Update: UFC 250 is scheduled to run on June 6, 2020 at a location still TBD. The fight card is being added to and bets ARE being taken at online sportsbooks. Jump straight to the top UFC 250 betting apps here.
As the premier brand in the sport of MMA, the UFC has experienced a massive growth spurt since its inception back in 1993. The growth has kicked into overdrive in recent years. It’s safe to say that the rise of the UFC has been one of the biggest stories in the sporting world over the past decade.
Betting on the UFC is in the midst of its own surge. What was once the domain of Las Vegas and risky offshore operators is now within reach for many folks across the US. The legalization of sports betting in a number of states has opened the doors for scores of folks, many of whom are starting their own love affair with UFC.
Our betting guide details how to bet online, upcoming fights and UFC odds as well as the top betting apps with UFC lines.
Those in legal sports betting states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa: if you’re looking to get in on the action, we’ll cover everything you need to know right here. We’ll begin by taking a look at the top spots to place your bets.
The legal sports betting environment continues to take shape. A number of operators are battling for their piece of the pie in legalized states, but some are emerging as the leaders of the pack.
Each of these operators offers UFC betting among a wide array of other markets. You can keep it simple and just bet on fighters to win, or explore a wide range of prop betting choices. In addition, live betting opportunities are available on each, and mobile is a perfect complement to take advantage of all that’s offered.
After the success of UFC 249, which was held at VyStars Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida and saw Justin Gaethje dethrone Tony Ferguson, Dana White and the UFC are full steam ahead for UFC 250.
While the location and headline fight are still TBD, the fight card has already started to fill up with at least one sure-fire fight at the top of the card:
Expect the rest of the card to fill up before the end of May. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have current lines for all the confirmed bouts scheduled. Lines being offered include total rounds, to go the distance, ending in a particular round and winning method.
Note: Check the full card and updated odds at DraftKings.
Held on May 9, 2020 in Jacksonville, FL, UFC 249 had been originally scheduled to take place on April 18. Originally, the headline combatants were to be the Lightweight division’s (then) top-two, #1 ranked Tony Ferguson and the reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC 249’s postponement was made all but inevitable as early as March 12, when New York governor Andrew Cuomo put a restriction on mass gatherings. Sporting events, naturally, fell comfortably into this category. Six days later, the NYSAC formally refused to sanction UFC 249’s staging at its designated venue – the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
May 9, the original date on which UFC 250 was to be held (in Sao Paulo, Brazil) was instead used for UFC 249, with the event now relocated to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Winners are highlighted in bold.
In the main event, Gaethje produced a composed performance, finding his range quickly. He was knocked down late in the second round by a Ferguson uppercut, but recovered and enjoyed the better of the fight’s latter half. Gathje repeatedly managed to penetrate Ferguson’s guard with accurate punches between rounds 3 and 5, and cut him. Sensing that Ferguson’s injury could cause long-term damage, the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round after a particularly devastating jab from Gaethje.
Gaethje won via TKO, and became the interim Lightweight champion, with the expectation of fighting the top-ranked lightweight (Khabib Nurmagomedov) later in 2020. The victor will be recognized as the official Lightweight champion.
Cejudo announced his retirement from UFC shortly after living up to the expectations of sportsbooks, and ending his time with the franchise on a winning note. His victory came via a devastating knee strike that stunned Cruz, followed by punches against his now-defenseless opponent. According to official timing, the fight was stopped just two seconds before the end of the second round. Cejudo therefore won via TKO, for the third time in succession.
This was an extremely easy victory for the massive favorite Ngannou, whose flurry of punches downed Rozenstruik just 20 seconds into the first round. It was Ngannou’s fastest-ever KO win, and his fourth victory in succession, taking his MMA fight record to 15-3.
This fight marked another win for a huge sportsbook favorite, with Kattar winning via TKO shortly after the mid-way point of the second round. Kattar had already worn Stephens down throughout the first round with some accurate strikes. Stephens rallied, but Kattar dodged the underdog’s attempted strikes, counter-punching with a solid jab that sent Stephens to the canvas. Kattar dived in with a brutal elbow smash, and rained punches down upon Stephens, forcing the referee to intervene.
Hardy won for the first time since July 2019 after producing a defensive masterclass and delivering some excellent counter-blows. In winning by Unanimous Decision, the former NFL DE took his record to W6 (KO 5), L2 (NC 1).
Gaethje’s win was a surprise given the short notice he had before the event, but it is nowhere near the biggest shock in UFC history.
The UFC Welterweight title bout between Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Matt Serra and Georges St-Pierre (at UFC 69) in 2007 features regularly in lists of the UFC’s biggest shock wins. St-Pierre was expected to win easily, but it was Serra who did so instead. The contest was settled by a brutal, first-round TKO via punches.
