UFC Betting

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UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3

Is this it for Conor McGregor? Every athlete passes their peak sometime – unless they retire first – and there’s a good chance we’ve already seen the best of McGregor. Then again, maybe the former two-division champion will write a new chapter in his storied legacy on July 10 when he takes on Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, in the rubber match of their seven-year trilogy. Bovada Sportsbook has each fighter at –110 on the UFC 264 odds board as we go to press. It doesn’t get any closer than that.

UFC 264 Main Event: Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor

There’s no question that McGregor (22-5 lifetime, 10-3 UFC) is the more accomplished and celebrated of the two men who will be featured in the main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – in front of a capacity crowd that should be even more frenzied than usual. But success may have spoiled McGregor; the cracks started showing in his behavior away from the Octagon, then he came up short against Khabib Nurmagomedov three years ago at UFC 229, tapping out in the fourth round.

Poirier (27-6, 1 NC lifetime; 19-5, I NC UFC) isn’t in quite the same class as Nurmagomedov – nobody is – yet he was more than good enough to beat McGregor this past January at UFC 257. The Louisiana native handed McGregor his first-ever knockout loss, scoring a second-round TKO to even their lifetime series at 1-1 and cash in at a healthy +260 on Bovada’s UFC odds board. Given the trajectory of their two careers, Poirier has to like his chances in this Lightweight bout, but again, McGregor has all the talent in the world. This is his fight to lose.

UFC 264 Odds: Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson

There’s more than one fighter in Las Vegas looking for a shot at redemption. Burns (19-4 lifetime, 12-4 UFC) climbed all the way up the Welterweight ladder, but he couldn’t take the title off Kamaru Usman this past February when they met in the main event at UFC 258, losing via third-round TKO. Burns was competitive though, winning the first round with his exceptional striking before Usman found his groove.

Thompson (16-4-1 lifetime, 11-4-1 UFC) knows a thing or two about striking. The 5th-degree black belt in Kenpo – literally “Fist Method” – is attempting a renaissance of his own at age 38, hoping to get back into the title picture after just failing to beat Tyron Woodley twice (one majority draw, one majority decision) for the belt in 2016 and 2017. The man they call “Wonderboy” is the –155 favorite, according to Bovada’s MMA betting odds, but can he still get it done against an opponent this good? 

UFC 264 Odds: Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya

The lone women’s matchup on the main card is a Bantamweight bout between Aldana (12-6 lifetime, 5-4 UFC), ranked fourth in the division, and No. 5 Kunitskaya (14-5, 1 NC lifetime; 4-2 UFC), the former Invicta FC champion. The UFC betting community has taken a shine to Aldana at –125, despite last October’s loss to Holly Holm via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN 16, with Holm taking each of the five rounds. That fight had to be postponed for two months after Aldana tested positive for COVID-19.

Kunitskaya, on the other hand, is coming off back-to-back victories over Julija Stoliarenko and Ketlen Vieira, both by unanimous decision. However, you could make the argument that Vieira deserved to win two of their three rounds – although she also came in heavy, causing them to fight at a catchweight of 138 pounds. Kunitskaya and her team at Jackson Wink definitely have some betting value here at +105.

Other UFC 264 Odds

There are 10 other fights lined up for UFC 264 at press time, featuring some very familiar names on the MMA odds board. Don’t miss the early prelims starting at 6:15 PM ET on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, where Jessica Eye and Jennifer Maia (–200) will throw down in the Women’s Flyweight division. Then it’s the main prelims at 8 PM on TSN, capped by what should be an entertaining Welterweight bout between Max Griffin (–185) and Carlos Condit, the former interim champion at 170 pounds. The main card will be on pay-per-view starting at 10 PM ET. Keep checking back with Bovada Sportsbook for the latest UFC betting lines as bell time approaches.

Odds as of July 1st, 2021

Bet on the UFC


How to Bet on the UFC: UFC Betting Explained

There was a time when boxing was the biggest combat sport in the world. These days, more people are betting on mixed martial arts – especially when it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) putting on the show. This promotion has skyrocketed since its first pay-per-view card in 1993, back when it was no holds barred; new rules and regulations have turned the UFC into a sweet science all its own, allowing the company to spread across the globe. This UFC Betting 101 introduction will show you how to bet on MMA at Bovada Sportsbook, from basic wagers to simple strategies you can use to knock out your competition.

