UFC Betting

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UFC 270 Betting Update

As we saw at last month’s UFC 269, anything can happen inside the Octagon; Amanda Nunes (–1100 on the closing UFC odds) dropped the Women’s Bantamweight title to Julianna Pena (+650) in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Nunes controlled the first round, but Pena dug deep, started throwing bombs in the second, and eventually took down the champ and secured a rear-naked choke for the win.

It’ll be hard to top that result when UFC 270 touches down at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, January 22. None of the fighters on this card are as heavily favored at press time as Nunes was for her title defense and the main event is about as close as it gets on paper, with the champion priced as a slight underdog on the UFC 270 odds at Bovada Sportsbook.

UFC 270 Main Event: Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

Will history repeat itself in Anaheim? Charles Oliveira was the +122 underdog when he put his Lightweight strap on the line, against the very popular Dustin Poirier, in the main event at UFC 269; Oliveira cashed in with a rear-naked choke of his own. Now it’s Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (16-3 lifetime, 11-2 UFC) who’s getting the longer odds for his title defense. Ngannou is priced at even money for this matchup, despite having won each of his last five fights and earning four performance bonuses along the way.

Francis will be stepping into the octagon to face the undefeated, and favorite for the fight, Ciryl Gane (10-0 lifetime, 7-0 UFC). We haven’t seen the –120 favorite take a loss yet as a professional, even during his 13-0 kickboxing career. Gane has used those skills to his advantage, securing the interim Heavyweight title via a third-round TKO against Derrick Lewis – one of only two men to claim a victory over Ngannou.

These are two technically sound fighters entering the Octagon and to make the bout even more interesting, Gane was Ngannou’s training partner at the MMA Factory in Paris. Despite Ngannou switching camps in 2018, and now training under Eric Nicksick at Xtreme Couture, he and Gane still share many of the same attributes. The main difference is Ngannou’s power and Gane’s speed and striking volume. Pick your poison.

UFC 270 Odds: Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

Not only is the co-main event a Flyweight championship title bout, it’s also a trilogy fight. Brandon Moreno (19-5-2 lifetime, 7-2-2 UFC) will defend his belt against Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1 lifetime, 9-2-1 UFC) as the –175 favorite on the UFC odds board, having fought Figueiredo to a majority draw in their first meeting before taking the strap via rear-naked choke this past June.

There’s an interesting subplot to the third chapter of this trilogy. Henry Cejudo, who is former training partners with Moreno, will be in Figueiredo’s corner. There’s said to be some bad blood between the two after Moreno left Cejudo’s side to become the sparring partner for Joseph Benavidez, who unsuccessfully challenged Cejudo twice for the Flyweight belt in 2020. Maybe that’s the edge Figueiredo will need to cash in as the +145 underdog.

UFC 270 Odds: Greg Hardy vs. Alexey Oleynik

The strange MMA career of Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC lifetime; 4-4, 1 NC UFC) continues at UFC 270 when he takes on 44-year-old Alexey Oleynik (59-16-1 lifetime, 8-7 UFC) in Heavyweight action. Hardy, age 33, is the former Pro Bowl defensive end in the NFL who changed sports in 2017 after multiple controversies led to his football demise. Hardy’s work in the Octagon hasn’t been entirely bad, but he’s lost back-to-back fights and desperately needs a win to stay relevant.

Luckily for Hardy, Dana White may have given him just what he needs; Oleynik is at the tail end of a remarkable career that has taken him everywhere from M-1 Global to Bellator. The submission specialist (and the only UFC fighter ever to secure a win by Ezekiel choke) has lost each of his last three fights, and at 6-foot-2 is giving up three inches to the much more powerful Hardy. It’s not exactly a gift-wrapped win for Hardy (–170), but it’s about as close as he’ll get. 

Other UFC 270 Odds

There are seven more fights on Bovada’s UFC odds board at press time, and at least two more announced bouts waiting in the wings, so keep hitting that refresh button for the latest lines as White and Co. continue to flesh out this card. For now, the highlight match on the early preliminary card (starting at 6 PM ET on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass) is a Women’s Flyweight tilt between Poliana Botelho and Ji Yeon Kim (–140), while the main prelims at 9 PM ET on ESPN2 feature a Middleweight bout between Rodolfo Vieira (–275) and Wellington Turman.

The pay-per-view portion of the card begins at 10 PM ET, and the opening bout as scheduled will see Cody Stamann take on Said Nurmagomedov (–210) in Bantamweight action. This is a pivotal fight for both men; Stamann is ranked No. 15 in the division after making the move down from 145 pounds, while Nurmagomedov – no relation to former Lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov – is two inches taller than his opponent with a six-inch reach advantage. Again, other bouts are still being added to the card, which means the order may be changed, but this is still shaping up to be one of the most competitive nights of fighting we’ve seen in a while. Enjoy the show.


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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.

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