The UFC has exploded into the global sporting conscience and is the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promoter on the planet. UFC has the best MMA fighters and the biggest fights. Smack-talking warriors bring their multi-discipline weapons to the octagon in the ultimate ground-and-pound cage-fighting spectacle.
Placing bets on MMA fights is exploding too. In the summer of 2022, superstar recording artist Drake reportedly won a bet of $3.7 million after backing Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann to both win their fights at UFC London. To get in on some of that action, you’ll need to understand how UFC works and arm yourself with MMA betting know-how.
There is a range of legal NY sportsbooks to choose from for anyone who wants to bet on the UFC. Whether you like to focus on the biggest matchups, or are a fan who follows all the action on a weekly basis, there are plenty of opportunities to wager on the sport.
With a range of betting markets available, each book offers something slightly different. From those with the best odds, promos and rewards, to apps that provide an incredible user experience, it’s worth checking out a few to find your favorite.
Around 40 UFC events are held around the world every year with over 500 individual fights. For UFC fans that makes for a heap of betting opportunities.
There’s a big difference though in how many contests each NY sportsbook will offer markets for. DraftKings cover more UFC fights than most - and often considerably more than its rivals. That breadth also allows betting on up-and-coming MMA fighters, not just the biggest names.
Fight lines are available early along with a variety of props and live betting once the battle commences. DraftKings also has a solid MMA news section with tips and its best UFC bets to choose from.
While the MMA prelim fights are thrilling in themselves, it’s the main card that really draws in combat sports fans. Caesars treat the headliners with plenty of fanfare and they often have the best lines for the biggest fights.
Even after UFC lines have moved due to a ton of public money wagered on a fighter, the Emperor maintains more value in their odds than many other sportsbooks.
Caesars is also one of the few betting sites to advertise potential fights months in advance. Wagers are voided should the event not take place.
BetMGM is one of the leading bookmakers for UFC wagering, and so it should be. The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas has been the host site for dozens of different UFC events.
The BetMGM betting apps are easy to use and offer up-to-the-minute live fight odds with lots of win and prop markets.
BetMGM boasts Ariel Helwani, the preeminent fight journalist, among its brand ambassadors and is one of only two authorized gaming operators of the Professional Fighters League - the fast-growing MMA league.
FanDuel is one of the leading betting operators in the US and its multitude of UFC markets is impressive. Where FanDuel excels is just how easy it is to quickly place MMA wagers.
FanDuel’s fight department neatly categorizes UFC events into prelims, main cards and upcoming contests. That makes locating and placing a bet on your chosen fighter or matchup a doddle.
FanDuel is also one of the quickest sportsbooks to give out odds on fights making it a must-have for those hunting the best price before lines begin to move.
PointsBet has one of the easiest eye-betting platforms there is. While you won’t find its unique ‘Points Betting’ feature available for UFC events, PointsBet does a solid job for MMA fights.
UFC parlays are particularly strong and if you’re following several bouts on a card, you can combine all manner of fights into a combo wager.
PointsBet also prominently displays which fight will have cash-out available once the action is underway - something that’s not always obvious at other betting sites.
It may seem counterintuitive for a sportsbook to offer betting tips - none really want you to win after all - but WynnBet is a great resource for UFC fans looking for insightful picks.
The WynnBet Playbook tips and previews feature delves into Fight Nights to bring a view on UFC cards. You’ll also find UFC betting guides and an overview of odds to be found in its sportsbook.
WynnBet doesn't have the UFC market depth of some of the biggest NY betting sites but there are still sufficient options for fights from around the world. WynnBet’s betting platforms are stylish, tidy, and intuitive for an enjoyable betting experience.
Delivering unrivaled in-person sports betting for New Yorkers, Resorts World operates a retail sportsbook at Catskills and has bolstered its physical wagering presence with the opening of the RW Bet Sports Bar at the Hudson Valley Casino in Newburgh.
Going toe-to-toe at the counter with the Resorts World Bet oddsmakers is supplemented by the operator’s sleek betting apps that make mobile betting a breeze while you’re watching Fight Night action live on the big screen.
It’s rare to find the best MMA fightline odds at Bet Rivers but where it exceeds many others is in the props markets - notably method of victory and whether a fight will go the distance.
