Getting to Know the Ultimate Fighting Championship
Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and has already supplanted boxing as the most watched combat sports in the United States. MMA pay-per-view numbers routinely outdraw the majority of boxing events. The Ultimate Fighting Championship—the big leagues for MMA fighters—has made a conscious effort to market the sport to the casual fan by signing a ground breaking, multimillion-dollar deal with the Fox network.
The UFC constantly airs free MMA cards on Fox and its affiliates, and along with their pay-per-view events, the organization produces multiple cards on a monthly basis. Many fans and bettors are still new to the sports, and are in the process of learning and understanding the nuances of a mixed martial arts fight.
The UFC is only growing in popularity, and has begun to offer gamblers excellent betting opportunities on its events. But in order to take advantage of them, a bettor must know and understand the sport on an intimate level. Over the next few weeks the UFC will offer multiple fight cards across a variety of platforms, and in order to find the best betting value, let’s go over a quick cheat sheet for the upcoming UFC events over the next few weeks.
Upcoming UFC Events:
UFC on Fox 7—the UFC’s latest card will take place on April 20th live from the HP Pavilion Center in San Jose, California. The card will feature a lightweight title bout between champion Benson Henderson and challenger Gilbert Melendez, as well as the highly anticipated matchup between heavyweights Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir.
UFC 159—will be the UFC’s first pay-per-view card in over a month and will feature a light heavyweight title bout between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. The event will take place on April 27th, live from the Prudential Arena in Newark, New Jersey.
UFC on FX 8—the free card on the FX network will showcase the UFC’s stable of Brazilian fighters as the event will be broadcast from Santa Catarina, Brazil. The card will be headlined by a main-event matchup between UFC legend Vitor Belfort and up-and-coming middleweight Luke Rockhold.
Fighters to Know
Benson Henderson, Gilbert Melendez—Both lightweight fighters will be square off during the main-event of UFC on Fox 7, and have the potential to put on a fight-of-the-year type performance. Henderson is the current lightweight champion and has dominated the division since winning the belt from Frankie Edgar during UFC 144. Melendez held the Strikeforce lightweight belt for over four years, and was the organization’s final 155lb champion. This matchup will be a champion-versus-champion bout that will final settle who is the number one lightweight in the world.
Jon Jones—was the youngest UFC champion in the organization’s history, and has dominated the light heavyweight division since he won the title two years ago. Jones is the type of fighter with the perfect blend of speed, power and technique to dominate the division for years to come. Jones has the potential to go down as the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.
Daniel Cormier—is the new ‘it’ fighter in the heavyweight division and has received a large amount of hype after winning the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, and knocking out Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva in one of his final fights for the now defunct organization. Cormier will put his skills to the test against former UFC champ and jiu-jitsu expert Frank Mir.
How to Bet the UFC
Wagering on a UFC fight is similar to betting on boxing. The sport deals only in moneylines, which usually stay in the -115 to -350 range, but can go as high as -1000 for a heavy favorite. Gamblers can also wager on the over or under for the duration of the fight. One thing to keep in mind is that fights are usually three five-minute rounds, with the exception of championship matchups and for the main-event of cards that do not feature a title bout. Those fights are sanctioned for five five-minute rounds.
UFC bettors tend to make their money betting parlays. The average bettor simply does not have the bankroll to bet on multiple -300 moneylines, so will instead parlay a few fights in order to get much bettor odds at a much cheaper prices. The best bet for a gambler looking to parlay a UFC event is to not wager more than three fights at a time, as anything above that number will begin to creep into ‘suckers bet’ territory.