Fans of martial arts know that MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) predates boxing, in fact, it is known that each culture had their own unique fighting style in ancient times. The arts were more preserved in Asian countries than in the West, so despite this fact, boxing has had more media coverage and is a more popular sport than any other form of martial arts. However, this is beginning to change as championships like Bellator and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) are stealing the spotlight.
The styles involved in MMA are quite a few but they all stem from the oldest form of Muay, which later on evolved into Muay Thai. Kickboxing was developed on the basis of this martial art, with the difference in allowed strikes and gear used. Back in Thailand, where MMA matches were first held, underground matches with close to no rules are still held.
When it comes to betting, though, boxing predates MMA as it started when the sport itself gained popularity around the 16th century. It was included in online betting sites quite quickly while MMA betting online is still new.
Features of Boxing/MMA Betting sites
Naturally, online betting is gaining popularity amongst fans as it is far more convenient and offers a great variety of betting options, not to mention, a better chance to cut back on your losses. There are a few key features of these betting sites that we shall explain.
User-Friendliness and Market Diversity
Whether it is WBA, WBF, IBF, IBO or any other boxing event, you will in all likelihood find a website to bet on. World Championships, naturally, receive larger coverage by both media and online betting websites alike. Overall, boxing betting has been taken seriously by online bookers from the very beginning of the online sports betting industry. Nowadays, its fame has slightly faded but we definitely do not expect it to be knocked out of the online gambling industry any time soon.
It is important to note what we mentioned earlier – the MMA online betting community is still in development. With that said, most websites offer two MMA tournaments you can bet on – Bellator and UFC. During the last few years they have been growing in popularity all over the world, with brand new TV channels dedicated solely to MMA matches. The spark of adrenaline they offer and the diversity of moves the spectator is presented with may take this sport to the top.
The betting rules are quite alike for both sports, though, with the main two options being betting on whether someone will win or lose. Of course, you can also bet on a tie, knockout, technical knockout, disqualification, decision and technical decision.
You do not need to be an expert in order to make an educated bet with a quick look at the players’ stats – their height, weight, reach and most importantly, their fighting style, or the martial arts they are proficient in. It also does not hurt to look into the history of the fighters – whether they are slow winners or rely on a direct and quick strategy and so on. If you do not wish to delve that deeply, however, most sites offer their own odds that you can choose to rely on.
Live Betting and Live Streams
There are some pretty great options when it comes to live betting on boxing or MMA matches. Some websites give you the chance to withdraw your bet at some point during the match itself is still going, so you can withdraw your winnings or your losses before the fight is over. Other websites are mostly fixed and all you can do is raise or lower your bid at certain points. Not to mention that this is a great way to watch your favourite boxing or MMA events right on your desktop.
Most online betting websites that offer boxing or MMA betting have their own guides on how to pick your fighter. They are, however, usually generalized and not referring specifically to the players you wish to bet on so you will likely need to do some research or watch a few previous matches in order to place your bet wisely.
As we already said, there are a few basic stats you need to know before making an educated guess and this information is easily available on the internet.
Wider Device Compatibility
This is another great feature that online sports betting presents. Not only can you bet from the comfort of your home, but also on the go.
No more waiting around for bookies, standing in line to make a bet, being stuck in a shouting sweaty crowd – no, online betting is the future of sports betting, offering you with the possibility to place a bet anywhere, anytime.
Boxing / MMA Odds
You can find a few types of odds formats when it comes to online boxing and MMA betting but the default one usually always is the fractions type.
Also known as UK odds, this type presents you with the format being 1/5 or 5/35, varying with each fight and fighter. This gives you an exact idea of how big your win would be, based on your bet.
Another odds format you can find is the so-called American odds format. They are also known as Moneyline odds and are based on favourites and underdogs. The odds can be positive or negative.
American odds for betting on a favorite work by showing how much money you would have to risk in order to win £100. The way they work for betting on an underdog is that the positive number shows how much you could win if you risk £100.
You can also find decimal, Indo and Chinese odds formats. With decimal odds all you need to do is use the figure given to calculate your potential win with your hypothetical bet. Decimal odds are essentially equivalent to the decimal value of the fractional odds, plus one, so if the odds are 1.222 and you bet £10, then your win will be £12.22.
Indo odds also include positive and negative numbers while with the Chinese odds format you have the same numbers as the ones in decimal but with 1.0 down, so if the odds in decimal are 1.22, then in Chinese they will be 0.22.
Betting on Boxing/MMA – How to Start?
Research is key here as the odds your favourite online casino presents you with are not always enough. Of course, looking through them is important in order to know what your win may potentially be but you cannot rely solely on that. Every fighter has unique features and checking once is not enough either as they develop and evolve. It is an interesting fact that a large number of boxers have moved to the MMA industry and naturally, that affects their fighting style.
The basic stats we mentioned earlier – height, weight, reach, fighting style are all very important to look through but another important factor is how many fights they have won and lost. Not only that, but the manner in which they won or lost also matters. This way you can determine whether a fight will last more than one round. Of course, if both fighters have similar styles and techniques, all you can rely on is their stats.
The advantage of height has been noted by many as the most important one. However, it is far from a guarantee that a taller fighter will win. It is not that hard to use an opponent’s height against them, in fact, smaller fighters move faster and deliver more precise blows. But, of course, then comes the question of durability and this once again has to do with other factors.
