Best US Online UFC & MMA Betting Sites 2023
Few things can compete with the excitement UFC/MMA events generate among fans—except for betting on fights and seeing your pick win, of course. But with the various ways you can bet on fights, it can be easy to make a mistake.
That is where we come in. Follow our guide and you will be betting on UFC/MMA events with the best US MMA betting sites like a seasoned pro in no time!
The best UFC betting sites
How to sign up
Before you begin studying the fighters and the odds posted at UFC gambling sites, there is one thing every bettor must do—register for an account with their sportsbook of choice. The process will vary from one book to the next, but they are essentially all the same:
- 1MMA betting odds will be competitive no matter which MMA betting sites you select. So, instead of comparing them you want to compare the sign-up/welcome bonus each MMA betting sites offers. Pick the site with the bonus you think you can get the most out of. You can compare these with our list of the 10 best UFC betting sites above
- 2Register for an account at the best website for betting on UFC you can find. This is rarely a lengthy process and usually just entails providing a little personal information and entering the welcome bonus promo code (make sure you review the terms and conditions).
- 3Make a deposit into your account.
- 4Decide on which market you want to put money on and place your bet.
How to read UFC betting odds
If you are not familiar with MMA betting odds posted on UFC gambling sites, then trying to figure out what to bet on and how can be a bit confusing. The odds and how to read them can be best explained by reviewing an example.
Let’s say you want to bet on the main event of a UFC: Fight Night. The bout features Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson. If you just want to pick the winner, you are going to want to bet the moneyline:
|Winner of match|
Favourites are represented with a minus sign and the underdog the plus sign. In this case Rodriguez is the favourite and you would need to bet $215 to win $100. However, if you want to back the underdog, a $100 bet will win you $175.
But maybe you are not sure who will win but you are confident you know how long the fight will last. You would want to take the over or under for ‘total rounds:’
The odds are read the same way.
Like every sport, UFC/MMA events come with an assortment of prop bets from how someone wins the fight to whether it is won by decision, will go the distance, or which round the fight is won in (etc.). MMA betting odds posted at a UFC betting site will be presented in the form of a moneyline.
|To go the distance - Moneyline|
But there may not be a strong favourite, so two or more options could both be considered good. In that case, the one with the smallest (+) odds is the favourite.
Now the odds will be presented in one of three ways for online betting for UFC fights —American, Fractional, or Decimal. The MMA betting odds above are in American form. Fractional is presented just like it sounds, as a fraction:
|To go the distance - Fractional|
Here, the figure before the slash is how much you will win for every amount of the figure after the slash that you bet. So if you are betting on Rodriguez and Waterson to go the distance, you will win $43 for every $100 you bet, plus your stake back.
Decimal odds would present as follows:
|To go the distance - Decimal|
They work by simply multiplying your stake, so you would get 1.43 times your stake for betting the fight to go the distance, or 2.65 times your stake by betting that it won’t.
Types of UFC bets
- Method of victory
- Decision victories
This is the most common and popular type of online betting for UFC fights. All you are doing is picking a winner. The MMA betting odds posted at UFC gambling sites will be presented accordingly:
- Marina Rodriguez -215 Michelle Waterson +175
It does not matter how they win, just that they do.
UFC betting tips
So, you have watched a few UFC events and know the difference between an arm bar and a rear-naked choke. Now that you know a little about the sport, you feel like it is time to throw your hat in the ring and place a few bets at your favourite UFC betting site.
We are here to help you do better than your average beginner betting on UFC fights at the best MMA betting sites.
The first tip is straightforward and easy—do your homework before betting on UFC fights. Not just on the fighters but on everything - including finding out what is the best website for betting on UFC. Most of the following information is available on this very page.
- Make sure you understand the types of bets you can make and how to read the odds.
- Know how to sign up for an account with a sportsbook (and how to choose which one is right for you).
- Know everything there is to know about the basics of betting on sports from the terminology to the process and everything in between including what the best MMA betting site is.
