One of the most incredible success stories in sports is the rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, aka the UFC. The premier MMA brand in the world has attracted millions of fans, landed lucrative broadcasting deals and crossed over into the rarified air of mainstream sports attention.
Now that sports betting has been legalized in several US states, with many more to come, interest in betting on the UFC has surged as well.
Here in New York, legal sportsbooks are open for business and neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania are fully available for online betting and betting apps. New York UFC bettors are more than welcome to get in on the action simply by popping over the border to get their bets in as they like.
If you want to get in on UFC betting online from New York, we’ll cover everything you need to know about it right here.
If you want to bet online on the UFC but can’t wait for online sportsbooks to arrive in NY, you can jump over to NJ or PA to do so right away. As long as you’re of the legal age (21) you can download any sportsbook app licensed in New Jersey, claim all your bonuses, fund your account and plan out all your UFC bets based on live odds.
All you need to do to get your next UFC bet down is just cross the border anywhere in NJ. The geolocation app you download to your phone will prove you’re within state borders and good to bet. Here are the best apps you can download to do so:
A standard UFC betting line will list the matchups and show the odds for each fighter to win. There are additional bet types to consider that we’ll cover in a bit. For now, let’s stick to the basics and look at an average listing from the DraftKings app.
For this fictitious lightweight showdown, Nurmagomedov is a pretty sizable favorite over Poirier. We can tell the favored side by the direction of the numbers: negative odds for favorites and positive for underdogs. If the range between the odds is close, oddsmakers see a tight matchup. For a big span, the fight projects as a paper mismatch.
It’s important to remember that the UFC betting odds won’t be exactly the same at each sportsbook. As such, you should always shop around to find the best price. For example, the William Hill app could have Nurmagomedov at odds of +190 to win, while the FanDuel Sportsbook app might have -170 on Poirier.
While that may not seem like much of a difference, it impacts the potential return on your wagers. To figure out how much you can expect back for winners, you can use some simple calculations. For negative odds, the number tells you how much you have to lay out for a chance to win $100 — i.e., $200 at odds of -200. When the number is positive, it’s equal to the amount you would get back for a winning $100 bet — i.e., $160 at +160.
When setting the lines, oddsmakers factor in everything you can think of, such as recent form and performance against common opponents. Odds for UFC fights typically come out well in advance of the event, which is a real bonus for handicapping purposes. You’ll have plenty of time to break down the matchup and shop around for the best prices on your selections.
The basic UFC bet is very straightforward: You simply pick which fighter you think will win, and that’s it. If you make the right call, your payout will be based on the odds at the time you placed the wager. There are several other ways to get in on the action, as well, each of which opens up some intrigue on UFC fight nights. Here’s a look at how the top bet types work.
For a moneyline bet, you are simply choosing which fighter you think will win. Odds will be listed on both sides of the matchup — negative for favorites and positive for dogs. Placing the bet is as simple as clicking on the odds for your choice, adding in your wager amount, verifying that everything is correct, and clicking submit.
Betting on the rounds of the fight is another popular way to get in on the UFC action. There are several options to consider at legal sportsbooks, including:
You can also make your bets on how you think the fight will end. Winning method bets will be included among the other props available for the individual fights. You can typically click each fight listing to find available options. Afterward, you’ll see the odds for both fighters and how they might win the match.
From the early prelims through to the main event, there are a number of fights to consider at UFC events. If you think you have a good idea about several of them, you can string them all together into a parlay in hopes of greater returns. As an example, if you liked the following three fighters to win, you could add them to a single ticket.
You can make a nice score with parlays, but remember that you have to be right on all selections to have a winning ticket. As such, parlays can be fun on a big fight night, but keep your expectations in check as the risk rises with each selection you add to the slip.
Once the card gets underway, you can keep on betting right along as the fights happen. Live betting lets you wager in real time as the fighters go toe-to-toe. It’s a fast-moving way to wager that has grown to be incredibly popular.
Offerings will vary, but you’ll see things like updated odds on the fight outcome and whether it will end in the current round. If things break differently from what you were originally anticipating, you can hedge your bets or double down on your initial selection.
Sportsbook apps are the best way to try live betting. You can handle everything right from your device. The top sportsbooks make it easy to do so with slick platforms that make it super simple to bet.
If online betting isn’t yet legal here in NY, you can take advantage of the legal online sportsbooks in both PA or NJ. New York residents can download and sign up via our links, but you’ll need to be within the legal state to place your bets. For example, here’s how to get started with the BetMGM app in New Jersey.
You can get your account set and manage it from home without issue. To place bets, just cross the border to the Garden State and log in on your phone. The app will verify your location with geolocation tracking so you’ll be good to go.