Betting on the UFC

The UFC holds dozens of events every year, with somewhere around a dozen fights on every card. The major events are pay-per-views, and smaller shows are aired on cable television and UFC Fight Pass; each card will feature a main event, often a title fight for one of the promotion’s 12 weight divisions, as well as a co-main event. Here are the different ways you can get in on the UFC betting action:

UFC Moneyline Betting

This has been the standard way to bet on combat sports for well over a century. UFC Moneyline odds are a form of fixed-odds betting, where you choose one of the two fighters to win straight-up, no point spread attached. In North America, these odds are typically expressed using the American odds format. To better understand exactly what are UFC Moneyline odds, let’s look at the famous August 2016 Welterweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 202:

Diaz              +120
McGregor       –150

Unless it’s a pick’em, every fight has a favorite and an underdog. The favorite will always have a negative sign next to their MMA odds; in this matchup, McGregor was the –150 favorite, paying out $100 for every $150 wagered (smaller and larger bets are allowed). The underdog usually has a positive sign next to their odds, although that’s not always the case with two closely matched opponents. In this fight, Diaz was the +120 underdog, paying out $120 for every $100 wagered.


UFC Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is a combination bet that lets you group together a number of individual Moneyline wagers. If you get all your picks right, your payout increases exponentially, but if you get a single pick wrong, the parlay loses. You can put anywhere between two and 12 Moneyline bets in your UFC parlays. The more lines you add, the higher the potential payout. So how do UFC parlay bets work? Let’s say you wanted to combine the McGregor-Diaz fight at UFC 202 with the co-main event, a Light Heavyweight bout between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Glover Teixeira:

Teixeira           +175
Johnson           –225

Here, Johnson was the –225 favorite, while Teixeira was the +175 underdog. If you parlayed Johnson together with McGregor, congratulations: Both favorites won their fights. Betting $50 on each of them separately would have earned you $44.44 in profit, but since you parlayed them instead, you earned $140.74. You can calculate your potential payouts by multiplying the odds for each fight in your parlay, either by hand or with an online parlay calculator. Even better, Bovada Sportsbook will do the math for you when you’re filling out your bet slip.

UFC Futures Betting

If you’ve been stumped trying to figure out just what is a UFC futures bet, we’ve got you covered. In general, the UFC odds for each card will be made available well in advance, but every once in a while, speculative odds will be published for a fight that may or may not take place in the future. This can happen when two really big-name fighters appear to be on a collision course. If there’s enough interest in their potential fight, UFC futures odds will go up on the board. You’ll find them under “UFC Futures” when you open the UFC menu at Bovada Sportsbook.

Betting on UFC futures looks exactly the same as betting on the Moneyline. There will be a favorite and an underdog, and the odds for each fighter will adjust depending on how much action they draw. Once their prospective fight is made official, those odds will be taken off the UFC futures board and put on the regular market.

UFC Prop Betting

Aside from the Moneyline, UFC prop bets (short for proposition bets) are the most popular way to bet on MMA’s most popular promotion. Rather than picking a straight-up winner, UFC props ask you to wager on things like the method of victory (KO/TKO/DQ, submission, or decision), and whether the fight will go OVER or UNDER a certain number of rounds.

Much like the Super Bowl, betting on UFC props can be both fun and profitable. The more popular the fight, the more props you’ll have at your disposal; you might be able to bet on whether a fighter will win during a specific round, or whether they’ll win by unanimous decision. Don’t forget to look for these props anytime you’re considering a bet on the UFC.

UFC Betting Tips

Think you know your way around the Octagon better than most people? If you’ve been following the sport for some time, you’ve probably developed a solid base of knowledge that can help you beat the UFC odds. But even if you’re betting on MMA for the first time, you can gain an advantage by remembering two simple rules of thumb:


1. Styles make fights. Every UFC fighter comes from a certain MMA background. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is common, but a well-rounded practitioner will bring other martial arts to the table, be it wrestling, boxing, karate, Muay Thai, sambo, judo, or other forms. Ideally, your chosen fighter will be strong in the two basic elements of MMA: striking and grappling. They’ll also be strong on both offense and defense. If you see a fighter who’s gifted at ground-and-pound going up against someone who isn’t skilled at defending from underneath, that’s a mismatch that you can take advantage of.

2. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. There are 12 different weight classes in the UFC: eight males, and four females. The lightest division is Women’s Strawweight (up to 115 pounds), and the heaviest is Heavyweight (male, 206-265 pounds). As a rule, the lighter divisions have more of their fights end in decision, while the heavier classes will see more knockouts. You can use this knowledge, combined with the styles and past records of each fighter, to take advantage of the UFC props. For example, a Women’s Strawweight bout will end in a decision roughly 70% of the time; put two defensive strikers in the Octagon together, and a decision becomes even more likely.

Because the UFC has become so popular, detailed biographies of most fighters are available on the internet, showing their MMA backgrounds, which belts they’ve been awarded, and the results for all their previous fights – both in MMA and other combat sports. A little research will go a long way in helping you make sharper UFC picks. In the meantime, you now have everything you need to get started betting on the UFC. For more information, check out the FAQ and Help guide at Bovada Sportsbook, and feel free to contact Customer Service if you need further assistance.

Bovada UFC 264 Odds