The best UFC betting sites know this and provide a mix of telephone, email, and live chat options to keep you feeling safe in the knowledge that you are looked after. For us to recommend an online sportsbook or bookmaker, we first look over their customer support options before we decide to or not. Best Betting Sites For UFC Fights UFC is on the up at the moment and we’ve put together a list of the best UFC betting sites. The list contains the best bookmakers for UFC and gives a short review of the site itself as well as information on the new player bonus deal on offer. #1 Bookmaker – Betfred.com. How UFC betting works. The most basic UFC bet will look familiar to those who are experienced with the moneyline, but there are also several other bets that are unique to the sport. Let’s take a look at the standard ways that you can bet on the UFC. Moneyline: A bet on which fighter will win outright. The favorite will be designated with negative odds, while the underdog’s will be.
Your UFC Headquarters
This Saturday the UFC will give us what should be a very entertaining UFC light heavyweight championship fight between Jan Blachowicz and Israel Adesanya. Blachowicz grew up in Cieszyn, Poland as a big fan of action movies, which motivated him to start training martial arts at nine years old. When former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vacated his title to pursue the heavyweight division, Jan Blachowicz stepped up against Dominick Reyes to determine the champ. Hard work and impressive wins led to the well-deserved title opportunity for Blachowicz and he made the most of it, stopping Reyes in the second round at UFC 253 on September 26th, bringing championship glory to his native Poland.
Blachowicz is riding a four-fight win streak after beating Corey Anderson, Ronaldo Souza, Luke Rockhold and Reyes – all former champions or title contenders. The UFC light heavyweight champion is 10-5 in the UFC, beating three of his last four opponents by KO/TKO and now he is ready to defend his belt in possibly the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.
- Born: March 24th, 1983
- Age: 37
- Country: Poland
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 205 lbs
- Reach: 78″
- Stance: Orthodox
- Association: WCA Fight Team
- Class: Light Heavyweight
- Record: 27-8
A former kickboxer, Israel Adesanya moves up a weight class to challenge Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title, looking to become a two-division champ. Adesanya is a unique fighter who was born in Lagos, Nigeria and is based in New Zealand. The reigning UFC middleweight champion is undefeated in his career. He started training in kickboxing when he was 18 years old and three years later he began to train at City Kickboxing with Kia Kara-France and Dan Hooker.
Adesanya’s professional career began in 2012 and he went 11-0 with 11 TKOs in New Zealand, Australia and China. The UFC signed him in December 2017 and he debuted at UFC 221, knocking out Rob Wilkinson in the second round. Adesanya is 9-0 in the UFC, with wins against Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa. In his last fight, he stopped Costa in the second round at UFC 253 on September 26th.
- Born: July 22nd, 1989
- Age: 31
- Country: Nigeria
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Reach: 80″
- Stance: Switch
- Association: City Kickboxing
- Class: Middleweight
- Record: 20-0
The UFC odds favor Israel Adesanya and there’s a reason why he’s nicknamed “The Last Stylebender,” he is a nightmare matchup for Blachowicz, though the Polish fighter rarely puts himself in bad spots and he’s fought heavy hitters in the past.
UFC Betting Guide
UFC Betting News
Betting on UFC Fights Online
Betting on a UFC fight has never been easier with websites like Sportsbook Review offering a host of the best available online betting sites.
In the early years of UFC betting only a small variety of betting sites would offer any online betting UFC fights odds for upcoming events, but today finding a place for MMA betting online has never been easier. Almost every bookmaker available will offer some kind of UFC betting market.
Where Can I Bet on the UFC?
In the modern age of sports betting, finding your favorite sport has never been easier with your favorite sportsbook becoming accessible through your desktop computer or mobile phone app.
The world of mixed martial arts is quickly becoming one of the public’s most favorite sport to bet and for good reason. The high energy, hardworking fighters of the Ultimate Fighting Championship put their bodies on the line every weekend to entertain the fans.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is reaching new heights of popularity. With the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jon Jones & Amanda Nunes flying the flag of the UFC’s combat sport’s reputation war in Las Vegas, the sports betting market has also gained some serious interest. It’s the fastest-growing sport on the planet and in years to come sporting juggernauts such as the NHL, NBA, NFL could all be bowing down to the power of the UFC and mixed martial arts in general.