- Divorce yourself from the process. Act like you are Mr Spock and devoid of emotion or sentiment of any kind. Because when you start letting how you feel about a fighter, whether good or bad, impact how you bet, you are no longer making informed decisions.
Then you need to get clued up on the fighters in the event you want to bet on. Know their fighting style, their habits/patterns, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they tend to fare against fighters using certain styles.
Somewhere along the way you will want to set out some time to review the stats. We refer to ‘stats’ in a general sense because there are so many. Chances are, if you are considering putting money down, you are already familiar with the basics (i.e. win/loss record, common opponents, head-to-head record).
Like the NFL and football the UFC keeps tons of stats. You can learn all about a fighter’s fight record including how they won, how they lost, and more. You can even see how many Fight Night Bonuses they have earned (which speaks to the quality of their past fights).
You can also review stats related to time like total fight time, average fight time, how much they spend in control, and how much they spend in the top or bottom position. This can give you insight into how they fight:
- Do they like to end things quickly?
- Are they control freaks?
- What positions should opponents try to keep them from getting in?
Their stats related to striking and grappling will give you even more insight into how they fight.
Additional stats worth looking into include how a fighter has performed as an underdog and a favourite, ages, rookies vs. veterans, and missing weight (which will give you an idea of how hard they trained).
There is no such thing as too much information when you are betting on UFC fights. It will help you make better decisions now and transition to more in-depth betting strategies later.
Fighting style and strategy are important but they are not the only factors to consider when picking a winner:
- Location: Many fighters are unbeatable in their hometowns; some, however, cannot win. Higher altitudes can impact outcomes as well.
- Status: Is the fighter an established star, a defending champion, or a newcomer? Champions will usually do whatever it takes to defend their title. Newcomers may either be too green or could be hungry and itching to record an upset.
- Size of the Octagon: You did not know they use two different sizes, did you? One is 25 feet wide and one is 30 feet wide. If your choice is a striker fighting in the smaller cage, he/she will have an advantage. The smaller cage makes it harder to get away and results in more striking.
- Weight: Be wary of guys moving weight classes. Guys that must cut a significant amount of weight may not have trained as hard or could end up negatively impacting their ability to fight.
- Non-fight related factors: Is the fighter a hardcore party animal? Are they having legal issues or family problems? Is their wife pregnant and close to giving birth? Many things can impact a fighter’s mentality and hence his or her ability to perform.
These will be geared more towards beginners than experts, but each is an approach that has merit when it comes to betting on UFC events:
- Do not bet just for the sake of betting. If you are only familiar with the fighters on the main card, stick to betting on those fights. Do not feel like you need to bet on the undercard just because it is there.
- If you are not sure you know enough to predict who will win a fight or do not feel comfortable with the risk, consider giving 50/50 props a try. In the beginning, it may be easier to go with these types of bets concerning an aspect of the fight rather than the fight itself.
- Beware the hype. It can be easy to buy into the hype surrounding a fighter, but sometimes the hype is just a way of covering for flaws and insecurities. If a fighter gets inside the head of another before stepping into the Octagon, he/she can win the fight before it starts. But if the other fighter is worth their salt, they will expose the other for what they really are.
After you have been betting for a while, you may feel ready to up your game and take a few chances—but only calculated chances you are likely to win. The following are a few strategies that can help you do just that:
- Look for value. Shop around and make sure you are getting the best odds you can on your market of choice. This will help you identify bets with longer odds that maybe should not have odds as long as they do. But for some reason, the odds at that book favour one option over the other more than it should.
- Parlays can be a great way to increase your winnings, but they also entail taking on more risk. But if you approach an event properly, you can minimize risks with a parlay rather than take on more.
- Props with better pay-outs (i.e. method of victory, how long a fight will last, to win by decision etc) can be a great way to win more money. But you will need to do your homework on both fighters so you can make an informed decision when betting.
