Betting on MMA - Where and How to Bet on Mixed Martial Arts

From the early days of Tank Abbott and Royce Gracie to today's great like Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov, MMA has grown into one of the most popular sports in the entire globe. Not only is MMA an incredibly exciting spectator sport, but it's also a cash-cow for a lot of sports bettors out there. If you know your MMA and can pick winners and predict the direction of the fights, then you stand to make a lot of money betting on MMA.

If you're ready to get into the MMA betting action right now, then let us help get you where you need to go. Below, you're going to find a list of the top MMA betting sites available online.

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Now, we're going to guess that some of you out there aren't quite ready to jump head first into making your first real money bet. That's okay. In this thorough guide to betting on MMA, we're going to cover every little detail that you need to know in order to intelligently and successfully bet on the sport of MMA. In other words, we're going to do our best to teach you to make a lot of money betting on MMA.

Ultimately, it will be up to you and how well you can employ the strategies that we teach you. We're confident that we'll give you all the tools you need to become a successful MMA bettor. Couple that with some hard work on your part and you're going to be cashing some winning tickets in no time.

If you're ready to learn everything you need to know about betting on MMA, grab your gloves and your mouthpiece and let's get to it!

MMA Betting for First-Timers

First time making a sports bet? Never bet on MMA before? First, we want to say welcome to the fun! All of our writers and MMA bettors here remember when we made our first ever bet and just how exciting it was. But we also remember how scary and intimidating it was. We remember all the numbers, terminology, and everything else that seemed confusing.

But there's nothing to fear. MMA betting is actually pretty simple and straightforward as long as things are explained properly to you. That is what we're going to do for you now. In the guide we have linked below, we'll break down everything you need to know about betting on MMA. We'll cover all of the basics and we're going to do it in a way that you can actually understand.

We're not going to assume that you know anything or have any sort of pre-existing knowledge base. We're also not going to hit you with a ton of jargon or terminology that you may or may not understand. Too often, we see experienced bettors teaching beginners without respect for the fact that they're new to all of this. Our guide is different. If you want to prepare for your first MMA bet the right way, check out the document we have for you below. It will lay the groundwork and foundation for a successful MMA betting career.

MMA Betting for Beginners*

How to Place an MMA Bet Right Now

Got a hot tip? Don't need to learn anymore and just want to get into the action? Awesome! Let us show you how to get started placing your first MMA bet right now. If you simply follow the steps outlined below, you'll have your first real-money MMA bet on the books and live in a matter of minutes without ever having to set foot outside your home.

Decide Where to Bet: Online Sportsbooks vs In-Person Sportsbooks

Before you even think about putting money down, the prerequisite step in the MMA betting process is deciding where you want to place your action. If you think this isn't that important of a step and you can just pick the first online sportsbook you see, you're heavily mistaken. Where to place your MMA betting action is just as important as the actual bets you make.

If you aren't using a reputable, trusted, honest, and reliable online sportsbook, then your bets, your bankroll, and your personal information are all going to be at risk. You could win all of your bets but end up getting no money because the site you are betting with is shady and tries to pull a fast one on you. We're not telling you this to scare you. We're just trying to show you how important it is to utilize a reliable and trusted online sportsbook when placing your MMA bets.

Where can you find these reputable betting sites for MMA? Well, we have two places for you. One, you can scroll back to the top of this guide and choose one of the top MMA betting sites we've recommended. All of these betting sites are heavily vetted by our team to ensure they are high quality and can be trusted. The second resource is a complete list of the MMA betting websites that we recommend. You can find that list along with additional information linked below in our dedicated mixed martial arts betting sites page.

Your other option for placing MMA bets is to do it in person at a local casino or sportsbook. The problem, though, is that for a lot of people there are no physical establishments nearby. If you're lucky enough to live relatively close to one, there are some other things that you need to consider. You're not going to be able to shop your betting lines (which we will teach about later in this guide), you won't have as much betting flexibility, and the convenience is not there. When you bet online, you don't have to go anywhere, and you don't even have to put on pants if you don't want to. While you might think we're just being biased, we're not. Betting MMA online is a much more convenient and much more profitable way of going about your wagering.

#1) Create Your Account

Person Researching on Computer

The first step in the process is creating an account with the MMA betting site that you choose. This step should only take you a few minutes. All you have to do is pick out a cool screen name to use like TriangleChoke47 or SlammyMcSlams11 (or whatever you want it to be), create a password, and then input some basic information about yourself.

Once you've done this, navigate over to the deposit and banking page and make an initial deposit. All of the MMA betting sites that we've recommended have a ton of safe and trusted ways of funding your account instantly. Again, this part of the process should only take a few minutes thanks to technology.

#2) Choose an Upcoming Fight Card to Bet On

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov Fight Card

The next step in the MMA betting process is choosing a fight to bet on. The cool part about betting online is that just about every different fighting organization is covered. This means that any fight you know about that is coming up, you can bet on. If you're not sure where to start or what the different fighting organizations are, we'll cover all of that later on in this guide.