The United States is the home of the UFC but countries such as Brazil have been heavily involved due to their contribution in MMA. Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other combat sports can put themselves on a bigger map with a wider audience when fighting for the UFC, which will also eventually stem back to the betting market. The North American betting market, in particular, has taken a huge interest in mixed martial arts gambling.
When venturing into the betting market, selecting a bookmaker can be overwhelming for new bettors, and even experienced gamblers will stumble across the need for a new sports betting site. Well, if you’re looking for some serious competitors in the MMA betting market, look no further. BetOnline has been in the sports betting industry for over twenty years and is one of the most trusted sportsbooks online. Known for their wide array of live betting options, the goal of BetOnline remains as one of the main players in the online sports betting world.
Whilst navigating their simple, yet sleek website interface, you’ll find the simplicity in placing your live wagers nothing to stress about. When accessing the live MMA betting panel, you’ll have plenty of time between fights/rounds to locate and lock in your bet. It doesn’t just stop with the UFC; BetOnline covers all of your favorite sports and many other niche betting markets with some great customer service at hand. Any major sport that comes to mind and BetOnline will have you covered, from MLB, NLH, NBA or NFL.
Another popular perk when becoming a BetOnline customer is their cryptocurrency option and the promotions available with it. Percentage discounts and rewards are currently available if you’d rather gamble with Bitcoin. Bovada has been a true staple in the betting industry and is considered as one of the best online sportsbooks in the United States. Since its predecessor (Bodog) was pulled from the US market back in 2011, Bovada ran with the torch and remain as a top player in the gambling market.
A top-quality service offered by Bovada would have to be their shining light. When betting on the UFC in particular, bettors can sometimes wait up to two weeks before the following event is scheduled. This means Bovadas speedy payment process which has been overly simplified always becomes a plus if you enjoy withdrawing/deposit fast. Also, they offer Bitcoin, credit cards, gift cards and all those juicy betting bonuses upon becoming a member.
BookMaker is a pioneer and one of the leading betting markets in sports today – widely recognised by professional sports handicappers as “Where the Line Originates” in a time where the internet wasn’t even popular.
BookMaker is trusted, secure and fast, delivering a wide range of propositional betting markets whilst supplying the same high demand for live events. Now you can also deposit with near enough every cryptocurrency available; allowing bettors to withdraw their winnings almost instantly after their bets have cashed.
With a huge selection of prop markets and some awesome customer service, BookMaker has gained a reputation in offering some of the most off-key and craziest selections of betting. They’re known by the pros as where Las Vegas heads for a little assistance with their opening line. It’s hard not to find what you’re looking for with BookMaker. An online sportsbook you won’t regret signing with.
5Dimes is one of the greatest in online gambling, dedicated to providing its members with a fun and secure place for online wagers. First established in San Jose, Costa Rica, they’ve been fighting their way to the top since 1996.
5Dimes has found to have had some soft betting lines, particularly the UFC market and with soft lines usually follows plenty of value. So, if you’re an avid mixed martial arts gambler then 5Dimes could be the one for you. A fair, popular and reasonable online sportsbook so if you want to bet fights, look no further.
How to Bet UFC Fights & Reading UFC Odds
There are three commonly used odds formats that you may stumble across whilst UFC betting. Decimal, Fractional and American odds all provide the same odds reading, just with a different approach.
We’ll be using the American odds format based on its simplicity of understanding, for example.
Bet one – $100 stake on Daniel Cormier at odds of +100 = $100 profit or loss.
Odds of +100 are known as ‘even odds’ or ‘plus money’ if referring to anything +100 or above; meaning that the amount you stake will be the same as what you profit. In reverse, when the odds are presented for the favorite, you’ll have to invest more to get a $100 return. These kinds of investments can affect your return of investment long-term, but we’ll discuss that later on.
Bet two -$200 stake on Jon Jones at odds of -200 = $100 profit or a $200 loss.
