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MMA & UFC Betting Tips


Bettingpro.com writers offer free UFC betting tips for every numbered pay-per-view event as well as UFC on ESPN and UFC on ESPN+ cards.

Jan Blachowicz v Ronaldo Souza (November 16)

A long-time contender in the middleweight division, Ronaldo Souza is now looking for one final flurry in his career at light-heavyweight. The former Strikeforce champion spent several years in the title picture at 185lbs, but his inability to put together a good run of form against top opposition in the UFC ranks has prevented him from landing a shot at the belt and he has now gone 2-3 in his last five fights, with his most recent outing being a disappointing decision defeat to Jack Hermansson back in April. ‘Jacare’ will be hoping that the move up to 205lbs can get his career back on track and should he get the better of sixth-ranked Jan Blachowicz then he will immediately thrust his name into contention in his new weight class – but can we have confidence in him doing that? It would be foolish to simply write off Souza because he does have the ability to get the job done here. However, every time he steps into the Octagon it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what to predict. One fight he can look like his fighting days are over, another and he can look reborn. I am going by his most recent performance though and to say that was uninspiring would be an understatement. It also has me concerned for his chances up against a bigger and stronger fighter in Blachowicz. The 36-year-old Pole did not enjoy the best of starts to his UFC career as he lost four of his five fights in a two-year spell between April 2015 and April 2016, but he kick-started his career when he submitted Devin Clark just over two years ago and that proved to be the spark for a 5-1 run that includes wins over Jimi Manuwa, Jared Cannonier and former middleweight title-holder Luke Rockhold. His most successful method of victory in his career has been submission, but Blachowicz may not want to go to the mat with a talented jiu jitsu player like Souza because that could offer the Brazilian his best – and probably only – route to victory. Instead the Polish fighter should look to keep this fight standing where he can use his reach advantage to keep Souza at length, negate his grappling and work him over in the stand-up. Blachowicz was able to knock out Rockhold inside two rounds earlier this year and I believe he will knock out another former 185lber on Saturday night. 

Mauricio Rua v Paul Craig (November 16)

It has been almost a year since Mauricio Rua last stepped into the Octagon, but on Saturday night he will end his exile from the cage and he will look to do it in spectacular fashion by beating late stand-in Paul Craig. ‘Shogun’ is clearly on the downturn in his career but he has managed to go 4-1 in his last five fights, with his only defeat coming at the violent hands and elbows of Anthony Smith, and I believe he will make it five wins in six fights here. Craig’s only route to victory is taking this fight to the mat and tapping out Rua, but ‘Shogun’ has been submitted just three times in his glittering career and the last time he conceded defeat in this fashion was six years ago. He will be incredibly difficult to submit. And of course, there is Craig’s record to consider. The 31-year-old Scot is 4-4 under the UFC banner and he has been stopped in all of those defeats, with three of those losses coming via KO/TKO. ‘Shogun’ has the power to inflict another knockout defeat on Craig here.

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BEST BOOKMAKERS FOR BETTING ON UFC/MMA

MMA's rising popularity means there is no shortage of bookmaker websites where you can place your bets on the sport, but with so many bookies to choose from which ones offer the most competitive odds and the best service?

Not only does Bettingpro.com offer advice on what bets you should place on MMA, we also offer advice on which bookmakers you should use. Our comprehensive reviews give you a rundown of what you can expect from the bookies when you become a customer of theirs.

Is there an incentive to sign up at the website - ie. free bets, risk-free bets etc? Are their odds competitive? Do they offer much variety in the way of markets? What special promotions can I use to insure my bet or boost my pay-out if it is a winner? What standard of customer service can I expect?

All of those questions, and more, are answered in our reviews that you can access HERE.

UFC Free Bets & Sign-Up Offers

The sign-up incentive has become a staple of the betting industry with bookmakers now offering new customers the chance to claim free bets, risk-free bets and more when they register for a new online account.

But what offers are available to you right now? Below is Bettingpro.com's favourite bookmaker welcome offers at this time...

UFC Betting Tips Guide: How To Bet On MMA

Betting on mixed martial arts has never been so popular, with more and more bookmakers offering more and more markets for the fast-rising sport. But which markets should you be using to make a profit when betting on MMA? Here is our guide to the key markets…

Winner

This market could not be any simpler – you are betting on who will win the fight. It does not matter if the bout is won by decision, submission or knockout, as long as the fighter you back is victorious your bet will be a winner. Of course, that means the appeal of this market is solely dependent on how open the fight is and that means the only real opportunity to make a profit comes when the bookmakers are struggling to separate two fighters.

Method Of Victory

Just like the ‘Winner’ market you are picking out who you think will have their hand raised at the end of the fight, but the odds are bigger in this market because you have to also select how the fighter will win the bout. And of course, in the world of MMA there are three options to choose from because fights can end via KO/TKO, submission or via decision. By having to select a method of victory you are immediately getting a bigger price for backing your chosen fighter. For example, Khabib Nurmagomedov was an 8/15 favourite for his bout with Tony Ferguson at the time of writing, but if you backed him to win by Decision you would get odds of 15/8. If you backed him to win via KO/TKO, you would get odds as big as 3/1. Some bookmakers even offer an opportunity to back a fighter to win by KO/TKO or Submission, so there are plenty of options here and that means this tends to be a go-to market for our tipsters.

Total Rounds

The Total Rounds market gives you the chance to bet on how many rounds the fight will or will not last. So, using Khabib v Ferguson as the example again, you would back Over 4.5 Total Rounds at 1/2 if you fancied the main event to go the full five rounds. Alternatively, if you liked the chances of a fighter winning in the first three rounds you would back Under 3.5 Total Rounds at 11/10 – it would not matter if the fight lasted one round or two rounds, as long as it ended before the 17:30 mark in the fight your bet would be a winner.

