Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is rising in popularity all the time and punters have been known to punt more on top-level MMA events than the likes of horse racing and football.
This page details the best MMA betting sites in the UK today as well as making sure you are equipped with all the knowledge about betting on this relatively new sport.
Kimura, Guillotine, Back Control, Bruce Buffer, Bellator. Wondering what any of this even means? Read on to find out.
Struggling to choose a bookie to place your MMA bet with? We’ve reviewed and listed the best bookmakers around that have decent MMA coverage on their betting sites.
Top 7 MMA Bookmakers in the UK
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Not all sports betting sites offer MMA betting, but most that do tend to focus on the bigger fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Don’t settle for the first bookmaker you stumble upon that offers odds on the fight you want to bet on as there are some out there who live and breathe the sport, thus there is so much more to choose from, probably at better odds too.
All of the top MMA betting sites will be licensed in the UK and regulated by the Gambling Commission, so you can dismiss any dodgy looking smaller bookies straight away. Our top seven list above all have a decent MMA offering – Unibet, William Hill, Paddy Power, Bet365, Betway, 888sport, and Betfair.
UFC Free Bets and Promotions
When people think of MMA, they instantly think of the UFC, which is the most popular fighting organisation in the world, so punters tend to hunt for UFC free bets and promotions rather than the broader MMA offers, which will include other organisations such as Bellator and Cage Warriors.
Online betting sites nowadays have a crazy amount of betting promotions on the go at once in a variety of sports, mostly football if truth be told, so expect most bookies, not all, to offer some UFC enhanced prices and new customer free bet promotions when a big night of MMA is on the horizon.
Of course, please do make sure you take a look at all of the key terms and conditions of any offer you come across before taking the plunge, as some are not as straightforward as others.
Bet on UFC MMA at Betfair
Betfair have come on leaps and bounds with their MMA offering over the last year or two, and they’re very much one of the go-to bookmakers for betting on UFC events as their market coverage blows many rivals out of the water. Their prices are very competitive too.
Whenever a big night of UFC or Bellator is close, Betfair add MMA to their main sports toolbar on their sportsbook homepage so that it’s easy for punters to click through to get their bets on. They also add the event to their quick links page; always thinking of the customer which is great, and with no search function available it’s a godsend.
Not a fan of UFC and want to bet on fights in another organisation? No problem. What about the bouts that aren’t on the main card? They’ll cover the prelims too, don’t worry about that. So when punters rave about Betfair saying they offer plenty of betting options for MMA fans, they’re not wrong.
Many bookies will offer just match betting or bout odds, which is simply a two-selection market on who will win out of the two fighters involved. Betfair cover much, much more than that, including:
- Method of Victory
- Method & Round Combo
- Round Betting
- What Round Will Fight End
- Double Chance
- How Will Fight End
- Will Fight go the Distance?
What Is MMA?
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport whereby two fighters attempt to defeat one another using tactics such as control, submission and striking over a number of rounds and minutes.
MMA dates back thousands of years, but it’s gained so much interest in recent times due to the incredible popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which has been going since 1993; MMA has become an extremely popular sport to bet on for punters.
Is There a Difference Between UFC and MMA?
Not really. MMA is the sport, UFC is the organisation within the sport. Many fighters are signed to fight with the UFC, but all of them are mixed martial artists.
What Fighting Styles Are In MMA?
Fighters will specialise in one or more of the following disciplines:
- Boxing – using a cross, hook, uppercut and a jab to get the better of your opponent.
- Kickboxing – specialising in kicks, we’ve seen some amazing MMA fights over the years ended with a kick to the head or body.
- Muay Thai – Shins, elbows, hands, knees, you name it, muay thai specialists use every limb possible.
- Karate – a combination of hands and feet, perfected by legend Lyoto Machida.
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – submissions galore come from this discipline in the guard position including chokes, joint locks and compression locks.
- Wrestling – The UFC has wrestling to thank for the clinches and takedowns we see regularly during a fight.
- Judo – the hip toss has been perfected by many.
- Capoeira – an Afro-Brazilian martial art using music, dance and acrobatics that’s been seen in MMA to deliver knockout blows.
What Are The Different Ways A Fight Can Be Won?
