MMA Free Bets
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is the fastest growing sport in the world and is predicted to overtake boxing as the premier combat sport in the near future. It can be traced right back to the very first Olympic Games in 648 BC but its modern incarnation is largely due to the Gracie family, the founders of Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu, who in the early 1900’s began challenging people from various martial arts backgrounds. It was from here that the sport as it is today emerged and it has come a long way since then with many rules and regulations being added.
As the name suggests competitors need to be versed in a wide range of martial arts such as Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling and Muay Thai. Bouts can end in either a decision, usually from cage-side judges, or by stoppage. Stoppages can be via submission, where a competitor taps out or verbally submits, via technical knockout, where a corner, doctor or referee stop the bout, or via knockout, where a competitor is unable to continue due to strikes.
As the sport continues to grow so does the betting market and the majority of the major bookmakers now offer odds on upcoming bouts. The most popular market is still the outright winner market but a number of sites such as Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Bet 365 do offer alternative markets such as the following;
- Round Betting – Which competitor to win and in which round.
- Method of Victory – Which competitor to win and by what method – KO, TKO, DQ, Submission or Decision
- How will the Fight Finish – Whether the fight will end in a stoppage or go to the judges’ score cards.
- Fight Duration – How many rounds the fight will last.
- Decision Victory – If the fight goes to decision will it be unanimous, split, or majority decision.
These options are generally reserved for main events and most undercard fights only present an opportunity to bet on the outright winner. Most UK sites also focus solely on the UFC but sites such as Ladbrokes and Paddy Power have also offered odds on Bellator and BAMMA events in the past. As mentioned earlier however with the sport continuing to grow the opportunities to bet on it will undoubtedly follow suit. To keep up to date with the best value on MMA/UFC events keep checking FREEbets.org.uk for previews of upcoming bouts.
MMA is dominated by the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), the largest MMA organisation in the world and the pinnacle of the sport. Outside of the UFC other prominent organisations are Bellator MMA, the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) and also KSW, a Polish based MMA organisation and one of the biggest in Europe.
Due to the nature of the sport and the multiple methods of victories it is only a special breed of athlete who can remain dominant over a long period of time. Until very recently there were two fighters who did just this; Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre who ruled the middleweight and welterweight divisions respectively for a number of years. Silva was dethroned in the back end of 2013 by undefeated American Chris Weidman whilst Georges St-Pierre has relinquished his belt and taken time out of the sport after recently winning a razor close split decision against Johny Hendricks in a fight many thought he lost.
Conor McGregor is by far and away the biggest name in MMA as a whole right now, let alone the UFC. He became the first man ever to hold dual-weight championships in UFC history when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight title back in late 2016 when he was still the UFC featherweight champion. He hasn't been in the octagon since then as he fought in the most lucrative fight in the history of sport in 2017 agains Floyd Mayweather. A move to boxing doesn't appear to be full-time, though, and McGregot is likely to return and face one of Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson, although, completing his trilogy with Nate Diaz wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Stipe Miocic defeated the hottest prospect in all of UFC when he took Francis Ngannou the distance at UFC 220. He remains the heavyweight champion and will now take on light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in a special champion v champion match at UFC 226 in July. Cormier won a bout at UFC 220 as well, and he is the light-heavyweight champion in part due to Jon Jones' continued failure of drugs tests.
As for the women, Ronda Rousey looks like she is set to join the WWE and leave the UFC behind her, but Joanna Jedrzejczyk had ascended in her place until she was beaten by Rose Namajunas at UFC 217. Now, those two ladies are set to battle it out in a rematch for the women's strawweight championship. The real heir to Rousey's throne, though, is Cris Cyborg and she beat Holly Holm in her last outing at UFC 219, the woman that handed Rousey her first-ever loss.
MMA Weight Divisions
As earlier mentioned, MMA bouts take place across a variety of weight divisions much like you have in boxing. The different weight classifications each boast their own characteristics with the flyweights usually a quicker nimble style right up to the power of the heavyweights. Below displays each of the weight categories as well as the upper weight limits as stated in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts;
Strawweight - Up to 115lb (52.2 kg)
Flyweight - Up to 125lb (56.7 kg)
Bantamweight - Up to 135lb (61.2 kg)
Featherweight - Up to 145lb (65.8 kg)
Lightweight - Up to 155lb (70.3 kg)
Welterweight - Up to 170lb (77.1 kg)
Middleweight - Up to 185lb (83.9 kg)
Light Heavyweight - Up to 205lb (93 kg)
Heavyweight - Up to 265 lb (120.2kg)
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