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UFC betting guide 2020

As the world emerges from a global pandemic that has halted pro sports everywhere, it seems event-based sports like the UFC will be the first to come back. Despite major setbacks, closure orders and cancellations, UFC boss Dana White has been pushing to get the next UFC event off the ground throughout the first half of 2020.

Now, UFC 249 will be held Saturday, May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. If you want to bet on UFC 249 or any other upcoming UFC fight, here’s how you can right here in New Jersey.

Best UFC betting sportsbooks in NJ

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UFC betting apps

If you’re planning to bet on UFC 249 or any other UFC event with your phone or tablet, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM are your best options.

draftkings betting app1. DraftKings Sportsbook: up to $1,025 in free bets/bonuses

DraftKings Sportsbook offers a huge range of UFC betting options, including:

  • Moneylines
  • Total rounds
  • Winning method
  • Parlays
  • Futures
  • Prop bets
  • Live in-game betting

The DraftKings app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

sports betting apps2. FanDuel Sportsbook: up to $500 risk-free bet

FanDuel Sportsbook offers basic UFC fight wagering, including individual fight moneylines posted well ahead of every UFC event.

Plus, FanDuel often runs promotions surrounding the biggest UFC fights. Anyone who bet $10 on McGregor versus Cerrone at UFC 246 in January, for example, got a $120 bonus when McGregor won in just 40 seconds.

The FanDuel Sportsbook app is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.

3. BetMGM Sportsbook: up to $500 risk-free bet

BetMGM is built for combat sports like the UFC, offering a wide range of event-specific UFC bets and more. That means BetMGM is a place you can bet on everything from the winner of a fight, to the round in which he or she will get it done, the total number of rounds a match will go and the method of victory.

Live UFC in-fight betting is also available. The BetMGM app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

UFC 249 Odds

UFC 250 was scheduled to take place at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil, on Saturday. However, the event was officially canceled on April 20. A day later, the UFC announced UFC 250 would become the new UFC 249.

ufc 249 njThe UFC also canceled UFC Lincoln, in Nebraska, on April 25, UFC Oklahoma City, in Oklahoma, on May 2 and UFC San Diego, in California, on May 16. Two of these cards are now planned for at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL, on May 13 and 16.

White tried to move UFC 249 to tribal land in California to skirt state event-closure orders, but eventually postponed that version of the event. The UFC had also been looking to hold events on a private island before announcing a newly formed UFC 249. Other smaller fight cards would take place this month at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

UFC 249 betting markets are now available at NJ online and mobile sportsbooks. Here’s how the main card odds looked on DraftKings Sportsbook as of May 6:

Main Event: Interim UFC Lightweight Championship

  • Tony Ferguson (-177) vs. Justin Gaethje (+150)

Main Card:

  • Henry Cejudo (-220) vs. Dominick Cruz (+183) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
  • Francis Ngannou (-278) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+225)
  • Jeremy Stephens (+206) vs. Calvin Kattar (-250)
  • Greg Hardy (-200) vs. Yorgan de Castro (+165)

How to stream UFC 249

UFC 249 is a pay-per-view event available across the country. Here’s a look at the schedule and where you can watch UFC 249:

  • Early Prelims: 6 p.m. EST, on UFC Fight Pass, ESPN and ESPN+
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. EST, on ESPN and ESPN+
  • Main Card: 10 p.m. EST on ESPN+

UFC 249 DFS – Play Free for $1M in Prizes!

fantasy mma ufc 249Many licensed New Jersey daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators also run UFC fight card contests.

You put together a team of fighters under a salary cap  and enter that lineup into paid or free contests. Fighters earn points based on their real-life performance, and the top-earning teams share portions of the prize pool.

DraftKings is running The MMA Million ($1M guaranteed) contest for UFC 249. It is a 58,823-player contest featuring $1 million in total prizes. The top 12,955 entries will earn money, with the first-place winner earning a top prize of $200,000.

The salary cap is $50,000. Fighters will earn points for various moves, plus fight conclusion bonuses. This is, by far, the biggest contest in UFC 249 DFS play.