Understanding Probability and Finding Value
Simple probability is easy to understand and can give you a clear direction. When measuring the likelihood of a UFC betting outcome it’s often used as a percentage on betting sites, with 100% implying a guarantee and 0% implying impossibility. The toss of a coin is a perfect example of probability with heads or tails making the probability 50% for each side.
Sports betting on UFC probability, in particular, work in a slightly different way. A precise probability is impossible to come by, down to the variables involved. You can do all the statistical research, fighter analytics and take every factor that determines a result into account, but you’ll still be left with an inaccurate possibility.
The most you can do whilst handicapping the UFC is calculate your own belief of what you expect the outcome to be, which may sound daunting, but don’t forget sportsbooks are also in the same boat with pressures and time limits involved, unlike ourselves
Finding an edge over the bookmaker in the UFC betting markets isn’t a walk in the park. The odds created by them do often reflect the likely outcome, but they aren’t accurate representations of the probabilities that are used. They’ll have to guess which fighter wins and then adjust the odds around whatever built-in margin method is practiced.
Yes, of course, the betting odds always favor the bookmaker, but it’s more than possible to take advantage of the UFC betting market with knowledge and understanding of the sport itself and some basic investing strategies that we’ll cover to prepare you for fight night.
Money Line Betting
Perhaps the most simplistic method of placing a bet on a UFC fight and sports, in general, would be matched betting or better known as ‘betting the money line’.
Simply put: all you have to do is pick fighter A or fighter B. This method is obviously the most common but you’ll often find punters end their run-in frustration due to tailing the heavily juiced favorites. These losses tend to steer punters towards the parlay or prop bet markets in search for juicier pay-outs with less at stake.
Betting the money line is still today the most popular betting method across all sports with profits ranging from 40% to 60% of your initial stake on the favorites side to bet.
Method of Victory
The UFC has been putting on some of the most entertaining fights for 25+ years from pay per views to fight nights, which in retrospect, makes them a baby in comparison to its competitors. And for entertainment purposes, there’s nothing a fight fan loves more than a UFC knockout/KO/ or TKO victory to end the fight.
Also known as a prop bet, in the method to victory market, the betting site will provide a range of odds for the specific outcome of the fight e.g. knockout, submission or by decision.
Sometimes a fighter’s path to victory can be so lob-sided, that if you believe he’s going to win, it’s worth raising your odds by adding the method.
When betting on the UFC with a method of victory, please bear in mind, this method will remove the 50/50 chances of straight betting a fighter to win. As there are now 3 available outcomes you’ll be betting up against. True blue free spins no deposit.
UFC Parlay Betting
Betting on UFC can become a frustration when a fight night card is stacked with heavily juiced favorites. This is when parlay betting can become a valuable tool to use.
A parlay is a series of money line bets you have chosen being risked under the same stake, with a lower probability but a higher return. There is no limit as to how many fighters you can add to your slip, now and then a fight card will provide some very tempting fighters to put your money behind but their odds are often heavily swayed when you combine these odds. With a similar fight situation, you can combine your high-odd selections to receive a better pay-out.
Parlay betting is a fun method but also a dangerous one as your probability is dramatically decreased with each selection you add to the parlay. I’d advise to master your straight bets before delving into parlays. Check out our parlay calculator to easily calculate parlay payouts.
UFC Over/Under Betting
The Over/Under bets are another common sports market often utilized by bettors. The sportsbook will provide a round total and you have the choice of predicting the fight to survive over the total time, or under.
The majority of fights are three; five-minute rounds with the exceptions five-round championship fights. More often than not, the bookmaker will offer the choice of over/under 2.5 rounds on a three-round fight. The odds will be dependent on each fighter’s record, longevity and finish history.
If you placed a bet on the contest to go over 2.5 rounds, you would need both fighters to avoid a knockout, submission or disqualification within 12 minutes and 30 seconds. So long as your fighter reaches the second half of the third round, your bet will be successful.
UFC Round Betting
The UFC round betting market is basically what it says on the tin. You bet on which round you think the fight will end in. Odds on round betting are more lucrative and tempting, as predicting the round a fight will end in also includes the chances that bout won’t end at all.
