Betting on MMA fights has grown into a massive industry that stretches across the entire world. Top MMA promotions including the UFC have a large audience in countries all over the world.
Online bookmakers allow bettors to place wagers on MMA fights easily, but before you start betting on MMA, you need to learn the different types of MMA bets. Everyone knows that they can bet on who they think is going to win a fight, but there are lots of other ways to bet on MMA, which we’ll explain below.
Moneyline Bet / Match Bet
- Fighter A -300 vs. Fighter B +200
A moneyline bet or match bet is when you select one fighter to win a fight by whatever means necessary. It doesn’t matter how the fighter wins the fight as long as they end up winning.
This is the most popular bet in MMA, as everyone has a prediction as to who should win all of the big MMA fights. Make sure you read over our MMA odds guide if you don’t know how to read the odds listed in our moneyline bet example above.
Parlay Bet / Accumulator Bet / Multiplier Bet
Depending on where you live a parlay, accumulator or multiplier is a wager with multiple sections. For the sake of this article, I will refer to this bet as a parlay.
For instance, if you think three fighters will win you could bet on all three with a parlay bet to increase the payout odds. The only way you’ll win the parlay is if you end up winning all of the selections you make on the bet.
Even if just one of the fight’s lost the parlay will be a loser, and you won’t win anything. Parlays are great when betting on a couple of favorites since the odds are increased but so is the risk.
An open parlay is when you decide to make a bet, and you use the option to leave spots open. You don’t have to select them right away but the number of spots you leave open need to be filled before the bet is complete.
These are fun if you want to bet on many fights or events, but you’re not sure on your selections yet. 5 Dimes offer this option, and you can have up to 25 open spots.
- Fighter A vs. Fighter B – Over 2.5 Round -115 / Under 2.5 Rounds +105
One of the easiest ways to bet on an MMA fight is by betting the over/under. In an over/under bet the bookie will post a round total, and you need to bet on whether the fight will last longer or shorter than the round total.
Over under odds are posted to the bookies desecration. But they are fairly standard across the board.
Here are some examples of the Over Under listings.
- Over Under 1.5 Rounds – Usually found when two aggressive fighters fight.
To win the over bet, the bout must pass 2.5mins of the second round.
To win the under the fight needs to end before 2.5mins of round two.
- Over Under 2.5 Rounds – This is what you will see offered the most.
To win the over bet, the bout must pass 2.5mins of the third round.
To win the under the fight needs to end before 2.5mins of round three.
- Over Under 3.5 rounds – You will see the option in most championship fights, fights that have five rounds.
To win the over bet, the bout must pass 2.5mins of the fourth round.
To win the under the fight needs to end before 2.5mins of round four.
Several MMA sportsbooks allow bettors to bet on what round they think the fight will finish in, and the payout odds are much better when betting this way.
You can also bet on a fighter to win the fight during a certain round as well, which is another great MMA bet with excellent payout odds.
Method of Victory
There are three ways to win a fight in MMA including KO, Submission, and Points. If you think you know how a fight is going to end and want to make some money, you can bet on the method of victory at several bookmakers.
Variations of this bet are available.
Inside the Distance: A fighter wins by KO or Submission. He finishes the fight one way or another, i.e. Inside the Distance.
The fight ends by Submission: One fighter wins by submission. It does not matter who, it just needs to end by submission.
The fight ends by KO: One fighter wins by knockout or TKO. It does not matter who, just one person has to stop the other using strikes.
One of the lesser known bets and one of my personal favorites is the handicap bet. It’s where the book offers odds giving a fighter a (+) or (-) points amount before the fight.
The odds with this bet are lower than the odds for a moneyline bet, but used smartly and in Parlays can be profitable.
Examples of Handicap Bets
3 Round fight, fighter A is the favorite.
- Fighter A -3.5
- Fighter B +3.5
If either fighter wins by KO, TKO, or DQ, that fighter wins the handicap regardless of the scoring at the time of the stoppage.
The fight completes all scheduled rounds, and the judges score the fight.
- Scores of Fighter A 30-27, Fighter A 29-28, Fighter A 29-28
Fighter A wins a unanimous decision based on these scores.
- The cumulative score for Fighter A is 30+29+29 = 88
- The cumulative score for Fighter B is 27+28+28 = 83
So now we use the handicap scores to get our result.
- Fighter A has a total of 88 – 3.5 = 84.5
- Fighter B has a total of 83 + 3.5 = 86.5
Despite losing the fight, Fighter B would win the handicap bet based on this outcome.
Let’s do a five round fight, and again Fighter A is the favorite.
- Fighter A -5.5
- Fighter B +5.5
Scores of Fighter A 50-45, Fighter A 50-45, Fighter A 48-47.
Fighter A wins a unanimous decision based on these scores, and one judge did give Fighter B one round.
- The cumulative score for Fighter A is 50+50+49 = 148
- The cumulative score for Fighter B is 45+45+46 = 136
So now we use the handicap scores to get our result.
- Fighter A has a total of 149 – 5.5 = 143.5
- Fighter B has a total of 136 + 5.5 = 141.5
Fighter A would win the handicap bet on this fight. This bet is excellent, and you can use it if you think a guy has a great chance to win the fight, but the moneyline odds are not too appealing. The odds will be slightly higher. You can also use these bets in Parlays. There one of the best bets you can do if you pick them smartly.
A rule of thumb is, if a fighter wins a round on all three judges scorecards, he will usually win the handicap. But don’t forget about 10-8 rounds, I have had occasions where a fighter clearly won a round but lost the handicap.
This bet can only be found on 5 Dimes. If you like betting on the UFC I highly recommend you make an account there.
You can bet on decision victories too. You can bet this a few ways the most popular one would be Fighter A wins by decision. Can be any decision it just needs to go to points.
There are more creative decision bets available too.
A fighter wins by “Unanimous Decision” when all three judges score him as the winner.
A fighter wins by “Split-Decision” when two judges score him as the winner and one judge scores the other fighter as the winner.
A fighter wins by “Majority Decision” when two judges score him as the winner and one judge scores the fight a draw.
Live UFC Betting
Betting live on fights is a lot of fun and a good way to make money if you carefully select spots. Generally, there are two types of live betting sites. One is sites that let you bet in between rounds and the other is live betting throughout the fight. We have a full live betting guide here.
Bettors can wager on a few prop bets in MMA including several very popular UFC prop bets. If you watch the UFC, you may know that they have awards for Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night. The odds on these bets are usually high.