Beginners Guide to MMA Betting

Read our complete guide on MMA betting and learn all you need to know about this sport before place your first bet.

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Understanding the Rules

mma fight

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is contested between two people and usually takes place in a cage named the octagon. The aim of MMA is to best your opponent through striking/throwing/grappling.

Scoring is structured in a similar vein to other contact sports using three judges. Each round is scored by giving the winner 10 points and the loser 9 points or 8 if it is a clear loss. If a match continues for the full duration, these points will be added together to determine the winner. If the fighters are level on points, the fight will end as a draw.

Each match is made up of three rounds of five minutes. Fighters must be in the same weight category, and certain strikes and grapples are not legal. These include strikes to the groin, eye gouges, biting, striking the throat, hair pulling, and headbutts.

Different Methods of Winning

  • Knockout – A strike that results in the opponent losing consciousness is known as a knockout.
  • Technical Knockout – A technical knockout results when the opponent cannot properly defend themselves if the fight were to continue. This is judged by the referee, the fighter’s corner, or a doctor.
  • Decision – A fight that goes all the way to the end must be decided on a points decision referred to above.
  • Submission – These occur when a fighter is being grappled. They will either tap out or lose consciousness resulting in a submission.
  • Forfeit – If a fighter is unable to fight or injured, they can forfeit.
  • Disqualification – Suppose one fighter is deemed to have severely broken the rules or done so after warnings. In that case, they will be disqualified, and the other fighter wins by default.
  • No contest – Both sides continually breaking the rules or an accidental injury resulting from an illegal action will result in a no contest.

Where to find MMA betting websites?

There are loads of great sportsbook websites offering MMA betting markets. It is relatively straightforward to find the best bookmakers for MMA betting, thanks to the many online resources. Make sure to always choose reliable sportsbooks with certified licensing before entering personal information or making a deposit.

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How to wager on MMA

Wagering on MMA may seem more complicated because the sport includes several leagues and competitions and all of them are available on most bookmakers. However, we are here to show you that the process is easy. Here’s how to do that:

  • Sign up and Make a Deposit – Pick one of the many top MMA betting platforms, such as Pin-Up, and create an account. After completing the registration process, you will have to make a deposit. Pick a suitable deposit solution and complete the transaction.
  • Check all of the MMA betting options, analyze the markets, and choose your selections – Although UFC is the most popular MMA betting league, it’s not the only option. Our advice is to check all of them, analyze their markets, and choose one or more selections. Once done, they will be added to your betslip.
  • Place the bet – After the market is in your betslip, the next step is to place the bet. Usually, this is done by adding the amount you wish to bet inside the small window located in your betslip.
  • Use some of the site’s features – All of the hot MMA betting sites we recommend have different features you can use when wagering on this sport. For example, some may have Live Streaming and Cash Out.

Example of an MMA Bet

To understand how easy it is to wager on MMA, we will provide you with an example while using SportingBet. Keep in mind the MMA options there are placed in the “Combat Sports” section.

We chose to punt on the UFC 299 betting event and chose the Jack Della Maddalena vs Gilbert Burns fight. Sporting Bet only offers the Fight Result (2-way) market for it, and the odds were as follows:

  • Jack Della Maddalena – 1.65
  • Gilbert Burns – 2.30

After learning more about both fighters and their stats so far, we chose to punt $100 on Jack Della Maddalena. The payout if we win will give us a total of $165.

Which are the most popular organizations?

mma fighter

Without a doubt, the most popular and widely-known organization in MMA is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). This is an American MMA promotion company based in Las Vegas and attracts the biggest names in the sport. Some of the biggest names in UFC include Connor McGregor, Ronda Roussey, Jon Jones, José Aldo, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.


This is an American MMA organization founded in 2008. It is the second-largest combat sports promotions company in the US, only behind the UFC. Some of the biggest names associated with Bellator include Patricio Pitbull, Vadim Nemkov, Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, and Douglas Lima.

