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.
- 29 Jun UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Dos Santos
- 06 Jul UFC 239: Jones vs Santos
- 13 Jul UFC Fight Night: De Randamie vs Ladd
- 20 Jul UFC on ESPN: Dos Anjos vs Edwards
- 27 Jul UFC 240: Holloway vs Edgar
- 17 Aug UFC 241: Cormier vs Miocic 2
- 31 Aug UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs Zhang
- 07 Sep UFC 242L Khabib vs Poirier
Pound for Pound Ratings
Conor McGregor remains the biggest star and draw in the UFC, although he can no longer claim to 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 Eagle is due to take on Dustin Poirier in September in his first fight since submitting McGregor, while it remains a mystery who the Irishman will fight next. He is then likely to meet Tony Ferguson, who beat Donald Cerrone in June to extend his winning streak to 12 fights.
The man keeping Khabib off the top of the pound-for-pound list is Daniel Cormier who currently holds the UFC heavyweight title and previously held the light heavyweight strap. 'DC' dethroned Stipe Miocic who had defended the heavyweight title more times than any other fighter and has since defended it once against Derrick Lewis. Cormier will rematch Miocic in July as he tries to make a case to be one of the best heavyweights of all time.
Cormier's old foe Jon Jones is also a pound-for-pound contender after returnning from suspension to regain the light heavyweight title which DC had vacated. Jones beat Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant belt and is defended the title against Anthony Smith in March to cement his position as the undisputed king at 205lbs. Bones defends again against Thiago Santos in July and is expected to continue his reign.
Amanda Nunes saw her name shoot up the pound-for-pound rankings with her huge knockout win over Cris Cyborg at UFC 229 in December 2018. With that victory she added the women's featherweight title to her bantamweight strap and made an argument for herself being the greatest female fighter, not only now, but in history. She can further cement that posiiton when she defends her bantamweight belt against Holly Holm in July.
Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant flyweight belt at UFC 231 and could be set for a lengthy reign, impressing again with a head-kick knockout of Jessica Eye at UFC 238. Jessica Andrade claimed the other female world title at UFC 237, knocking out Rose Namajunas for the strawweight strap in Brazil.
Another fighter that has seen his star soar in recent months is Henry Cejudo who, despite being an Olympic gold medalist, went from relative unknown to MMA superstar thanks to three huge victories. Cejudo beat long-time flyweight king Demetrious Johnson to claim his belt, then knocked off bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw who had dropped down in weight to take him on at 125lbs.
Cejudo then reimagined himself from his previous incarnation as The Messenger, to a new moniker of Triple C thanks to winning the vacant bantamweight title against Marlon Moraes. Cejudo stopped the Brazilian in the third round to claim the belt vacated by Dillashaw when he tested positive for EPO.
Featherweight champion Max Holloway and welterweight ruler Kamaru Usman are also in the top 10 pound-for-pound rankings, as is the middlewight champ Robert Whittaker, who is set to defend against the rising star Israel Adesanya later in 2019. Holloway meets Frankie Edgar for his featherweight title at UFC 240 and is then expected to fight Australian dangerman Alex Volkanovski.
Upcoming Bellator and One Championship fights
- 22 Jun Bellator 223 Mousasi vs Lovato Jr
- 12 Jul Bellator 224 Budd vs Rubin
- 12 Jul One Championship Masters of Destiny
- 02 Aug One Championship Dawn of Heroes
- 24 Aug Bellator 225 Mittrione vs Kharitonov
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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