Bet Rivers has good market coverage on upcoming MMA matchups with lines offered earlier than many. Those looking to squeeze some extra value from their fight bets will find Bet Rivers to be a fine offering too. You’ll often find method and distance markets opened long before even the biggest NY sportsbooks.
Bet Rivers also has great MMA stats sections available for every fight to enable easy-access intelligence to back up your bets. There are even countdown timers displaying how many days/hours are left until UFC Fight Night previews and data become available.
There isn’t much to say about MMA betting at BallyBet right now. The last of the nine legal NY sportsbooks to go live, Bally’s UFC offering still lags a little behind the rest.
You will find markets for the biggest MMA fights but not a lot else. The BallyBet mobile bettings apps are clutter free and easy to use though and its social features are a step ahead of most sportsbooks.
A unique aspect is enabling buddies to pool together resources and each access the lead account to monitor the progress of a wager. You might all land the bookmaker with a big blow and celebrate together.
Since online sports gambling was legalized in New York, the state has become the biggest betting market in the US. Around $16 billion was taken in betting handle during the state’s first year of regulated sports wagering. It makes for a hugely competitive arena with sportsbooks battling it out for every dollar. It also means there’s a great choice of betting apps. But if staking on Fight Nights is your thing, choose wisely and consider the following to pick the best UFC betting app.
There are nine legal sportsbooks in New York. Choosing from them ensures your money and personal details are safe and secure. It also means the operator is licensed and monitored by the State Gambling Commission, adhering to its rules. Customers using a legal betting app also have recourse to escalate issues and complaints to the authorities.
This doesn’t mean hours of research, but do check out online reviews of betting sites. Look into what’s important to you for enhancing your betting experience. This could be funding methods, speed of settling wagers, withdrawal times, customer service and the overall user experience.
Possibly greater than any other sport, MMA is bursting with variance and volatility. That results in many unpredictable outcomes that can bamboozle even the most seasoned oddsmakers and sportsbooks algorithms. It also means odds can vary markedly between betting sites. Some betting sites are consistently more competitive than others on fight lines while the odds at others are keener for MMA props or futures. It does pay to shop the lines for UFC odds to find the best value for your chosen bets.
There’s a big variety now in the bonuses and promotions being run by New York’s betting operators. Some are still going big as they aim for total domination while others have pulled their most generous offers to focus on particular segments. Certain offers are more suited to certain types of UFC bets and to the number or value of wagers that individuals place.
From risk free bets to complimentary credit, when you’re picking a sportsbook for UFC betting there are some generous bonuses and promos available at New York’s leading sportsbooks. These can be a great way to try out various sportsbooks without spending your own cash.
Bonus / Promo
Whether your first wager (minimum $10) wins or loses, get up to $1,250 in bonus credit.
‘No Sweat First Bet’ - up to $1,000 in free bets if your first wager loses. Plus, place a $5 wager on any sport and receive $200 in site credit.
Bonus worth up to 20% of your first deposit to a maximum of $1,000.
A $5 free bet for new customers who deposit $100 or more.
Up to $100 in free bets matched to the value of your first wager if it loses.
Resorts World Bet
Earn up to a $500 free bet on opening an account. Plus, Take the fright out of your fight bets with UFC TKO insurance. If your chosen fighter is knocked out, your bet will be insured for up to $25 back as free bets.
Within the UFC, there are eight men’s and four women’s weight divisions. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though when it comes to the diversity of fights and fighters. Combatants come from a range of disciplines including boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, judo, jiu-jitsu and taekwondo.
Yet, despite all of that variety, there are still only two likely final fight outcomes - win or lose - with a tiny percentage ending in a tie. Much like betting on boxing, it’s the how and when a fighter is victorious or is defeated, and what happens during a bout, that dictates the main UFC bet types.
The menu of betting options for individual MMA fights and competitions isn’t as broad as it is for other sports such as football and basketball.
The biggest bouts, including those for titles and cards featuring top names, do whip up the sportsbooks into offering a greater range of betting options. However, in general, the following are the main types of UFC markets on offer.
As with any sport, a moneyline bet is one on who will win. Heavy UFC favorites will often have paltry odds on the moneyline but if you know what to look for, you can find value.
For example, when Matt Schnell brutally dispatched Su Mudaerji at the UBS Arena, New York in 2022, the American flyweight could be found at odds of +210 to win. Schnell backers made a profit of $21 for every $10 they wagered.
