Best Combat Sports Betting Sites and Full September 2022 Guide
Is football and basketball betting no longer getting your blood pumping? Are you now looking for wagers that pack a little more punch? If so, you might be interested to learn that there are now a wealth of markets available on popular combat sports.
Indeed, most of the top U.S. online sportsbooks offer a variety of betting lines on competitions like boxing, UFC and MMA. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the best combat sports betting sites in the U.S. and guide you through everything you need to know about making your first bet.
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Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in sports wagering, Caesars Sportsbook also offers a huge range of markets on combat events. Although particularly well-known for its moneyline odds on UFC betting, Caesars enables bettors to wager on virtually any market they can imagine.
These go beyond merely picking winners and allow them to bet on the outcome of individual rounds and even select prop options for their favorite fighters. On top of that, new customers can benefit from a $1,500 risk-free bet and all betting odds are subject to regular "superboosts".
Up to $1,250 on Caesars + 1,000 Tier Credits + 1,000 Reward Credits Promo Code: GAMBLINGFULL
If bettors are looking to find action on UFC, MMA or even professional wrestling, the combat options at BetMGM are well worth checking out. Especially known for its UFC betting odds, the site offers everything from regular moneyline bets to futures and round betting. For added variety, betting lines are also offered on the manner of victory in UFC and MMA fights.
For example, bettors can decide whether they think the fight will go the distance or if one of the fighters will win by knockout and more. In addition to this great selection of lines, regular bettors can also claim a weekly $10 bonus bet through BetMGM's generous Monday Money Club.
One of the go-to platforms for combat sports bettors, DraftKings has seriously expanded its boxing, MMA and UFC options in recent months. As with most big-name operators, UFC betting on the site probably receives the most attention, with a lot of the standard UFC betting odds receiving regular boosts.
In general, the moneyline odds for combat events on DraftKings are pretty consistent with other sportsbooks, but the ability to place parlays on MMA and UFC fights adds a little more scope for betting strategy. What's more, all new bettors on the site can get off to a winning start with a 20% first deposit bonus worth up to $1,000.
Like DraftKings, FanDuel is known to be a great site for UFC betting, with regularly enhanced moneyline odds on featured fights. The addition of Parlay Insurance enables bettors to add multiple legs to the same bet, safe in the knowledge they'll still get something back if only one lets them down.
Additionally, they can bet on the outcome of individual rounds as well as the performance of their chosen fighter, meaning there's plenty of scope for finding an edge. All new customers at FanDuel will immediately benefit from $1,000 in bonus bet tokens. These can be used to bet on MMA, UFC and all other sports, with regular odds boosts also available.
While perhaps not offering the largest selection of markets for combat events, WynnBET still has a pretty solid selection of lines for major league bodies like UFC and other MMA factions.
The moneyline odds are frequently among the best available, especially during the WynnBET Win Hour, where the sportsbook reduces its vigorish - or "vig" - to allow bettors to enjoy bigger profits on their favorite fighters. To help new customers get started, WynnBET will also cover the value of their first bet up to $200, so they can bet on any UFC fight without the risk.
There are several factors you should consider when looking for the best sites to bet on MMA, UFC and other combat federations. Below, we've outlined some of the important points that will enhance your betting experience and help you get the most out of your wagers.
Combat Sports Betting Bonuses
In addition to football, basketball and baseball, most sports betting bonuses can also be used on MMA, UFC and other combat sports. With these offers helping you reduce risk, increase profit and generally make your bankroll go further, we've outlined some of the promotions you'll want to look out for below.
Risk Free Bet vs Free Bets
Many sportsbooks will offer risk free bets that refund your stake if your chosen fighter doesn't win. Unlike a bonus bet, this type of offer requires the first bet to be made with real cash, with a refund being issued for any non-winning bet. In some cases, however, customers will receive a risk-free bet token even if their initial wager is successful.
Not to be confused with odds boosts, profit boosts increase the amount you'll make if an outcome is settled in your favor. In the majority of cases, profit boosts are applied incrementally based on the size of your wagers or based on the number of legs you add to a multi-way parlay bet. They will be typically issued as tokens on most sites.
Something of a staple promotion for UFC betting, odds boosts essentially enhance the price being offered on selected lines for all customers. As any market can be subject to odds boosts, you may find anything from enhanced moneyline prices on Jon Jones to win his next UFC bout or a particular fighter to win by knockout in the last round.