- Hedge your bets. It may seem crazy to bet on one outcome then place another bet on a conflicting outcome. But this way, you hugely increase your chances of a win. Since you lose one wager you will not win as much, but depending on the odds, you can still win a decent amount.
What is MMA?
MMA stands for mixed martial arts. It’s a full-contact combat sport where participants use various methods to defeat the other in unarmed combat. What method/technique a fighter uses is up to the fighter.
Fighters are classified according to weight and fight others within their class.
There are several different promoters that organize MMA events, but the most popular and successful is the UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship. It began in 1993 as a one-off event pitting fighters of different skills/styles against each other.
The success of that event led to other UFC events being held and led to MMA becoming one of the most popular sports in the world. It is safe to say the prevalence of MMA in society is directly related to the success of the UFC.
A brief history of the UFC
The UFC began as an eight-man, single elimination tournament featuring fighters of different styles. While it was intended to be a one-off event, the success of the pay-per-view led to additional events being held.
Initially, the fights were billed as having no rules. There were no weight classes, but the belief was that technique could overcome a size/strength disadvantage. But in time, rules were added and fighters were divided into weight classes to help level the playing field a little.
The brutality led to many states making MMA events illegal. This forced the UFC to work with state athletic commissions to revamp the rules. Rather than win by physically dominating, it became more important to utilize technique and skill.
But the company did not start to thrive until Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, along with their partner Dana White, purchased the struggling company.
However, while the UFC did better under their guidance, it was still struggling financially. Since fights were on pay-per-view, many people simply did not know much about it.
The turnaround began with the creation of the hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter. The access helped get viewers invested in fighters and more interested in watching pay-per-view events.
Betting on UFC vs other MMA organizations
While the UFC may be the premier MMA promoter in the world, it is not the only one. There are hundreds around the world, many of which operate on a regional or local level. Some of the more well-known ones include Bellator, Fight Nights Global, ONE Championship, Rizin Fighting Federation and Invicta.
But since the best fighters tend to gravitate to the UFC, the quality of competition in other promotions is often lacking. That does not mean odds cannot be found for other promotions. It does mean, however, that bettors may have to look to smaller sportsbooks for odds on local/regional MMA fights. Major sportsbooks will post odds on the more well-known organizations (such as Bellator), but possibly without as many markets as UFC events.
UFC weight classes explained
In the UFC’s early days, it was not unusual to see fighters with dramatically different weights facing off. But when competition rules were revamped, fighters were divided into different classes according to weight.
The idea was to help level the playing field from a physical standpoint. Each class will have a single male champion and female champion.
|UFC Weight Classes||Weight Range (lbs)||Men||Women|
max 115 (no min)
Guide to MMA fight styles
The purpose behind the UFC was to give fighters of one style the chance to compete with fighters that use a different one. Can a boxer defeat a wrestler? Will a Muay Thai fighter prevail over a judo fighter?
Before betting on UFC fights, it may be worth looking into different fighting styles. The following are some of the more common styles fighters like to use in UFC, although by no means the only options:
Popularized in the early days of the UFC thanks to the success of Royce Gracie, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes various methods of submission. It is a ground-based style great for fighters with exceptional grappling skills, but users are often weak when it comes to striking.
Wrestlers tend to be particularly good at controlling/cutting weight when they need to. They are often good at body control whether they are trying to take an opponent to the ground or keep from going to the ground themselves. However, they are often new to striking and can struggle against ground-based styles like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
One of the stand-up disciplines, Muay Thai fighters are often quite effective at using every limb for striking—especially knees and elbows. Based on kicking and punching, it is an effective technique for long, middle and short-range striking. However, while many practitioners become adept at striking, their ground game can suffer, and they may absorb more punishment than they should.
The primary method for striking for many fighters, boxing is a stand-up discipline. Most striking is down via boxing and account for most knockdowns and knockouts in MMA events. Good boxers will often have more knockout power than other fighters their size and will be quite good at controlling distance (maintaining or closing).
