The UFC is the largest MMA fighting league in the world and has the biggest names, the largest events, and the highest volume of bets being placed on it when compared to all other counterparts.
In California, UFC betting odds will be a big part of most sportsbooks’ offerings. Below find our complete guide to how to bet on UFC, from your UFC betting options to how to read the odds properly to current UFC odds available at legal online sportsbooks.
Best CA betting sites for UFC odds & promos
Once legal online sports betting is open for business in California, the biggest sportsbook brands in the world will vie for your action with hundreds of posted odds on UFC fights. That will include odds for every fight on the biggest UFC pay-per-view cards and many, if not all, of the following top UFC betting sites.
With so many ties to Las Vegas, BetMGM is one of the premier sportsbooks for UFC betting. MGM Resorts has ties to the MMA fight market, which gives their sportsbook a feel of one that has bought into the idea of promoting UFC fights with strong promos.
You can participate in live betting on the BetMGM Sportsbook app for all major UFC events, as well as watch live UFC streaming without having to leave the app or site.
When you visit the BetMGM California sportsbook, you might find UFC odds that look like this:
Prize fights have been a part of Caesar’s legend for quite a long time, but they haven’t shied away from embracing MMA and UFC either. They offer up competitive odds for UFC fights, which has been a big draw for UFC bettors.
While offering up a nice selection of UFC betting opportunities, the FanDuel Sportsbook app does fall behind the competition a little because you need to look elsewhere to watch the UFC fights take place.
They offer up a variety of betting markets for UFC fights, which is popular with UFC fans, as is the live betting that is available through their betting app or online sportsbook. FanDuel’s sleek sportsbook design brings you MMA and UFC betting pages like this one:
UFC live betting apps
There was once a time when betting had to take place before an event started, but those days are long gone thanks to mobile betting apps and live betting. Instead of being closed out of being able to place a bet once a fight begins, live betting through betting apps and online sportsbooks allows you to bet on the UFC during the fight card as well.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at home watching the big fight or if you’re at a viewing party at some sports bar, or even if you’re hanging out in the library or doing just about anything else, you can live bet on UFC fights. The only restriction is that you are physically located within the California state lines.
Keep in mind that the sportsbook odds during live betting are constantly on the move. As bets pour in and the fight continues, the odds will continually shift. That’s why it’s important to use a betting app to participate as it will get automatic updates on all line movement and you can keep up with the pace of action.
Some live UFC betting opportunities that you’ll come across include things like:
- Will Conor McGregor knock out his opponent to end the fight? Yes or No
- Which fighter will win?
- Which fighter will win and in which round will the fight finish?
- Will Israel Adesanya win the fight via submission? Yes or No
- Will Kamaru Usman score a win with a KO or TKO?
UFC odds boosts/bonuses
Depending on the sportsbook you’re considering registering an account with, you are going to have an impressive array of incentives for becoming a new customer. You can use those bonuses, which can range from odds boosts to insurance bets and more, to help you maximize your UFC online betting return.
You’ll find yourself being able to choose from multiple options when you’re looking for the best welcome bonuses.
Here are some examples of the types of UFC betting offers you might find when betting on a UFC event in California sportsbooks:
- FanDuel: In UFC 263, FanDuel offered up an impressive offer of +3000 odds for Adesanya vs. Vettori. Adesanya was a large favorite in the matchup, so the odds were quite a win for many bettors. For UFC 275, a bet of $5 can win $200 through the FanDuel sportsbook.
- DraftKings: Not to be outdone by their main competitor, the DraftKings app brought out a +10000 for the same fight. That means you could have bet just $5 and came away with $500 in profits. For UFC 275, a $5 bet at DraftKings offered up a guaranteed bonus of $150, which can then be used on any fight or other sporting event, including other professional sports like the NBA, NHL, or MLB.
- BetMGM: While the sportsbook may not have gone toe-to-toe with FanDuel or DraftKings for UFC 263, it did offer up a special to win $100 on a $20 bet if Dustin Poirier was the recipient of a punch thrown by Conor McGregor at UFC 264. New customers betting on UFC 275 were offered a risk-free bet of up to $1,000.
How do UFC odds work?
Like other popular sports, you will find that UFC has a nice variety of betting opportunities that offer up something for everyone. From simply betting on your favorite fighter to win to getting involved in the world of prop betting, you aren’t going to be lacking for bets to make.
Below we take a look a close look at how to bet on UFC fights, covering in detail some of the most popular bet types and how they relate to UFC and MMA betting.
UFC moneyline betting
This is the easiest bet to understand for newcomers to the hobby, but it’s hardly considered easy to win. Your job is simple: Bet on the fighter you believe is going to win. If they do, then you’ll get paid out depending on the odds you locked into place when you finalized your bet slip.
Firstly, what do the plus and minus signs mean in betting? When looking at odds from a UFC fight, it is important to remember that positive odds next to a fighter’s name indicate they are the underdog. Negative odds, on the other hand, show us which fighter oddsmakers consider the favorite.
Let’s take a look at what the line might look like on the PointsBet California online sportsbook:
- Jiri Prochazka -195
- Glover Teixeira +165
We can instantly tell that Teixeira is considered the underdog in this matchup because of his positive odds. Prochazka, however, is the favorite with negative odds.
