Thanks to the major boom in popularity of UFC fights, mixed martial arts has found its way into the heart of sports fans all across the world. For many decades, people used to look forward to boxing as the premier combat sport, and fork over large sums of money to watch it unfold on Pay Per View. At this point in time, fans are doing a similar thing to ensure that their schedules are cleared, and packages are purchased for the next premium event.
As attention flocks to the relatively new mixed martial arts league, so too does wagering interest in their fighters. For sports bettors looking to sign up for free bets, or a relatively simple way to get into betting in the individual sports realm, MMA is a good place to start.
When deciding who to bet on and what type of wager to place, it is helpful to keep a few pieces of information in mind to help guide your decision.
Determining The Prospects of an Upset
- The betting favorite in a matchup is expected to win, so placing money on that competitor may be a safer play. However, placing a wager on an underdog who comes out victorious will be much more profitable.
- While it may be tempting to sprinkle some money across a few underdogs in a given MMA weekend, the reality is that only a couple may actually spring upsets. It will be up to you as the bettor to determine which underdogs are likely to surprise.
- How do you forecast something that most people believe won’t happen? Looking at the data and trends surrounding each fighter may give you clues. For example, if an underdog has lost a few fights in later rounds, but has never been knocked out, and the favorite gets most of their wins via TKO, that could be a recipe for an upset. The favorite may try to end things early, could and get frustrated when the underdog is still upright and aggressive.
- Underdogs aren’t usually overlooked for very long. However, if they have a history of coming out on top while their chances to win are viewed as nominal, it likely means they won’t be fazed going up against someone who is perceived to be better than they are.
Consider Weight Class Novices
- Weigh-ins in MMA are largely for show and serve as a way for the fight to be promoted in the days leading up to the event. However, it can serve as an indicator of how hard a fighter has been training, and how seriously they take their opponent.
- At the end of the day, the weight of the two fighters likely won’t differ all that much, but it’s entirely possible that one fighter is more comfortable in that range. Some fighters gain weight or lose weight in order to participate in a certain weight class.
- If one fighter is making their debut in a weight class, they may not be ready for the nuances that come with fighting while their frame is heavier or lighter. It could be a good opportunity to take advantage of their inexperience by placing a bet on the opponent.
Review Physical Statistics
- While the above section spent a good amount of space talking about weight, it is also good to examine some of the other physical attributes of both fighters. There can sometimes be a noticeable age gap between competitors, which might manifest itself in the outcome of the fight. For example, a younger competitor might have more stamina to go the full complement of rounds than an older fighter. However, the older fighter may be a lot more disciplined with their attacks.
- This type of research won’t be new to boxing aficionados but reach metrics also can play a factor. An MMA fighter may not be that tall or look as physically imposing as their opponent, but they might have a longer arm reach. This will allow them to strike their opponent without the need to get too close, which can be an advantage.
- Because this is MMA, the reach ability of leg strikes also need to be considered. In many fights, MMA combatants will decide to continuously kick their opponent’s leg to weaken their base, whose hits can have a cumulative effect in later rounds.