One way to extend your odds even higher is to choose the fighter and round combination for your wager
UFC Prop Bets
The UFC prop betting market focus on the finer details of the contest you’re betting on. We’ve already discussed two prop betting markets in ‘method of victory’ and ’round betting’, but other prop bets include:
· Points handicap
· Fight to go the distance
· Fight of the night awards
Each time you’re deciding which UFC fight is worth looking at or which fighter you think is going to win, it’s important to understand which fighter your bookmaker is favoring.
It can be a pleasant surprise if you’re planning on placing a wager on Demian Maia, and then when the odds are released your fighter has been pitted as the heavy underdog. At the same time, it can also hinder your thought process, and sometimes affect your final judgement. Always remember, the bookmaker is making judgements in a similar a fashion, but more often than not with less time and more pressure.
From a sample size of 625 fights, UFC underdogs priced between +100 / +122 have a returned an investment percentage of 11%. Meaning if you were to bet $100 on each of those fight’s you’d have turned a profit of $4510. The probability can drop to as low as 45%, which proves the guessing game can backfire. 52% of the underdogs in this price range won their fight, making moderate-slight underdogs a great long-term betting investment.
Compound interest is a method used amongst business and the banking industry; it doesn’t seclude itself to MMA betting. The fundamentals involve regularly staking a small amount of your bankroll (1-5%), which leaves a lot of wiggle room to balance out the losses and can allow bets to remain the same.
If your starting bankroll is $1000 and you wanted to make a 2% every day, you can find a bet that’s going to give you a $20 return. If the wager is successful your new bankroll will be $1020 and the following day you’ll be after another 2%. So, because of your winnings and added bankroll, your return will need to slightly increase to $20.40. The next bet you place will give you a bankroll total of $1040.40.
Obviously, at first glance, these numbers don’t sound astonishing, but overdue-course compounding can kick-in a big way. 36 successful compounding can double your bankroll.
Now, these numbers presented are hypothetical but give you a clear and easy example of how compounding can work out and is almost foolproof, assuming that you have patience and dedication to UFC or MMA betting, it’s not the worst method to approach especially with juiced odds.
Flat Stake Betting
Flat stake betting is very similar to compound betting with one key difference, your wager amount doesn’t change using the flat stake method. Your stake size remains the same, therefore labelling the flat stake style as the ‘boring’ or ‘safe’ method.
The problems with flat stake betting are you have to work harder to find value. I’ve been flat stake betting for over five years and have utilized fighters who are being undervalued by the betting sites. This allows me to suffer more losses and find profit with even a percentage hit rate as 50%.
In sports betting, the house (aka the bookmaker) will always hold an edge, also known as vig or vigorish. The implied probability of a set of events will always add up to over 100% and the amount that is over 100% is the bookmakers’ over-round (profit expect).
In other words, they aren’t lying when they say ‘the bookmaker always wins’ because of their house edge from bettors who’ve laid extra juice on the favorite is what’ll be paying your underdog winnings.
Implied probability in UFC betting is what the odds recommend the likelihood of an outcome happening is. The calculation is made by dividing one by the percentage odds.
So, if Anderson Silva is priced at +150 to win the fight, his implied probability of winning is 40%. If he was priced as the favorite at -200, his implied probability of winning would be 67%.
To profit utilizing implied probability you still need to find value in fights you think that bookmaker has inaccurately priced. The best handicappers on the planet will always make their wagers with a positive expected value, and these predictions are sometimes wrong but expected investment in the long run. Finding positive value is second nature to implied probability. Finding odds where you believe the real probability is higher than the implied probability is easier said than done
An implied probability calculator is a very useful betting tool and can be easily found online, and will give you access to the percentage you’ll be fighting against.
Your stake will vary depending on which betting method you approach, but it’s important to always remain disciplined.
Methods such as flat stake betting can take a long time to see any significant return on investment, which may seem you’re doing something wrong in the beginning, but it’s important to always remain calm. Impatience will only lead to chasing bets and silly mistakes.
Set aside X amount of money you want to invest into UFC betting, and treat that bankroll like a business.
