proposition.

    Confirm the bet, and that’s it! Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the fights!

Where To Bet On UFC Fights Safely

At SBS we feel proud to give you an honest analysis of the online sports betting world. Here are the sportsbooks we recommend to bet on UFC and MMA fights in general.

Rank UFC/MMA Betting Sites Deposit Bonus Highlights Get Started
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Check Our Complete Review Of The Best UFC Betting Sites

Popular UFC Bet Types

There are many betting markets to wager on the UFC or any other organization. Here are the best ones.

UFC Moneyline Bets

MMA Moneyline Bet

A Moneyline bet involves picking the winner of the fight.

If you’re wagering at betting sites that cater mostly to Americans, these odds will almost always be expressed in Moneyline or American odds.

If, by any chance, your odds are not in American format, you can use our betting odds converter to have a clearer picture.

UFC Moneyline Bet Example

  • Connor McGregor (+140) = Underdog
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (-170) = Favorite

At -170 odds, you would have to wager $170 on Khabib to win $100. 

At +140, a $100 bet on McGregor would pay $140.

UFC Prop Bets

MMA prop bets

For all UFC matches, there will also be a large number of MMA proposition bets.

These bets are not centered on the winner of a fight but on aspects surrounding a fight and other possible outcomes.

Many bettors consider these to be the most fun MMA bets to place. They are also great for beginners.

UFC Prop Bet Examples

Here are some of the most common prop bets you can find to wager on MMA fights:

  • Will the fight go the distance?
  • What round will the fight end?
  • What will be the method of victory?

UFC Totals (Over/Under) Bets

MMA Over Under Bets

UFC Over Unders are centered around the length of a fight. The oddsmakers will set a specific number of rounds, and you have to predict if the fight will go Over or Under that number.

Typically, MMA totals set the number of rounds to be over or under: 1.5, 2.5, or 3.5 rounds.

MMA Over Under Bet Example

This is an example of a five-round fight.

  • Over 3.5 Rounds (-110)
  • Under 3.5 Rounds (-110)

If we bet over 3.5 rounds and the fight ends in Round 4, then our bet is a winner. If it ends sooner than that, then the bet is graded as a loss.

If we bet under 3.5 rounds and the fight ends in Round 4, then our bet is a loss. If it ends sooner than that, the wager is a winner.

UFC Round Bets

MMA round bets

UFC round betting consists of picking the round a fight will end.

There are many variations:

  • Picking only the finishing round
  • Picking the round plus the method of victory
  • Picking the round, method of victory, and winner of the fight

These can be one of the most profitable UFC bets you can place, but it requires experience and knowledge to make the right choices.

To learn more about this type of wager, check our MMA round betting guide.

UFC Parlay Bets

MMA Parlay Bets

UFC parlays include multiple wagers on the same event but different fights.

All fighters you pick must win their bouts for your bet to be graded as a winner.

If either one of your picks loses, the full wager is graded as a loss.

MMA Parlay Bet Example

  • Khabib -170 vs. McGregor
  • Derrick Lewis +520 vs. Daniel Cormier

Here we are parlaying Khabib -170 and Derrick Lewis +520.

Both fighters must win their matches for our parlay bet to win. If either one loses, the wager is graded as a loss.

If one fighter were to draw, then the wager is reverted into a straight bet.

Parlays are an excellent way to get a significant favorite at a more affordable price than betting them straight up.

Check our parlay betting strategies to learn how to place these wagers correctly.

UFC Live Betting

MMA Live Betting

MMA live bets are the ones you can place once a fight has already started.

All sportsbooks offer at least moneyline or outright winner odds when betting MMA live. Each sportsbook offers different options for wagering on mixed martial arts or UFC live events.

Live betting odds are updated in real-time in relation to how the fight plays out. Keep this in mind, changing odds could play in your favor, especially when an underdog is performing better than expected.

So, What Is The Best UFC Bet?

There isn’t a “best” UFC bet. The best wagers or best bets for a UFC fight depends, well, on the fight and how you may think it will play out.

Sometimes there is going to be more value in outright winners of a fight, and other times, propositions will be a better option. 

That being said, the most popular betting markets are always going to be betting on the winner of a fight (moneylines) and the over/under on the number of rounds

In a sense, these markets may offer bettors the most value because they have far higher betting limits than MMA propositions. 

As a UFC handicapper, it’s on you to look for the markets with the most value in each fight. Those will be the best UFC bets to place.

UFC Betting Tips And Strategy

There are several strategies to implement when wagering on the UFC. Here are some of the best tips to bet on MMA fights explained by our experts.


The breakeven percentage on these bets is much lower than when you’re wagering on underdogs. For instance, a -200 favorite must win 66.67% of the time for the bet to be profitable. If we go to a -300 favorite, this goes to 75% of the time.

Be careful laying a lot to win a little. But it’s worth saying this tip isn’t a hard and fast rule.

You don’t always have to avoid all heavy favorites, but it’s vital to be selective when you’re laying a hefty price on a line that may be heavily influenced by the public.

