In terms of online betting and the UFC, there are always many betting options. Most bouts in the UFC have odds posted for them at most every sportsbook. The bigger fights have more bets available such as prop bets, and for premier events, sportsbooks often offer exclusive bonuses and promotions.
There are quite a few betting markets for the UFC besides picking a winner. There is round betting, time betting, many prop bets, and moneyline odds for UFC fights.
UFC Rules and Gameplay
The UFC stage fights where two fighters match up to try to win the bout. There are several different ways to win. The rules for the UFC are the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which was established in New Jersey and is the primary set of rules for MMA matches across the United States.
The mixed martial arts name comes from the many disciplines the fighters can use, such as boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, karate, taekwondo, and judo.
A typical UFC bout has three rounds that are five minutes each. However, title and premier bouts usually are five rounds of five minutes each. In the ring, there is a referee and can put a stop to the fight if a fighter taps out (gives up) if they are in a submissive hold, a fighter gets knocked out, or an opponent can’t defend themselves.
UFC fights are held in a cage, which is an octagon that is 750 square feet, 9m (30 feet) across, and 1.85m (6 feet) high. There are walls and padded surfaces around the octagon to protect the fighters. There are also smaller octagon UFC bouts, but most are on the bigger octagon.
The weight classes for the UFC are:
- 115-125 lbs: Flyweight
- 125-135 lbs: Bantamweight
- 135-145 lbs: Featherweight
- 145-155 lbs: Lightweight
- 155-170 lbs: Welterweight
- 170-185 lbs: Middleweight
- 185-205 lbs: Light Heavyweight
- 225+ lbs: Heavyweight
- Up to 115 lbs: Strawweight
- 115-125 lbs: Flyweight
- 125-135 lbs: Bantamweight
- 135-145 lbs: Featherweight
There are several different ways a UFC fight can end:
- Submission – A fighter can tap the mat, or verbally yell at the ref to put an end to the fight. If a fighter passes out or is injured badly, the referee can call a technical submission.
- Knockout – A fighter is knocked out from a legal strike.
- Technical Knockout (TKO) – There are three types of TKO’s that the referee can call. They can stop the fight if they see a fighter is unable to defend themselves, a ringside doctor stops the fight deeming it unsafe for an injured fighter, and the corner of a fighter stops the fight.
- Judge’s Decision – If a match goes the full distance, it goes to the judges to determine the outcome of the fight. They can rule a:
- Unanimous Decision (all three judges have one fighter as the winner)
- Majority Decision (two judges give a fighter a win, and the third picks a draw)
- Split Decision (two judges give a fighter a win and the third picks the other as the winner )
- Technical Decision (a fighter cannot continue a fight due to a move that is either illegal or not intentional. This results in a decision where the judges look at the rounds completed. They determine if there was enough to determine a winner.
- Unanimous Draw (all three judges have a draw for the fight)
- Majority Draw (two judges have the fight as a draw and the third has a winner)
- Split Draw ( each of the judges has a different outcome with two picking opposing fighters and the third has a draw)
- Technical Draw ( the fight ends like a technical decision with the judges picking a draw)
- Disqualification (DQ) – A fighter makes an illegal move on purpose, and the referee sees it is an offense that disqualifies the fighter.
- Forfeit – A fighter quits the fight and injury is not the reason. The fighter’s opponent is awarded the win.
- No Contest – A fighter cannot continue because of an illegal move that was not intentional, and there are not enough rounds to determine a decision.
As mentioned before, there are many fighting styles for fighters in the UFC. A match can be full of strikes or go to the ground. The referee patrols the fight, and they can also give fouls where points can be deducted from the fighter who committed the foul if it is seen as excessive.
The UFC uses a 10-point system. The three judges score all of the rounds with the winners of each round getting 10 points. The loser is given a nine or below. At the end of the fight, the points are added up, and the decision is given by the three scores.
Strategy and Tactics
UFC fighters use many strategies and tactics, as they use their strengths to try to take advantage of their opponents. You have seen all the disciplines, and they each have an approach. If a fighter is a better boxer, they will try to stand back from their opponent and stay on their feet.
If a fighter is a better wrestler, they can use that style to try to get their opponent on the ground.
There are also many tactics used by fighters to try to take away from the opponent’s strength. For example, if a fighter specializes in wrestling and holds, their opponents will try to do anything to stay away and keep the fight from going to the mat.