UFC Betting Sites & Wagering on MMA Conclusion
Winning predictions don’t always amount to a profiting bankroll. The odds of those winning bets are what matters and if you’ve won 70% of bets but still aren’t profiting, you’ll know why. Sportsbooks are somewhat in the same boat as the bettor with possible outcomes and prediction methods, the built-in the margin to protect bookmakers from their losses isn’t something us punters have on instinct, we have to protect ourselves and our bankroll, and the best way to do that is by exploring your betting methods because there isn’t one guaranteed way of doing this job.
Best Betting Sites For Ufc 244
There is no secure and protective way to bet on the UFC but our best advice would be to assess the bookmaker’s value or non-value. If the wagers that you place have a positive expected value, theoretically you should make money in the long-run.
The value you find lines up with your perception, so it’s probably a good idea to become somewhat of an expert in the sport you’re betting. The value is subjective and only becomes valuable if your judgement is a good one. Identifying value and opportunities in the UFC betting market can become a fulltime job.
Where to Bet on UFC 253
UFC betting online is simple. To find the best UFC fights and odds you can use a comparison betting site like Sportsbook Review before placing your bet. UFC online betting has never been easier and finding the right sportsbook is imperative. Fortunately, SBR has your UFC online betting needs covered.
Having all the available odds on one page for each UFC event saves you the time of hunting for the best odds manually, and we all know line-shopping can consume valuable hours so be sure to use an odds comparison site before you begin sports betting UFC.
As the premier brand in the sport of MMA, the UFC has experienced a massive growth spurt since its inception back in 1993. The growth has kicked into overdrive in recent years. It’s safe to say that the rise of the UFC has been one of the biggest stories in the sporting world over the past decade.
Betting on the UFC is in the midst of its own surge. What was once the domain of Las Vegas and risky offshore operators is now within reach for many folks across the US. The legalization of sports betting in a number of states has opened the doors for scores of folks, many of whom are starting their own love affair with UFC.
Our betting guide details how to bet online, upcoming fights and UFC odds as well as the top betting apps with UFC lines.
Best UFC Betting Sites in the US
Those in legal sports betting states looking to get in on the action, we’ll cover everything you need to know right here. We’ll begin by taking a look at the top spots to place your bets.
Top UFC betting apps for 2021
The legal sports betting environment continues to take shape. A number of operators are battling for their piece of the pie in legalized states, but some are emerging as the leaders of the pack.
- DraftKings Sportsbook: The industry leader in the world of DFS is making huge strides in the sports betting industry. Users who sign up via our exclusive links get $50 free plus up to $1,000 in bonuses. Use DraftKings Sportsbook online in: VA, MI, NJ, PA, CO, IN, WV, NH, IA, IL, & TN
- FanDuel Sportsbook: FanDuel is another company that made its bones in DFS. They’re taking the sports betting world by storm as well with a user-friendly platform and enticing promos. Signing up for an account via our exclusive links gets you a risk-free bet up to $1,000. Use FanDuel Sportsbook online in: MI, NJ, PA, IN, WV, CO, TN, IA, IL & VA
- BetMGM Sportsbook: The mobile platform for gaming giant MGM Resorts International, BetMGM is making tons of headway in legal and regulated sports betting markets. Click on our exclusive links to create an account, and you’ll be rewarded with an up to $600 risk-free bet. Use BetMGM Sportsbook online in: VA, MI, NJ, CO, TN, WV, NV, PA, IN & IA
Each of these operators offers UFC betting among a wide array of other markets. You can keep it simple and just bet on fighters to win, or explore a wide range of prop betting choices. In addition, live betting opportunities are available on each, and mobile is a perfect complement to take advantage of all that’s offered.
How UFC betting works
The most basic UFC bet will look familiar to those who are experienced with the moneyline, but there are also several other bets that are unique to the sport.
Let’s take a look at the standard ways that you can bet on the UFC.