UFC 250 and beyond

The UFC plans to follow up UFC 249 immediately with two more events at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

UFC on ESPN: Anthony Smith versus Glover Teixeira is scheduled for May 13. Alistair Overeem versus Walt Harris is scheduled for May 16. Betting markets are available for both events at the top NJ online sportsbooks. Here’s a look at the full fight cards for both events:

May 13

  • Smith vs. Teixeira
  • Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ben Rothwell
  • Alex Hernandez vs. Drew Dober
  • Ricky Simon vs. Ray Borg
  • Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Philipe Lins
  • Michael Johnson vs. Thiago Moises
  • Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras
  • Hunter Azure vs. Brian Kelleher

May 16

  • Harris vs. Overeem
  • Claudia Gadelha vs. Angela Hill
  • Dan Ige vs. Edson Barboza
  • Eryk Anders vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Song Yadong vs. Marlon Vera
  • Anthony Hernandez vs. Kevin Holland
  • Mike Davis vs. Giga Chikadze
  • Cortney Casey vs. Mara Romero Borella
  • Darren Elkins vs. Nate Landwehr
  • Rodrigo Nascimento vs. Don’tale Mayes

The UFC has postponed several events scheduled over the next few months, including:

  • UFC Fight Night at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland (Aug. 15)
  • UFC 251 and 252 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV (July 11)
  • UFC on ESPN 11 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX (June 27)
  • UFC Fight Night: Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (June 20)
  • UFC Fight Night 176 at Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (June 13)
  • UFC 250 and 251 at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia (June 6)

However, when White announced UFC 249 had finally come together, he said the UFC could be back on its original schedule within a couple of months. Plans are to host UFC Fight Night 175 on May 23 at a yet-to-be-determined location in the US.

How to read UFC betting odds

ufc betting mmaBasic UFC betting is straightforward. You can bet on who you think will win a fight, how the fight will end and how long it will last. More advanced props and in-fight bets are also available.

Here’s a look at the basic UFC bets available at NJ online sportsbooks:

  • Moneyline: UFC moneylines work like moneylines in other sports. You see odds posted for each competitor in a fight based on his or her likelihood of winning. There’s either a negative or positive number by the fighter’s name. You’ll see that it’s a negative number for the favorite and a positive for the underdog . You pick the fighter you think will win and lock in your wager at the odds posted at that time. Those odds may change leading up to the fight, but that doesn’t impact your locked-in bet. The Nurmagomedov versus McGregor moneyline at UFC 229 stood at Nurmagomedov -170 and McGregor +140. That meant you would need to bet $170 on Nurmagomedov to win $100 plus your $170 bet back. Every $100 bet on McGregor would have made you $140 plus your bet if McGregor won. Nurmagomedov won.
  • Total Rounds: Total rounds UFC bets are much like over/under, or totals, in other sports. You see a line on the number of rounds a fight is projected to last and bet at moneyline odds on whether the actual number of rounds will be over or under that line. Who wins means little as these are only bets on when the fight will end.
  • Winning Method: Here’s where you can bet on how a fight will be won. Winning method bets are unique to MMA fights. They allow you to bet on whether a fight will end with a knockoutsubmission or judge’s decision. These bets are also booked at moneyline odds. It doesn’t matter who wins as these are only bets on how the fight will end.
  • Parlays: UFC events feature fight cards with several different fights. You can combine two or more basic UFC bets on matches from the same card into a parlay. Parlays pay better than the individual bets because you have to win every “leg” of that bet to get paid.
  • UFC Futures: Fancy a fighter’s future chances? You can bet on the likelihood of the fighter winning a title over the next year.
  • UFC Props: For the most part, UFC props involve combining standard UFC betting options allowing you to bet on a combination of a fighter, total rounds or winning method.
  • What-Ifs: Sometimes, UFC fights don’t end as expected. If a fighter is disqualified, his or her opponent becomes the betting winner. If the match is postponed, all bets are voided even if it gets moved to another UFC card. If a fight goes ahead as scheduled, you can bet on that fight at NJ online and mobile sportsbooks up until it starts.

UFC live betting

Many NJ online and mobile sports betting apps allow you to bet live on UFC fights. This is called live or “in play” betting, and it allows you to make bets on lines that are adjusted as the action continues in the middle of a UFC fight.