There are many ways on how to win an MMA fight, and top bookmakers will have markets available where you can pick exactly how you think the fight will end. There are essentially six different ways to win an MMA fight:
- Knockout (KO) – rendering your opponent unconscious and unable to carry on.
- Technical Knockout (TKO) – the referee stops the fight when your opponent can no longer defend themselves intelligently.
- Decision – neither fighter can get the win after a certain number of rounds, so the fight is decided by the scorecards.
- Technical Decision – your opponent is too injured to continue, giving you the win.
- Submission – when your opponent taps out physically or verbally. He could also become unconscious during the submission, in which case the ref needs to be there to stop the fight.
- Disqualification (DQ) – an illegal strike that the referee deems deliberate.
- No Contest – Not a win either way, but a no contest in MMA is an illegal strike that is deemed accidental whereby the opponent can no longer carry on as a result.
Bet Types of MMA
The best MMA betting sites in the UK will cover the most markets, that’s a fact. The ones we’ve listed above offer not only pre-fight but also live MMA betting, so you can get your bets on as the action is unfolding.
Live in-play betting in MMA can be very profitable if you know your stuff, especially if you know a fighter always starts slowly and comes on in the later rounds or if you know a fighter hardly goes beyond round two for example, but we’ll explain that in the MMA betting strategies section a little further on.
Let’s dissect those MMA betting markets we listed a little while ago.
Method of Victory
You’re backing a fighter to win either by KO, points or submission. This is a great market to bet on if you know your fighters.
You’ll get a silly price for the draw, which is rare, but heavyweight outsiders will be well priced for a bit of value – it only takes one punch as many MMA heavyweight division fighters have found out.
Method & Round Combo
Similar to the method of victory market but you’re now also picking the round it will happen. This is a great betting market for those you love a novelty punt as some odds are in the hundreds.
A simple but popular MMA betting market where you’re simply choosing who will win the fight and in what round as one bet.
What Round Will Fight End
An easy one to understand as you’re betting on which round the fight will end. Of course, if it’s no contest then your bet will be void and stake returned.
Similar to method of victory, but with two selections in one, so if you think a fighter will win but you’re not sure if will be via KO or submission, this is the market for you.
How Will Fight End
A three-selection market that is very popular amongst MMA bettors who know their stuff. You can normally enjoy odds of at least evens for a KO or points win, with the submission selection always slightly higher unless you’ve got two submission experts facing each other.
Will Fight go the Distance?
A simple yes or no. This market is one for the regular MMA punters as odds tend to highly favour one or the other. If you’re looking for a value bet, this probably isn’t the market for you.
MMA Betting Strategies
For those who love betting on combat sports, MMA’s emergence in recent years has been welcomed as there’s always something to bet on every week, which is great when you consider you had to wait a while before a big boxing bout was made available to bet on back in the day.
Speaking of boxing, feel free to check out our best boxing betting sites in the UK if you’ve got a passion for the sport, it’s well worth a read.
Any fighter attributes to keep an eye out for?
Plenty, but be mindful of the following:
- Age – The older fighters tend to tire in the later rounds.
- Speed – Slower fighters will look to move and counter.
- Stance – Southpaw or Orthodox.
- Reach – A big advantage is often highly beneficial.
- Style – Angled attacks and bouncing in and out of trouble are two examples.
- Chin – If a fighter’s got a good chin then do not expect him to lose by KO, he’s probably in it for the long haul if he doesn’t win beforehand.
- Submissions – If there’s a submission expert involved, expect the fight to go to the ground.
- Takedowns – You need to do your research to understand if a fighter is good at defending takedowns or not. These play a pivotal part in deciding the result of an MMA fight if it goes the distance.
UFC Weigh-Ins – Pay Close Attention
Most betting markets are related to the UFC, but their rival organisation, Bellator, is on the rise, so to is Cage Warriors, so whichever event is available to bet on, make sure you study the weigh-ins.
Typically, news will filter through a few days before the main event that a fighter is having problems cutting weight. If this happens then you know they’re going to put in extremely dangerous last-minute efforts to make weight, but you won’t see how badly it’s affected the fighter until the weigh-in, which will normally be the day before the fight, live on TV for everyone to see.