Negative odds also show us how much money we need to stake to profit $100 on a successful bet. For Prochazka, -195 odds means a bet of $195 could potentially have a payout of $295, which is the original stake returned to you plus $100 in profit.
Positive odds are slightly different. The positive line tells us how much we stand to win if we were to bet $100. For Teixeira, the +165 would pay out $265 on a $100 wager.
UFC round betting
Not sure which fighter is going to win? You can make a different kind of bet on the fight that is focused on the total number of rounds that the match will go. Like a totals bet for other sports, the oddsmakers will set a number and you have to pick if the fight will go for over or under that number of rounds.
Here’s what a possible UFC round betting opportunity could look like in the FanDuel California sportsbooks:
- Over 1.5 (-120)
- Under 1.5 (-110)
The odds here work the same as above with negative numbers showing us how much we would need to bet to win $100.
Method of victory
While this is a bit harder to speculate on but more profitable if you choose correctly, the method of victory UFC bets are popular in most sportsbooks.
For this bet type, not only are you trying to determine which fighter will come away with the victory, but also how they’ll accomplish that victory.
There are typically three types of victories (and one potential draw):
- Win by KO/TKO: This is a knockout or technical knockout and occurs when the referee stops the fight following a blow that prevents the opponent from being able to continue fighting.
- Win by submission: Fighters in MMA love their submission techniques, and this can be accomplished by one fighter either verbally submitting or by tapping out. The referee then ends the fight.
- Win by decision: Not anyone’s favorite way for a fight to end, but you are essentially betting on if you believe the two fighters will go through the entire match without a knockout or submission victory. The decision then goes to the judges and can be unanimous with all three in agreement, or split with two judges choosing one fighter as the winner and the final judge choosing the opponent.
When choosing a method of victory, the odds look similar to a moneyline bet with each carrying its line. Here’s an example of what you might find in the BetMGM California sportsbook:
- KO/TKO +275
- Submission +300
- Decision +110
- Draw +4500
Many sportsbooks will offer odds boosts on the method of victory bets, so keep an eye out for those promotions as UFC events draw close.
UFC Vegas odds Vs. California UFC odds
It wasn’t that long ago when the topic of sports betting came up the first place anyone thought of was Las Vegas. That’s because Sin City just happened to be the home of the nation’s top sportsbooks and oddsmakers.
Times change, as they say, and with the expansion of legal sports betting across the United States, the need for such a centralized location for sportsbooks and oddsmakers has become less important.
Most sportsbooks, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, have their very own professional oddsmakers who are some of the best in the business. What that has come to mean is Vegas odds, while still available and important when using those sportsbooks, aren’t the end-all of UFC lines. Instead, the sportsbooks you have available to you in California are going to have competitive odds that are usually pretty comparable to those in Vegas, and sometimes even better.
Don’t be shy about using Las Vegas odds as a measuring stick to see how your sportsbook stacks up, or to find some value where your sportsbook’s oddsmakers might be overlooking something. But don’t fret about the lines because, in general, the sportsbooks you have at your fingertips are going to have odds similar to those in Nevada.
How & why do UFC odds move?
Information is power, they say. In the world of sports betting, information is money, money, and more money. That’s why oddsmakers are always poring over data and news to make sure the lines presented in their sportsbooks are right where they need to be.
Sometimes that information shifts after lines have already been set, especially for those sportsbooks that release their odds up to a month before a match is set to take place. News, injuries, betting activity and more all play a factor in the movement of odds.
Public betting, for example, can shift odds. The more bettors who are placing wagers on a specific fighter, the likelihood of odds on his win dropping increase. That’s why it’s sometimes a good strategy to take a look at UFC betting lines when they are released and make your bets before too many shifts can happen.
Major UFC events/venues in California
It might surprise you to discover that the UFC isn’t extremely connected to the state of California when it comes to where they host their events. That doesn’t mean the show never comes to town, though.
Take, for example, UFC 270, which was held on January 22, 2022, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. That one featured a heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, which Ngannou won by a very close decision.
Sportsbook rules for UFC betting
Every sportsbook in California has its own set of rules that cover pretty much anything that could ever happen in any sport you can bet on. These rules focus on betting activity and what constitutes a bet or a voided bet.
You can find these rules in the terms and conditions when you first sign up for an account, or you can simply search for house rules, the name of your sportsbook, and California and you’ll find the information you’re looking for.
Here are a couple of the standard rules for UFC betting you will find in many sportsbooks:
- If there is a draw, all bets made on that fight are usually void. The same for fights labeled as “no contest.”
- If the scheduled date for a UFC event is postponed or in other ways delayed, your sportsbook may cancel all bets on that event.
- If a fighter ends up getting disqualified from a fight, most sportsbooks will void bets on that bout.
Betting other MMA brands
In California and the rest of the world, UFC sits upon a throne as the best in the business. The popularity continues to grow for combat sports, and sportsbooks are taking note. That’s good news for you as it means more opportunities for betting on other MMA brands.
While not every sportsbook carries bets for brands like Bellator and PFL, which do host fights across the US, you can find some additional combat sports betting at places like DraftKings, which offers lines for the Contender Series; an MMA promotion for up-and-coming fighters looking to earn their way into UFC matches.