In fact, the UFC launched its in-fight betting product in late 2019. UFC Event Centre allows participating sportsbooks to offer more than 50 new betting opportunities inside fights, including bets on knockdowns, submissions, takedown attempts and takedowns landed.

The UFC provides sports betting operators with real-time data during events to track these in-fight bets.

In-fight betting is best with a mobile device because of the continually changing nature of the odds. That means you can wager from anywhere you are inside NJ state lines using an online and mobile sports betting app.

Of course, this makes live and in-fight betting one of the most convenient ways to bet on the UFC. Plus, it gives you a chance to hedge your bets or make up for pre-fight betting mistakes.

In-play betting hasn’t previously accounted for more than 8% of all UFC wagers, but that’s certainly about to change. Download any of the sports betting apps listed above to take full advantage of UFC 249 live betting.

When did NJ allow betting on MMA/UFC?

New Jersey spent almost a decade fighting to bring legal sports betting to the Garden State. The state’s first effort to pass sports betting legislation started in 2009 and morphed into a court battle pitting former NJ Gov. Chris Christie against the five largest US sports leagues: the NCAANBA, NFLNHL and MLB.

NJ argued sports betting should be a matter of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment. The leagues claimed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 prohibited state-regulated sports betting.

NJ passed another sports betting bill in 2012, and the leagues filed an injunction stopping it. New Jersey lost its initial district court battle and two more in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the state appealed to the US Supreme Court, and in 2017, it agreed to hear the case. Finally, on May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court decided in favor of New Jersey, striking PASPA down.

Less than a month later, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an updated NJ sports betting bill into law. Legal sports betting launched in NJ in June 2018. It allowed for betting on all UFC events going forward.

Why bet UFC on legal betting sites?

Sports betting has only been legal in New Jersey since 2018, which means you may have been betting on UFC fights at offshore and illegal sportsbooks for many years. However, there are several reasons why moving your action over to licensed online and mobile sportsbooks across the state is the better bet.

Legal and regulated NJ online and mobile sportsbooks can offer more UFC betting lines than ever. Particularly those participating with the UFC Event Centre in-fight betting product.

The UFC provides legal and licensed operators with real-time data before, during and after UFC events. That means your bets are being settled with official UFC data that you can trust is the real thing.

Legal and regulated NJ sportsbooks provide better customer service, top-notch security for your money that only state regulation can guarantee, and the same safe and trusted banking options that you use in everyday life. Add it up, and there’s no better time to take the more comprehensive, safer, secure and trustworthy betting options only legal and regulated NJ online and mobile sportsbooks can give you.

UFC betting tips

There is no secret to UFC betting success, and anyone trying to sell you one is pulling a scam. Simply, watch UFC fights and consume every bit of UFC information out there. Do that, and you’ll quickly go from guessing to making informed and educated picks.

UFC betting can be a lot of fun, but it’s even more fun when you win. Being informed and educated is the best way to succeed at UFC sports betting. The following UFC betting tips can’t hurt either:

  1. It Takes Discipline: In its infancy, the UFC was all about fighting discipline. Things have changed, and UFC fighters are now usually typically experts in one or two fighting disciplines. What hasn’t changed is which fighting disciplines typically beat others. Research the different disciplines UFC fighters employ and you may find a path to picking winners. More often than not, fights play out like they’re expected to, and you can pick winners just by understanding what beats what.
  2. Fighters Fight: Other than discipline, there are several other differences between fighters you should consider. Look at the injury history. If a fighter has dropped or gained weight to qualify for a fight, you may quickly find out if a fighter has what it takes to beat the next opponent.
  3. Round Up: Consider a total rounds bet instead of just picking winners. Defensive experts will go the distance, and aggressive fighters are likely to win fast or burn out quickly. Determine who fights in what style and the type of match. If there’s a fight between two combatants who play a lot of defense, bet on it lasting a long while. On the other hand, you can profit by taking the under with two aggressive fighters in the octagon.
  4. Historical Facts: When you look at the history of the fighters involved, focus on how they win or lose and a winning method bet may emerge. Two fighters who go the distance in almost every fight will likely end with a judge’s decision. Two strikers who knockout almost everyone can only finish one way. UFC fighters practically always play to the type and you can bet on it.