Round Betting

One of the most popular ways to bet on combat sports is to bet on which round the fight will finish, and this market covers every single round in the fight. The odds can be quite lucrative too because you are pinpointing the ending of the bout down to just one round, so if you believed Numagomedov would tear through Ferguson in just one round you could get a price as big as 6/1, while a win late on for the Russian fighter, perhaps in Round 4, could be backed at 14/1. If there is a market in which you can make a big profit, it is this one.

ABOUT THE UFC

Conor McGregor celebrates becoming the first man to be world champion in two UFC weight classes at the same time. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images )


Mixed Martial Arts' rise to being one of the most popular sports on the planet has been nothing short of spectacular, and of all of the promotions out there the biggest is undoubtedly the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Founded in 1993, the UFC was designed to answer some age-old questions. Could a wrestler beat a boxer? Could a karate fighter beat a jiu jitsu expert? And how would a sumo wrestler fare in the world of combat sports?

Those questions were answered in brutal - and sometimes bloody - fashion as mixed martial arts became an outlawed sport across much of the United States, with senator John McCain famously branding it “human cock-fighting”. Media outlets made the most of the fact there were “no rules” – which wasn’t actually true – and an increasing number of pay-per-view carriers dropped the UFC due to pressure.

UFC 12 had to be moved from Buffalo to Dothan, Alabama after MMA was effectively banned by the state, and the company continue to haemorrhage cash as each event went by. In an attempt to stem the tide against mixed martial arts UFC bosses introduced weight classes, rounds and five minute time limits – as well as a number of other rules – but the promotion continued to lose money and in January 2001 parent company Semaphore Entertainment Group – on the brink of bankruptcy – sold up.

Step forward, Dana White and the Fertitta brothers. White persuaded the Las Vegas casino chiefs to spend $2million to buy the promotion in 2001 – although Lorenzo Fertitta later admitted all he wanted from the deal were the letters U, F and C.

“I had my attorneys tell me that I was crazy because I wasn't buying anything,” Fertitta told Fighter’s Only magazine. “I was paying $2million and they were saying 'What are you getting? And I said 'What you don't understand is I'm getting the most valuable thing that I could possibly have, which is those three letters: UFC. That is what's going to make this thing work. Everybody knows that brand, whether they like it or they don't like it, they react to it.'”

The UFC shifted its operations to Las Vegas – considered the fight capital of the world – and the trio of Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture began to lay the foundations for the success that has come since. Ortiz’s brash and outspoken antics earned him the attention of the mainstream media while Liddell’s devastating knockout power made him a fighter that could not be missed. Ken Shamrock – a star in the early days – returned to the company to reignite his rivalry with Ortiz and their UFC 40 bout reportedly kept the company afloat.

However, during their three-year ownership the Ferittas had lost in excess of $34million trying to kick-start the franchise and they were considering whether or not to part with the UFC when the opportunity for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality television series came around. TUF had a simple formula – a bunch of fighters move into a house together and compete for a six-figure contract with the UFC. The catch was, the UFC would have to pay $10million to produce the show.

The Fertitta’s decided to take the gamble and a deal was signed with the Spike TV station in the United States, but would the final roll of the dice be successful? The answer was a resounding ‘Yes’. TUF was an instant success and the epic final fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar has been hailed by UFC president White as the fight that saved the UFC. In fact, it was so important the two men were later inducted into the Hall of Fame in respect of what they did that night.

"This was our last $10 million," White told Yahoo Sport. "People say, 'Oh, TUF, it's just a reality show.' No. This was more than a reality show. Everything was on the line. The way Lorenzo puts it, it's like you're out gambling and you've gotten your ass kicked all night and then you get everything you saved and everything you have and you put it up on the table and you tell them to cut the cards. That's what it was!"

The Ultimate Fighter became a permanent fixture on Spike TV and the season three success of Michael Bisping – who would become the first British fighter to hold a UFC title – helped catapult the sport into the public eye in the United Kingdom. Events in the UK would become regular occurrences and as the years went on the UFC would host events across the United States and the glove – a makeshift stadium was built in Abu Dhabi for one card.

In 2011 the UFC inked a seven-year deal with broadcasting giants FOX Sports and the first ever fight on the network made history as it became the most watched combat sports event since Lennox Lewis defended the world heavyweight boxing championship against Vitali Klitschko in 2003.

The UFC was on a roll, buying up other promotions to sign the best talent available and in the likes of Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar they had fighters that would smash all sorts of records – from gate receipts to television ratings to pay-per-view buy rates.

And in March 2016 the company finally made the breakthrough it had been fighting for ever since UFC 12. New York became the 50th US state to legalise mixed martial arts and it was soon announced that the first ever MMA card at Madison Square Garden would be held on November 12. The hottest ticket in town offered the most spectacular card in UFC history and represented the moment the UFC was truly a mainstream sport that could go where it wanted when it wanted.

But before that epic night, the Fertitta brothers called time on their reign over the sport. In July of 2016 parent company ZUFFA announced it had sold the company to talent agency WME-IMG for a staggering $4billion - not a bad profit on a $2million purchase, even with those losses in the early days. White would stick around as president and the question was what was next for the UFC?

More growth we expect, and as the UFC and the sport of MMA continues to reach more and more people the bookmakers are offering more and more to its punters. At one time you could only find a handful of markets to bet on for the big fights, but now the bookies are queuing up with a whole hosts of betting markets and special promotions - even for the undercard!

Bettingpro.com has it all covered, offering exclusive UFC tips and giving you a rundown of key bookmaker promotions.

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