A more recent example of a massive upset was seen in T.J Dillashaw’s TKO victory over Renan Barao at UFC 173 in May 2014. Dillashaw entered the fight as a massive +700 outsider, facing an opponent that had won 32 of his preceding 33 fights, with that record including victories in his previous 22 bouts in succession.
It serves as a textbook example of how even the most devastating of winning runs can be brought to a crashing end by a determined underdog.
The most basic UFC bet will look familiar to those who are experienced with the moneyline, but there are also several other bets that are unique to the sport.
Let’s take a look at the standard ways that you can bet on the UFC.
The betting doesn’t stop once the bell rings in UFC. Live online sports betting affords users the opportunity to place wagers as the action unfolds in real time. Odds and markets move fast, but that only helps to enhance the appeal.
During a UFC fight, you’ll see a number of opportunities to take advantage of, such as how long the fight will last and updated moneyline odds for the outright winner based on what has happened so far.
Beyond being potentially profitable for those who have a good feel for momentum, live betting also allows you to hedge your bets. For example, let’s say that you dropped a wager on Tony Ferguson to win in advance of his upcoming fight.
After round one, Ferguson just doesn’t look like himself, and you wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up losing. You can mitigate the damage of your original wager by placing a new bet on his opponent. If the odds and stake are in range to your original wager, you’ve somewhat covered your position instead of just taking an outright loss.
To fully take advantage of all that live betting has to offer, a mobile sports betting app is the way to go. You can bet from your phone at any time during the fight as long as you’re in a legalized state.
There’s no need to be at a sportsbook or locked in front of your computer. You’ll be able to go out and enjoy fight night and know that you can quickly take advantage of opportunities as they arise throughout the card.
It wasn’t too long ago that legally betting on the UFC online was a mere fantasy. Today, it’s a reality. You don’t need to take a trip to Vegas to get in on the action, nor do you have to take any unnecessary risks with an unregulated and risky offshore operator.
You can find all of the UFC betting action you need right from the comfort of your own home in legal sports betting states. The lines are just as good as what you’ll find in Sin City, and you’ll find many more wagering opportunities than you would find at an offshore operator.
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The legalization of sports betting not only means that more folks have access to a safe means of wagering, but it also translates into better product offerings. That means there’s real customer service to deal with if any questions come up, a number of different ways to fund your account and awesome platforms that are a breeze to navigate around.
Perhaps most importantly, the legal sports betting environment provides users with real protection and regulation. Operators that have hit the ground running in the US market are well aware of what they need to do from a legal standpoint.
For sports bettors, that results in some extra peace of mind that allows them to focus on betting without worrying about legal gray areas.
There are a number of different ways to play daily fantasy sports, such as tournaments and 50/50s, which are all made available at numerous price points to fit any budget. On the tournament front, a big fight night can attract thousands of users gunning for some eye-popping prizes.
The object of the game is to pick a lineup of fighters from those scheduled to compete on the card. Each of the fighters has a salary attached — ranging from high for top stars to low for unknown commodities — and your final lineup will need to remain under the cap.
Fighters earn points based on how they perform, and scores are tallied up as the action unfolds. Once the final fight on the card is in the books, the highest scoring lineup wins. DFS is completely legal and safe to play in 40+ states. Outside of Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington, you’ll be good to go.
There’s a learning curve for betting on any sport you may be unfamiliar with, but it’s far from insurmountable. When beginning with UFC, stick to the basics and work toward devising a strategy that fits your style. Here are five simple tips you can use to get the ball rolling.
Once you have mastered the basics outlined above, you can begin spending more time on more detailed information such as fighter stats and dive even deeper into the matchups.
Getting up to speed on the UFC is nowhere near as intimidating as it may seem, and you’ll learn lots along the way to boot.
The UFC has a rich and storied history, and there have been a number of impressive fighters who have had lengthy careers inside the octagon. Picking the best of the best is no easy task.
However, there are five who have enjoyed lengthy careers and headlined numerous pay-per-view events along the way. These fighters not only sold tickets and racked up impressive buy rates for fight cards, but also collected hardware along the way.
Let’s be clear: if you make it to the UFC, you’re doing something right in your fighting career. That said, there are some fighters who have records that leave a lot to be desired. Here’s a look at some of the worst won-loss records among those with more than 25 fights under their belt.
Stephens is third on the all-time list for most UFC fights. Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller are the current leaders with 34 fights apiece. Cerrone has a career mark of 23-11, while Miller is 20-13 with one no contest.
