Whether you’ve only heard of MMA on TV or seen it online, here’s everything you need to know about this popular fighting sport and how to bet on it.
What is MMA?
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact fighting sport that combines techniques from all of the major combat sports and martial arts from around the world. Influencing sports include Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, Boxing, Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu.
Fighters compete in a fenced ring or octagonal stage called The Octagon over 3 or 5 rounds of 5 minutes each. The aim is to beat their opponent through a knockout, judges’ decision, referee stoppage, fight doctor decision, submission, or one corner throwing in the towel.
Mixed Martial Arts began as a fighting sport with very few rules and was regarded as a little brutal as a result. However, since imposing new rules to protect fighters and align with sports regulations and broaden appeal, Mixed Martial Arts is now as popular as boxing and wrestling, with a worldwide following.
Major Event Organisers: UFC and Bellator
The two biggest MMA event organisers in the world are the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in Las Vegas and Bellator MMA in California.
Founded in 1993, the UFC is the biggest MMA promotion company in the world having held over 500 events and being valued as a multi-billion dollar enterprise. ‘The Octagon’ is UFC’s patented fighting stage, with a special event planned for June where this eight-sided ring will be placed on the beach and called ‘Fight Island’. In the run-up, UFC plans to hold four events from May 9 to May 23, without live spectators, due to circumstances.
A lot younger than UFC but still the world’s 2nd largest MMA promoter, Bellator MMA was established in 2008. With its name stemming from the Latin bellātor, meaning ‘warrior’, Bellator MMA has held 240 events across the US, UK and Ireland since it began. Bellator MMA’s next event is tabled for June 6.
Basic MMA Rules
Let’s take a closer look at the basic rules of Mixed Martial Arts. First of all, fighters are categorised into divisions according to their weight to ensure a fair fight. There are nine weight classes: flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight.
Fights take place between two competitors inside a boxing ring, fenced stage or The Octagon (UFC fights). There are typically 3 or 5 rounds of 5 minutes each with the goal being to beat the opponent in one of several permitted ways.
The most obvious way to win is to knock out (KO) the opponent; that is, to perform legal strikes to the point where the competitor is unable to continue. However, the most common way of determining the winner is through the decision of the judges. Victory can also be claimed by a number of other methods, including by submission of the opponent, a technical knockout (TKO), or disqualification due to illegal moves.
MMA Betting Explained
At 10CRIC there are a number of ways of betting on MMA fights. Let’s look at them in more detail:
– Moneyline: This is basically match betting, where you choose who you think the winner will be
– Over/Under Rounds: Here you can choose how many rounds you think it will take for a winner to emerge
– Round Betting: This bet type allows you to bet on who you think will win a specific round of the fight
– Fight to Go the Distance: With this bet you win if you correctly predict whether or not the fight will last through the maximum number of rounds
– Method of Victory: Here you can bet on how the victory will be won. Your options include by KO/TKO/Disqualification, Submission or Points for each fighter, or by a Draw
Most Popular MMA Fighters
Now you have a better idea of what Mixed Martial Arts is all about, let’s look at some of the most well-known fighters.
– Khabib Nurmagomedov: This UFC lightweight is regarded as the best MMA fighter in the world right now. A Russian wrestler, Nurmagomedov remains unbeaten after 28 fights. His next scheduled fight against Tony Ferguson has been postponed numerous times, much to the dismay of fans.
– Tony Ferguson: A UFC welterweight boxer and wrestler from the USA, Ferguson holds a run of 12 wins in a row, with 25 wins in total against just 3 losses. He’s known for his eventful fights, which gather large audiences. Many await his clash with Nurmagomedov, which has already been postponed several times.
– Conor McGregor: Another UFC welterweight, Irishman McGregor managed to win two divisions at the same time back in 2015/16. Holding 22 wins against 4 losses, McGregor hopes to regain his success with a meaningful fight this summer.
– Douglas Lima: This Brazilian fighter of Bellator MMA welterweight division is a three-time champion. A black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and expert in Muay Thai, this guy is not to be messed with! Lima holds 32 wins against 7 losses.