- Moneyline: A bet on which fighter will win outright. The favorite will be designated with negative odds, while the underdog’s will be positive, e.g., Khabib Nurmagomedov -155, Conor McGregor +135
- To go the distance: A wager on whether the fight will go the distance, e.g., Yes +120, No -140
- Over/under on total rounds: A bet on how far you think the fight will go, e.g., Over 2.5 Rounds +130; Under 2.5, Rounds -110
- To win in specific round: A wager on a fighter to win in a specific round, such as Jose Aldo to win in Round 1 +140, Round 2 +120, Round 3 +110
- To win in range of rounds: A bet in which you’re trying to pinpoint in which round the fight will end, e.g., Round 1-2 +130, Round 2-3 +110
- Winning methods: A wager on how the fight will end, e.g., Knockout +140, Submission +120, Stoppage +150, Decision +110
How to bet the UFC live online
The betting doesn’t stop once the bell rings in UFC. Live online sports betting affords users the opportunity to place wagers as the action unfolds in real time. Odds and markets move fast, but that only helps to enhance the appeal.
During a UFC fight, you’ll see a number of opportunities to take advantage of, such as how long the fight will last and updated moneyline odds for the outright winner based on what has happened so far.
Beyond being potentially profitable for those who have a good feel for momentum, live betting also allows you to hedge your bets. For example, let’s say that you dropped a wager on Jon Jones to win in advance of his upcoming fight.
After round one, Jones just doesn’t look like himself, and you wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up losing. You can mitigate the damage of your original wager by placing a new bet on his opponent. If the odds and stake are in range to your original wager, you’ve somewhat covered your position instead of just taking an outright loss.
To fully take advantage of all that live betting has to offer, a mobile sports betting app is the way to go. You can bet from your phone at any time during the fight as long as you’re in a legalized state.
There’s no need to be at a sportsbook or locked in front of your computer. You’ll be able to go out and enjoy fight night and know that you can quickly take advantage of opportunities as they arise throughout the card.
Best Betting Site For Ufc Reddit
Is it legal to bet on the UFC?
It wasn’t too long ago that legally betting on the UFC online was a mere fantasy. Today, it’s a reality. You don’t need to take a trip to Vegas to get in on the action, nor do you have to take any unnecessary risks with an unregulated and risky offshore operator.
You can find all of the UFC betting action you need right from the comfort of your own home in legal sports betting states. The lines are just as good as what you’ll find in Sin City, and you’ll find many more wagering opportunities than you would find at an offshore operator.
|State||Online / Mobile||Retail|
|New Jersey Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Pennsylvania Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Colorado Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Indiana Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Iowa Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|West Virginia Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Virginia Sports Betting||Yes||No|
|New Hampshire Sports Betting||Yes||No|
|Illinois Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Michigan Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Tennessee Sports Betting||Yes||No|
The legalization of sports betting not only means that more folks have access to a safe means of wagering, but it also translates into better product offerings. That means there’s real customer service to deal with if any questions come up, a number of different ways to fund your account and awesome platforms that are a breeze to navigate around.
Perhaps most importantly, the legal sports betting environment provides users with real protection and regulation. Operators that have hit the ground running in the US market are well aware of what they need to do from a legal standpoint.
For sports bettors, that results in some extra peace of mind that allows them to focus on betting without worrying about legal gray areas. For more niche sports you can bet on at legal US sportsbooks, check our guide here:
Is UFC available for Daily Fantasy Sports players?
Sports betting isn’t the only way to get in on the action with UFC. DraftKings and FanDuel both offer DFS games that have proven to be quite popular with users.
There are a number of different ways to play daily fantasy sports, such as tournaments and 50/50s, which are all made available at numerous price points to fit any budget. On the tournament front, a big fight night can attract thousands of users gunning for some eye-popping prizes.
The object of the game is to pick a lineup of fighters from those scheduled to compete on the card. Each of the fighters has a salary attached — ranging from high for top stars to low for unknown commodities — and your final lineup will need to remain under the cap.
Fighters earn points based on how they perform, and scores are tallied up as the action unfolds. Once the final fight on the card is in the books, the highest scoring lineup wins. DFS is completely legal and safe to play in 40+ states. Outside of Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington, you’ll be good to go.
5 betting tips for MMA / UFC betting
There’s a learning curve for betting on any sport you may be unfamiliar with, but it’s far from insurmountable. When beginning with UFC, stick to the basics and work toward devising a strategy that fits your style. Here are five simple tips you can use to get the ball rolling.