Non-championship UFC fights are scheduled for three, five-minute rounds, while title fights are set for five rounds of five minutes. An over/under round bet is exactly as it sounds.
For example, in one of the biggest MMA events of the last few years, sportsbooks were offering odds of around -160 for Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka to last over 1.5 rounds. And it did - going to the last 30 seconds of the final fifth round - and lucky bettors made $100 profit for every $160 wagered.
For better odds than an over/under wager, a bet on the round in which a fight will end requires more precision for a more generous price. The round that fights finish in varies considerably depending on a host of factors but the average for UFC championship contests stands at four rounds.
When Conor McGregor made his much-anticipated comeback versus Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, the Irishman boasted he would win within two rounds.
Odds on offer for that stood at +450. Ultimately, bitter rival Nurmagomedov stopped McGregor in round four. The pre-fight price on that outcome was a tasty +800.
MMA method betting has high potential. It involves predicting how a fighter will end the contest. There are various ways to win an MMA fight - knockout, technical knockout, submission, judge decision, or the opponent being disqualified.
Being able to predict the winner and how they’ll win can result in a sizable payout.
For example, Charles Oliveria has become known as the “Submission King” because of the record number of wins he has achieved this way. When Oliveria overcame Justin Gaethje with a submission in May 2022, the odds on offer were +135 meaning a wager of $100 resulted in a total payout of $235.
A bet on whether a fight will go the distance requires you to predict whether it will finish after its scheduled number of rounds without a winner being declared.
Without researching each fighter’s record and other stats, such a bet is something of a coin toss as around half of UFC bouts do go the distance.
An example would be when Islam Makhachev faced Charles Oliveira in September 2022. The odds of the fight ending after its allotted number of rounds were around +240. It looked as if it could be a good bet as Charles’ stamina in recent fights had looked to be improving.
In the end, it wasn’t and Makhahev won in the second. The opposing bet (aka “inside the distance”) had been available at unattractive odds of -330 meaning an investment of $330 was required to result in a profit of $100.
Points handicap betting elevates placing a wager on an MMA fight to a new level. When used skillfully it can ensure a payout even should your chosen fighter lose.
The odds are usually lower than for a moneyline bet but points handicaps can be combined into a parlay, say if you’re following an entire card or multiple cards.
All UFC fights are scored by three judges. They award 10 points to the winner of each round and usually 9 (or occasionally less) for the fighter who was judged to have come off second-best. If there is no winner at the end of the number of regulation rounds, the victorious fighter is the one with the most points.
In a points handicap market, the book offers odds on a fighter with (+) or (-) points ahead of a fight. A typical example is +/- 3.5 points with the positive number on the underdog and minus for the favorite. If either fighter wins by KO, TKO, or DQ, the handicap bet wins regardless of the scoring at the time of the stoppage. Otherwise, the bet hits or fails depending on the cumulative score of the judges, adjusted by the handicap figure.
Live UFC betting involves placing wagers on a fight as it unfolds in real time. The most popular live betting for MMA is on the moneyline but you might also find live props.
The sportsbooks spit out live odds as the fight is occurring. You usually have a small window to place your bet as every punch or takedown affects the new lines moving forward. Live bets generally have a greater vig and so are more expensive / offered at reduced odds.
Many UFC fights have heavy favorites with odds that simply aren’t worth a bet for most casual bettors. Parlaying bets is a way to return a bigger potential profit.
A parlay bet is a wager combining more than one bet for increased odds. All New York sportsbooks will enable you to build a parlay from multiple fights. If a book is offering a number of markets for one fight, most will allow you to combine different lines from it. For instance, you could parlay who will win, plus the method of victory and an over/under number of rounds.
As an example, for the main event at UFC 284, Islam Makhachev was a big favorite at odds of -440 up against Alexander Volkanovsk. Betting $440 on Makhachev for a potential profit of $100 would probably be too risky for many. Adding in a leg of over 1.5 rounds for the fight with odds of -320 improved the overall parlay price to -164. Even the addition of that one extra leg made the parlay much more appealing. In this case, it would have won too.
The dazzling array of disciplines, styles, personalities and fight sequences can make it difficult to know where to start when betting on the UFC. Throw in an abundance of hype and razzmatazz plus rumor and trash talk means seeking sound MMA wagers can become bewildering.
Approaching each bet with a cool head and adopting some sound UFC betting strategies will help to turn blind punts into sound stakes.
