Mixed Martial Arts has a worldwide audience and there are plenty of competing competitions.
The top of the pile is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Part entertainment, part gladiatorial contest, the UFC has developed a cadre of devoted followers.
There are various weight divisions for men and women and the top participants have legions of fans.
A large part of the appeal to UFC competitions is that various martial arts disciplines will be matched against one another. One fighter might be strong in boxing, so he or she will try to win with their fists. Another might be stronger in the disciplines of Tae Kwan Do or Karate and will try to win with kicks, throws and holds.
UFC Stats and Betting
UFC fights are of three five-minute rounds, but a championship bout could be extended to five rounds.
A visit to one of the bookmakers’ websites will typically offer many betting opportunities, as the UFC operates all year, deriving its revenue from packing arenas and selling viewing rights via the pay-per-view channel.
Punters will find competitions titled UFC Fight Night and another series that simply carries a numerical identifier, such as UFC 231 and so forth.
At the time content was being prepared, UFC Fight Night was next up and there were nearly 90 markets posted. Most of the individual bouts listed there offered around 7 – 10 markets, depending on the bookie. The next UFC major event, UFC 231, did not have as many markets, because the event was still over a month in the future.
The primary way to on UFC bouts is to pick the winner, that is, a head-to-head bet. The bookies will quote odds on each contestant. For example, one upcoming fight had one fighter priced at $1.10, while the opponent was priced at $7.00. This was probably one worth skipping, even though upsets are not rare in the UFC, but backing the favourite at $1.10 will net almost nothing, while backing the $7.00 fighter is probably just throwing away the amount staked.
A market that is commonly seen is one called Fight Duration. In the case above, the bookies think the $1.10 fighter will take out the $7.00 fighter in the first round. This outcome, especially in this instance where one fighter seems so much better than the other, is quite common. The odds increase if the fight goes into the second round, again if it goes to the third round. Punters can also select a market for the fight to go the Full Distance, which offers higher odds than a first round ending, but less than a second or third round ending.
The Method of Victory is another key market. A fighter can win or lose by Decision, where judges make the call according to the points each fighter has earned over the course of a bout. Another outcome is typically a combination of Knock Out, Technical Knock Out or Submission.
There is a market for a draw, but these are rare in UFC.
UFC betting is a true growth area for the bookmakers and they typically offer promotions of various sorts, especially when the fight is between two marquee stars with a championship title on the line.