MMA, or mixed martial arts, has become one of the fastest growing sports in the US. Its origins are rooted in various fighting techniques and skills from all the corners of the world and all types of martial arts.

MMA not only combines these different traditional fighting techniques into one sport but also includes non-traditional skills that have evolved specifically from MMA fighting experience.

The best MMA betting websites are in our opinion listed below, in no particular order.  Our experience in wagering real money on mixed martial arts fights has taught us where the best places to bet on MMA are, and what distinguishes a mediocre site from a site we trust with high limit MMA bets we make.

MMA Fighting Brands You Can Bet On

MMA represents a very appealing wagering opportunity for bettors because it is an individual sport. MMA matches are always between two fighters. This means that MMA has the same betting principles that are practiced in boxing matches. However, MMA offers the advantage of several different professional organizations. This gives MMA fanatics many popular organizations on which to wager. These include:

UFC: The UFC is the premier US based MMA organization and is the most successful in the world. It is also the most popular organization on which to bet online. Of the top three MMA organizations, UFC is the only one that can likely be found at all sports wagering sites.

K-1: K-1 is an organization that focuses on Japanese kickboxing but still qualifies as an MMA organization. K-1 primarily involves stand up martial arts such as Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Savate and kickboxing. Their premier event is the K-1 World Grand Prix.

Dream: The Dream MMA organization represents the remnants from Japans Pride MMA organization. It is produced by the same company that is responsible for K-1 kick boxing events. The organization focuses on retaining the fighting variety that was found in Pride MMA events but is only reasonably popular in Japan so far.

How To Bet On MMA Fights

MMA betting operates on lines offered by various sportsbook websites. An MMA match is only between two fighters with each match resulting in a winner and a loser. This means that MMA bets are very simple compared to other sports that may involve point spreads, over/unders and if bets.

Fighters for each MMA match are identified as either the favored fighter or the underdog. The favored fighter is identified with a negative number like -200 or -450. The underdog fighter is listed with a positive number such as +200 or +310. These numbers are not permanent. The usual MMA organization creates fight cards that identify who is fighting ahead of time. The betting lines can change for various reasons. Unrest in one fighter’s camp or injury difficulties can lead online sportsbooks to adjust the MMA odds accordingly. Similarly, an unexpected number of bets that come in for a specific fighter may indicate that the sportsbook service missed something during their analysis before creating the betting line. In such a case, the betting line may be adjusted to prevent giving bettors an advantage that may cause the sportsbook service to lose out on too much money.

MMA Betting Online – Live In Action

Understanding any type of bet works best with an example. Say a bettor wants to wager on an upcoming UFC matchup between Machida and Rua. The sportsbook service has Machida as the favorite with -200 and Rua as the underdog with +160.

The bettor now has the option to either wager on Machida or Rua to win the match. A bet on Machida will require a $200 bet to win $100. A wager on Rua to win will require a $100 bet to win $160. The positive and negative symbols always indicate how much the bettor must wager and how much the bettor can win. A negative number indicates how much the bettor must wager in order to win $100. A positive number indicates how much the bettor can win if $100 is wagered. This betting line system is structured this way for all MMA matches regardless of the sportsbook service used.

MMA Betting Specialties

A standard MMA event allows the fighter to win either by knockout, stoppage or submission. MMA Sportsbook sites are not required to make the distinction. They can simply offer a betting line on two fighters and a knockout win is treated the same as a stoppage or submission win.

However, some MMA betting sites allow bettors to make the distinction when placing their wager. The betting lines for each fighter may be entirely different depending on the winning method. For example a fight between Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell may have the following different lines:

  • Win for Couture: -250
  • Win for Liddell: +155
  • KO or stoppage win for Couture: +215
  • KO or stoppage win for Liddell: +210
  • Submission win for Couture: +230
  • Submission win for Liddell: +275

As noted, all the betting lines may be different. The betting lines may not all follow the positive and negative pattern. This example features two strong and nearly evenly matched fighters. The basic lines for a straight win still indicate a favorite and underdog for the match but the specific winning methods may offer favored lines for both fighters.

MMA Online Betting Strategy

MMA betting strategy is similar to boxing in that there is plenty of time to analyze the fight matchup before it occurs. However, the MMA field is much more difficult to properly strategize for because there are usually many strong contenders that may go up against each other. The simplified structure for MMA betting allows the casual bettors to enjoy the fight night action but it also leaves room for the MMA fanatics to dissect each fight beforehand in order to figure out the best bet.

Really focusing on MMA betting involves patience and the ability to analyze each fighters strengths and weaknesses. MMA allows stand up, ground grappling and wrestling techniques, all of which must be considered when selecting a bet. Other factors that go into choosing a bet may include recent injuries, win/lose streaks and historical performance against a specific opponent.