UFC Betting

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UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa

How close were we to seeing Khabib Nurmagomedov back in the Octagon? Rumor has it the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter was going to face Justin Gaethje on September 26 at UFC 253, live on pay-per-view from a location yet to be determined at press time, but that’s no longer the case. They’ll have to wait next month for UFC 254. Regardless, we’ve still got two title fights on the UFC 253 MMA odds board at Bovada Sportsbook – including a must-see matchup featuring another pound-for-pound phenom.


UFC 253 Odds: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa

There aren’t enough adjectives in the world to describe Adesanya – but his nickname comes pretty close. The man they call “The Last Stylebender” has taken the MMA world by storm, going undefeated in 19 career matches (8-0 inside the Octagon) and taking the UFC Middleweight title off Robert Whittaker last October. Fighting out of New Zealand by way of Nigeria, Adesanya uses his boxing and kickboxing skills to strike from any angle, switching stances with ease, and his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is strong enough to fend off most takedown attempts.

However, Bovada’s MMA betting odds only have Adesanya as a –165 favorite for this title fight. That’s because the champion is facing another undefeated commodity in Costa (13-0 lifetime, 5-0 UFC), the former Jungle Fight Middleweight champ in his native Brazil. Both fighters are coming off unanimous decisions over Yoel Romero, one of the world’s better fighters at 185 pounds. Adesanya stands three inches taller than Costa at 6-foot-4 with an eight-inch reach advantage; between that and his versatility, he should be able to hang onto his belt when all is said and done, but it won’t be easy.


UFC 253 Odds: Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz

The second title fight on the UFC odds board is for the vacant Light Heavyweight title, which Jon “Bones” Jones willingly gave up in an attempt to shoehorn himself into the Heavyweight picture. Reyes (12-1 lifetime, 6-1 UFC) is the –260 favorite, with his only loss coming against Jones in his last fight at UFC 247. The result was a unanimous decision, but the fight could have gone either way – many observers thought Reyes did enough to earn the victory. Maybe that’s the real reason Jones is moving up in weight.

Blachowicz (26-8 lifetime, 9-5 UFC) is a worthy contender. He was the KSW champion back in his native Poland before joining the UFC, and he has won seven of his last eight fights, earning five performance bonuses and knocking out both Luke Rockhold and Corey Anderson along the way. Blachowicz is outmatched on paper here against the southpaw Reyes, but he’s very much a live underdog, and this should be a high-octane fight at the very least.


UFC 253 Odds: Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov

With Claudia Gadelha (knee) forced to step away from this card on Monday, this Featherweight matchup moves up to the No. 3 spot – although that could change by the time September 26 rolls around. It’s a toss-up between Dawodu (11-1-1 lifetime, 4-1 UFC), a versatile Muay Thai fighter from Calgary, and Tukhugov (19-4-1 lifetime, 4-1-1 UFC), a 10-year Chechen veteran with impressive Sambo skills. Both men are priced at –115 heading into the Octagon.

The clash of styles between these two should make this an incredible fight. Dawodu has a five-inch reach advantage over Tukhugov, allowing him to strike with volume and accuracy; Tukhugov is the better grappler, starting his MMA career by winning his division at the Pankration Atrium Cup 2 tournament in Moscow. Chances are this one will go the distance, but who will prevail?


Other UFC 253 Odds

The card for UFC 253 is still taking shape at press time, but there’s no need to wait; 10 active fights are available on the UFC betting board. There’s a good chance we’ll see the eleventh fight between Ciryl Gane and Shamil Abdurakhimov, although odds for that Heavyweight bout have yet to be posted.

While we can’t know for sure if this will make the main card (10 PM ET), at the moment, Diego Sanchez looks like he’ll be in the opener, fighting at Welterweight against Jake Matthews – but as the +375 underdog, Sanchez (9-10 since late 2009) might regret continuing to put off his retirement. Keep checking in with Bovada Sportsbook for fresh odds as this card develops, and get ready for what should be a very entertaining show.


*Odds as of September 11, 2020


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.


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