There are also many tactics fighters follow depending on how the fight is going. If a fighter is losing, they need to get points to get back in the contest. Also, if a fighter is held on the ground, there are strategies used to release from the hold and go on the offensive.
Just a few examples of some UFC strategies are:
- Sprawl and Brawl –Trying to stay on the feet to avoid takedown and fight on the ground.
- Ground and Pound – Trying to take an opponent to the ground and then get on top and pound them with punches keeping them on the mat.
- Clinch Fighting – Continuing to clinch an opponent in any way to keep them from striking.
- Submission Seeking – Tying to take the opponent to the ground and get them in a submission hold so they will tap out.
History of the UFC
The UFC started in 1993 and is an MMA organization where fighters of any discipline can compete. The first event was UFC 1, held at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, on November 12, 1993. Nowadays, the UFC is a premium sports brand and is also the biggest pay-per-view provider globally.
Mixed martial arts dates back to Pankration, a Greek Olympic Games event introduced in 648 BC. UFC's main goal was to get an Ultimate Fighting Championship with a one-night tournament with fighters using different disciplines.
In the beginning, the UFC was very violent and without rules. Later in the 1990s, rules became stricter, which made the fights less intense. The UFC adhered to more guidelines with state commissions, and that further organized the matches.
In 2000 the UFC was bought by Station Casinos executives Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and their business partner Dana White, who is still the President of UFC as of July 2020. Now the UFC has its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The first few years after 2000 were tough on the UFC, but in the middle of the decade, the UFC saw a surge in popularity and legendary fighters such as Chuck “The Iceman" Liddell and Randy Couture. The UFC was now huge and partnered with media giant FOX in 2011 to televise fights, and in 2012 the UFC announced they would start fights with female fighters.
The UFC now has a television deal with sports giant ESPN. The UFC is shown in over 165 countries around the world, with over 60 broadcast partners.
Wall of Fame
The UFC Hall of Fame is located in Las Vegas, and honors mixed martial artists and MMA personalities. Besides the UFC, there are also recognized fighters in the Pride Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting, and Strikeforce, which are former fight promotion companies that the UFC has bought.
Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock were the first two inductees of the UFC Hall of Fame.
There are now four wings of the UFC Hall of Fame, which are Pioneers, Modern- era, contributors, and fights.
There is always debate on who the best UFC fighter of all time is. A few of the names on the shortlist include Anderson Silva, Matt Hughes, Liddell, Couture, Georges St. Pierre, and Tito Ortiz. These days, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov are turning into legends and will one day be in the UFC Hall of Fame.
While being one of the best of all time, current fighter Jon Jones has been stripped of titles due to drug use and other legal issues.
To see a full list of UFC inductees CLICK HERE:
There are many statistics for UFC fighters, with the main ones being their height, weight, reach, and stance. The other stats often used are a fighter’s record and if they had knockouts, TKO’s, or submissions.
There are also more complex stats, and some found on UFC.com are:
- SLpM - Significant Strikes Landed per Minute
- Str. Acc. - Significant Striking Accuracy
- SApM - Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute
- Str. Def. - Significant Strike Defence (the % of opponents strikes that did not land)
- TD Avg. - Average Takedowns Landed per 15 minutes
- TD Acc. - Takedown Accuracy
- TD Def. - Takedown Defense (the % of opponent’s TD attempts that did not land)
- Sub. Avg. - Average Submissions Attempted per 15 minutes
Not only are stats used by fighters and those getting ready for a fight but also for bettors. Any time you handicap a fight, you have a better chance of winning the bet on that fight.
Bettors can look at the match's details in terms of the fighter’s stats to try to get an inkling on how the fight will unfold.
Popularity and Cultural Impact
The UFC is extremely popular these days, as the biggest MMA promotion company. Many of the fighters, past and present, are major stars in the sports world.
They make a lot of money from the fight game and are also used to endorsing products and lending their names to charities. Many former fighters have even gotten into the entertainment industry in film and television, such as Couture and Liddell.
The top UFC stars are also seen as some of the toughest people in the world. While the UFC is not nearly as violent as it used to be, it is still prevalent.
The UFC is not only very popular in the United States but the world over as well. With over 500 UFC events and counting, the UFC continues to thrive, and it looks like there is no slowing down in the future.