The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is the largest promoter in MMA sports and is a company that has soared to global popularity, with fighters such as Conor McGregor becoming recognised global stars.

MMA stands for mixed martial arts and is a sport that combines a whole variety of different martial arts. Seen as an alternative to boxing, the MMA movement is much younger than its boxing counterpart, with the sport emerging out of boxing’s shadow in the 1990s. Early fights really captured the imagination and recorded great pay-per-view figures. However, the brutal nature of the sport, which effectively had no rules, made it very hard to grow.

With waning viewership figures and the prospect of the UFC going out of business, new owner and head of UFC, Dana White, in the early 2000s reformed the sport, introducing new rules that helped clean up its image. The UFC was also the first fighting company to branch out into the world of reality TV. Its series The Ultimate Fighter pitted potential UFC hopefuls together in the attempt to earn a contract with the company. It pulled in huge viewing figures, attracting waves of people who were previously unaware of the sport. The show paved the way for future global stars such as Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin.

What is UFC?

In UFC, two differing fighting styles are put together to see which style and fighter reigns supreme. Unlike in boxing, MMA fights take place inside an enclosed Octagon, and competitors can kick, punch and grapple. Competitors can even fight on the floor. Victories can be made via knockout, submission or via a points decision. Rather than 12 three-minute rounds, MMA fights can be either three or five rounds consisting of five minutes. The other difference between the MMA and boxing is the size of the gloves. UFC gloves generally do more damage when a punch is landed as there is much less padding in a UFC glove in comparison to a boxing glove.

Betting on UFC

MMA is a pretty straightforward sport to bet on. Due to the nature of the sport, the most common bet type is to wager on the winner of the bout – that fighter A will defeat fighter B. However, bookmakers do have a variety of different markets that bettors can bet on. Markets such as how the fight will be won exist, with bettors being able to bet on whether the contest will end in a knockout or via a points decision. Bettors can also predict when they think the fight might end, with bettors being able to predict what specific round they think the fight will end.

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