The rise of MMA – Mixed Martial Arts – shows how the power of the internet, coupled with live television, can take a sport from the fringes and into the mainstream. Once seen as a quirky mix of disciplines that was struggling to catch on, MMA is now a big favourite with fight fans while the best exponents have become household names in their own right.
The sport has gained great interest from the betting community too. These days, most sportsbooks quote prices for MMA but they need to do more than just list it amongst the rest of the options on their site. Anyone looking to bet seriously on this sport needs all of the major tournaments to be covered and hopefully a good range of side markets beyond the straight result.
Strong prices also need to exist within all of those options so which bookies are getting it right? Here’s a list of our favourites.
Like a lot of bookmakers, Paddy Power list their MMA and UFC markets together. These are two disciplines but both are growing areas of betting and this is one bookmaker that gives them plenty of support.
The first positive point to note is the choice: Paddy list lots of upcoming professional bouts irrespective of their stature so if you want to bet on world titles and the more obscure fights, this is a good place to start. As a long established brand, Paddy Power have been listed on the main odds comparison sites for some years now and we can easily see that prices are strong right across the board. This particular bookie is often out on their own in terms of the best prices for MMA markets so the value is definitely there.
As for choice, this is backed up by lots of side markets such as method of victory, round betting and much more so, for anyone looking to get involved with MMA, this is a perfect place to start.
The only real difference to Paddy Power is that Stan James list fewer side markets but otherwise, this is still a great place to bet on MMA. The range of fight coverage is good once again with all the major bouts lined up plus a selection of the smaller match ups.
Stan James are another bookmaker who have been on those odds comparison sites for some time and once again the value is clearly there. They are often out on their own with the best prices and are never completely out of step with the rest of the industry so if you are happy to focus on result markets, this is another obvious place to be for MMA betting.
It is important for any bookmaker to get on to the main odds comparison sites and 32Red’s sportsbook is a new addition to those lists. It means that we can tell at a glance whether there is value for money to be had here and happily that’s the case for much of 32Red’s sports coverage.
We can include MMA fighting in that list as the prices here are really strong and that’s the main benefit if you’re looking to get involved with MMA betting here. The selection of fights could perhaps be a little wider although the bigger bouts are certainly included and there is a good set of side markets when they are listed.
But it’s pricing that really stands out here so, if you want to bet on the bigger MMA fights as and when they come along, 32Red is perhaps the first bookie to add to the list.
Although they trade with a very familiar brand name, Sun Bets are new to the world of sports betting but they have built up a strong following since launching in 2016. They have quickly become known for innovation and their support of niche events and while MMA is growing in popularity, we can probably still refer to it as a ‘niche’ sport.
Once again, pricing is key here and despite the fact that this is a new bookie, they have already been accepted onto the biggest odds comparison sites so we know straight away that the prices are good on all sports, including MMA.
Like some of the bookies on this list, the choice of fights is slightly more restricted and for the lesser bouts, the result betting may be the only option. The list of side markets increases for the world title fights however and there is an excellent range on offer when they do drop in. Overall, this is another MMA bookie that focuses on odds but those odds happen to be excellent.
This is an operator that has built a reputation in many areas. There is a great set of promotions on offer at 10Bet including one of the biggest welcome deals on the market and from there, this has proved to be one of the best homes for in play betting.
The choice for in play extends to MMA too and here you will find a seriously wide range of bouts, from the big, world title fights to the smaller match ups in leagues around the world. There may not be such a big range of side markets but once again price is key so 10Bet have struck a good balance for MMA punters to enjoy.
Unlike the other names on this list, 21Bet do not have the advantage of being placed on the main odds comparison sites and that’s a shame because their odds can compete with anyone here. Check a few MMA fights for yourself and you’ll see that the prices stack up really well and they can certainly compete with the established names from around the sportsbooks.
The choice is fantastic too with top title fights and smaller bouts all included. The only minor downside is a lack of options other than straight result betting but if that isn’t a problem, then 21Bet should arguably be the first name on your MMA list.
There’s no great mystery to the factors required when choosing the best bookmaker for any sport. Whether you are a serious punter or someone who just likes to have an occasional bet, the first thing to look for is strong prices. You need to know that you are getting value for money and that your chosen operator isn’t out of step with the rest of the industry.
From there, the next important factor is choice; a good set of markets is needed and a wide range of the most important events should be covered. As far as MMA betting is concerned, some bookmakers combine both of these aspects perfectly. Others will tend to focus on one of those factors but all of these bookies have at least one thing in common as they will provide a great home if you are interested in MMA and looking for a new place to play.