MMA Betting Types

MMA Betting Guide

MMA is one of the fastest-growing segments of the gambling world. Once an afterthought to the “major” sports like football, basketball, and baseball, it is now to be the fastest growing sport in the world in terms of popularity. As it increases, so has the number of ways to make money betting on UFC and other leagues.

The most common bet is who will win the fight, but there are a lot more complex offers available experience bettors take advantage of thanks to their great odds. From the traditional money lines and parlays, to exotic prop bets that specify the way a fight ends and in what round. Here we mention some of those betting types.

Money Line/Match Betting

MMA Bets

Match betting is the simplest way to bet on UFC fights, were all you have to do is pick the winner. A correct pick wins you profits based on the fight odds.

It is an extremely straightforward way to wager on MMA, but the potential for profit could be limited when the favorite has low paying odds. When this occurs bettors prefer to look into parlays or prop bets, which offer better odds while still betting on the favorite fighter.

Still, match betting remain the most popular type for daily sports bettors with profits ranging between 40% and 60% of your initial stake for favorites. So try to bet only on fighters that offer above 50% in payouts to make a profit with 3 out of 4 bets won.

Familiarize yourself with MMA betting terms before placing your first bet.

Method of Victory Betting

A UFC fight can end by knockout, submission, or  the judge’s decision. Almost every sportsbook offers the ability to bet on how each fight will end. In this type of bet, you don’t have to pick which fighter will win, you simply have to determine how the fight will end.

Two dangerous strikers going head to head? Not as easy to pick a winner, but a bet on a knockout finish could pay out big.

Two soft-handed wrestlers going at it? Hard to say who will win a wrestling match, or how the judges will score it, but a bet on a decision finish could earn you money anyway.

The Three options for method of victory are:

– KO/TKO (Knockout)

– Submission

– Judge Decision

Take in mind that in match betting one of two fighters has to win, if odds were equal your chances would be 50/50. With “method of victory” you’ve got 3 possible outcomes. A suggestion would be use this bet type through  live betting.

Round Betting

Select which round you think a fight will end at. Odds on round betting are much more favorable than odds on Over/Under betting, so if you are considering taking the under because you expect a quick knockout, a bet on a round 1 finish can be a much more lucrative option. In addition, most sportsbooks offer the ability to bet on which fighter will win in a specific round, which offers even larger potential payouts.

Round Betting is an MMA prop bet, props are exotic bets that focus on match details, like fighter stats, specific Over/Unders.

Round betting types:

– Basic round bet (select the round the fight will end)

– Round bet + fight winner

– Round bet + fight winner + method of victory

Beware when betting on round bets, the chances of winning are almost random. So use them wisely with your betting strategy, mixing a round bet with more probable outcomes, like straight bets, that could cover a possible loss. Win both the straights and round bet and make a killer profit.

Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is just a series of match bets in which you pick winners for multiple fights. In order to win you have to pick every fight winner successfully. Throwing one underdog pick into a parlay with two heavy favorites is a great way to get even more value on long odds, and parlaying together a series of favorites can heavily increase your payout by stretching the odds.

Obviously, parlay betting is slightly more risky as it requires more than one correct pick to win, but the potential for profit is consequently higher.

The interesting part of parlays are the increased odds. By taking three separate match bets the odds for each could be 1.20 or 1.30 each, in a parlay the odds considered separately could be closer to 1.6 for each event.

When to bet a parlay? Be very careful with these, even the most experience gamblers fail with parlays quite constantly. The advice is to master straight bets, move to doubles and then to 3 way parlays. From there, chances of winning these accumulators is tough.

Money management is key, use parlays when you want to improve the odds on sure winners that otherwise present poor odds with straight bets. As parlays pay big, you can stake a small amount.

Cross sport parlays are also a smart option, bet on the favorites of the MMA, NBA and NFL to hunt for better odds on different events. For more info on parlays visit our MMA parlay guide.

Over/Under MMA Betting

MMA Statistics

In over/under betting, the sportsbook will post a round total, and your job is to bet whether the fight will go longer or shorter than that round total. Generally, three-round fights will have an over/under of 2.5 rounds, so this is essentially a bet on whether or not a fight will go the distance or not.

Sportsbooks hate “push” bets, which is a tie between the gambler and the betting offer. This is why the over/under is usually an uneven number like 2.5 rounds, because in reality the fight either lasts 2 rounds or less, or 3 rounds or more.

To handicap over/unders never take it lightly, professional bettors usually move from match betting to over/unders in other sports because trends in scores are easy, but with fights it is a very unpredictable story. A well launched blow can neutralize a night favorite in the first minute.

Always perform some previous research to determine the characteristics of the two fighters, is an excellent resource for fighter statistics (source 1) that go a in depth fighter statistics. Look for data concerning average time it takes them to end a fight, or to fall in one.

– Aggressive vs Aggressive – go with the under

– Defensive vs Defensive – go with the over

– Aggressive vs Defensive – Uncertain

MMA Prop Betting

Prop bets are exotic wagers that focus on the details of the fight, two of the most popular UFC prop bets have already been mentioned (method of victory and round bet), others include:

– Fight to go the Distance

– Points Handicap

– FOTN awards

The first two are a specific type of over/under, while the FOTN (Fighter Of The Night) are three different bets: Knockout of the Night (KOTN), Submission of the night (SOTN), and Fight of the Night (FOTN). To learn more about them visit our prop betting section.


(1) is an excellent resource for fighter statistics

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