Online Sportsbooks Software and Features
Of course, the ease with which you can place bets at an online sportsbook that offers combat sports is also incredibly important. Some of the things you'll need to consider are can displays easily be changed to fractional odds or decimal odds?
Can you cashout early from wagers if it looks like your fighter is starting to struggle? Will you earn loyalty points from real money bets that can assist with your bankroll management? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you choose the right sportsbook for your specific betting style and user preferences.
Live Betting Markets and Streams
One of the huge advantages of betting on combat sports online is that you'll often have access to a wide range of live betting options. Perhaps even more so than any other sport, a match-up between two fighters can turn in an instant based on one key sequence.
As such, it's incredibly advantageous to be able to watch a UFC match via live stream so you can adapt your strategy and adjust your wagers in real time. Always check if your chosen sportsbook offers this service and keep an eye on what kind of in-play data they offer to help you pick between two fighters.
Comparing the Best Odds
Most sportsbooks specialize in one of three areas. Square books typically offer the best price on underdogs, sharp books instead focus on favorites, and reduced juice books are great for everyday betting due to their consistently low vig.
With this in mind, it's important to always shop around and compare the best odds on fighters, as a heavy underdog might be more favorably priced with one sportsbook than they are elsewhere. The number of boosts a site offers factors into the equation, so be sure to look out for special promotions ahead of big UFC fights.
If you're going to be shopping around for the best prices and constantly moving money between sites, ensuring your chosen sportsbooks offer fast payouts is absolutely essential.
Fortunately, most of the leading online sportsbooks feature payment guarantees that will ensure you get your money within a certain time frame, subject to the regular checking period. Most sites will support a wide range of payment methods, and we'd particularly prioritize those that feature eWallets as these offer some of the fastest transaction times.
Regardless of whether you're a sports betting novice or a seasoned pro, there will be a time when you need to rely on customer support for a helping hand. With this in mind, knowing the kind of service your chosen sportsbook offers is incredibly important.
Make sure you read up on what contact methods are available and whether support is provided 24/7, as this can save you a lot of stress in the long term. It's also advisable to see how other users have rated the quality of the customer support on offer and whether staff are actually knowledgeable.
Why Start Betting on Combat Sports Online?
So what are the advantages of betting on the UFC and other combat sports online rather than with a conventional retail sportsbook? In the next section of our betting guide, we'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of both options.
Easy to Place Bets From Anywhere
One of the biggest plus points of betting on combat sports online is that you can wager on your favorite fighters no matter where you are. As online sports betting is legal in a number of U.S. states already, all you need to do is log in and count the profits when your fighter wins.
Betting Odds Comparison
When you go to a retail sportsbook, you're basically price-locked into accepting the odds that they offer. Online, you have the freedom to shop around at multiple sites for the best prices while viewing both fractional odds and decimal odds, enabling you to maximize your profits.
Welcome Bonus Offers and Promotions
As an extension of the point above, using an online sportsbook for all your UFC, MMA and other combat needs will also allow you to claim multiple welcome offers. Additionally, all of the top sites offer regular combat sports promotions such as free bets and boosted odds.
More Bet Types Available Than Retail
Rather than just betting on who will win the fight, online sportsbooks offer a wide variety of markets on combat sports. Typically, you'll be able to bet on how many rounds a fighter will last, whether they'll win by knockout and a whole host of other in-play prop bet markets.
MMA and UFC Retail vs Online Sportsbooks
Betting Apps and Sites
Online sportsbooks will offer odds on all fighters, even those competing on the undercard
Sportsbooks at an in-person betting location may only be offered on the headline fight
In addition to UFC, markets will be available on MMA contests in many different countries
While odds on UFC events are easy to find, niche contests may not feature so prominently
At an online sportsbook, you'll be able to bet on everything from rounds to individual actions from each fighter
At a retail sportsbook, action is mainly confined to picking winners with little in the way of prop bets
Betting websites will usually welcome new customers with sign-up offers and bonuses
While some retail sportsbooks may have a loyalty scheme, promotions are far less frequent
Top Combat Sports Events to Bet on
With so many fighters competing across so many different federations, it can be hard to know where to begin when betting on combat sports. Below, we've outlined some of the most popular competitions to bet on, as well as the niche sports that may be available at bigger sportsbooks.