#3) Pick out the Bets You Want to Make

Sports Betting Numbers

Once you've selected a fight to bet on, you need to decide what types of bets you want to make. You may not know this, but you can actually bet on a lot more than just the winner of an MMA fight. You can just bet on who's going to win if you want to keep it simple, but you do have some more options. If you'd like to learn more about the options available, make sure you check out our types of MMA bets page*.

#4) Place Your Bet and Get Ready to Enjoy the Action

Two UFC Fighters Behind Cage

After you've decided what you want to bet on, it's time to make your bets! This should be super easy to do with all of the MMA betting sites that we've recommended. Just navigate to the MMA section of the site, select the bet you want, put in the amount you want to bet, check everything over, and then click submit!

#5) Cash-In Your Winning Ticket

Georges St-Pierre Holding Title Belt

If you picked well, the last step is the fun one. You get to cash in on your winnings! You can take the money you won and place more bets, or you can cash it off and enjoy your spoils. Thanks to banking technology, you can have your money in your account within a few hours or a few days at the most. Just as there are a ton of deposit options, there are also a ton of withdrawal options for you to choose from.

Intermediate and Advanced MMA Betting Strategies

Are you someone who already knows quite a bit about MMA? Are you already pretty sharp with your picks, but you're just looking to polish things up a little bit? This is the section you want to be in. Below, we have all of our most coveted MMA betting strategy guides. We are also constantly adding to this section, so please check back often to see what we have for you here.

If you're serious about taking your MMA betting to the next level or you are an aspiring professional bettor, let's get started.

MMA Betting Strategy

This is our core product. This guide goes beyond the basic tips and strategies we covered in our basic guide. We break into a lot of the deeper strategy that you need to know if you're serious about being a long-term winner at MMA betting sites.

Handicapping MMA Fight Cards

Want to understand the process that professionals use when breaking down a fight? This is a must read for anyone looking to become a professional bettor. Our handicapping MMA guide breaks down the process you need to be following as well as the different elements you need to be analyzing when breaking down a fight. If there were one guide in this entire section that we would recommend for advanced bettors to read, this would be it.

Breaking Down the Different MMA Fight Styles

You've probably heard the phrase that "styles make fights," and that's certainly true. But, not only do styles make fights for spectators, they also make betting opportunities for bettors. If you can understand how the different martial arts disciplines work together, you can start to unearth edges and value in fights. In this guide, we're going to breakdown all of the most popular MMA fighting styles and discuss their strengths and weaknesses against each other. This is another must read especially for those bettors who are not martial artists themselves.

Top Tips for Betting on MMA

MMA betting sites are fun, but it gets a lot more fun when you're winning. Here's a bit of truth for you. Betting on MMA is easy, but consistently picking winners is not easy. It is completely doable, and a lot of people do it professionally and make a lot of money, but they put in the work and have the tools and knowledge needed to win.

If you're willing to put in the work to pick winners, we're ready to give you the tools you need. In the guide linked below, we're going to showcase some of the top tips for betting on MMA. These are the tips that our team of expert MMA bettors use regularly to make their bets. If you're newer to MMA betting or really want to take things to the next level, this is where you'll want to start. Once you get done with this section, you'll want to scroll further down the guide to our intermediate and advanced MMA betting strategy articles. But none of that will do you any good if you don't have a firm foundation which you'll get here.

The Costly MMA Betting Mistakes You Need to Avoid

No one likes to look silly when they make mistakes. The problem with making mistakes when betting on MMA is that, not only do you look silly but, you can also lose a lot of money or keep yourself from winning money that is rightfully yours.

The guide we have linked below covers all of the biggest and most expensive MMA betting mistakes that we see time and time again. Think you're already squared away and don't need to read these? You would be amazed at how many times we see these mistakes from seasoned and experienced sports bettors.

Look, we get that no one likes to be told what they can't do, but we encourage you to set your ego aside for just a few minutes and read through this list of mistakes. Sure, a lot of them might seem silly and seem like something you would never do. But we are pretty sure that there may be at least one or two things in there that may save you a lot of money over the length of your betting career.

Different Types of MMA Bets You Can Make

As we alluded to in a few earlier sections, there are a ton of different MMA bets that you can make on a single fight. Everyone knows you can bet on who is going to win the fight, but a lot of people aren't aware of the other options that are available at MMA betting sites. You can bet on things like how the fight will end, when the fight will end, if certain things will happen in the fight, the judge's scores, and a whole lot more.

Now, you do not have to complicate things and do anything other than betting on fight winners. A lot of pro MMA bettors just bet fight winners, and because they're good at picking winners, they make a lot of money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. There will be times when what you think is going to happen might be better served with a different type of bet.

We highly recommend you take some time and at least understand the different options that are available. You don't have to use them (or you can use all of them) if you don't want to. But you can't call yourself a serious MMA bettor if you don't know what all the options are that are available to you. Make sure you are making the right bet every time you place a wager, and your bankroll will thank you.

