Mixed Martial Arts used to be relatively unknown to mainstream audiences back in the early nineties and eighties, but the success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship allowed this exciting combat sport to gain a widespread following over the past few years.
As a result, most high-profile online sports betting sites started offering Mixed Martial Arts betting opportunities in the late noughties and have since then expanded their event coverage by including other federations and even some regional events. Nowadays, betting on Mixed Martial Arts is as simple as betting on basketball or any other popular discipline.
However, much like in the case of boxing, Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts don’t have all that many types of wagers to pick from – in fact, the markets available with most sportsbooks are limited to betting on the outcome of specific bouts.
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Money Line Betting
Mixed Martial Arts money lines are often referred to as match bets, as they require you to predict the fighter that will be the outright winner in a given match. In most cases, the method of winning doesn’t matter – so if your guess was right, you’ll be able to collect on your bet whether the fight ended by submission, knockout or went the full distance. As is the case with virtually every other sport, Mixed Martial Arts are the most popular type of wager due to the fact that even the most casual viewers tend to pick a side when waiting for a bout, especially when it’s one of the high profile UFC main events. Mixed Martial Arts money lines use $100 as a basis for calculating the potential payout and are always marked with an integer. A positive line indicates the underdog, while the negative line indicates the favorite. Consider the following example:
Cain Velasquez -110
Junior dos Santos +140
In this case, Cain Velasquez is the favorite, which means that you’ll have to bet $110 for a shot at winning $100. On the other hand, Junior dos Santos has a positive line, which means that he’s the underdog and that betting on him offers higher returns on your investment. Consequently, if you put your money on dos Santos in this scenario, you’d receive $140 for every $100 you put at risk. Finally, it is worth mentioning that when both fighters are evenly matched and there’s no clear favorite, the bookmaker might decide to offer two negative lines. In such a case, you’ll usually be required to bet $100 for a chance to win $100 regardless of the fighter that you pick.
While not as popular as Mixed Martial Money lines, over/under bets give you an alternative way of betting on UFC bouts. When you place an over/under wager, your goal is to predict whether the fight will last longer than the total number of rounds posted by the sportsbook. In the case of 3-round contests, this total tends to be set at 2.5. Consequently, winning and over bet would require the fight to go the full distance, while winning an under bet would require one of the fighters to win by submission or knockout. As you’d expect, 5-round fights don’t have to follow this rule, as the site’s handicappers tend to pay more attention to assessing the capabilities of both contestants before posting the totals.
Mixed Martial Arts parlays are multiplier bets that allow you to include two or more match wagers on a single tickets. Placing a parlay offers a higher return on your investment than placing each of the bets separately. However, there’s a catch here, as each bout has to end the way you specified – if you make a single mistake, you lose the entire bet and you won’t receive a payout. Consequently, parlays that involve three or more selections are inherently risky, which makes them best suited for experienced bettors who have no qualms about undertaking a serious handicapping effort.
Round bets are offered by a limited number of Mixed Martial Arts-friendly sportsbooks and allow you to take a shot at predicting the round in which one of the fighters is going to win the match. Quite obviously, making the right guess is significantly harder than predicting the overall outcome or the total number of rounds, which means that collecting on a wager of this kind usually requires a fair bit of luck and an in-depth knowledge of the track record of both fighters involved.
Proposition bets or simply props are a broad category that covers all the Mixed Martial Arts-related bet types that haven’t been listed above. Most sites that offer Mixed Martial Arts props allow you to bet on who will receive the Submission of the Night or Knockout of the Night awards or on the method of victory in a specific match.