Betting Tip #2Bet With Your Mind, Not Your Heart

We all have our favorite sports teams, players, and MMA fighters. However, it’s important to properly evaluate each matchup with the odds in mind and not let your personal feelings or biases get involved.

Don’t let past glory influence your decisions going forward. Evaluate each match without emotion and instead, with the odds in mind.

Betting Tip #3Analyze Fighting Styles

Understanding the primary fighting styles of each fighter and how they match up against their opponents is vital to MMA betting success.

Specific styles match up well against others, while some do not. A submission fighter or wrestler that looks to take his opponent to the ground may have a harder time staying on the feet against a striking specialist.

On the other hand, a striker with lousy takedown defense and poor ground game will suffer facing a wrestler or BJJ specialist.

Betting Tip #4There Is No Substitute For Research

The best way to become a successful MMA gambler is through research. Of course, a basic understanding of MMA and betting odds are required to win, but the rest is learning the ins and outs of the competition.

You can take it a step further by looking at the odds of each match and analyzing the line movement. There you will see how the odds changed from the opening number to the closing number. Also, watch as much MMA as possible.

Betting Tip #5Consider Cage Size

This is an afterthought for many who bet MMA. Many don’t even know that the UFC uses two different cage sizes. The size of the cage factors heavily when handicapping a fight.

The most commonly used cage is 756 square feet, while the smaller and less commonly used cage is 518 square feet.

  • Smaller cages will lead to more exchanges and will be negative for fighters that base their attack around lots of movement.
  • The larger cage is ideal for a fighter that is moving around a lot and uses cardiovascular strength as an advantage.

UFC Betting Bonus Tip: Line Shopping Is Essential

This isn’t like other sports, where bookmakers rush to change their odds after a market leader moves their lines. The difference in odds can be substantial if you line shop properly.

In the long run, lines shopping will save you a massive amount of money. Any serious MMA bettor needs to use multiple betting sites.

One of the best sites to look for MMA odds without having to log into every sportsbook is BestFightOdds.com.

Best UFC Fighters To Bet On 2024

Below are some of the top fighters in the sport. You will find odds to bet on these guys at the best online sportsbooks.

Israel Adesanya

Betting on Israel Adesanya

In no more than a year and a half, Israel saw his MMA career skyrocket. Solid wins against Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, and Kelvin Gastelum, granted him the interim champion belt while Whittaker was injured.

Adesanya defeated Whittaker for the belt and is currently the undisputed Middleweight champion of the UFC.

Israel’s primary weapon is his kickboxing, and his ability to keep the fight where he wants. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt under Galvão.

Conor McGregor

Betting on Conor McGregor

Love him or hate him, The Notorious is one of the most successful UFC fighters of all time.

Conor was the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously. He was both the Featherweight and Lightweight UFC champion.

McGregor’s virtue is his striking, and his incredible ability to get into the head of his opponent before fight day.

Kamaru Usman

Betting on Kamaru Usman

It’s hard to find a more well-rounded MMA fighter than “The Nigerian Nightmare”.

Usman stormed the UFC’s welterweight division with outstanding wrestling and cage control but he didn’t stop there.

He kept evolving into a scary striker with knockout power, a skill that got validated with his brutal KO win over Jorge Masvidal, one of the best strikers in the division.

Kamaru is now looking to beat records set by legends such as GSP and is definitely a UFC fighter you’d want to bet on.

UFC Betting Predictions

If you are looking for UFC betting picks, we’ve got you covered. For free!

Here are the latest previews, analysis, and UFC predictions from our expert sports bettors. There, you will find pro tips from our in-house MMA experts to place smarter wagers on each event.

MMA Betting FAQ

Can You Bet On UFC Fights?

Yes, you can bet on UFC fights at online sportsbooks. Make sure to choose a trusted option so you can avoid scams. Check our UFC sportsbooks review to find the best MMA betting sites out there.

Who Should I Bet On UFC?

Picking the winner of a UFC fight is not an easy task, but understanding the sport, and having the right information before the contest is all you need to make smarter betting decisions.

Betting on the favorite is usually the safest choice, but in MMA anything can happen. Check our UFC betting predictions if you want to have a clearer picture before wagering next time.

Is MMA Betting Profitable?

Betting on MMA fights can be extremely profitable if done right. However, you need to understand everything about the sport and make educated decisions based on data to be successful at it.

It is not easy, but with research and practice, you can achieve a higher winning ratio and make more money off your bets.

Is UFC Online Betting Safe?

Yes. Betting on UFC fights online is completely safe as long as you choose a trusted betting site to wager. Check our review of the best online sportsbooks to pick a safe site and take advantage of their bonuses.

Can You Bet On Other MMA Organizations?

Yes, you can bet on other MMA organizations and fighters outside the UFC. Bellator MMA, for example, is the second-largest MMA promotion in the US, and you can find great odds and betting markets at online sportsbooks.

Visit our Bellator betting guide to learn everything you need to get started.

Check Our Review Of The Best MMA Sportsbooks

More MMA Betting Resources

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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