World Series of Fighting

The World Series of Fighting was acquired by the Professional Fighters League in 2017. The company is partnered with ESPN and has a roster of over 70 fighters across six weight divisions. Some of the most notable fighters associated with them are Philipe Lins, Sean O’Connell, Louis Taylor, Magomed Magomedkerimov, and Natan Schulte.

ONE Championship

This MMA promotion company is based in Singapore and was founded in 2011. It has ten weight divisions which are based on ‘walking weight’ rather than a pre-fight weigh-in. There is a large Asian representation in ONE Championship. Some of the biggest names include Brandon Vera, Reinier de Ridder, Aung La Nsang, Kiamrian Abbasov, and Joshua Pacio.


The Invicta Championship is an American organization founded in 2012. It is a promotion company for female MMA fighters and has an extensive roster. Some of the best fighters associated with Invicta include Pam Sorenson, Lisa Verzosa, Pearl Gonzalez, Amber Brown, and Kaitlin Young.

Different Weight Classes

There are several different weight classes in UFC. Fighters must be classified in the same weight class at the weigh-in for a fight to be considered fair and go ahead.

The weight classes in UFC are as follows:

  • Super Heavyweight – over 265 lbs
  • Heavyweight – over 205 to 265 lbs
  • Light Heavyweight – over 185 to 205 lbs
  • Middleweight – over 170 to 185 lbs
  • Welterweight – over 155 to 170 lbs
  • Lightweight – over 145 to 155 lbs
  • Featherweight – over 135 to 145 lbs
  • Women’s Bantamweight – over 125 to 135 lbs
  • Bantamweight – over 125 to 135 lbs
  • Flyweight – over 115 lbs to 125
  • Strawweight – up to 115 lbs

Weight classes vary depending on the competition, and not all organizations will have the same number of weight classes.

Short History and Facts

Mixed Martial Arts aims to beat your opponent by striking, throwing, and/or grappling them. The early days of MMA had a large focus on individual martial arts, but that has progressed to a more holistic approach.

Fighters will usually have a base style and incorporate other styles into their training to improve their all-round game. It is essential to have a good mix to be successful in modern-day MMA matches.

The UFC is the most popular MMA production and has over 300 million fans across the globe. The company has sold broadcasting rights to over 150 different countries and reaches more than 1.1 billion viewers. As a result, betting on combat sports has grown rapidly. You will likely find that most big-name sportsbooks offer MMA betting markets across many fights and competitions.

Final Thoughts

MMA has fast become one of the most widely viewed sports on the planet. Naturally, this has seen a surge in betting activity for the sport. As a result, most reputable sportsbooks now offer an array of betting markets for combat sport. If you’re keen to get involved with MMA betting, there are plenty of resources with tips to guide you on how to bet on UFC fights.


How to bet on MMA fixtures?

There are lots of different ways you can bet on MMA fixtures online. UFC betting lines are very popular, and you will find many other betting markets surrounding any UFC fight.

What are the MMA bets that pay the most?

You’ll find that the bets that pay off the best are those with the longest odds. However, when a selection has long odds, it’s usually for a good reason. These selections are unlikely to come off, so you will need to learn when to back long odds and when to stay clear.

How do MMA betting odds work?

MMA betting odds work in much the same way as any team-based sport. You can bet on the outright winner where odds are priced by the bookmaker or bet in a selection of different markets associated with the specifics of the fight or another aspect.

Where is the best place for online MMA Betting?

Most of the top online sportsbooks will cover MMA betting, so it is largely down to personal preference. Ensure that whichever sportsbook you opt to use is safe and fully regulated before entering any personal details or making a deposit.

Where can I find UFC betting odds?

You can find UFC odds directly on the website of the sportsbook you intend to use. Alternatively, you can compare UFC betting odds on a comparison website to find the best odds for an individual selection. You won’t need your calculator at hand, as many of these sites highlight the best odds.

Kristiyan Kyulyunkov
Kristiyan KyulyunkovKristiyan Kyulyunkov specializes in bookmakers’ analyses. He has years of experience betting online and always keeps an eye on the different operators. His tasks in Nostrabet include writing, editing and publishing expert reviews.