Considered a clinch discipline, many judo fighters are also quite familiar with wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They are also often accomplished grapplers, ground and standing. Judo experts are typically great at using their body weight and manipulating their opponents. Where many practitioners struggle is in translating their skills to MMA fights after practicing in a Gi.
Various styles of karate have been utilized by MMA fighters over the years. Fighters tend to be experts at working with distances, are accomplished strikers, and are good at defence and counter-attacking body movements.
A Russian martial art technique, Sambo is a combination of judo and freestyle wrestling. Fighters tend to focus on throws, takedowns, and grappling along with judo-style submission techniques. The ‘combat’ version adds in punches, kicks, elbows, and knees.
Also known as Chinese boxing, it is a combination of kung-fu, and modern combat fighting techniques developed by the Chinese military. It combines kickboxing with close-quarter punches, various kicking styles, and aspects of wrestling.
One of the stand-up disciplines, Taekwondo fighters utilize various punching and kicking techniques (i.e. head-height, jumping spinning, fast etc) during a fight. Users are adept at utilizing their hands and feet for striking and defence.
Like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this fast, versatile style utilizes elements of dance and acrobatics resulting in complex manoeuvres. Movements are often fluid and flowing rather than done from a fixed stance.
Top UFC fighters in the world
Competes in the light heavyweight division; career record of 26-1-1 with 10 wins by knockout (as of UFC 247); former light heavyweight champion; holds record for successful title defenses, longest reign as champion, longest unbeaten streak, and youngest fighter to win a championship belt; goes by Jon "Bones" Jones
Kamarudeen "Kamaru" Usman
Competes in the welterweight division; career record of 19-1 with nine wins by knockout (as of UFC 261); Appeared on and won The Ultimate Fighter 21; first Nigerian-born UFC champion; Division II national champion wrestler in 2010 (174 lbs); known as the "The Nigerian Nightmare."
Competes in the featherweight division; career record of 22-1 with 11 wins by knockout (as of UFC 251); former champion for several MMA promotions (Australian Fighting Championship, Cage Conquest, Pacific Xtreme Combat, Roshambo MMA, Wollongong Wars); 2019 Breakout Fighter of the Year; known as Alexander "The Great" Volkanovski.
Competes in the middleweight division; career record of 20-1 with 15 wins by knockout (as of UFC 259); 75-5 as a professional kickboxer; former champion for several MMA promotions (Australian Fighting Championship, Glory, Hex Fighting Series); 5-1 career record as a boxer; known as the "Last Stylebender."
Competes in the heavyweight division; career record of 16-3 with 12 wins by knockout (as of UFC 260); first Cameroon-born UFC champion; 2017 KO of Allistair Overreem widely celebrated as the Knockout of the Year; set Guinness world record for hardest punch on March 28, 2021; known as "The Predator."
Competes in the lightweight division; career MMA record of 27-6-1 with 13 wins by knockout (as of UFC 257); Fight of the Year winner in 2018 (vs Justin Gaethje) and 2012 (vs Jung Chan-Sung); known as "The Diamond."
Competes in the heavyweight division; career record of 20-4 with 15 wins by knockout (as of UFC 260); widely regarded as UFC's best heavyweight fighter of all time; former champion for Fight Matrix and North American Allied Fight Series; named 2019 Comeback Fighter of the Year(vs Daniel Cormier).
Competes in women's featherweight and bantamweight divisions; career record of 21-4 with 13 wins by knockout (as of UFC 259); first woman to hold championship in two divisions (third UFC fighter to do so); first UFC fighter to defend both titles; Female Fighter of the Year in 2018 and 2019; Upset of the Year winner in 2018 (vs Cris Cyborg); known as the "Lioness."
Competes in the women's strawweight division; career record of 10-4 with two wins by knockout (as of UFC 261); competed on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter (lost in finale); 2017 MMA Fighter of the Year, UFC Fighter of the Year, and Female Fighter of the Year.
