Predict UFC Fights for Betting With 7 Simple Tips

MMA and the UFC might be one of the most volatile sports in terms of betting and predictions.

Not only are there X amount of factors to consider in a fight, but there’s always a puncher’s chance. Fighters get lucky all the time in MMA. There are, however, some elements we believe can aid someone in predicting a fight outright.

For those who don’t want to read, these are:

  • The fighter’s background
  • Where they’ve fought
  • Who they’ve fought
  • Where they’re from
  • Stylistic Matchups
  • Physical Attributes
  • Don’t bet at all

Let’s go into more detail.

Fighter Background

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Are you predicting a fight between a UFC debutant and someone who has been fighting in the UFC for years?

You should pick the fighter who has been a regional champ, or was an olympic qualifier. Have they won tournaments in BJJ or Combat Sambo?

Is one fighter a lifelong martial artist, whereas their opponent started training at 25? There are telltale signs to who might have the better chance of winning a fight.

Where They’ve Fought

Two fighters might look a similar level on paper, but one guy hails from Bellator, and the other guy comes from a promotion you can’t even name. Lean towards the Bellator Alum.

Solid fighters come from all sorts of backgrounds, but they’re a safer bet if they’ve fought on the world stage. Promotions like the UFC, PFL, Bellator, and ONE, are a good litmus test to see if someone can chop it at the top level of the sport.

Who They’ve Fought

Records aren’t all they’re made up to be. You can often judge the quality of a fighter by who they’ve fought. Sometimes those six losses on a record have all come at the hands of world-class opposition.

An undefeated record could be comprised of journeymen. A record that doesn’t look good could contain competitive losses to future world champions or top contenders, it’s a good sign that this is a solid fighter and could be a good underdog pick.


A good example here would be the UFC Fight Night main event between Jack Hermannson and Joe Pyfer in Feb, 2024.

Pyfer was a huge favorite despite not having a ranking, only having three fights in the UFC, and only having defeated unranked journeyman fighters. It was a five round fight to boot, and many pundits picked Hermannson for his experience (his rocky record is full of world-class names) — and they were right, he won.

Don’t predict based on record, pick based on résumé.

Where Are They From?

Umar Nurmagomedov UFC - How to predict UFC fights for betting
Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Certain regions are surging right now in MMA — and some are not. The Caucaus regions are full of strong wrestlers, Brazil has ferocious grapplers, America has the world-class gyms.

Some countries don’t prosper. France only legalized MMA in recent years, countries in Asia like India and China might not have the infrastructure or demand to have top-level MMA gyms to generate that talent.

If you’re picking between a fighter from Brazil and a fighter from India, the odds are the Brazilian has fought better competition and has had better training. Look out for this everywhere.

Stylistic Matchups

How to predict UFC fights for betting

It’s always said, ‘Styles Make Fights’, and its partly true: Strikers suffer against wrestlers – everyone’s at risk against a good grappler.

Look at a fighter’s record. Are all their wins first round knockouts? Then they might suffer against someone who has 15-25 minute experience. A fighter who hasn’t seen a second or third round doesn’t have any evidence of good cardio.

Physical Attributes

The most rudimentary way of predicting a fight is by eyeballing the fighters, but consider these factors:

  • Massive height disparity (i.e. Is one fighter 5’7″ and the other 6’3″?)
  • Weight cuts: One fighter might be a natural heavyweight who cuts down to middleweight, the other might be a welterweight bulking to middleweight.
  • Undersized or oversized for division: A good example in the UFC would be the big weight gap between lightweight (155lbs) and welterweight (177lbs). Sometimes fighters are too heavy for lightweight and undersized at welterweight, so they suffer.

Don’t Bet at All

It sounds obvious, but sometimes a fight is too risky to predict:

  • Finisher vs. finisher fights: Anyone could get knocked out or submitted.
  • Fights involving prolific finishers: Even heavy favorites are at risk.
  • WMMA fights: WMMA is notoriously unpredictable.

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Mathew Riddle