As with all sports, there are big differences between betting on your favorite fighter, the public’s favorite fighter and the favorite in a fight. A savvy UFC betting strategy removes emotion when selecting wagers. That can be hard to do in MMA. It is after all a sport that stirs up frenzied feelings. It is a must though.
Various statistical studies have shown a reasonably strong correlation between pre-fight UFC favorites and their resultant winning returns. Consistently placing moneyline bets on the favorite though will inevitably result in low returns.
Do remember too that the most popular fighters naturally attract the most public money which suppresses their odds of winning to a greater extent than their true chances.
As with all betting strategies, your goal when making UFC selections is to find value among the odds. The only way to do this is to conduct your research.
A fighter’s record and recent form are your starting points for researching UFC fights. You can also be assured that this data is already built into the odds offered by the sportsbooks.
The UFC Pound-for-Pound rankings are considered to be the most comprehensive fighter ratings by weight class.
A fighter’s win/loss history never tells the full story of their chances for upcoming MMA fights. This is because of so many other factors that come into play such as the caliber of their past opponents.
Some fighters build their resume on defeating inferior adversaries while others test themselves regularly against elite foes. Those who have challenged themselves but lost in closely-fought encounters will invariably be stronger for it.
Experience counts for much in many sports, but in the wild world of MMA fighting, often not so much. Younger fighters are by their nature more fierce and explosive.
Stats tend to show that in UFC matchups the older contestant only wins around a third of the time. Also, you might want to take a look at UFC prelim cards where you’ll often find young guns desperate to make a name for themselves.
MMA being “Mixed Martial Arts” tells you much about UFC fights and fighters. Some fighters are better at striking such as those from a boxing, kickboxing and taekwondo background, while others excel at grappling like individuals who are natural wrestlers or from disciplines like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, judo and sambo.
Comparing the contrasting styles, strengths and weaknesses of a pair about to fight can lead to some intriguing insights. The most successful MMA fighters are proficient in both striking and grappling so check out a range of fighting metrics.
A lot of UFC cards go through last-minute personnel changes. Fighters drafted in to replace a dropout only win less than 40% of the time.
Even if the bookies consider a stand-in to be the favorite, you might be able to identify value in the odds this way.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when making intelligent UFC bets. Just as important as the “do’s” are the “don’ts”. Avoid these common pitfalls:
Track your bankroll. Avoid “go big or go bust” bets. Ignore your emotions and stick to the facts. Don’t bet on every fight and never chase losses.
As much as MMA is a sport, UFC is an entertainment industry. Media stories and fighter personalities are a big part of that but are often slanted to ensure you click websites and tune in to PPV rather than make successful wagers.
Don’t assume every fight will be decided by a knockout. Only around 40% do and some fighters rarely win with a KO.
While betting on UFC is of course about risk vs reward, it’s wise to control the amount of risk you take where possible, especially if it may impact your chances of winning a more likely wager. Don’t form massive parlays in the hope of a huge payday. Stick to smaller parlays with favorites you have confidence in.
As much as sportsbooks have teams of UFC oddsmakers supplemented by advanced algorithms, setting odds for MMA fights can never be an exact science because of the crazy nature of the sport. Some books simply get pricing wrong from time to time and some are plain uncompetitive with their lines.
Keep up to date with the latest UFC news to help guide your betting decisions.
When browsing UFC odds, they will usually be presented in the American format. A positive number represents how much you would win on a $100 wager on the fight’s underdog. A negative number represents how much you’d have to bet to win $100 if you choose the favorite.
The same principles apply to all bet types but a moneyline example (for the biggest PPV UFC fight to date) read like this:
Conor McGregor as underdog @ odds of +125 meant a wager of $100 would return $125 profit.
Khabib Nurmagomedov as favorite @ odds of -155 meant you’d need to wager $155 to return $100 profit.
Once sportsbooks set their opening odds they will change for the duration of the market. Many factors cause UFC odds to move. Fight records and recent form plus stats and expert insight into an individual’s strengths and weaknesses along with how they match up to an opponent are all taken into account when oddsmakers set UFC betting lines.
UFC odds will then change depending on how much money is wagered on each side of a bet. Bookmakers attempt to balance how much is staked on each outcome to limit their risk exposure and they alter the odds to do this.
The buildup to the biggest UFC fights also sees a lot of chatter from both fighters and their camps. The above example of McGregor vs. Nurmagomedow is a great example of this.