MMA or Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is an all-encompassing term used to describe full-contact sports that utilize striking, grappling and ground fighting. In Brazil - home of the legendary fighter, Anderson Silva - the term Vale Tudo was originally used, but now the definition of MMA events also stretches to No Holds Barred (NHB) and cage fighting.
In most MMA sports, fights last for a pre-determined number of rounds as fighters from different martial arts backgrounds compete against each other to win points from judges or end the match by KO or submission.
UFC Events: Ultimate Fighting Championship
One of the best-known break-away MMA federations is the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. An American MMA promotion company founded by businessman Art Davie and Brazilian fighter Rorion Gracie, the original goal of the UFC was to determine the most effective form of hand-to-hand fighting.
Starting with minimal rules and no weight classes, each fighter brought their own specific style into the ring before contestants began adopting skills from different disciplines to create today's more balanced UFC competition.
Not to be confused with the sports-entertainment brand WWE, traditional wrestling is a grappling-based style of combat that relies on throws, takedowns, locks and pins. These days, there are a wide range of wrestling events covered by online sportsbooks, including Greco-Roman, judo and many others.
While most forms are contested over a series of rounds, the rules vary dramatically from sport to sport. Some require a fighter to pin or throw their opponent out of the fighting area, while others can only be won by direct submission.
While there are literally hundreds of combat sports featured throughout the world, only a select few tend to be offered by online sportsbooks. Unarmed sports include things like boxing, kickboxing, karate and taekwondo, while fencing is easily the most widely-covered armed event.
Unlike UFC - even in its more modern incarnation - the majority of these sports tend to feature pretty strict rules about what a fighter can or can't do, so it's very important to familiarize yourself with the individual differences in each contest before placing a bet.
How to Make the Best Real Money Bet on Combat Sports
Types of Bets
These days, most online sportsbooks will offer a variety of markets on UFC and other major combat sports events. Far beyond regular bets on the winner, customers will be able to pick how many rounds a fight will last, the manner of victory and a number of other props.
A prop is a term used to refer to betting on specific actions within a fight. One of the most popular UFC prop bets is to combine the winner of a fight with the manner of their victory, for example, George St-Pierre to win by knockout.
There are two major types of round betting available to fans of UFC and other combat-based sports. The first is attempting to guess how long the bout will last and the second is trying to pick which round a specific fighter will claim victory in.
A very specific form of prop, a victory bet asks customers to determine how a fight will be ended. Options here typically include KO/TKO, submission or judge's decision and all can be paired with naming the winning fighter in a two-leg parlay.
The most basic form of betting on the UFC and other competitions, straight bets require customers to pick just one outcome. This could either be "fighter X to win the match" or simply stating that you think a specific fight will go the distance.
Future bets take a longer-term look at a specific event and ask customers to predict the outcome further down the line. An example of this would be to predict a specific boxer to win the heavyweight championship belt before a certain date.
Moneyline odds are a system used to price most of the bets listed above. Used at most sportsbooks in the US by default, a positive number indicates the amount bettors will win from a $100 stake, while a negative number is how much you need to wager to win $100.
This form of wager enables customers to combine multiple outcomes into one bet at even longer odds. As we mentioned above, choosing a fighter to win along with the round or method of their victory would be an example of this type of bet.
What to Consider:
So what sort of things should we consider when looking to bet on combat sports? Well, that largely depends on the event that you're wagering on, but there are certainly a few general pointers that can get you off to a good start for any major competition.
Firstly, it's incredibly important to know your fighter. These days, there are a wealth of stats available after each fight, and keeping tabs on how your favorite fighters have been performing is essential for smart betting. Remember, with so many federations and fighters to keep tabs on, sportsbooks have been known to seriously underprice underdogs who have a fighting chance.
In this respect, you might be better off focusing on the undercard matches rather than the headline fights, as it's here that the most egregious pricing mistakes often occur. It's also very important to consider how a fighting style might affect a particular match-up, with some UFC fighters having exploitable weaknesses in terms of how they deal with grapplers and so on. In boxing, this could be something as simple as how fighters fare against southpaw opponents.
Always remember that as UFC and other MMA matches are incredibly fast-paced, the flow of a fight can change in an instant. As such, keeping on top of the live betting lines - while also watching on a live stream, if available - is a great way to zero in on enticing prices. If you see a competitor start to wobble, don't be afraid to get in there before the sportsbooks have time to act.
