Mixed martial arts (MMA) has become one of the fastest growing sports worldwide. While it used to be all about the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in recent years other MMA organizations have been putting up a fight as well, pardon the pun. With the rise of the sport, online sportsbooks are now offering betting for organizations other than the UFC. Some of these include Bellator Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cage Fighting (WEC), and Strikeforce MMA.
The Bodog Sportsbook is out favorite place to bet on MMA fights. They accept US and Canadian bettors, have plenty of easy deposit options, and offer betting on UFC, Bellator, WEC, and Strikeforce.
There can be a benefit of betting on MMA fights rather than UFC. The UFC has all of the biggest name fighters, and thus they get the most attention. This means that everyone already knows everything there is to know about these fighters. In the lesser known MMA organizations however, some of the fighters are relative unknowns, meaning that if you do your homework you might be able to gain some information that the bookies and bettors haven’t found – or don’t have the time to research.
Best MMA Betting Sites
#1 – Bodog Sportsbook: Bodog is one of the few online sportsbooks that offers betting on all three MMA organizations listed above, plus the UFC. They accept US betttors, and recently started accepting Canadian bettors as well. Now they are open to almost the entire world.
Bodog is one of the pioneers in online gaming, and are the largest in the world. Their reputation is as solid as they come, and the company is financially secure. Customer service is excellent, available via phone, live chat, and email.
Online and phone betting is accepted, as well as phone support for anyone that might be having a problem making online deposits. The minimum bets accepted for MMA fights is $1 online and $50 over the phone. The maximum MMA bets are $5000.
Plenty of simple deposit methods are available, including Visa credit & debit cards, eWalletXpress, Neteller, Moneybookers, Click2Pay and more.
#2 – Bookmaker.com: Bookmaker is an industry giant that offers MMA betting on UFC, WEC and some Bellator events. they accept US bettors. Bookmaker accepts the largest wagers in the business, up to $5000 online, $20,000 by phone, and even larger upon request. For serious or professional sports bettors, this is the best overall sportsbook in the world. Like Bodog, every serious punter should have an account here.
Customer service is first class, with a helpful and knowledgeable staff, available via phone, live chat, or email.
Bookmaker.com accepts Visa/Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, Neteller, Moneybookers, Click2Pay, eWalletXpress, Eco Card, bank wire and several other deposit options.
The minimum MMA bet is $5, with a maximum of $20,000.
#3 – Sportsbook.com: Plenty of MMA betting option, plus interesting prop bets on bigger fights make Sportsbook.com one of our favorite places to bet on MMA fights. US bettors are accepted at Sportsbook.com, and they have some of the highest success rates for US, Visa deposits. If you can’t get your credit card deposits to go through at Bodog or Bookmaker, give Sportsbook.com a try.
Sportsbook.com offers MMA betting for the UFC, WEC and some Bellator fights as well. With the growth of MMA, we expect Sportsbook.com to continue to add more fights to their selection. Minimum bets accepted are $5, with a maximum of $5000.
Customer service is available via phone, live chat, or email and quality of the staff is better than average.
Sportsbook.com accepts Visa credit & debit cards, Neteller, Moneybookers, eWalletXpress and several other deposit options.
MMA Betting Tips
While it’s fun to bet on a Brock Lesnar fight, you aren’t going to be able to dig up information that everyone else doesn’t already have. Since your goal as a bettor is to find an edge, try picking some unknown MMA fighters to bet on rather than the Randy Couture’s and Anderson Silva’s of the world.
One way to get information that a bookie may not research is to find where the fighter trains. Does that training facility have a website? If so, you might gain information about a fighter who’s been training with a guy who’s known for his ground game, improving his skills in that area before a fight. Maybe you’ll find out that a guy had to take a few days off for dehydration a week before a fight. If so, he’s likely to feel weaker on fight night.
Another way to gain information about a fighter is to see if he has a Twitter or Facebook account. If he does, he might send a Tweet after a training session that gives some insight to his health or confidence. If a guy Tweets ‘Just finished a grueling ground game session’, that tells you he’s working on his ground game. If he updates his status on Facebook saying his father just passed away, that could mean he’ll have a hard time focusing during his training sessions prior to a fight.
Information is out there, you just have to find it. Some of this information can make you a lot of money.
If you’re going to bet on two or three heavy favorites, think about placing a parlay bet for better odds. If you feel strongly that these guys are going to win, a parlay bet is a way to turn a small bet into a large profit, because it offers increased odds. Of course, if you place a parlay bet, all of the fighters on the ticket have to win, otherwise you lose your entire bet. But, if you bet on these guys with individual match up bets, you’re going to have to risk a lot for a small reward. In this case I like placing a smallish parlay bet and go for a bigger win. keep your parlays down to 2-3 fighters though, don’t get greedy because generally there will be an upset or two every night.
MMA betting is similar to boxing, but with different rules between these two sports means that some different types of bets are available.
How to Bet on MMA Fighting
With the rise of MMA, every live and online sportsbook has opened up their range of betting. Now there are tons of prop bets that can be made, and more options across the board.
