Combat sports are exceedingly popular, which makes them prime events to gamble on now that online sports betting is legal in many states.
MMA (short for mixed-martial arts), UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and other fighting sports are spectacles, and betting on them online is a breeze if you’re a state where that is legal. Yet, it may seem confusing or overwhelming to place a bet on a high-profile fight if you’ve never done so before.
That’s where we come in.
Here’s a look at the benefits of betting MMA and other combat sports online.
Benefits of Betting on the MMA Online
One of the best ways to bet on MMA fighting is to do it online on your desktop or laptop Betting online is a much more convenient way to place a wager, since you don’t have to travel to your sportsbook, you can do it while at home or on the go.
Online sportsbooks provide new users with welcome bonuses, which include free bet credits. This is a great way to build a bankroll and get started on the right track. There are also promotions available centered around marquee events like UFCs or other high-profile MMA bouts that come on the calendar.
Betting online is perfect for live betting, which requires users to make quick decisions during stoppages in play, since odds change at a fast pace. Live betting is a great way to find value, but users can only take advantage of this opportunity when betting online.
Betting sites feature a plethora of payment options with quick processing times, so there’s no need to worry about making a deposit or withdrawal. They also feature a helpful customer service team that is available round the clock on multiple platforms, including live chats.
Whether you are an experienced or novice MMA bettor, choosing an online betting site is the way to go.
Best UFC Betting Sites
DraftKings started off as a daily fantasy sports site in 2012 before creating a sportsbook in 2018. The online sportsbook is one of the leaders in UFC betting due to an exclusive partnership the two sides reached in 2021 that made DraftKings the official sportsbook of UFC.
DraftKings has a UFC news section where potential bettors can get up-to-date info on upcoming bouts and can place moneyline wagers on bouts as long as they’re scheduled — in some cases multiple months ahead of time.
The DraftKings Online Sportsbook also has betting on hundreds of sports and leagues around the globe and is the most ubiquitous sportsbook in the United States. It’s operational in more than a dozen U.S. states is always among the first to jump in when a new state legalizes online sports betting.
FanDuel was the first major daily fantasy points platform, dominating the industry since 2009. It moved into the sports betting industry in 2018 and have grown to become one of the most popular betting sites in the United States.
FanDuel offers an assortment of MMA and UFC betting for each scheduled bout and has elite odds that make it the No. 1 sportsbook in the nation.
The sportsbook was also the first to create Same Game Parlays, which allow users to combine bet types in the same game, including props. Parlaying props were not usually offered by sportsbooks before Same Game Parlays were introduced but the practice has now become standard. Using a same-game parlay for a MMA bout might revolve around the winner, the type of submission and in which round the bout will end.
Caesars was already a major player in the casino resort industry, but they also became a giant in the sports betting space after purchasing popular sportsbook William Hill in August 2021. This has helped Caesars spread across the United States, becoming one of the first operators to establish a foothold in new markets.
The sportsbook features great odds and a user-friendly interface that enables bettors the opportunity to peruse odds for individual UFC events and also bet on props and combine markets.
All wagers on the Caesars sportsbook come with Caesars rewards, which can be redeemed for stays and dining credits at Caesars properties as well as other perks like event tickets and bet credits with the sportsbook as well.
BetMGM is a casino resort company that entered the sports betting space with the creation of a sportsbook in 2018. It has become one of the most popular betting sites in the United States and are one of the first to set up shop in new markets.
BetMGM is one of the few online sportsbooks that offers UFC and MMA futures bets, like which person will be the champion in various weights on a specific day. It also curates boosted parlays for bettors who are interested in combining fight winners in an individual night.
The site features a user-friendly interface, which helps optimize the sports betting experience. There is a detailed live-betting platform with live-streaming options for some events. This is a great tool to let bettors follow their wagers in real-time.
BetRivers was developed in 2018 by Rush Street Interactive, one of the more reputable companies in sports betting and casinos. It is now one of the most popular sites in the country, expanding across several states.
The BetRivers and Sugarhouse (in New Jersey and Connecticut) websites offer a helpful glossary for new and novice bettors that offers guidance and term definitions for those who may not be experienced in betting on UFC. The websites also provide stats and trends for certain fights so bettors can make the most informed decisions.
Bettors will find a vast selection of bet types and payment methods with quick processing times. There is live-streaming available and the desktop site is easy to use. The sportsbook features favorable 1x playthrough requirements on bonuses, allowing users to convert it to cash quickly.
Betway launched in the United Kingdom back in 2006, establishing itself as a popular sportsbook. It expanded operations to the United States in 2021, and it is widely available and growing in scale on a weekly basis.
For UFC and MMA fights, Betway has a large swath of available betting markets, including props. The sportsbook has good odds and boosts for those interested in markets like how many rounds the fight will go and more. Betway, unlike some books, takes more than just UFC bets, which means there are more fights out there to gamble on.
The sportsbook features a number of deposit and withdrawal options with a helpful customer support team that is available on multiple platforms. There are also welcome bonuses and useful promotions to help put users in a better position to succeed in sports betting.
Betfred originated in the United Kingdom back in 1967, evolving into one of the sports betting leaders in the country. It is currently the world’s largest privately-owned sportsbook, expanding its operations to the United States in 2020.
The online sportsbook features a sleek interface and organized layout, providing a user-friendly experience. Plus, Betfred has a helpful blog that provides analysis and predictions so users can tail the experts and win big.
How To Pick the Best UFC Betting Sites
You need to establish a criteria to help you choose the best MMA betting site. Here’s some to consider.
Sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses to new users with free bet credits. These can be no-deposit bonuses (no deposit required), first-deposit bonuses (matched up to a certain amount), and risk-free bets (first losing bet is reimbursed up to a maximum). These are great ways to build a bankroll.
There are weekly promotions that add expected value to bets. This could come in the form of odds boosts, which change the odds to a more favorable price for users. Some might be boosted parlays. Others may include boosts on an individual to win. Or maybe there’s a prop boost that you like.
It’s important that the betting site has an appealing interface with an organized layout of information. This will allow users to place their wagers efficiently. Due to you being on a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet, you have much more screen real estate to work with. UFC betting apps are also convenient for different reasons, but you must take into account the small screen size.
The betting site should have a customer service team that provides prompt support and is available on multiple platforms, like email and live chat. There needs to be multiple payment options for both deposits and withdrawals as well as quick processing times.
The whole premise of online betting is to make money. By cashing in on the best odds, users will have the opportunity to max out their profits. It’s not that difficult.
Best MMA Bets You Can Make
Moneyline bets are when you select a winner in the fight. The type of submission doesn’t matter, nor does the length of the bout, all that matters is the fighter who you picked wins.
Like other sports, there are odds associated with choosing an individual fighter to win a bout. Some might be -200 or shorter. Others may be +220 or longer. The longer the odds, the less likely the fighter is to win, in the sportsbook’s eyes.
The Over/Under in MMA is typically reserved for the number of rounds an individual bout will last. Bettors who choose Over are rooting for the fight to last longer than the round. Under bettors are hoping for a submission before the numbered round offered.
Over/Unders are a great way to bet when you’re unsure which fighter will win. Plus, in most of the sportsbooks listed above you can combine your preferred fighter to win and an over/under as part of a same-game parlay.
Method of Victory
Will the bout go the distance and be decided by points? Will the loser tap out, thus having the fight result in a submission? Will there be a knockout or TKO? Which fighter will be victorious by this method?
These are the types of method-of-victory bets that users can wager on in an individual bout. Simply put a bettor is wagering on how the victorious fighter will win.
Live betting is one of the coolest and most fun ways to bet online. Bettors can wager on the match as it is happening, and live betting is a great way to get longer odds on a likely event.
In UFC or MMA, live betting could involve choosing a fighter who is behind to rise up and win the match right before the third round starts. Or bettors could choose a prop like the method of victory or live Over/Under to get double-down on his/her pre-match pick but with better odds.
Live betting is really fun and really exhilarating, but it can move lightning fast. Acting quickly can be the difference between great odds and not-so-good payouts or losing altogether.
As we said above, MMA Futures can be hard to come by. But they are out there. MMA Futures typically center around which fighter will hold the belt in his/her weight class on a certain day — usually the first of the new year.
Futures, as they are in other sports, can be fun to wager on, especially for the great odds that can come from betting on an outcome multiple months out.
Online Sportsbook Offers to Keep in Mind
Welcome bonuses provide users with bet credits (free bets) just for creating an account, making a deposit, or placing their first bet. These can be no-deposit bonuses, free bets, first-deposit bonuses, risk-free bets, and bet & get offers.
Below you’ll find an explanation of each type of welcome bonus.
No Deposit Bonus/Free Bet
No deposit bonuses are provided to new users just for registering for an account. There is no need for any deposits. These bonuses are usually smaller amounts intended to give users a trial run to test out the sportsbook.
Free bets are either given to experienced users as a loyalty reward or to draw interest to a particular betting market during a marquee event. For example, users might receive a free bet to use on an upcoming MMA fight.
First-deposit bonuses are provided to users after they’ve deposited money into their account. Sportsbooks will match the user’s first deposit up to a certain amount, usually varying between $100-$1,000.
Risk-free bets allow users to place their first bet without incurring financial risk. This is because the sportsbook will reimburse the bet if it loses, up to a certain amount, often around $1,000.
For example, if I used my risk-free bet on the New York Knicks -6.5 at -110, I would be risking $1,100 to win $1,000. If I lost, I would receive $1,000 of the $100 in bet credits.
Bet & Get
Bet & Get offers are when bettors can get bet credits just for placing a wager on a specific market. This is intended to draw interest towards that particular sport.
An example might be that users who bet on any UFC fight could receive a $10 free-bet credit to use on a future sports wager.
Where Can I Legally Bet on MMA Online?
Sports betting continues to spread across the country. Here are the states that allow users to bet on MMA online:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
Why You Should Avoid Illegal Betting Sites
Illegal betting sites need to be avoided for several reasons, such as:
- They are located offshore and aren’t regulated to the same standards
- There are fewer platforms for customer support, so it’s harder to resolve any potential issues
- The odds are often overpriced and not in line with the market
- Illegal sites don’t have nearly as many promotions or welcome bonuses
- These sportsbooks have a limited selection of bet types compared to legal sites
- There are fewer payment options plus slower processing times
- It’s tough to feel secure depositing funds into your illegal account
Choose More Than One MMA Betting Site
Bettors need to make sure that they choose multiple sites with MMA betting. Using multiple sites is integral so bettors can shop for the best odds and thus find the best profit. For instance if a fighter’s odds are -110 at most sportsbooks, but they are boosted to +100 at one, that is a substantial enough difference to warrant betting on that platform.
Users can also take advantage of multiple welcome bonuses by choosing more than one site. Remember these are one-time offers, so it’s important to save up enough bankroll to max out the first-deposit bonuses and risk-free bets.
There are also helpful promotions, like odds boosts, which give users more value on their bet. They differentiate between sites, so if you have more than one account, you could end up having multiple bets with odds boosts on any given night.
The bottom line is that signing up for more than one site gives you the best bang for your buck and helps you build your bankroll.