The Complete Guide to MMA Betting: How to Bet on MMA in the UK
MMA is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide, so naturally MMA betting is surging in popularity. Our handy guide covers all the top UK MMA betting sites and how to bet on MMA, so you can wager on the next bouts.
Additionally, we take an in-depth look at all the MMA events you can bet on, betting markets and differences between pre-match and live MMA betting. We included the best five MMA sportsbooks below so you can get a quick overview of what to expect:
|Best MMA Betting Sites||Bonus Offers||Highlights||Rating||Secure Link||T&C’s|
|Paddy Power||£20 in Free Bets||3, 9, 2||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! Risk Free 20: New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+.|
|Betway||Up to £10 In Free Bets||6, 13, 0||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! *New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.|
|888sport||Up to £30In Free Bets||3, 3, 1||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! Under the terms of this Promotion, eligible members will receive £30 in free bets at the Site. In order to receive the welcome offer, members must first place a qualifying bet. A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 with odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater. Bets that are ‘Cashed Out’ do not qualify. First qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of registration. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Unibet||Bet £5 Get £30||1, 9, 0||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.|
|Betfair||Up to £100 in Free Bets||2, 3, 2||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only. Available to residents of UK or Republic of Ireland using promo code ZBBC01. Place 5 x £10 (or more) single bets on the Sportsbook each at min odds 1/2 (1.5). Get 1 x £20 free bet. Up to five times.|
The first step is finding a site you feel comfortable gambling with. Each site is unique in its own way and has different strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right one for you can go a long way in your betting process, so here are the best MMA betting sites in the UK:
|🏆 Best MMA Betting Site||Paddy Power|
|💳 Top MMA Payouts||Betway|
|⏱️ Fastest MMA Livestreams||888sport|
|🔄 Betting Exchange and MMA||Betfair|
|⚡ Top Live MMA Betting Site||Unibet|
It’s important to consider what you’re looking for in a sportsbook before selecting one. Looking at the odds offered, number of markets and event selection can play a key role in being a successful MMA bettor before you ever make a wager.
MMA Betting Odds and Payout
Finding bookmakers with high odds is the single best thing you can do for your bankroll in the long run. It’s important to remember that the sportsbooks set their odds in a way they believe will attract equal amounts of money on both sides of the outcome.
The way bookies make their money is by offering payouts that total less than 100% when both outcomes are added up. This is called the vigorish and is best thought of as the commission a bookmaker charges. Here are the MMA payouts at the most popular sportsbooks:
|Average Odds for the Best MMA Betting Events|
|MMA Betting Site||UFC||UFC Fight Night||Bellator||KSW|
Notice in the table that UFC fights have the highest payouts. This is because sportsbooks have loads of data and are able to set the lines very accurately. For lesser-known organisations like Bellator, they may have less data, allowing you to capitalise through thorough research and intensive knowledge.
The trade-off is a higher commission charged by the sportsbooks. Additionally, they could implement other backstops like a wager sizing limit. This reduces the largest amount you are able to bet, therefore limiting the operator’s risk.
Betting on MMA: Competitions & Events
Though UFC is often used as a synonym for MMA, it’s important to note that MMA is the sport, and the UFC is a promotional company. There are matches from other promoters as well, including Bellator, ONE Championship and KSW.
If you’re serious about MMA betting, it would be good to become familiar with the fighters and rules of other leagues if you aren’t already. Doing your due diligence before making a bet is always recommended.
|The Main MMA Competitions You Can Bet on|
|Competition Name||Competition Logo||Since||Season|
|ONE Championship||ONE Championship||2005||Year Round|
|Bellator MMA||Bellator MMA||2009||Year Round|
|PFL||PFL||2018||Spring & Fall|
While big fights attract a lot of action, there is a lot of opportunity in the smaller ones. On weekends the UFC may be off, there are usually a couple of other organisations there to fill the void, leaving you more chances to find bookmakers’ mistakes.
That’s why it’s crucial to find bookies that offer odds on various organisations and not just the UFC. Once you start following and researching the fighters in other promotions you can bet on them more confidently.
The MMA Events You Can Bet On
Individual events for most promoters are simply numbers, like UFC 258 or Bellator 233. There is no playoff system or regular season so instead of one special event a year, each new fight brings something singular and unique.
That being said, there are weight classes and titles within those weight classes, which could be up for grabs on any given night. If you’re just starting out with MMA betting, it may be beneficial to specialise in one or two weight classes at first.
|Weight Classes by Maximum Weight|
|Light Heavyweight||93.0||205||14 st 9|
|Heavyweight||120.2||265||18 st 13|
Specialisation prevents you from becoming overwhelmed with decisions. Betting on MMA is a decision-based process and reducing the potential for wrong choices allows you to make more right ones.
Over time you’ll become more comfortable with the dynamics of each weight class and with the sportsbooks themselves. Once you are doing well in one or two weight classes try adding a couple more until you can apply your process to all of them.
Markets on Offer
Once you decide the bout you’d like to bet on, you can look up its available betting markets. There aren’t as many markets available at UK MMA betting sites when comparing it to a sport like association football, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
There are many angles you can take betting on MMA fights when you aren’t necessarily sure who will win. Choosing between two bruisers who typically come out swinging could be a 50/50 proposition, but you may find value on the method of victory being a knockout.
To Win the Bout
Exactly how it sounds, with this straightforward bet type you wager on who wins the match. Typically displayed as a money line bet, the draw is often available on the 3-way.
Method of Victory
On top of picking the winner, you can wager on whether they will do so by decision, DQ, technical knockout or submission. This is very hard to get right but brings big payout potential when you do.