At online sportsbooks, odds can be viewed in three different ways. These are American odds, fractional odds, and decimal odds. Different parts of the world are used to viewing odds in different ways. If you already know how to read odds in one of these formats, when you go to an online sportsbook, look for a button allowing you to change the type of odds being displayed. Most sportsbooks offer all three choices to support any of their customers.
For this article, we’ll be using American odds as our example. For more information about reading odds, check out our Betting page.
MMA Match Up Bets
Of course match up bets are the most common way to bet on MMA fights. These are straight wagers place on one fighter beating the other. The favored fighter will be displayed with a negative (-) money line and the underdog will have a positive (+) money line. They look like this:
Brock Lesnar -220
Tomato Can +190
In this case, Brock Lesnar is the favorite and Tomato Can is the underdog. Money lines are based around the figure of $100. For negative money lines, the number beside the – is the amount of money that would have to be wagered in order to win $100 in profit. So, for this example, you would need to bet $220 on Brock Lesnar to win $100 more in profit, for a total pay out of $320.
Tomato Can and his +190 money line would require a $100 bet to win $190 in profit. So, a bet of $100 would give you a return of $290 total. Of course Tomato Can is probably going to beat to a bloody pulp, so you might want to think about it before you bet on him to beat Lesnar.
Mixed Martial Arts Parlay Betting
A parlay bet is where you take 2 or more single bets and combine them onto one ticket. Every fighter you put on your ticket must win in order to win your parlay. If just one fighter loses, your bet loses. So, going 5-0 on a 6 fighter parlay is great, but your 6th guy has to win or you lose the entire bet.
Parlay bets are sometimes considered sucker bets, but they’re not a bad choice for people who like to bet on favorites in the MMA. For example, if you have three huge favorites matched up against guys they should easily beat, a -340 bet is hardly worth the risk. Instead, take those three guys and put them onto one parlay bet and get much better odds. You can place smaller overall bet, with the chance to win a bigger profit.
As a general rule, we recommend keeping your parlays down to 2-3 fighters per ticket. While you can get much better odds on parlays with 5 or more fighters on them, they’re much harder to win. You can go 11-1 on a 12 fighter parlay ticket and lose. However, if you really want to go for the big payday and choose to go for a larger parlay win, continue reading to learn how to protect a big parlay win.
Protect Your Big Parlays
If you find yourself in a situation like mentioned above where you have a 6 fighter parlay that you’re 5-0 on, you can place a side bet to cover yourself on the 6th fight. Here’s how you do it.
Lets say you’re 5-0 with one fight left to go, and looking at a $2500 win on a $100 parlay bet. Instead of risking the entire thing, you can make a side bet and protect about 1/2 of your parlay win – guaranteeing you a nice win. Without getting too detailed about how to do this, here’s the general idea. Assuming you’re betting on the favorite of the 6th fight, place a side bet that would allow you to win about $1250 on the opposing fighter if he wins. Then, if your parlay pick wins, you win your parlay minus the side bet. If your side bet wins, you’ll lose the parlay, but win around $1250 on the side bet. Either way, you end up winning roughly 1/2 of the parlay win – guaranteed.
MMA Prop Bets
MMA proposition (prop) bets are offered at most live and online sportsbooks. Props can include a variety of types of bets. One might be the option to choose what round Rashad Evans will stop his opponent. It might be a bet where Randy Couture needs to beat his opponent with and arm bar or other specific move. The types of prop bets that can be found are endless, and most of them offer great odds – but are harder to win.
In general, you’ll find more prop bets available for well known fighters in the UFC, but some can be found for lesser known guys in smaller MMA organizations as well.
While the Ultimate Fighting Championship is still the biggest MMA organization in the world, there are others that can be bet on as well. The Bellator Fighting Championships has gotten a lot of tv time lately, and because of it they are grabbing better fighters and more publicity. More eyeballs means more online sportsbooks are offering bets for them.
Bellator Fighting Championships
The Bellator Fighting Championships can be bet on at Bookmaker.com, Sportsbook.com, the Bodog Sportsbook, and most of the other big online sportsbooks. Bellator started off big in April of 2009 when they had twelve, 2 hour episodes aired on ESPN. This started the organization, giving them a huge amount of international exposure. Just a year later, Bellator fights can be bet on at almost every major online sportsbook.
Bet on Bellator at Bodog.com
World Extreme Cage Fighting (WEC)
The WEC started back in 2001 and focus more on lighter weight categories. Because of this, they tend to be more popular in areas of the world where martial arts are more of the focus rather than big punches and hard core ground games.
WEC fights can be bet on at most of the same sportsbooks that offer Bellator wagering.
Strikeforce is a smaller MMA organization, and great for bettors who don’t mind doing some research. They have lesser known fighters and this means opportunity for bettors. Finding online sportsbooks that offer betting for Strikeforce is more difficult, but the Bodog Sportsbook offer them. Use the Strikeforce website to get information about upcoming fights, then find out as much as you can about each fighter. You’ll probably gain more information about the fighters than the linesmakers at Bodog. Potential profit here.