Finally, as with all sports betting, bankroll management is incredibly important. Luckily, one of the easiest ways to get a helping hand with this is signing up with multiple sites, as this way you'll have access to a variety of welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions that will make your money go further. Additionally, being active at multiple sportsbooks will allow you to compare odds on various markets and ensure you're only ever wagering at the best prices.
How to Register for a Combat Sports Betting Site
Select one or more of our top online sportsbooks on this page
Register and include all info such as name, address, login details, social security number (last 4 digits only)
Enter our promo codes when requested during sign up form
Deposit using your preferred payment method
Claim your welcome bonus and read the terms and conditions for use
Start placing your bets on combat sporting events and odds
Final Combat Sports Betting Tips
So, when we wrap it all together, what are the most important takeaways when it comes to betting on combat sports? Below, we've outlined five top tips that you should always keep in mind to ensure you know the ropes and give yourself the best possible chance of winning.
1) Learn the odds and know how to compare them
While the odds at most U.S. sportsbooks will use a moneyline format by default, don't forget you can usually switch up your display to decimal odds or fractional odds in the settings. By doing this, you can select a format that enables you to quickly and easily compare the prices being offered by a number of sportsbook sites before deciding which one to go with.
2) Know your fighters better than the sportsbooks
Now we're not saying this will be easy, but when it comes to fighting, there are certainly more unknowns than in other sports. While sportsbooks will have access to bout information and who is currently on a losing streak, if there's a contestant you've been following for some time who is making their first undercard appearance, it's possible you'll be able to find an edge in pricing.
3) Don't be afraid to back heavy underdogs
If you're familiar with the term "having a puncher's chance", you'll know what we're talking about here. No matter how unfancied a fighter may be, it only takes a second to spot an opening and land a knockout blow. If you think a favorite may not be in prime condition for their match-up against a weaker opponent - or that the astronomically long odds against don't accurately reflect their chances - don't be afraid to invest a portion of your bankroll.
4) Manage your bankroll and have a system in place
While the occasional underdog bet is certainly no bad thing, the sportsbooks draw their lines for a reason. As such, it's probably not a good idea to invest too much of your budget on long shots, and instead mix in a few bets on the favorite and other smart props. Doing so will allow you to minimize your exposure and hopefully ensure you keep your bankroll topped up with returns.
5) Bet within your limits and know when enough is enough
A great general rule for all forms of sports betting is to never risk more than you can afford to lose. Remember, no bet is a sure thing and whenever you put a stake down, there are never any guarantees that you're going to see that money back. With this in mind, try to set yourself loss limits and take advantage of the responsible gambling features offered by your chosen site.
Combat Sports FAQs
Where can I bet my money on fights?
You can bet money on fights either in-person at retail sportsbooks or online at all of the big-name sportsbooks mentioned in this article. Choosing to do so at the latter will give you added convenience and will usually enable you to select from a far broader selection of markets.
Can you bet during a fight?
Yes. Most online sportsbooks will allow you to bet on the action during a fight, such as the time of the next takedown or a knockout to occur within the round. This is particularly prominent in UFC matches, as action happens so quickly and not a huge proportion of fights go all the way.
Where can I bet on fights?
These days, there's an extensive range of combat sports offered at most online sportsbooks, meaning you can bet on a fight and watch it from the comfort of your own home. Additionally, many of the bigger fighting venues offer on-site betting terminals for in-person wagering.
Where can I bet on MMA?
There's a wide range of MMA contests covered by online sportsbooks and retail sportsbooks alike. While UFC is far and away the most popular MMA federation to bet on in the U.S., you'll also be able to find contests from around the world available at most major online sportsbooks.
Where is the best place to bet on UFC fights?
Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and WynnBET are definitely some of the best sites to bet on the UFC. All five online sportsbooks offer sign up bonuses, enhanced lines and competitive odds on fights and you can also hold multiple accounts to get the best offers.
Are there UFC Betting Sites or UFC Betting Apps online?
While the UFC doesn't handle bets directly, the organization is partnered with a number of betting brands in various countries around the world. As such, downloading an app with any of the major U.S. sportsbooks will allow you to easily place UFC bets from your smartphone.
"Duncan Wilkie is an award-winning writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in the iGaming industry. He graduated in 2006 with a 1st Class Honors degree in Sports Journalism. He was a staff writer and editor at WPT Poker Magazine. He has since contributed to publications such as Poker Player, Bluff and Gambling Insider and a four-year stint working as Copy Team Lead for Entain."
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