The bookmaker sets the number, and you wager on whether the fight will be longer or shorter than the number of rounds given. This needs a lot of knowledge of fighting styles, past form and fighter quality is imperative for total rounds bets.
If you’re feeling confident enough to pick the exact winning round instead of betting on total rounds, winning round bets can bring larger payouts. While the knowledge needed is similar, it is harder to predict the winning round than total rounds.
Live & In-Play Betting
On top of betting before the match, most operators allow you to bet on fights as they’re happening. You can pull up the live betting client on your chosen site and often get live streams or updates on the fight as it happens.
This means you can see how the two participants are performing before placing your wager. If you think someone is outclassed early, it might be good to live bet on the match being short.
Best Live Betting User Interface
Most Popular In-Play Sportsbook
Many Live MMA Betting Markets
Highest In-Play Odds
Superb Live Sportsbook
Another benefit of in-play MMA betting is it provides you with an opportunity to hedge your original bet. If you’re not feeling confident in your original pick, you might be able to bet on the opponent at decent odds later in the match to minimise your losses.
However, this is an extremely advanced strategy best reserved for experienced bettors. Beginners should stick with smaller bets until they’re confident enough in their bankroll to raise their stakes.
Ultimately, the difference between in-play and pre-match betting all comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy live betting but aren’t a fan of the operators listed above, check out our list of the best live betting sites.
Since MMA is still finding its way into the mainstream outside of the United States, it’s rare to find MMA promotions. Occasionally a site will offer enhanced odds or a free bet in return for a wager as a way to entice new gamblers.
It’s also possible to take advantage of an operator’s welcome bonus when you’re betting on MMA. You can check out our list of the sites in the UK with the best betting bonuses for the most generous ones.
- Generous Welcome Bonus
- Excellent Live Betting Suite
- Good Odds
While there aren’t many specific MMA betting bonuses, operators sometimes make offers that apply to the entire sportsbook. A standard would be an operator offering a free bet in return for wagers totalling a certain amount over the course of a week. Check out our bet365 review for a great example of this.
That being said, it pays to be aware of the bonuses being offered on specific matchups. When there is a highly publicised bout, operators tend to compete with each other for MMA online betting traffic by making promotional offers.
How to Bet on MMA
MMA betting strategy is a lot less complex than many team sports. There aren’t many opportunities for bets on peripheral stats like corner kicks in football. Most of it comes down to knowing the participants and their styles, and how these styles might affect the course of the bout.
You can find this information by researching the past form of competitors. You can deduce whether they’re more of a grappler or a boxer, or whether their matches end quickly or if they grit out longer victories.
- Pick a weight class to specialise in
- Get familiar with each fighter’s style
- Wager on the market that makes sense for the fight
- Try to use sites with a good number of markets
- Live betting can be useful
Ultimately, MMA betting, and sports betting in general comes down to your ability to find value over the long term. That might mean betting on different markets for different bouts. See our football betting guide for a super useful rundown on calculating expected value.
Facts, History, Stats
Though MMA doesn’t have the long and storied history of a sport like boxing or football, it is still quite colourful. Originally founded as a way to find out which form of martial arts was superior, competitors began mixing styles giving the sport the name mixed martial arts.
Creation of the UFC
While the UFC was officially founded in 1993 as a way to discover which martial arts are superior to others. The company struggled until 2001, when Dana White brokered a deal between Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and the brand’s earlier owner. Afterwards, he was installed as UFC president and steered the brand into the multi-billion dollar powerhouse it is today.
The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter is a reality show and proving ground for many of the fighters who make their way to the UFC. The winner is awarded a UFC contract. The show is notable for perhaps the most memorable fight in MMA history, when Forrest Griffin narrowly defeated Stephan Bonnar. This bout is widely credited as one of the best fights ever, launching MMA into the mainstream.
Welcoming Women into the Octagon
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey put the sport of women’s MMA on the map by becoming the first ever female MMA champion, going undefeated for a period of over 1,074 days. She defended her title six times. Her eventual loss against Holly Holm was the most watched event in the sport’s history at the time.
Dana White facilitated the sale of the original, almost defunct UFC in 2001 to his friend Lorenzo Fertitta and turned it into the spectacle it is today. Valued at over $4 billion and growing, it’s fast becoming one of the major sports worldwide.
Final Thoughts on MMA Online Betting
Overall, betting on MMA is a great choice for beginners and advanced punters alike. It’s a lot less complex than team sports and there are multiple markets for you to find potential value in.
While it’s not quite big enough for most major sportsbooks to provide exclusive MMA bonuses, the sport’s growing at a rapid rate. It will be interesting to see which betting sites in the UK will start capitalising on its popularity.
While we try to make our betting guides as comprehensive as possible, occasionally readers will have more specific questions, which we answer in the FAQ section below. Here are the most often asked MMA betting questions:
🏆 What are the best MMA betting sites?
The best MMA betting sites are ones licensed through a regulatory authority like the Gambling Commission. You can see our list of the best MMA bookies by clicking the link.
🔎 Is betting on MMA allowed?
Betting on MMA is allowed where sports betting is legal. If you live in a jurisdiction that allows sports betting and want to begin betting on MMA, begin by looking at our section on MMA betting bonuses and choosing an operator meeting those criteria.
📈 What are the average MMA betting odds levels?
The average MMA betting odds levels vary by sportsbook. Some are more generous than others and charge a lower commission. Click the link for a table listing the average MMA odds at top bookmakers.
🚀 Is there a strategy I can follow to bet on MMA?
Yes, there is a strategy you can follow for betting on MMA. While this is a great starting point, it's best to develop your own process until you create your own MMA betting strategy.