There have been a ton of legendary fights inside the octagon during the 27-year history of UFC. Naturally, some of them have stood out as being the best of the bunch. Here’s a trio of UFC fights that quickly come up when the conversation turns to the most memorable and famous fights of all time.
The biggest UFC cards are found on pay-per-view. You can purchase the broadcast from your cable or streaming provider, or head to a sports bar that’s broadcasting the fights.
ESPN has the broadcast rights for UFC. The majority of events will be found on ESPN+, a subscription-based channel that has a slew of UFC content. If you get the UFC Fight Pass via the UFC app, you’ll also be able to stream events on mobile.
Additionally, certain sportsbooks have streaming capabilities and provide live feeds of events. Consult your operator for the events you can stream via the sportsbook app.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship made its debut on Nov. 12, 1993, from the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. The event aimed to answer the long-standing question of which fighting style was the best.
Initially attracting a niche following, the UFC continued a steady rise before exploding in popularity for good after the turn of the century. Along the way, there were a number of controversies and legal challenges surrounding the violence of the competitions.
UFC managed to weather the storm and is now one of the more popular sports in the land, as evidenced by its broadcast partnership with ESPN. Prior to joining forces with the gang in Bristol, UFC’s TV home was with the Fox Sports family of channels.
The UFC brand loved by so many could easily have found itself out of business at one time. By the end of 20th century, the UFC was struggling financially, and considered close to bankruptcy. Dana White, along with his business partners – the Fertitta brothers (Lorenzo and Frank III) – formed Zuffa LLC.
White’s investment of $2m within the acquisition package was considered a huge personal risk, but with his business expertise, White was able to justify it. In the early 2000s, following the UFC’s agreement to adopt rules set by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission, the UFC brand grew rapidly, and developed some extremely charismatic, PPV buyout-boosting talents.
Amongst them were Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, who formed what many consider to be the UFC’s ‘breakout’ rivalry. Ken Shamrock, a former WWE King of the Ring winner, was also a popular figure of note. Shamrock’s bout with Tito Ortiz in November 2002 (at the Las Vegas-held UFC 40) rates as one of the most important in UFC’s entire history.
White’s determination to make the UFC brand as uncompromising as possible has been unrelenting. This was reflected in his reaction to the mass cancellation of sports events in early 2020, with White stating his intention to hold UFC 249 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. His talk of hiring an island just to stage the event was met with particular incredulity and amazement from UFC fans, but in the end, the event was postponed.
Though not the headline of the original card, Ferguson and Gaethje went into UFC 249 as a fascinating, and very evenly-matched pair of opponents. They kept even the most astute of bettors guessing until the starting bell, and did not disappoint on the night.
The parent company of UFC is Endeavor, which was formerly known as WME-IMG. Back in 2016, a group led by WME-IMG purchased the UFC for $4 billion from original owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, both of whom maintained a minority interest in the company.
According to the most recent industry figures, an average fighter in the UFC earns $138,000 annually. Top fighters who reach the upper echelon of the sport and headline PPV events can see their earnings climb into the millions.
UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The number of fights will vary on an annual basis. Typically, there’s a big card each month, which is reserved for PPV or ESPN+ and will be designated with a number, such as UFC 239. In addition, there are a number of Fight Nights and special events throughout the year. All told in 2019, there were 40+ UFC events.
Yes, UFC is among the betting markets offered on DraftKings. UFC betting continues to grow in popularity, and you will find it offered at virtually all of the industry’s leading sportsbook operators.
You can bet on UFC fights right up until the opening bell. Additionally, live betting affords users the opportunity to place bets after the fight is underway.
Back in 2019, the organization launched UFC Event Centre in partnership with IMG Arena. It’s a live betting product that is licensed out to sportsbooks and gaming operators, along with the UFC’s official data feed.
When the company was sold back in 2016, the price tag was $4 billion. After UFC hooked up with ESPN for broadcasting in 2018, UFC President Dana White said that the brand’s value had reached $7 billion.
Both Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor have earned $3 million for a single UFC fight. McGregor also tops the list for all-time UFC career earnings, ahead of Michael Bisping, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
For a straight moneyline bet, a draw will result in what’s known as a push. That means that wager amount will be refunded in full. There is no loss taken either by the bettor or the sportsbook in the event of a push.
In general, a DQ or no contest will result in a voided or canceled bet. However, you should consult the rules and regulations at your sportsbook for specifics, as some operators will handle things differently.
While Bellator has its fair share of fans, interest pales in comparison to the UFC. As such, it can be tough to find operators that offer markets for fights and cards of that brand. Consult the MMA section on the list of sports at the book you plan to play on to see if it takes action on Bellator.