So you wanna make money betting on the UFC huh?
Let me tell you something, every f***ing jabroni that’s ever said. “I think that guy is going to win” and then gets it right. Think he’s the f***ing Nostradamus of UFC betting!
Making money betting UFC is a tough gig, I’ve seen grown men cry and s*** in their pants when a big losing bet goes down. You wanna be the guy crying on the floor with s*** in his pants because you didn’t f***ing read this article?”
(Just to be clear this is a parody and Dana White didn’t really say this. At no point has Dana White endorsed this article or even seen it.)
Make Money Betting On UFC – 5 Key Strategies
Alright so after those inspiring words that didn’t really come from Dana White, let’s dig into actually how to make money from UFC betting.
For the past 5 years I have been taking betting pretty seriously, in that time managing to make over six figures in profits. The single sport that I have had the most success betting in, using only my own knowledge happens to be mixed martial arts.
Betting on UFC fights is something I am very familiar with.
In this article I am going to reveal FIVE different angles that you can consistently use to find value when betting on UFC.
Fade The Marketing Machine
The UFC much like boxing relies on engaging fans through story telling and character!
Because of this it is often in the interest of the UFC to put more promotion behind fighters that have more character. Fighters that sell more tickets and have a wider appeal. This can often influence the betting market and as a result create value.
Brock Lesnar for example was a fighter that the UFC was fully behind. He transcended the sport of mixed martial arts and became the heavyweight champion beating 45 year old Randy Couture. Subsequent wins over Frank Mir and a comeback victory after being destroyed in the first round by Shane Carwin.
Had Brock Lesnar calling himself the “baddest man on the planet.”
His next fight came against the undefeated at time Cain Velasquez. A heavyweight that had shown a great gas tank, sharp striking and the wrestling pedigree to contend with Brock Lesnar. If you removed all the hype it was pretty obvious who the better fighter was.
Cain Velasquez closed as a 2.55 underdog in that fight. He handily beat Brock Lesnar inside the first round via TKO.
Every sharp UFC bettor I knew at that time was on Cain Velasquez.
Amanda Nunes as 2.6 underdog against Ronda Rousey is a similar example of the UFC marketing machine skewing the odds.
Recently Francis Ngannou’s odds against Cyril Gane went from 2.0 out to 2.3. Mainly based on the promotion of the UFC heavily favouring Gane. This was due to Ngannou butting heads with the UFC over contract issues
Whenever the UFC marketing machine is heavily behind one fighter it is always worth taking a look at the opposing side. Removing the hype and looking at the skill sets and how fighters match up.
Look To Oppose Fighters That Finish Fights
Every UFC fan loves a fighter that puts an exclamation mark on a win. Whether that’s with a knockout or a submission victory, definitive wins are something that really elevate a fighters stock.
Sometimes a fighter will get consecutive finishes in a row which can really inflate their odds. This links pretty well with the first point. The hype machine starts to generate with these types of fighters, sometimes it will be warranted but often it isn’t.
What level was their opposition?
How was the fight playing out before they got the finish?
What did their gas tank look like?
Have they ever been past the first or second round?
Sometimes you may spot major holes in the overall game of these fighters, which may be exposed in the next fight. There is a lot of variance in the sport of mixed martial arts, sometimes fighters benefit from this and their record may look better then their true skill set.
Unbeaten Fighters/Impressive Win Records Tend To Be Overrated
Bro you ever heard of Khabib Nurmagamedov!!!, undefeated GOAT, this article sucks.
Granted not every unbeaten fighter is going to be overrated but as a general rule. Looking to go against undefeated fighters in the UFC is usually a good idea.
Because undefeated records/impressive win records don’t mean much without the context of their opposition. let’s take a recent example Joseph Holmes (record 7-1) came up against Jamie Pickett (record 12-6).
Looking at the skill sets of the two there didn’t seem to much difference however Holmes was favoured and Pickett was 2.35 underdog. The odds seemed largely based on the records of the two fighters.
UFC experience was with Pickett, he had also fought the better competition in his career. He had been to multiple decisions. Holmes on the other hand had been winning most fights in the first round and had only two 3 round fights under his belt.
Fighter records very rarely give a good estimation of how a fight is likely to play out.
Boring Fighters Are Underrated
One fighter that UFC fans never really got behind was Jake Shields.
Shields wasn’t particularly flashy, didn’t have an ounce of charisma and his striking was pretty basic. However he was an effective grappler, very tough and could grind out victories against high level fighters.
He rose the ranks defeating Dan Henderson as a big underdog in Strikeforce. Before coming to the UFC to compete against GSP for the championship. He lost convincingly.
Backing Shields in his last 6 UFC fights after losing to GSP would have seen a profit of £340 staking £100 each fight. Defeating Demain Maia and Tyrone Woodley as a decent sized underdog.
Shields is the perfect example of a boring fighter that especially as an underdog usually offered a lot of value.
Give me a boring fighter that wins minutes with grappling control or a solid jab over a wild man every time. Especially if the UFC fan base isn’t particularly high on them, as that’s usually reflected in the odds also.
Method Of Victory Markets Are Gold
The majority of professional sports bettors will tell you that prop markets or secondary markets, are usually more profitable then the higher volume match odds market.
Reason being, that markets with less volume (less money bet on them) tend to be less efficient. They are not looked at with as much scrutiny.
This means that bookmakers don’t put as much effort into pricing them up. In comparison to the match odds (fight odds) market where the majority of money is bet.
One other solid reason to look at method of victory markets or over under props etc, is that bookmakers can be slow to adjust them. A local shop bookmaker in my area doesn’t even bother to adjust them despite the money line (fight odds) changing.
Which can be big if a fight has been incorrectly priced early on or some new information is released. Could be injury news, a terrible weight cut etc.
This can increase the likely hood of a finish occurring in the fight. Thus offering value in the prop market when perhaps there isn’t any in the fight odds market. Which has been adjusted.
Looking to make money betting on the UFC?
Don’t ignore the prop markets!
Make Money Betting On UFC – Conclusion
Those are 5 angles that are really worth considering when betting on the UFC.
Combining them, watching tape on fighters and keeping up with the latest UFC news. Is going to give you a very solid footing when it comes to making money betting on the UFC.
Other ways to profit from betting on the UFC are –
Which are strategies that work on all sports. But have a limited shelf life due to relying on bookmaker promotions or slow bookmakers that limit accounts.
Mixed martial arts is a great sport to watch. Making money from the sport of mixed martial arts is also very possible with a disciplined strategy.
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on where to find the value, when betting on the UFC.
Got any strategies you want to add to this?
Let me know in the comments below!
(This article features affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.
I use or have used any product I review. If I recommend them it is because I believe they are helpful, useful and offer value to their customers.
Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel they will give you value or that they will help you achieve your goals.)
Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
Upon returning to England his focus has been on making a living from sports trading, betting and arbitrage. Over the course of 5 years he has managed to make a six figure profit using the strategies discussed on this site.
Ryan runs the sports betting and trading website www.smartsportstrader.com