Mixed Martial Arts has experienced a sudden rise in popularity in the past decade. The arrival of Conor McGregor in recent years has further pushed MMA into the mainstream. With its emergence as a top sport, MMA betting has also arrived and has gained as much attention as well. These days, you can find MMA bets at every bookmaker and if you’re curious about betting on MMA, particularly the UFC which is the premier MMA organization in the planet, then we’ve got you covered.
Rankings And Statistics
As it is, MMA is a fight sport hence it is a fight between two individuals. Like boxing and most fight sports, MMA fights are classified according to weight classes. In the UFC, there are a total of 12 weight classes from strawweight to heavyweight. The strawweight division is only for women and it is one of only four weight classes for female fighters with flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight the other three.
The UFC has its official rankings, where fighters are listed per weight class, beginning with the champion to the Top 15 contenders per division. This list is available at the UFC’s website and this is important because when you have a fight to bet on, you have to first consider the fighter’s ranking.
Aside from the rankings, the UFC also stores it fight statistics in a website called UFCStats. For those of you who are familiar with the UFC, this site was formerly known as Fightmetric and it is the official statistician of the UFC. In this website, you can access a fighters basic information like age, height, reach etc. Also, you will find out every fighter’s fight history in the UFC, including the detailed statistics for every fight.
Aside from completed fights, the site also has a listing of upcoming fights so for example, if there an event this coming weekend, you can do a search and it will list all the bouts in the event. When you click a fight, you will be able to see a fighter’s updated stats and compare it with his opponent. Stats are available for striking, grappling and tale of the tape.
Once you have access to the rankings and statistics, you’re all set to bet.
Using Your Data
Using the statistics, you will know whether a particular fighter is a striker or a wrestler. When we say striker, that fighter prefers to fight on his feet, using his hands and feet to land strikes on his opponent. Fighters in this category are Conor McGregor, Robbie and Stephen Thompson. When we say a grappler, this is a fighter who uses his grappling skills to wrestle. This is the fighter who prefers to take the fight to the ground and wrestle on the mat. Georges St. Pierre, Ben Askren and Kamaru Usman are a few examples. Instead of punches, knockdowns and knockouts, grapplers are measure by takedowns, submissions and ground and pound.
The UFCStats website provides stats for both offense and defense hence you will be able to determine how good or not a fighter’s defense is, whether it’s striking defense or takedowns defense. You will also have access to other relevant data such as significant strikes absorbed per minute, takedown attempts per 15 minutes and others. So what do we do?
If both fighters are strikers, it’s easier to decipher. You just compare who lands more strikes, who absorbs more strikes and who is the more accurate striker. Of course, the better striker should have better statistics and is likely going to win.
If both fighters are grapplers, take a look at the takedown stats. Who lands more takedowns? Who is more accurate? And who has better takedown defense? Again, picking a winner here shouldn’t be too hard.
But if it’s a fight involving a striker vs grappler and someone who is well-rounder, it gets a little more complicated. But the more you read, you’ll get used to it. My best tip in a classic striker vs grappler bout is that every round starts on the feet so the striker has the advantage. However, before picking the striker right away, take a look at his defensive numbers. He should have good takedown and submission defense to be able to fight off a takedowns or to survive on the ground. If we talk about each matchup, it’s going to take forever. But I hope you get what we’re driving at here. With the rankings and stats, you can already visualize how a fight is going to happen. If you can do that, you can make your picks already.
UFC betting though is more than just about betting on the winner although that bet, called the Moneyline is the easiest and simplest bet to make. Under the moneyline, you only pick who wins a certain fight. Nothing more. Like in other sports, UFC betting also has over/under bets. The over/under here refers to the number of rounds it will take to end the fight, regardless of who is the winner.
The moneyline and over/under are almost always the bets available for UFC betting. However, when you have high profile bouts or events, there are other bets involved. The Method of Victory is like the moneyline pick only that aside from picking the winner, you are required to predict how that fighter is going to win the fight. These bets are harder to predict but if you pick them correctly, these bets have higher yields.
Aside from these fight related bets, there are what we call Proposition Bets or Prop Bets. These are bets which do not necessarily depend on who wins the fight. For example, the UFC hands out special awards at the end of events. These are Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night. In some high profile events, there are bets on which bout during the event will win each award. There are also instances when bets on announcer Bruce Buffer wearing a necktie or bowtie or the color of his suit. There are also prop bets on whether the fighters will touch gloves before the fight. And so on. Prop bets are the most exciting bets. They are also high yield bets. But sometimes, these ones are too difficult to predict. But I’m not saying you shouldn’t make them, because I do myself. So are you ready now? As Bruce Buffer says, let’s get it on!
Upcoming UFC Matchups
- March 23 – Nashville 2019 – Thompson vs Pettis
- March 30 – Philadelphia 2019 – Barboza vs Gaethje
- April 13 – Atlanta 2019 – Holloway vs Poirier 2
- April 20 – St. Petersburg 2019 – Volkov vs Overeem
- April 27 – Sunrise, FL 2019 – Romero vs Jacare 2
- May 4 – Ottawa 2019 – Iaquinta vs Cerrone
- May 11 – Brazil 2019 – Namajunas vs Andrade
- May 18 – Rochester, NY 2019 – Dos Anjos vs Lee
- June 1 – Stockholm 2019 – Gustafsson vs Smith
- June 8 – Chicago, IL 2019 – TBD vs TBD
- June 22 – Greenville, SC 2019 – TBD vs TBD
- June 29 – Minneapolis, MN 2019 – TBD vs TBD