Mixed martial arts (MMA) combines elements of boxing, wrestling, and martial arts in a sport that has been rising in popularity since the early 1990s when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) began hosting competitive events.
The UFC began with an eight-fighter tournament in November 1993 to determine which martial art was superior. It now features eight men’s and four women’s divisions and the organization has hosted over 500 events around the world.
The UFC is the premier professional MMA organization in the United States and legal and regulated Michigan retail sportsbooks now allow you to bet on the sport. Online and mobile sportsbooks could launch as soon as November 2020 in the Great Lakes State and will surely offer a full slate of UFC betting markets surrounding every event.
The UFC also launched an in-game betting product in late 2019 promising even more betting opportunities inside matches, including new props on knock downs, submissions, takedown attempts, and takedowns landed. You can expect this to launch in Michigan when online and mobile sports betting does.
Read on to find out everything you’ll ever need to know about betting on the UFC in Michigan, including the best UFC bets and where you should place them.
Legal sports betting launched in Michigan in March 2020 with the three casinos in Detroit all opening retail sportsbooks with others launching since then at a variety of Michigan tribal casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) says the state’s first online sportsbooks could start taking wagers by November 2020.
When that happens, you’ll find everything you need to know about the best UFC betting apps in Michigan.
Until then, we can tell you that DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are all coming to Michigan and already provide some of the best options for UFC betting across the country.
UFC betting is easy. For the most part, you bet on who you think will win a fight, how it will end, or how long it will go. Although, there other props and in-fight betting options as well.
Here’s a look at the basic UFC betting lines available at Michigan sportsbooks:
Moneyline: Pick a fighter to win and lock in the bet at currently posted odds. You’ll see either a negative or positive number listed by the fighter. It’s negative for favorites, showing how much you need to bet to win $100, and positive for the underdog, showing how much each $100 you bet can get you.
In 2018, most sportsbooks had it:
Khabib Nurmagomedov -170 and Conor McGregor +140.
That meant you would have had to bet $170 on Nurmagomedov to win $100 plus your bet back. Plus, every $100 bet on McGregor would have earned you $140 plus your bet back if he won. Nurmagomedov won.
Now that you can legally bet on the UFC at Michigan retail sportsbooks and online and mobile sports betting is coming to the state, there’s no good reason to take your UFC action to offshore and illegal sportsbooks.
Michigan sportsbooks using official UFC data can offer more betting lines, better customer service, and security for your money. State regulation guarantees that if something goes wrong you have somewhere to turn.
If you’ve been betting on UFC fights with offshore and illegal sportsbooks, now is the time to change. Legal Michigan sportsbooks offer a safer, more secure, and trustworthy option.
Heading out for a big fight night can always be a good time, and it’s made even better now that you can place bets while doing so. Here are some of the best spots to catch UFC live while finding the latest odds and lines in Michigan.
The BetMGM Sports Lounge was one of the first retail sportsbooks to open up in Michigan. Visitors can place their wagers at six betting windows or on 14 self-serve kiosks throughout the casino. Features include 60 HDTV’s and a full-service bar.
FanDuel Sportsbook has become a top destination in the Detroit area, and it’s not tough to figure out why. There are 67 HDTV’s on site to catch the action, a dedicated sports ticker, and six betting windows or 54 self-serve kiosks to get your bets in.
There are betting windows right inside the restaurant at River Rock, as well as a dozen terminals that are open for business 24 hours. This spot has a great sports bar ambience and a full menu for patrons to enjoy as they catch all of the latest action.
There are several other solid places to go out and catch all of the UFC action while getting in some wagers. For example, you can check out the Onyx Sportsbook by William Hill. You can find it in two spots: Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown and Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg.
UFC pay-per-view events are generally available across the country with early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, ESPN and ESPN+, prelims on ESPN and ESPN+, and main cards on ESPN+.
UFC Fight Night cards are generally broadcast on ESPN and the ESPN+ streaming service.
UFC betting is fun, especially when you win. The best UFC betting strategies involve watching fights and gathering as much information as you can about fighters.
The following basic UFC betting tips can also help.
Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 on Nov. 14, 2015:Women’s UFC fighting has come a long way in just a few short years. The first female UFC fight was in 2012. Three years later, Ronda Rousey proved female fighters could draw crowds. In fact, her UFC 193 Main Event versus Holly Holm drew a live record 56,000-plus fans in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey (-900) was a big favorite over Holm (+600), but Holm landed a kick to the side of Rousey’s neck, knocking her out and handing Rousey her first-ever UFC loss.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018: Khabib Nurmagomedov was UFC Lightweight champion and undefeated, but UFC fans absolutely love former featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor. They proved it with a record 2.4 million pay-per-view buys for the main event. McGregor (+140) was coming off a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr., which helped entrench Nurmagomedov (-170) as the favorite. In the end, Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round. A brawl broke out after the fight, which has really only helped UFC fans love McGregor even more.
Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor 2 at UFC 202 on Aug. 20, 2016: The UFC considers the Nate Diaz versus McGregor rematch one of its top 25 fights of all time and at the time It set the record for the most pay-per-view buys with 1.65 million. The original fight had Diaz submitting McGregor in the second round, but the moneyline on the rematch sat at McGregor -130 and Diaz +100. The fight went the distance with McGregor winning by judges’ decision in what is now considered a UFC classic.
Conor McGregor vs. José Aldo at UFC 194 on Dec. 12, 2015: This fight marked McGregor’s fastest-ever knockout. He landed a left hook on Aldo’s chin just 13 seconds in, dropping the other fighter to the canvas. McGregor threw two more shots at a defenseless Aldo before the referee stopped the fight. This was the fastest finish to a UFC title fight ever and made McGregor the UFC’s biggest star.
Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva at UFC 162 on July 6, 2013: Silva was already a legend and, as the UFC Middleweight Champion, he was heavily favored to beat Weidman. Weidman got off to a fast start and, before anyone knew what was happening, recorded a second-round knockout. Silva probably regrets mocking him a little right before Weidman landed a left hook that ended Silva’s seven-year winning streak. Weidman even went on to break Silva’s leg in two spots when he took the win in their rematch.
The UFC started as a bit of an experiment. It was an eight-fighter single-elimination tournament in Denver, Michigan, on Nov. 12, 1993, designed to figure out which fighting discipline was best.
Experts in various martial arts squared off in an octagon-shaped cage and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Royce Gracie beat three others to win.
The UFC continued using this format with no weight classes, time limits, and very few rules, but by 2000 things changed. Weight classes, rounds, and gloves were added. Judges were hired and a unified set of MMA rules were established and implemented.
The UFC was more than just boxing, but the fights began to appear more and more like sanctioned matches than the free-for-alls they once were, although the octagon-shaped cage has remained.
In 2001, Station Casinos executives and brothers Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the UFC for $2 million. Fight manager Dana White was named president and helped make the UFC the fastest-growing sport in America over the next 15 years.
A testament to how big the UFC had grown came in 2016 when it was bought by a group led by Endeavor (formerly William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) for $4.025 billion. The UFC had suddenly gone from a barely-legal fighting contest to one of the country’s most popular sports.
Superstar fighters drove further growth and popularity and the UFC now produces events all over the world drawing larger pay-per-view numbers than boxing. The popularity of wagering on the UFC has come along with it and continues to grow as more states adopt legal sports betting.
UFC betting traditionally accounts for less than 5% of most US sportsbook’s handle, but the numbers are growing. Previously, in-fight betting accounted for just 8% of all UFC bets, but with more options now available, this is an area where the UFC believes it can grow substantially.
In July 2016, Endeavor, formerly William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, WME or WME-IMG, bought the UFC from Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta for $4.025 billion.
Endeavor is a talent and media agency based in Beverly Hills, California.
DraftKings offers the widest range of UFC betting options in the country. You’ll find everything from moneylines, total rounds, and winning method bets to parlays, futures, props and in-fight betting with DraftKings Sportsbook right here in Michigan.
UFC fighters can make a few hundred thousand for a fight and they can double that if they win.
Of course, UFC superstars like Conor McGregor draw big crowds and pay-per-view numbers, so they make even more. McGregor took home $3 million from UFC 202 and $3 million from UFC 246.
The UFC is the major leagues of MMA fighting, but other pro MMA events are also held across the country and you can bet on them in Michigan. That means Michigan sportsbooks will post odds for various events beyond the UFC, including Bellator fights and others put on by reputable fight companies.