History of UFC
The UFC is a mixed martial arts promotion company that was started in 1993 and based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The UFC has revolutionized the fight business and today is a premium global sports brand, media content company, and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world.
The original goal of the UFC was to find “the Ultimate Fighting Champion” by having a tournament-style competition in one night with the highest skilled athletes in their respective disciplines of martial arts. This was quite the spectacle with karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and many other martial art disciplines going up against each other in a steel cage.
Throughout the last several decades, UFC has strived to be the best combat sports company in the world. They achieved the highest levels of safety and quality in all aspects, including partnering with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to launch a historic anti-doping program back in 2015. This ensures the athletes are on a level playing field.
Currently, UFC is partnered with Endeavor, a global sports entertainment leader, to team up with all the strategy and growth responsibilities to keep the MMA company on top of the sports world.
Is the UFC the same as MMA?
The term “UFC” is commonly used as the name of a sport. The truth is that it is just the promotional company that holds a competition in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The comparison for people that are new to this would be the sport of football and the NFL. The NFL is the company that runs a league for the sport of football.
The sport of MMA was originally known as Vale Tudo in Brazil dating back to the 1920s. This was a “no holds barred” style of fighting that later formed into MMA. Nowadays, many different promotions around the world hold sanctioned MMA events. These companies include ONE Fighting Championships, Bellator, and PFL. There are hundreds of regional promotions for up-and-coming fighters to hone their skills, with many of them dreaming of someday making it to the UFC.
Even though UFC is a newer company compared to the other major sports leagues, the record book is growing into a very interesting and entertaining part of the experience for fighters and fans. The UFC website has every record you can think of with the top fighters ranked for that stat category.
Even the win-loss records are a very consistent topic that is covered in media and around the circles of fans that discuss the sport. The way the UFC has changed the fight game can be compared to how boxing promotes its fighters. In the sport of boxing, if someone has more than one loss on their record it seems very hard to get that athlete a big fight for a title. The UFC continues to put the best against the best in the cage and there are many champions overcoming multiple losses in the organization to become on top of it.
Explanation of UFC events
UFC events are something that fans look forward to every Saturday night. In 2023, UFC seems to put on an event almost every weekend. There are numbered events like “UFC 284” which are Pay-Per-View events that tend to have multiple very big fights with either title implications or popular athletes involved. There are also “UFC Fight Night” events that are free to watch and always have important fights, just not title fights.
Every UFC event will start with a “preliminary card” followed by the “main card.” Both of these cards have multiple fights on them, usually in the order of importance, and the night ends with a fight that is titled the “main event.”
Every fight is a 3-round and 5-minute bout unless it is the main event or title fight. Main events and title fights are 5-rounds. UFC also rewards performance bonuses of $50K to athletes that deserve it in the eyes of the UFC brass.
Under the UFC, there is an ample range of fighting categories or divisions. The divisions, according to their weight restrictions and limits, are as follows:
- Heavyweight: 265 lb (120.2 kg)
- Light Heavyweight: 205 lb (102.1 kg)
- Middleweight: 185 lb (83.9 kg)
- Welterweight: 170 lb (77.1 kg)
- Lightweight: 155 lb (70.3 kg)
- Featherweight: 145 lb (65.8 kg)
- Bantamweight: 135 lb (61.2 kg)
- Flyweight: 125 lb (56.7 kg)
- Strawweight: 115 lb (52.5 kg)
How do the UFC odds work?
UFC odds are the standard American betting odds. The higher the number is, the less chance that the athlete has of winning, and the lower the negative number is, the higher chance that the athlete has to win the fight. For example, if fighter A is -200 and fighter B is +175, then fighter A has a higher chance to win.
These UFC odds are made from factors like what a fighter has done in their last few fights, what styles they have, and the statistics they have had in the UFC.
Types Of Bets You Can Make On UFC
- To Win Fight: This means that the athlete you choose needs to win to receive the payout.
- Fight Outcome: Many different outcomes can happen in a fight in the UFC. Technical knockouts, knockouts, submissions, etc. You can put money on prop bets to bet on a more specific outcome of the fight.
- Round Betting: A very common UFC bet is round betting, which is when you put a bet on what round the fight will be over in. This is something you can guess by the number of finishes a fighter has or how much of a skill gap is between two competitors.
- Parlays: A parlay is when you place bets on multiple fight outcomes to occur and requires all the outcomes to be correct to win. For example, if you bet $100 on fighter A and fighter C to win their fights, you’ll need both of those fighters to win their fights to cash out.
UFC Betting Tactics
UFC bettors are tasked with picking:
- Winners: What athlete will get their hand raised at the end of the fight?
- How a fight will end: If a fight will end in a TKO/KO, a submission, or a decision by the 3 judges that judge every bout.
- How long a fight will last: what round the fight will end in. Rounds 1-5 or if it goes to a decision.
How to read UFC odds?
Most sports odds are presented in the same way. The favorite is represented by the minus sign (-), while the underdog is represented by the plus sign (+). You’ll also notice that odds are usually based on bettors wagering $100.
If you see a -110 or a +110, that means what the sportsbook collects is $10. Every sportsbook needs these types of collections to keep itself running.
This is how it works because the underdog has a worse chance of winning so you don’t have to bet as much money as you would the favorite. The underdog bets run a higher risk than the favorite. Also, a reminder that you don’t have to bet $100 on a fight, that is just how the odds are listed and based.
Tips on how to win with a UFC Fight
- Know your fighters. Study historical records like what style of fighter wins against a certain style. For example, a wrestling background has produced the most champions in UFC history. Also, look up the different ways a specific fighter seems to end their fights. This can help in a lot of different prop bets you can do.
- Don’t dismiss underdogs. The underdogs are how you can make money without spending hundreds of dollars on a bet. Don’t let the (+) scare you away from them, look into the fighter’s whole career even outside of the UFC. A fighter could be out of the cage for a long time, and oddsmakers tend to use that factor as an important one to lower that fighter’s odds. The fighter that has been out of the sport for a while tends to be just fine when they step back into it. “Ring rust” is a myth for a lot of fighters.
- Watch fights. Embed yourself into fight night and enjoy the whole event. Take notes of newcomers that look good on the scorecard and in your own eyes. Find fighters on social media and see how important winning is to them. These little nuances of the fight game can give you an edge in betting on fights. The most successful bettors of UFC fights are die-hard fans who not only trust data but also trust their gut feeling that comes from being around the sport for a long time.
- Keep your data. Like the tips above, embed yourself into these events and the past events if you are new to the sport. Take notes on what positives each fighter has in a matchup and compare the two to the value of both. If you can keep track of your data about fighters, you can connect that with your gut feeling and make picks that way.
- Keep your composure. MMA is a wild sport in that anything can happen. You see comeback knockouts, broken limbs from kicks or stepping funny, and a lot of underdog victories. Don’t make the mistake of trying to win all your money back in one fight. Trust your data and your gut and take it slow.
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UFC Odds FAQs
For many people, prop bets or future bets are the best to play because of the larger odds.
The safest bets will always be on a favorite.
There are many ways to easily bet on UFC fights nowadays. Online sportsbooks are legal in many states. You can easily look up if your state has legal online gambling on sports and there are many quality sportsbooks to make bets on.
Yes. In many locations of the United States you can bet legally on online sportsbooks. There are also many states with in person sportsbooks that you can go into to place bets of your choice.
Betting on futures and prop bets are the funnest because the odds are larger than money lines of current fights. Parlay betting is also a fun way to increase odds and guess on multiple fights to eventually all hit and you win cash.