Both sides accused the other of unethical activity and while it made for a thrilling prelude it also greatly impacted the odds for the fight. Odds fluctuations happened after each allegation (and insult) was made.
Some sportsbooks are particularly sensitive and reactive to new information and so change their odds frequently with others less so. Some online betting sites are leaders in setting lines while others will follow.
Ultimately, there is no definitive answer as to how often UFC odds change but clued-up bettors will monitor line alterations to identify trends and take a view on how the industry and public’s view might be changing.
Much depends on the individual sportsbook as to when they make UFC betting markets available. Some will release odds when a fight is first announced and others will wait until a few weeks before it will be staged.
Others even advertise markets for rumored and unconfirmed events and then void any bets placed should they not happen.
UFC Fight Nights take place every Saturday evening. Though New York venues like Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center and the UBS Arena have staged UFC events, most take place in Las Vegas with featured events at other worldwide stadiums.
ESPN+ has exclusive rights to the UFC Championship, so if you want to catch all the action from New York then a subscription to the service is essential.
Alternatively, MMA fans in the Empire State who want some atmosphere may opt to venture out to a retail sportsbook or a sports bar to watch UFC fights.
Del Lago Casino Resort
1133 New York 414, Waterloo, NY 13165, United State
Resorts World Catskills
888 Resorts World Drive, Monticello, NY 12701
Rivers Casino & Resort
1 Rush St, Schenectady, NY 12305
Tioga Downs Casino
2384 W River Rd, Nichols, NY 13812, United States
Point Place Casino
450 452, NY-31, Bridgeport, NY 13030
Turning Stone Resort & Casino
5218 Patrick Rd, Verona, NY 13478
Yellow Brick Road Casino
800 W Genesee St, Chittenango, NY 13037
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort
873 NY-37, Hogansburg, NY 13655
Seneca Allegany Casino
777 Seneca Allegany Blvd, Salamanca, NY 14779
Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino
1 Fulton St, Buffalo, NY 14204
Seneca Niagara Casino
310 4th St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Dave & Buster’s
Times Square - 234 W 42nd St 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036)
One of the country’s biggest entertainment bar and restaurant chains, Dave & Buster’s is partnered with UFC so you can be sure fights will be airing on the venue’s HDTV screens. Dave & Busters on Times Square also has an arcade with hundreds of games and serves American-style food all day and into the night.
Kelly’s Sports Bar
Alphabet City - 12 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009)
With inexpensive beers and a chilled vibe, Kelly’s bursts into life when big sporting events are showing on its multiple screens. Hungry Saturday UFC Fight Night fans can tuck into wings, burgers and pizzas at this authentic Irish haunt renowned as one of New York’s best sports bars.
Dalton’s Bar & Grill
Hell’s Kitchen - 611 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036)
Featuring craft beer, bar food and late-night happy hours, Dalton’s is just a few minutes walk from Times Square. 35 TVs show every big sporting event including UFC fights with the evening’s biggest draw beamed on its 96” big screen.
Betting on UFC is permitted in states that have legalized sports betting. In New York, to bet on UFC you need to be aged 21 or over, be within state boundaries and use a licensed sportsbook.
You can bet on UFC fights online at any of the nine sportsbooks licensed and regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission.
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a sport (like football) while UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is an organization that promotes and organizes MMA fights (like the NFL is to football).
UFC betting works in the same way as other sports. You choose a particular bet at the odds offered by the bookmaker, enter a stake and hope it wins!
How often UFC favorites win varies between weight classes but on average is in the range of 60% to 70%.
+500 is a representation of odds in the American format and denotes an implied probability (16.7%) of a wager winning. The higher the number, the less likely a bookmaker thinks it will win. If you bet $100 at odds of +500 and it's successful, you would receive $500 profit plus your stake.
Over/under bets in UFC work differently from most sports. The “.5” means halfway through a round. So, “over 1.5” means the fight does not need to reach 2 rounds for the bet to win. It just needs to reach the halfway point in round one. In UFC fights that would be at 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Total rounds are over/under bets predicting the number of rounds the fight will last before a winner is declared. Alternatively, round betting could be a wager on the exact round the fight will end
Until recently, unlike many sports, UFC fighters could bet on themselves. This changed in October 2022 when UFC changed its policy to prevent fighters and their associates from betting on fights they are involved in.