- Understand what the odds are telling you: Oddsmakers are quite good at what they do. There’s plenty of data behind the numbers they release to the public, so trust what they are telling you. For example, a big favorite indicates a skill gap that you simply have to factor into your decision. That said, don’t let that scare you off from betting on the underdog when you can justify it.
- Know your fighters/styles: As you learn more about UFC, you’ll come to see that the fighters come from all kinds of backgrounds. Some are great grapplers, others are fantastic strikers and plenty excel in some areas and come up short in others. When breaking down a card, take some time to understand the styles of those involved to help spot any potential matchup advantages.
- Go beyond career record: Fighters with stellar career records always look impressive at first glance, but don’t let that be the final word. Dig a bit deeper and take a look at how they built their record. What was the quality of their opponents? The same applies for those with poorer records, as they may be better than they appear if they gained a ton of seasoning against stout competition.
- Study recent form: Just like athletes in all other sports, fighters trend up and down. Spend time examining how the fighters have fared in their last three fights, but make sure to go beyond the won-loss record. How long did the fights last? Has there been a significant gap since the last time they fought? Did they dominate opponents or escape with close victories?
- Weight, travel and news: In advance of fights, public weigh-ins take place. While these may just seem like press events and part of the show, you need to pay attention. Fighters who are adding or cutting a good deal of weight can be impacted, so pay attention to major fluctuations. In addition, keep an eye on news surrounding the fight and consider the travel aspect. For example, is one fighter locked in while the other is making headlines with out-of-the-ring stuff? Is the fight taking place several time zones away from a fighter’s home base? Little nuggets such as these can make a big difference.
Once you have mastered the basics outlined above, you can begin spending more time on more detailed information such as fighter stats and dive even deeper into the matchups.
Getting up to speed on the UFC is nowhere near as intimidating as it may seem, and you’ll learn lots along the way to boot.
Top five fighters in UFC history
The UFC has a rich and storied history, and there have been a number of impressive fighters who have had lengthy careers inside the octagon. Picking the best of the best is no easy task.
However, there are five who have enjoyed lengthy careers and headlined numerous pay-per-view events along the way. These fighters not only sold tickets and racked up impressive buy rates for fight cards, but also collected hardware along the way.
- Randy Couture: A six-time champion, Couture is one of the most legendary figures in UFC history. He held the heavyweight crown three times, the light heavyweight title twice, and also served as interim champ in the light heavyweight division. Couture’s all-time record in MMA is 19-11, with seven of his wins coming by knockout. He headlined 18 PPV events, competed in 16 title bouts, and made an estimated $3 million in his illustrious career.
- Anderson Silva: Just behind Couture on the list of most PPV events headlined is Silva, who was in the main event at 17 UFC events. His career record in MMA stands at 34-10-1, with 24 of his victories coming by knockout. Silva is a former middleweight champion and holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days. He also set a record with 16 consecutive victories over that span. Silva earned over $8 million in the UFC.
- Tito Ortiz: Ortiz was the UFC light heavyweight champion from 2000 to 2003. He received top billing at 16 PPV events, and holds a career MMA record of 20-12-2. Among his claims to fame is a trio of memorable fights versus Chuck Liddell, Ken Shamrock and Forrest Griffin in 2006. Ortiz earned over $4 million in his UFC career and has continued fighting with appearances for Bellator and Combate Americas.
- Jon Jones: The current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jones is considered one of the best to have ever stepped inside the octagon. A career mark of 26-1-1 does nothing but bolster his case. Jones has headlined 15 UFC events, most recently with a unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. He continues to climb up the career earnings list with over $6 million thus far.
- Georges St-Pierre: A pound-for-pound legend, St-Pierre won titles in both the middleweight and welterweight divisions during his time with UFC. He vacated his middleweight crown due to health issues. A career record of 26-2-1, main event status for 13 PPV events and career earnings of over $7 million are further testament to St-Pierre’s status as one of the best of all time.
Worst five fighters in UFC history
Let’s be clear: if you make it to the UFC, you’re doing something right in your fighting career. That said, there are some fighters who have records that leave a lot to be desired. Here’s a look at some of the worst won-loss records among those with more than 25 fights under their belt.
- Jeremy Stephens: 15-16 record with one no contest over 32 fights.