Competes in the women's flyweight division; career record of 21-3 with seven wins by knockout (as of UFC 261); named Female Fighter of the Year in 2020; known as the "Bullet"; career kickboxing record, 57-2; professional boxing record, 2-0.
The following are some common terms you will hear while watching a UFC/MMA event. Many terms are self-explanatory, but there are many more that you will hear that are not.
A submission move where the attacker uses their legs to hold an opponent’s arm and then by pulling on the wrist and exerting pressure with the hips the arm is bent backwards.
Method of controlling the body of your opponent with the intent of slowing down or stopping them from attacking; often associated with Muay Thai fighters and wrestlers.
A defence used when a fighter’s back is on the map; that fighter will wrap their legs around the waist of their opponent to control how the opponent can move.
A submission move where the attacker will wrap his/her arms around their opponent’s neck (while facing each other). To complete the move, the attacker will then wrap their legs around the opponent, sink down, and apply pressure.
A hold where the attacker bends their opponent’s arm in a way it should not bend by applying pressure at the elbow or shoulder.
A submission move where a fighter hyperextends the leg of their opponent at the knee.
A type of submission move where an attacker applies pressure on the knees, ankle, or toes by isolating the leg or foot.
Rear Naked Choke
A submission move where the attacker chokes out their opponent from behind.
A common method of defence against various takedown techniques; the defender will basically shove the attackers head down, throw their own legs back, and then push their pelvis towards the floor.
How a fighter lets the referee and opponent know that they are giving in to a submission hold with the knowledge they will lose the fight; typically entails a fighter tapping on the mat, themselves, or their opponent.
A submission move where an attacker chokes their opponent with their legs.
UFC betting bonuses
When betting, there is nothing quite like getting a bonus from the online sportsbook you are using just for making a bet. The following are some of the more common ones you will see (keep in mind that terms and conditions will always apply):
No Deposit Bonus
Wish you had a little more money so you could put something down on another fight? Some sportsbooks will credit your account with a free bet (typically of relatively low value) just for signing up.
But what if you wish you had a lot more money so that you could put some down on Fight Night this week and then on the next UFC event as well? Many books will double your first deposit (up to a given max value), giving you just that.
There is nothing more frustrating than losing a five-leg parlay because you got one fight wrong. With parlay insurance, you will not get all your money back, but you will get a free bet credited to your account of a given value.
Parlay Odds Boost
Bettors like to create parlays to win more money when they bet. With a parlay odds boost, a sportsbook will boost the odds of a given parlay giving you the chance to win even more (if the parlay pays off).
Feeling good about your bet but not 100 per cent sure your fighter is going to win? Then open a new account with a sportsbook offering a risk-free bet to new customers. That way, if your fighter loses, you will receive a free bet with the same value as your wager. There is still risk involved because you must use the credit and make another bet before you can cash out, but at least you get a second chance.
Biggest pay-outs in UFC gambling history
Anyone that visited their favourite UFC betting site and put money down on the underdog in these matches was certainly glad they did:
Holly Holm (+830) vs Ronda Rousey (-1400), November 2015
No one thought Holm had a chance against Rousey (who had beaten her last three opponents in 64 seconds combined). But Holm dominated the fight, knocking Rousey out in the first round.
Matt Serra (+850) vs Georges St-Pierre (-1300), April 2007
It was a miracle Serra and his 5-4 record even got a title fight. St-Pierre had a six-fight win streak and a 13-1 record. But somehow Serra pulled off a first round TKO.
Shana Dobson (+950) vs Mariya Agapova (-1400), August 2020
Dobson had lost more fights than she had won at that point in her career (3-4) and was riding a three-fight losing streak. It was shocking that she still had a job let alone a title fight. Agapova was 9-1 with five first round KOs. Dobson scored a TKO in the second. Odds on Dobson winning by TKO were +195.