As a general rule, you should plan on having your bets in before the fighters are being introduced. At some shops, you might be able to get bets in right up until the first bell, while others will cut off wagering once the fighters are actually in the ring. To avoid missing out, get your wagers in before that happens and, if you want, shift your focus to live betting.
If a fight goes the distance, there’s a chance it’ll end as a draw once the judges’ scorecards are tallied up. When this happens, sportsbooks will treat any wagers on the fight outcome as pushes, as in a tie or no winner. For grading purposes, the sportsbook will treat such bets as void, with wagering amounts returned to bettors.
A disqualification could happen if things get out of hand in the octagon, such as a fighter disregarding referee instructions after multiple warnings. If this happens, the other side will be declared the winner and bets on that side will be graded as such. In the rare instance of a DQ happening between rounds, it will be as if the fight ended in the previous round.
Legal retail sports betting is available in NY with viable online and mobile options to explore nearby. However, the black market for gambling has not gone away. It’s still out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reasonable option for you to consider. The legal betting sites are the way to go. Here’s why.
When sportsbooks legally set up shop in a state, that means they’ve gone through a detailed application process. They’ve passed muster with state gambling regulators and have had to make a healthy investment just to open up. On the operations side, they have to guarantee the safety of customer funds.
If a problem happens to arise, the top shops have dedicated customer service teams there to help. To deposit and withdraw funds, you have several options to consider. Transactions will be processed quickly and swiftly, and you’ll be paid for any winning bets without issue.
All of the above does not apply to illegal offshore sites. You’re putting your funds at risk unnecessarily by playing there, and there have been plenty of sad stories to back that up. Unfortunately, those who get burned don’t have much in the way of recourse. If you stick to the legal and regulated shops, you don’t have to worry about that happening to you.
Each sportsbook has its own set of house rules in place that cover all of the ins and outs of UFC wagering. By consulting the rules, you can get a handle on how things like bet settlement and placement are handled, as well as how the book will treat various circumstances that may pop up. Here’s the basic overview of what you need to know.
That covers the basics, but we encourage you to take the time to review the details at the books you play on. While you’ll find that many sportsbooks handle things the same way, there could be an occasional variance. If there’s not a dedicated section for house rules at the book, look through the help or FAQ sections or reach out to customer service for guidance.
Betting on the UFC can be fun and exciting, but it can take some time to get acclimated for those new to the sport. While there is a learning curve, those who put in the time can get comfortable pretty quickly. Here’s a handful of UFC betting tips you can use:
If you take the time to work those tips into your repertoire, you’ll be on the path toward success. Once you have the basics down, you can start to dig deeper by comparing fighting styles and various statistics from previous matchups to find additional clues.
A big night of UFC fight action can translate into a great time to go out and have some fun. There are a number of bars across the state that fit the bill. Here’s a trio of spots that you should consider visiting the next time a card is on tap.
Through the years, there have been a number of jaw-dropping moments in the octagon that kept everyone talking. There have also been lots of fights that have ended in controversy once the judges got involved. Here’s a look back at three of the more controversial decision victories in UFC history:
The dominant Jon Jones got a run for his money in a light-heavyweight title defense against Dominick Reyes. The heavily favored champ won it on the scorecards in the end, but scores of fans saw things differently.
Georges St-Pierre is a legendary figure in MMA history. During his run of dominance, he narrowly escaped with a split decision win over Johny Hendricks. For many observers, the big underdog appeared to do enough to snag the victory.
This time, it was a decision in favor of the underdog that shocked the world. Frankie Edgar wasn’t being given much of a chance in a lightweight title bout with B.J. Penn, but the scorecards called him the unanimous winner in a closely fought matchup.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship formed in 1993 with an eye toward deciding which fighting style was best. The inaugural event was an eight-man tournament with no weight classes in which Brazilian legend Royce Gracie came out on top.
The lack of classes and lax rules led to criticism and backlash for the upstart promotion, but the UFC plowed ahead. In 2001, it was purchased by the Fertitta brothers for $2 million. Dana White was installed as president, and the sport’s meteoric rise from a niche offering into a legit attraction began soon thereafter.
The initial investment by the Fertittas would pay off handsomely. In 2016, a group led by Endeavor ponied up more than $4 billion to acquire the company. UFC continues to grow exponentially. It’s latest broadcasting deal is with ESPN, and there’s coverage across the network’s family of channels.
Looking forward, UFC fights have grown from being a curiosity into events that attract mainstream attention. There are no signs that the upward trajectory will be altering course anytime soon. On the betting front, UFC is an attraction for sportsbooks. The top events bring in tons of action, and that will only continue as additional states come online with legalization.