4 Tips for Betting UFC Fights
With the NBA and NHL playoffs wrapping up in the next two weeks, football still months away and baseball smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer, it’s time to start looking for new sports to bet on. With a huge fight coming up on July 10th, as Dustin Poirer and Conor McGregor square off in a rematch of their stunning January bout, UFC is the perfect sport to start betting on to cure your boredom and restlessness.
If you’re like most of America, you have only a baseline understanding of how to bet MMA. That’s where we come in. Here are our 4 tips for betting on UFC fights.
Tips for Betting on UFC Fights
1. Stay Away From the Undercard
This is tip #1 because it’s the most important. That’s generally how these lists work. The reason it’s so important is because betting on the undercard is the biggest mistake that UFC gamblers make, whether you’re a first-time bettor or a seasoned degenerate like myself.
I get it. You’re at the bar or your buddy’s apartment for the big McGregor fight. It’s a rowdy crowd, you’ve already had a half dozen Bud Lights, and you’re starting to feel yourself. You look at your phone, see it’s only 10 pm and realize that there are at least 2 more hours of fights until the main event. What the hell are you going to do until then?
You glance at the TV, where there’s a sick promo playing for two fighters you’ve literally never heard of in your life. You’re about to watch them beat the shit out of each other in a cage anyways…why not throw a couple of units on it and try to make some money while you wait? Well, because it’s the stupidest bet you can make.
Betting on fighters you have zero information about out of sheer boredom is a moronic move and a flat-out waste of money. Take it from me. I made a ton of money on the January Poirer vs. McGregor fight but ended up netting out to zero after I panic bet every undercard, including the women’s flyweight matchup. (I now have a personal vendetta against JoJo, the Scottish UFC fighter who looks like she probably smokes meth at least a little bit.) Please don’t make the same mistakes I did and try to resist the temptation next Saturday.
Which brings me to my next tip…
2. Do Your Research
Before you place your bets for a fight, make sure you have at least some knowledge of the fighters and their strengths and weaknesses. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite betting data sites if you want to go really deep, but if you have things like a full-time job and a social life, you should still be set by reading a few articles or following key UFC personalities on Twitter.
Here are a few things we try to look for when picking a winner:
- Fighting Style
- It’s a cliché, but in MMA, style makes the fight. No matter how good a fighter is, they can be beaten if the style doesn’t mesh correctly with their opponent.
- There are generally two types of MMA fighters – grapplers and strikers. Strikers will stand up and throw punches (similar to boxers) while grapplers like to fight on the ground and fight (similar to wrestlers).
- I generally take a grappler over a striker, especially in title bouts. A grappler is more creative and can bring you down in multiple ways, while a striker relies on knockout punches, which can be hard to land at the highest levels.
- Look at things like reach and weight class. Is a fighter going up or down several weight classes for the fight? Does one fighter have a significant reach advantage and tend to lean on striking? This could be a great opportunity to take advantage of come fight night.
- Recent History
- So much of fighting is about confidence and momentum. You need to be in the right headspace to get in an Octagon and start doing some human cock-fighting. If you’ve lost 3 straight fights, that’s a tough hole to pull yourself out of. I’ll take a fighter on a hot streak any chance I can get.
3. Prop Bets Are Your Friend
Normally, I’m wary of prop bets, but when it comes to the UFC, it’s the best way to go and the only chance to get reasonable payouts because outright winner odds are usually horrible. Look at any UFC fight and you’ll see that betting straight up on a result is generally a bad financial decision. Even if you love a certain fighter to win, it’s just not worth it to bet on -300 or -400 odds.
With prop bets, you can find positive odds based on the outcome of the fight that are much more reasonable. Here are some of the prop bets you can place for most UFC fights.
These props generally have even payouts, or close to it, and are often based on the overall fight instead of a specific fighter.
- Will the fight go the distance (yes or no)
- Here you’re betting if there will be a knockout or if the fight will be decided by judges.
- Total Rounds (over/under a certain number of rounds)
- How long will the fight last?
Method of Victory
Here you’re betting on a specific fight and how they will win. For example, for the upcoming Poirer vs. McGregor fight, you can bet on the following outcomes.
These generally have better odds but not as good as…
Here you are picking the winner and what round they will win it (there are 5 total rounds in a title fight):
These are much more specific bets but will offer your highest payouts come fight night.
4. Fade the Public
While most casual fans follow the major sports leagues like the NFL or NBA, there’s not as much interest and knowledge about UFC fighters, outside of one or two big names. As a result, there can be huge favorites that swing the lines to levels that are unproportional to reality. This is when you want to strike and bet the opposite of what the good American people think will happen.
The January McGregor-Poirer fight was a great example of this. An insane 89% of the public bet on McGregor, mainly because of his name and reputation from a few years ago, which swung the odds to a ridiculous level. If you were a sheep and followed the rest of the world, you would have lost a ton of money.
Luckily, you just read this blog and you’re not a sheep and you’re ready to turn your life around this coming Saturday for their rematch by reading our betting tips for UFC fights.
Stay tuned for more picks and tips next week, as we start to build momentum towards the big July 10th McGregor vs. Poirier rematch.