Frankie Saenz (+700) vs Iuri Alcantara (-1000), February 2015
Saenz was 8-2 as an MMA fighter and 1-0 in the UFC before facing off with Alcantara (who was 32-5 and 6-2 in the UFC). Saenz would go on to win just three of his next eight fights after upsetting Alcantara.
TJ Dillashaw (+650) vs Renan Barao (-1000), May 2014
Barao was 32-1 and had not lost a fight in nine years. Dillashaw was just 9-2 and 5-2 in the UFC; there was no reason to think he would beat Barao—but he did with a fifth round TKO. Odds on Dillashaw winning by TKO were +2000.
Khama Worthy (+640) vs Devonte Smith (-1000), August 2019
Worthy had gone 14-6 on the regional circuit before getting his first UFC fight (vs Smith). Smith had won his previous three fights by first round KO only to get knocked out in the first by Worthy. Odds on Worthy winning by TKO were +1100.
Joey Beltran (+750) vs Rolles Gracie (-730), February 2010
A member of the infamous Gracie family, Rolles came into the fight (his first in the UFC) having won his last three. Beltran appeared to be a solid fighter with a 10-3 record, but one Gracie should beat. Beltran recorded the TKO win in the second and went on to go 6-12 in his next 18 fights.
Johnny Eduardo (+600) vs Eddie Wineland (-900), May 2014
Eduardo had not fought in two years and was just 1-1 in UFC fights. Wineland was a seasoned pro with a 21-9-1 record but got knocked out by Eduardo in the first. Odds on Eduardo winning by knockout were +1500.
Frankie Edgar (+588) vs BJ Penn (-900), April 2010
Both were considered solid fighters at the time. The fight ended up going the distance but with a controversial finish. While many media members scored it for Penn, Edgar won by UD. Penn would go on to win just one more fight the rest of his career.
Mike Wilkinson (+555) vs Niklas Backstrom (-900), October 2014
From an odds perspective, this one was one of the bigger upsets in UFC history. But neither had much experience in the UFC and both had solid career records. Odds could have and maybe should have been a lot closer.
UFC betting apps & mobile betting
As fun as it is to bet on UFC fights, it is even more fun to bet on them while watching them with your buddies at your favourite bar or someone’s house. Does this mean you need to take your laptop to your buddy’s place or hope the bar has public Wi-Fi? Of course not!
Almost all sportsbooks have mobile-friendly websites you can view on your phone or tablet’s web browser. But most will also have an app you can download. Sportsbooks typically design their mobile apps to make the process of betting as seamless and easy as possible.
So, whether it is via the app or the web browser, you can bet on the next UFC fight from just about anywhere!
Best UFC betting sites
|Rank||Sportsbook||Bonus Offer||Payout Speed||Bet Online|
$1,500 Paid Back in Bonus Bets If You Lose
Bet $5 Get $200
Bet $5 and get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly!
$1,000 First Bet on Caesars
2nd Chance Free Bet up to $500
Can you make money gambling on UFC?
Of course, you can win money gambling on UFC events/fights. However, you will need to do your homework on the fighters and their match-ups as well as the odds. Check out our sections on UFC odds, types of bets, and betting tips for help.
How do I bet on a UFC fight?
First, you will need to sign up for an account with the sportsbook of your choice; we have a section on how to do so if you need help. Once you do, you will want to study the fighters and their match-ups as well as the odds. We've put together some UFC betting tips once you've chosen your sportsbook.
Can you bet on UFC?
Yes, you can bet on UFC fights. But you will need to open an account with a legal online sportsbook that operates where you live to do so (check out our section on how to sign up).
What is a Moneyline bet in UFC?
A moneyline bet is basically how you bet on the fighter you think will win the fight. Check out our section on types of bets for more.
What is an over/under bet in UFC?
Over/under bets are prop bets, often on things like how many rounds a fight will last. For more on over/unders, check out our section on types of bets.