Sports gambling has long been not only a way to make a little money off of your knowledge of your favorite sport, but also a way to make the contests themselves a bit more interesting. With the rise of mixed martial arts as one of the world's most popular sports, it only makes sense that MMA betting has also become extremely popular among those who consider themselves knowledgeable about the world's fastest growing sport.
Combat sports are volatile, though, and you have to understand that while some things ring true between not only MMA betting but other types of sports betting, there are also other aspects that are very much different. If you are experienced in sports betting but not in wagering on the sport many call "ultimate fighting", you will have to remember that there are some specific differences to keep in mind.
How to Bet Smart
As always, you will need to bet smart if you want to come out ahead, or even just enjoy yourself while wagering. That means that you will not only need to know what you're betting on, but also know how much you should be betting. Compulsive gambling is a serious thing and something to watch out for.
MMA is not like football, baseball, or other team sports- it goes year-round, and thus, there is always another event to bet on. Things can get out of control pretty quickly, so knowing yourself and your own tendencies is almost as important as knowing the fighters, the styles they represent, and the other different variables that will affect the outcomes of the fights themselves.
Doing Your Homework
To be able to make money while betting on mixed martial arts instead of losing it hand over fist, you have to be willing to do your homework. This means not only following your favorite fighters and just one organization, but being knowledgeable about the whole sport. Focusing on UFC betting is fine, but sometimes fighters from other organizations come in, and you'll need to know who they are. You will want to be able to take advantage of trends and betting lines by knowing what others don't. When you're waging money on sports, knowledge certainly is power.
Watching the lines change is an important part of gambling, so that you can take advantage when things swing too far in one direction or the other. Sentimental betting, hometown favorites, and other momentum changes can affect betting lines and give you an advantage if you know how to exploit them.
Furthermore, being familiar enough with the sport itself to identify the techniques being used is essential. If you can be more than just an armchair critic but an expert of sorts, you will know better whether one fighter will be able to exploit another's weaknesses, as well as how styles will mesh against one another (as it is always said, "styles make fights").
MMA's Specific Challenges
Some of the specific challenges in MMA include the multitude of ways to win- and lose. Seeing a fighter who was a very safe bet lose due to a fluke stoppage because of a cut or get disqualified for an illegal strike is very frustrating, but it can happen from time to time. Also, knockouts are much easier to attain in MMA than boxing because of the small gloves and prevalence of striking techniques besides punches.
Finally, keep an eye on everything from the weigh-ins to rumors, and so forth. A fighter who comes in heavy for weigh-ins may be more than likely to be set for a downfall in the fight, due to a bad weight cut that leaves him sapped of energy, for example. MMA betting is difficult, because the sport is volatile, but if you know your stuff and make smart bets, there are plenty of opportunities to make money.