You will know straight away, you can see it in their face and their body language, the lethargic walk, the looks they give during the close-ups or the overly excited demeanour to cover up any cracks, it’ll be obvious.
Not only is there already a physical problem, the fact they’ve struggled to meet part one of their obligation will, more often than not, mentally scar them heading into the fight.
This is where you can take advantage in the betting markets but be quick as a lot of punters will be thinking exactly the same thing, so it’s definitely worth having the markets open, ready to bet, whilst you’re watching the weigh-ins.
Betting on Heavy Favourites – Give it a Miss
With the amount of technique involved, every fighter, whether they’re a massive underdog or not, has a great chance of winning and upsets do happen regularly in the UFC, just ask Ronda Rousey!
If you don’t know the background, Rousey was a humungous favourite going into her title fight with Holly Holm, only to be taken apart inside two rounds by the Preacher’s Daughter (that’s her funky nickname). You can now find Ronda Rousey plying her trade in a spot of WWE.
However, if you know your stuff and are insistent on backing heavy favourites, it’s wise to stick them in an acca to get better overall odds.
Who is the Best MMA Fighter in the World?
There have been plenty of incredible fighters who have graced the MMA world over the years, but here’s a list of some of the all-time greats past and present in no particular order:
Former UFC Middleweight Champion from Brazil. Dominated the sport for years and known for one of the best knockouts of all time after his front kick KO against Vitor Belfort.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion who has had more than his fair share of troubles outside of the octagon. It remains to be seen if he’ll ever come back for a sustained period of time, but he’s one of the best the sport of MMA has ever seen.
George St. Pierre
Former UFC Welterweight Champion from Canada who has enjoyed some notable wins during his MMA career against the likes of BJ Penn, Matt Hughes and Carlos Condit.
A dominant UFC Flyweight Champion who possesses ridiculous speed that nobody can cope with. Mighty Mouse is regarded as one of the all-time greats and the pound for pound best.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion who rewarded loyal punters with win after win until his age caught up with him and he no longer possessed that granite chin.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion with incredible cardio. He’s enjoyed impressive wins over Junior Dos Santos, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brock Lesnar to back up people’s opinions that he’s one of the best MMA fighters ever.
Rampage to those who know him, he’s a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion who loved slamming his opponents to the canvas. You never really knew how his fights were going to pan out, which was a punters’ nightmare at times.
We can’t list a few of the best UFC fighters without mentioning this Irishman, can we? Even if you’re not a fan of MMA, you’ve probably heard of him. He’s a two-division champion; UFC Featherweight Champion & UFC Lightweight Champion. He switched to boxing to cash $100m by losing to Floyd Mayweather, but you can’t deny his MMA ability. His best-ever performance came when he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds who was undefeated for 10 years.
MMA Betting Odds Comparison
Many bookies will offer UFC and Bellator events just because their competitors are. Their odds will probably be driven by an algorithm used by trading software, which is why it’s probably best to choose one of the bookmakers we’ve listed above as you may enjoy better odds.
The best advice we can give is to do your own due diligence and have a check of all odds comparison options when you are thinking of having a bet on a certain fighter or market.
With this in mind, opening an account with more than one bookmaker would be a wise move as you’ll then be able to snap up the best value rather than rely on the price of the one account you have.
MMA Betting Sites FAQs
Can I Place My MMA Bet via PayPal?
Yes. Be sure to check out our best online betting sites reviews as they will outline which bookmakers accept PayPal and which don’t.
Is Live Betting Available in MMA?
Yes. Most top sports betting sites will offer live in-play markets when there is a Bellator event, a UFC Fight Night or numbered event. Please bear in mind, however, that due to strict licensing laws, bookies don’t always have the rights to show any MMA live streaming, so it will either be a case of trying to catch the fight on TV or betting blind with social media updates.
What is the Best MMA online betting site?
The best MMA betting sites will be the ones that offer live in-play markets, decent odds in comparison to others and enhanced prices and new customer offers as part of a solid marketing campaign, not forgetting the best also being licenced in the UK. Betfair are right up there based on these prerequisites if you like, but feel free to check out all of the best bookmakers we’ve reviewed.