Weight is another such advantage and can be used against someone. Naturally, if you have someone pinned to the ground or the side (if the match is taking place in a cage), weight plays a great role and will likely guarantee you a submission, or at least a win for the round. However, if you are knocked down, all the weight creates a stronger impact and therefore is more debilitating to a heavier player.
The reach of a player is extremely important. If one player’s reach does not cover their opponent’s, they are less likely to land key blows as their opponent can keep at a larger distance that will still allow them to strike. As with all other advantages, though, this one is relative too – if you lack technique and speed, you may still lose despite your natural advantage.
So, we get to technique and style – the key to all MMA and Boxing matches’ outcome. Usually, when a fighter is presented, the camp they trained in is displayed. There may also be a list of the martial arts they are proficient in and this must all be taken into account. In order to do this, you must also be familiar with the key features of each fighting style and martial art at play. So, once again, it is down to research.
The most common influencing martial arts and fighting styles are boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, wrestling, Karate, Taekwondo, and Capoeira. Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to martial arts fighters may have learned and been influenced by. But naturally, it is important to know the basics of at least these martial arts.
With boxing, for instance, there are additional styles and techniques you can delve into but the best way to figure out which one a given fighter is using is by watching them fight. It quickly becomes apparent and once you have seen their main combinations and key moves, you will know what that fighter’s chances of winning are.
Muay Thai is a more violent type of martial art, with the fighter utilizing all their limbs and some combinations and strikes which are illegal to use in some tournaments. So depending on the rules of the tournament you are betting on, you can decide whether possessing this skill is an advantage or not.
Kickboxing is derived from Muay Thai and is basically a milder version of the original martial art, with more limited strikes and combinations that are deemed fair and legal by pretty much all federations. However, if a player is proficient only in kickboxing and their opponent has a history of martial arts behind them, you may wish to bet on the more experienced fighter.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. So if a fighter with this martial art to their name has their opponent on the ground and in a lock, they are pretty much guaranteed a victory. All that is left for you to determine is whether the opponent will be knocked out or will submit.
Judo’s main elements involve throwing and taking down your opponent, which in and of itself can result in a knockout. If it does not, however, Judo fighters are known for their ability to pin their opponents down and get them in a joint lock or a choke, forcing them into submission.
A fighter with a background in wrestling will rely heavily on their weight and height, using mainly grappling techniques. The sport is mostly reliant on physical strength but then there is entertainment wrestling which involves all sort of unbelievable techniques. Anyone who has seen WWE will know what we are referencing here. Of course, fighters are not allowed to pull any such stunts in most boxing or MMA matches, but it is still an advantage of sorts.
Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom under the influence of the Chinese martial art Fujian White Crane. A karateka (a karate practitioner) has the skills of a kickboxer and many more. The additional techniques karatekas have include spear-hands, palm-heel strikes and even knife-hands. In addition, vital-point strikes are another technique used by karatekas, but the aforementioned is unlikely to be performed in a MMA match.
Taekwondo involves mostly kicks – head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques. It is a Korean martial art that emphasizes on speed and agility and is based on the Theory of Power, which states that speed is more important than mass for a strike to be strong.
Capoeira is a key element of Brazilian culture so it is no mere martial art, it was deemed an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. So, what makes it so special? Well, it not only involves strikes and all sorts of fighting techniques but also involves dancing. The art requires great agility, speed, strength and endurance. An opponent trained in the art of Capoeira will use every advantage to its utmost extent.
As you know, there are a lot of martial arts all over the world, sometimes with different variations over different cultures, so it may not be possible to be well-acquainted with all of them, but these should at least help you get a basic idea of what chances a given fighter has.
Common Types of Boxing/MMA Bets
The simplest and most common types are picking one of the two fighters as a winner or picking the option that the match ends in a draw. However, there are various other types of bets depending on which online betting website you choose.
This bet depends on many factors as we mentioned earlier and additionally fighters suffer injuries throughout the fights and even if initially the odds of a fighter were good, after an injury they will be less likely to win. The injury does not need to be critical as some fighters rely more heavily on kicks, for instance, and if their leg is injured they would need to readjust their style and that may set them back.
For boxing, you can bet on a win by stoppage or by points. For MMA matches you can bet on a win by knockout, technical knockout, submission or points.
You can also sometimes bet on whether or not there will be a knockdown in a specific round; whether both fighters will go down in a fight; or the opposite, where both fighters remain on their feet throughout.
With Live Betting there are even more possibilities. Most websites offer only pre-fight bets, but the ones that offer the live betting option give you a much better chance at betting on a winner. Throughout the progression of a fight you can see whether a fighter seems to be winning or not, who is getting the upper hand, who is scoring more points and that is usually also reflected in the odds of the fighters.
Tips on How to Find the Best Boxing/MMA Betting Sites
As we mentioned, the online betting industry for MMA events is still growing, but that does not mean that you have no choice when it comes to finding the right booker for you. There are still plenty of websites to choose from but naturally, you should look for the best of the best. The way to find them is by comparison.
The bets you can place on different fights usually vary from website to website and so you can pick the one with the odds you like best. If you are certain that a fighter will win a certain fight, then you should find the best possible payout for your bet. You should, of course, keep in mind that this will increase your losses in case you are wrong, so always bet responsively.
Something else to look for in a sports betting website is variety. You can check which tournaments and championships are covered by a given website and also if they are covered live. Not a lot of websites offer live betting events when it comes to boxing and MMA.