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.
Today's MMA Tip
Dan Hooker to beat Gilbert Burns at 4/7 with William Hill.
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, One Championship, Rizin, Cage Warriors, 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.
- December 29 - UFC 232 - Light Heavyweight Title - Jon Jones v Alexander Gustaffson and Women's Featherweight title: Chris Cyborg v Amanda Nunes.
- January 19 - UFC Fight Night - Flyweight Title - Henry Cejudo v TJ Dillashaw
- February 10 - UFC 234- Middleweight Title - Robert Whittaker v Kevin Gastelum plus Israel Adesanya v Anderson Silva
- March 2 - UFC 235 - Robbie Lawler v Ben Askren
- March 16 - UFC Fight Night at 02 London
Pound for Pound Ratings
Conor McGregor remains the biggest star and draw in the UFC, although he can no longer claim to make any claim on being the best fighter in the company. The Irishman might be the sport’s most recognisable face but since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018, he has dropped right down the pound-for-pound rankings.
Dagestani mauler Nurmagomedov took his incredible professional record to 27-0 with that win over McGregor and currently rules the lightweight division. His ground game has proved impossible to deal with in the UFC as he has barely lost a round, never mind a fight since arriving in the big leagues.
The only man keeping Khabib off the top of the pound-for-pound list is Daniel Cormier who currently holds the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight titles. DC is about to give up the light heavyweight strap, with Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson fighting over the ‘vacant’ belt at UFC 232. Cormier will go on to defend his heavyweight title in 2019, possibly against a returning former champion, Brock Lesnar.
Also with claims on being the best fighters on the planet are the likes of featherweight champion Max Holloway and bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw. Holloway retained his title against unbeaten Brian Ortega at UFC 231 to take his winning streak to 13. Dillashaw is taking on Henry Cejudo for his flyweight title in January as he attempts to become the latest two-division champion.
In the women’s game, Cris Cyborg remains the most terrifying force in the sport as the reigning featherweight champion in the UFC. However, bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes has the chance to take that mantle away from her when they meet at the end of December.
Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant flyweight belt at UFC 231 and could be set for a lengthy reign, whilst Rose Namajunas who is extremely impressive at the strawweight champ.
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) - women only in UFC
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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