How to Make Money Betting on MMA

by Wayne Smith
on June 29, 2017

MMA has been one of the fastest growing/most popular sports in the world for some time and (while the sport is cyclical at times) the overall “staying power” of the sport is far from diminishing. With that in mind, fans who want to be more want to become bettors – and bettors want to cash in.

However, if you are new to the wide world of gambling, you may be asking? What types of wages do I look for in MMA and, more importantly, how do I avoid losing money? Fear not, friend! We have the answers you seek. Just have a look at the list below!

Bet on the Money Line or Bout

This is probably the best place to begin and easiest bet to make because what makes these bets easy for the new bettor is the little amount of work that goes into making a bet on a full fight. You just have to pick who is going to win a given contest outright.

However, it would be beneficial to those new bettors out there that are specifically betting on UFC fights to look at the fighters records on Sherdog.com or the UFC-partnered FightMetric, LLC to see how many strikes a given fighter throws or what their submission game is like. These bets are also simple because they tend to favor fighters on winning streaks (obviously.)

When “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey was in her prime, she was 12-0 with almost every finish coming by way of submission due to her trademark armbar and a significant portion of those victories came in the opening five minutes. This led to her having a career fight time of just over 27 minutes prior to her first loss at UFC 193, a career fight time that was just over the length of one full title fight (5 rounds, 25 minutes total.)

This made her a safe bet for much of her career.

Place an Over/Under Bet

In combat sports, over/under betting refers to the length of time that a particular fight will go, specifically the number of rounds (up to five in a UFC title fight or main event, see above. This bet is also good for newbie bettors because the end result doesn’t matter, your only concern is did your fighter beat the clock?

Examples of a fight that might be safe to place an over/under bet on would be a Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson or Joanna Jedrzejczyk title fight. The two have more tactical styles than other fighters (Johnson has 11 wins by way of decision with his Polish counterpart having nine. Specifically, her last four consecutive bouts have gone the distance.)

It’s not that they prefer to be more evasive (it might look that way,) it’s just that the name of the game in any sector of combat sports is to hit and not get hit and the two use their speed to their advantage, letting the damage build up over time.

Jedrzejczyk is a stand-up fighter who lands 6.87 significant (fight-altering) strikes per minute with an accuracy rate of 50 percent. She absorbs just 2.43 significant strikes per minute, defending against them 68 percent of the time.

Johnson, also more of a striker than anything else, connects with 3.49 significant strikes in 60 seconds with 53 percent accuracy while only taking 1.71 returning shots in the same amount of time and defending against strikes 67 percent of the time. Although this approach is considered boring by some fans, it makes for another safe bet on your part.

Warning: Most bets like this will be odd-numbered such as “under 2.5 rounds) in order for sportsbooks to avoid “pushes” or ties, similar to a push in blackjack. Just be aware.

Make a “Method of Victory” Bet

This is again a case of simply examining tendencies. Rousey would be an obvious pick for a submission win just as Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (17-1-0, 1 No Contest overall in MMA, 2-0 in the UFC) is always the favorite to score a knockout victory as 15 of her fights have ended in such a fashion.

Although, it also helps to know that you will see more UFC fights end by way of a decision than in any other noteworthy promotion in the sport and you can have a better guess during which fights that might occur courtesy of this breakdown by weight class.

Per BetMMA.tips at the time of this writing (June 28,) you are most likely to see fights go to the judges in the 115-pound to 155-pound weight classes (women’s strawweight to the male-only lightweight.)

Tip: How to Spot an Upset

Never forget to expect the unexpected. Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm KO/TKO win over Rousey at UFC 193 didn’t come simply because Holm landed a head kick at the right time. She won because everyone knew Rousey’s one-dimensional game-plan ahead of the fight: get in close, strike if necessary, force a clinch, use the clinch to set up a judo throw, use the throw to lead to the armbar submission win.

Holm then lost to Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (a wrestler) in her first defense of the UFC women’s bantamweight (135-pound) championship because she still has no real ground game. Conor McGregor is coached by a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion in Dillon Danis, yet each of his three career defeats (one in the UFC) are through submissions. This is MIXED martial arts, never forget that just because one method seems like a sure thing, especially if you are betting on a style vs. style bout.

Bet on Proposition Lines

For some, prop lines can be pure fun to bet on because there are so many things that can be bet on in this particular area of gambling as a whole. You can bet on if the fight will win the UFC-specific KO, Submission, or Fight of the Night awards and come out the winner of that fight regardless of who the actual winner is.

Sometimes a bet doesn’t even have to revolve around the fight itself (such as a bet on whether or not Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks will miss weight he has missed weight three times now, including his most recent at UFC Fight Night 112.) Additionally, you can have multiple prop bets on one fight.

For new bettors, the best approach may be to take bets that are more of a sure thing and let those profits build up over time, because you will lose. That is bound to happen and underdog bets are supposed to be more tantalizing so that you place big money on them and then the house (a sportsbook, Vegas, etc…) wins big. The exception to the rule would be UFC 193 for those that noticed the trend and bet on Holm.

In short, just be responsible with your money. Do yourself that favor by doing your research. Hopefully, the above post helps out!

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