- Andrei Arlovski: 17-13 with one no contest over 31 fights.
- Clay Guida: 15-13 record for 28 fights.
- B.J. Penn: 12-13-2 over 27 fights.
- Ross Pearson: 12-13 record with one no contest over 26 fights.
Stephens is third on the all-time list for most UFC fights. Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller are the current leaders with 34 fights apiece. Cerrone has a career mark of 23-11, while Miller is 20-13 with one no contest.
Most famous UFC fights of all time
There have been a ton of legendary fights inside the octagon during the 27-year history of UFC. Naturally, some of them have stood out as being the best of the bunch. Here’s a trio of UFC fights that quickly come up when the conversation turns to the most memorable and famous fights of all time.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor: The record holder for UFC PPV buy rate, the hype for this UFC lightweight championship tilt was off the charts. The scene was UFC 229 at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip, and the event also set records for biggest live gate in MMA history. Nurmagomedov won the battle in round four via submission, taking home $2 million for his troubles. McGregor earned $3 million in defeat.
- Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm: Heading into this fight, Rousey was in the midst of her dominant run and expected to add another pelt on the wall. Things would turn out much differently. Holm shocked the world by defeating the heavily favored Rousey by knockout in round two. Rousey had successfully defended the UFC women’s bantamweight crown six times beforehand with relative ease, so the result was quite stunning.
- Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz: This was the second meeting of the two foes, and the interest level was off the charts. UFC 66 was held on Dec. 30, 2006, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event produced the largest PPV buy rate to date for the UFC, but the number has since been surpassed several times. Liddell took down Ortiz by TKO in round three in one of the most memorable battles in UFC history.
How to stream UFC live for free
The biggest UFC cards are found on pay-per-view. You can purchase the broadcast from your cable or streaming provider, or head to a sports bar that’s broadcasting the fights.
ESPN has the broadcast rights for UFC. The majority of events will be found on ESPN+, a subscription-based channel that has a slew of UFC content. If you get the UFC Fight Pass via the UFC app, you’ll also be able to stream events on mobile.
Additionally, certain sportsbooks have streaming capabilities and provide live feeds of events. Consult your operator for the events you can stream via the sportsbook app.
History of UFC
The Ultimate Fighting Championship made its debut on Nov. 12, 1993, from the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. The event aimed to answer the long-standing question of which fighting style was the best.
Initially attracting a niche following, the UFC continued a steady rise before exploding in popularity for good after the turn of the century. Along the way, there were a number of controversies and legal challenges surrounding the violence of the competitions.
UFC managed to weather the storm and is now one of the more popular sports in the land, as evidenced by its broadcast partnership with ESPN. Prior to joining forces with the gang in Bristol, UFC’s TV home was with the FOX Sports family of channels.
Dana White’s influence on the UFC brand
The UFC brand loved by so many could easily have found itself out of business at one time. By the end of 20th century, the UFC was struggling financially, and considered close to bankruptcy. Dana White, along with his business partners – the Fertitta brothers (Lorenzo and Frank III) – formed Zuffa LLC.
White’s investment of $2m within the acquisition package was considered a huge personal risk, but with his business expertise, White was able to justify it. In the early 2000s, following the UFC’s agreement to adopt rules set by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission, the UFC brand grew rapidly, and developed some extremely charismatic, PPV buyout-boosting talents.
Amongst them were Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, who formed what many consider to be the UFC’s ‘breakout’ rivalry. Ken Shamrock, a former WWE King of the Ring winner, was also a popular figure of note. Shamrock’s bout with Tito Ortiz in November 2002 (at the Las Vegas-held UFC 40) rates as one of the most important in UFC’s entire history.
White’s determination to make the UFC brand as uncompromising as possible has been unrelenting. This was reflected in his reaction to the mass cancellation of sports events in early 2020, with White stating his intention to hold UFC 249 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. His talk of hiring an island just to stage the event was met with particular incredulity and amazement from UFC fans, but in the end, the event was postponed.
Though not the headline of the original card, Ferguson and Gaethje went into UFC 249 as a fascinating, and very evenly-matched pair of opponents. They kept even the most astute of bettors guessing until the starting bell, and did not disappoint on the night.