Additional MMA Knowledge to Help with Your Bets

Before we send you out to make your first bet, there are some additional resources we want to provide for you. Below, you'll find a ton of great MMA resources that will help you in making your wagers and understanding the sport. While some of these are not necessary to know in order to make your first bet, they will certainly help put things in perspective and help you become a better bettor long term. Knowledge is power when it comes to betting on MMA.

Understanding How a Fight Card Works

Each fight promotion has what is called cards for each fight event. The card is simply the list of fights that will be going on. Most fight promotions also have the Main Card, Preliminary Card ("the prelims") or the undercard, and sometimes an even earlier group of preliminary fights. As you might imagine, the main card is the most popular fights with the biggest names and usually consist of five fights. The first undercard/prelims are usually the next four or five popular fights, and then so on if they have another undercard.

Here is what a fight card might look like. Usually, betting odds are offered for the main card and the first undercard. Occasionally you can find odds for the lower level fights, but this is rare.

UFC 236 Fight Card

Understanding MMA Weight Classes

In the old days of mixed martial arts, everyone just fought everyone, and that was it. There were no weight classes or any separation of the fighters. This made for some great fights as well as some terribly lopsided beatings. Since the early days, the community has adopted different weight classes. Fights are also separated by gender, so the women fight the women and the men fight the men. To compete in a weight class, a fighter must weigh in at that weight the day before a fight. A lot of fighters will cut weight by dehydrating themselves to make a lower weight class and then try and bulk back up before the fight starts. This is a fairly popular practice done by most professionals. This means that if a person is fighting in the 135 weight class in a fight on Saturday night, they might weigh 150 lbs to start the week and cut down so they can weigh in at 135 pounds on Friday. They will then reload the water and nutrients into their body and be somewhere around the 150 mark again come fight time. You can imagine the advantage you would get if you cut weight and your opponent didn't. For this reason, almost all fighters cut weight.

  • Strawweight: 115 lb (52.2 kg)
  • Flyweight: 125 lb (56.7 kg)
  • Bantamweight: 135 lb (61.2 kg)
  • Featherweight: 145 lb (65.8 kg)
  • Lightweight: 155 lb (70.3 kg)
  • Welterweight: 170 lb (77.1 kg)
  • Middleweight: 185 lb (83.9 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight: 205 lb (93.0 kg)
  • Heavyweight: 265 lb (120.2 kg)
  • Super Heavyweight: No limit

The Most Popular MMA Fighting Organizations

UFC Logo
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

The reason that so many people accidentally call mixed martial arts UFC is that the UFC is the biggest and most prestigious fighting organization there is. It's the NFL of football or the NBA of basketball. It's the big leagues, and it's where any fighter that wants to be the best aspires to be.

The UFC has their main events which are numbered (UFC 209, UFC 210, etc.) and then also has their smaller events called UFC Fight Nights.

The UFC has been around for many years but gained its biggest popularity bump around 2006 when it merged with Pride FC and then purchased the WEC and Strikeforce. As those were the current biggest competitors, the UFC staked their claim in the industry and have not looked back since.

In 2011, the UFC penned a deal with Fox Sports Network, putting the organization and the sport on the map officially.

Bellator Logo
Bellator MMA

Based out of Santa Monica, California, Bellator MMA is the closest thing to a competitor to the UFC. Featuring a tournament style format, fighters must work their ways systematically through the field to reach the championship bouts. In recent years, the company has begun acquiring a lot of disgruntled fighters from the UFC with claims they pay their fighters much better.

In 2011, a majority stake in the company was purchased by telecom giant Viacom, and the show began airing all of its events on Spike TV. Bellator seems to have the flair and entertainment factor that a lot of the older Japanese promotions used to have which makes for some added excitement leading up to the fights.

Invicta FC Logo
Invicta FC

Don't let anyone ever tell you mixed martial arts are only for men.

This all-female promotion is a blast to watch and is currently growing in size and popularity.

In 2014, UFC Fight Pass announced that they would exclusively air all Invicta FC events moving forward.

ONE Championship Logo
ONE Championship

Extremely popular in Asia, mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship feels like a solid throwback to the old days of Pride.

With a ten-year broadcast deal with Fox Sports Asia, the fight promotion is definitely here to stay for a while. While many US based fight fans might not be aware of this promotion, it is widely known as the biggest and most popular mixed martia arts promotion in all of Asia.

Get Started Betting Now!

You can now officially call yourself an expert on the topic of MMA betting! All that is left for you to do now is to jump into the action and make your first of, hopefully, many successful bets at MMA betting sites. We've given you all the tools that you need to get started. All you have to do now is put those tools to work and build a winning MMA betting strategy. Many before you have done it, and there is no reason that you can't become one of the most successful and profitable MMA bettors in the world! It all starts with your first bet.

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