Popular UFC Bet Types
One thing that can really overwhelm new UFC bettors is the shear volume of markets to choose from. While there are a lot of different markets available, they’re really not too tough to understand once you get the hang of things.
The best part about this is that there is a ton of value if you’re looking to bet on UFC. Especially if you can develop an edge in one particular bet type, it could lead to significant long-term profitability.
In this section, we’ll cover the most common types of UFC bets you’ll come across. This will include the standard bets like money line and totals, while also focusing on some more exotic markets. We’ll also provide a few strategy tips to help maximize your profit with each bet type.
Money line bets are definitely the most popular type of bet on the UFC and MMA in general. They’re also probably the simplest type of bet as it relies on you only needing to pick the winner.
If you back a fighter and they win the match, you’ll cash your ticket. It really is that simple. Regardless of the method and round of victory, you’ll walk away with a winning ticket.
The downside of this type of bet is that the payout isn’t all that lucrative. That said, this is more than made up for by the fact that you’ll enjoy more winning bets.
As with most prominent sports, a large portion of UFC wagering also occurs on total bets. The most common market for this is how many rounds will the fight last for.
In standard 3-round fights, the over-under is typically set at 2.5 rounds. This often increases to 3.5 or even 4.5 rounds for Championship fights.
If you bet the under and the fight finishes in the second round, you’ll cash your ticket. A major advantage to this type of betting is that it doesn’t actually matter who wins the fight or their method of victory.
As above, this can be advantageous in the sense that you’ll definitely win a higher proportion of your bets. On the flip side, the odds will rarely be better than -110 so it can be difficult to find a significant edge.
Method of Victory
If you’re looking to seriously bet on UFC, the method of victory market is one that you just can’t overlook. It has become increasingly popular of late, primarily due to the potential of very lucrative payouts. To cash tickets in this market, you need your fighter to win by a specific method. The 3 ways to win a UFC fight are by submission, knockout, or decision (points).
If you end up betting your fighter to win by submission and they end up winning by knockout, for example, you’d actually lose your ticket. The obvious downside here is that you’ll have a higher percentage of losing bets. That said, your payouts will be significantly more lucrative when you do win. Assuming you’re backing a relatively balanced fighter, you can often get 3x their money line payout by choosing a specific method.
Due to the high payouts involved, this is one market where the sportsbooks tend to have the lowest edge. Especially if you know certain fighters particularly well, you can really use this to your advantage.
Round of Victory
Rather similar to the method of victory market above, this is another bet type to get your head around if you plan to bet on UFC. To cash a ticket in this market, you need your fighter to win in a specific round.
It doesn’t matter what method they win by, as long as they win in the round that you’ve bet on. While you may have a decent chance of winning in typical 3-round fights, it can be particularly tough in 5-round title fights.
The obvious benefit is that the payout is much more lucrative in winning tickets. Especially if you’re backing a knockout artist, predicting them for a round 1 win could prove quite profitable.
Given the complexities involved with this market, it probably isn’t the best choice for beginners. Once you gain familiarity with the other methods and top fighters, it definitely has the potential to be very profitable.
This is another variant of the method of victory market that more and more sportsbooks are starting to implement. Essentially, this bet type allows you to win if your fighter wins by 2 of the 3 aforementioned methods.
For example, if you select a fighter to win by knockout/points and he knocks the opponent out, you’ll cash your ticket. If he either loses or wins by submission, you’ll end up losing your ticket.
The main benefit of this bet type is that you get added security and increased chances to win. The payouts won’t be as lucrative but moving the odds in your favor can help with long-term profitability.
I’ve found this betting method to be particularly useful when backing fighters with poor Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In these instances, you know it’s much more likely that they’ll end up winning by either points or decision.
On the flipside, it can also be effective for fighters with an elite ground game that aren’t great on the feet. They are much more likely to win by points or submission, providing better value on the double chance market than the money line.
Although not as popular as some of the bet types listed above, prop bets are another excellent way to profit betting on the UFC. These are usually based on a specific event occurring and aren’t necessarily tied to the fight outcome.
As an example, one of the most common forms of prop bets is whether the fighters will touch gloves before the fight. While most fighters will touch gloves as an act of sportsmanship, there are certainly instances where they won’t.
A major example of this was the McGregor vs Aldo fight where there was huge animosity. Both of these fighters immensely disliked each other and had minimal respect before the fight. If you’d followed the press conferences, you could’ve caught onto this and made a profitable bet before just enjoying the show.
Other common prop bets mainly center around certain statistical benchmarks. Examples include which fighter will throw more jabs, which fighter will go for more takedowns, etc.
Savvy MMA bettors who do a ton of statistical research beforehand can find a ton of value in these markets. Especially if you’re very familiar with certain fighters, there is a chance to make big money here.
Most of you have probably bet parlays in the past and are well aware of the value they can provide. Parlay betting in the UFC essentially works the same way as with any other sport. You simply make a bet on multiple outcomes to occur and if all of them do, you cash your ticket.
As an example, say you like the odds on both Jon Jones and Conor McGregor in an upcoming fight card. Instead of betting them both individually, you could actually get better odds by parlaying them together. If both of them end up winning their fights, your bet is a winner. Particularly if you’ve identified some live underdogs, parlays can be extremely lucrative. The downside is that even if just 1 of them loses, you won’t get any money back.
A common tactic by newbie MMA bettors is to simply parlay all the favorites together before a main fight card. While it can work some of the time, this is unlikely to be a profitable long-term strategy. As with all types of bets, the only time to play a parlay is when you believe it is better value than the corresponding straight bets.
While this bet type is a little bit different than the others, it’s definitely one to keep an eye on if you intend to bet on UFC. As the name would suggest, this refers to markets that will occur in the future. Sportsbooks often put these out months or even years in advance, meaning the lines aren’t necessarily the sharpest. That said, the spread is usually very high on these, meaning a relatively strong edge for the sportsbooks.
An example of a UFC Futures market is who might hold a particular UFC belt at the end of the year. If you’re able to identify potential dark horse contenders, you could get serious value for money.
The only real downside is that your money is then tied up for a relatively long period of time. There is definitely an opportunity cost involved when you can’t use that money on other bets for at least several months.
That said, Futures bets are definitely an important part of the arsenal of any successful MMA bettor. They might not be ideal for beginners but they can certainly become quite lucrative as you gain more experience betting on UFC.