Major MMA fighters from NJ

New Jersey has a great relationship with the UFC. A total of 19 UFC events have been held in the Garden State and the state’s athletic commission played a significant role in creating unified rules for the sport.

The last time the UFC came to NJ was for the UFC on ESPN: Colby Covington vs. Robby Lawler event at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Aug. 3, 2019. There’s little doubt it will soon be back. In the meantime, here’s a look at arguably the top three UFC fighters from NJ:

  • Frankie Edgar: Toms River, NJ’s Edgar has been a UFC regular since 2007. He made his debut at UFC 67 with a win. He’s a former UFC lightweight champion. Plus, Edgar still competes in the featherweight division with a career UFC record of 22-8-1. Most experts think he’s already done enough to make himself a UFC Hall-of-Famer when he decides it’s over in the octagon for him.
  • Jim Miller: Sparta Township, NJ’s Miller holds the record of most wins in the UFC lightweight division. He still competes in the division and boasts a career UFC record of 31-14-0 (1 NC). Miller made his debut at UFC 89 with a win, and although he lost his last fight against Scott Holtzman at UFC Fight Night 167 on Feb. 15, he still earned a Fight of the Night bonus award.
  • Chris Weidman: Baldwin, NY’s Weidman is the former UFC Middleweight Champion. In 2013, he earned the belt by defeating UFC legend Anderson Silva twice and held the title for two-and-a-half years. Weidman’s career UFC record is 14-5-0. He made plans to move up to the light heavyweight division in 2019 but was the victim of a first-round knockout in his first fight against Dominick Reyes. Weidman is expected to move back down to Middleweight this year.

The 5 best knockouts in UFC history

  1. McGregor vs. “Cowboy” Cerrone UFC 246: McGregor’s much-hyped return to the octagon against the “Cowboy” at UFC 246 in January lasted just 40 seconds. McGregor broke Cerrone’s face with an unorthodox shoulder strike before a head kick and a little ground and pound brought the referee in to end the fight by TKO. McGregor’s latest win was one of his quickest ever and arguably now one of the UFC’s greatest knockouts.
  2. Holm vs. Rousey UFC 193: Rousey was the UFC’s biggest star at the time, but was on the wrong end of one of the greatest UFC knockouts in history on Nov. 14, 2015. She was undefeated coming into the fight, but that winning streak ended when Holm landed straight left to the chin and a massive kick to the side of Rousey’s neck in the second round, knocking her out.
  3. McGregor vs. José Aldo UFC 194: McGregor’s fastest-ever knockout was arguably one of his and the UFC’s greatest. It went down on Dec, 12, 2015m at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas during UFC 149’s main event. Just 13 second into the fight, McGregor moved back and threw a massive left hook, striking Aldo on the chin. He looked like he was out before he hit the canvas, but McGregor threw two hammer fists just to make sure before the referee stepped in to stop the fight. It marked the fastest finish to a UFC title fight and proved McGregor’s left hand is lethal.
  4. Weidman vs. Anderson Silva UFC 162: UFC Middleweight Champion and UFC legend Silva was heavily favored to beat NJ’s Weidman at UFC 162 in July 2013, but somebody forgot to tell Weidman he couldn’t win. Weidman owned Silva from the start and knocked him out early in the second round right after Silva started mocking him. A Weidman left hook and some ground-and-pound did the trick, ending a seven-year unbeaten streak for Silva. Many consider this one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history. Weidman proved it was no fluke, breaking Silva’s leg in two spots to win the rematch by TKO.
  5. Yair Rodriguez vs. Chan Sung Jung UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Rodríguez: UFC Fight Night 139 on Nov. 10, 2018, produced a fight that most of ESPN’s panel of UFC experts considers the greatest knockout in UFC history. Rodriguez landed an elbow on Jung’s chin in the final seconds of the fifth and final round to knock him out. He won a fight that most believed he would have lost if it went to a judge’s decision. Add the fortunate timing to the fact it was the first-ever elbow knockout in UFC history, and it’s easy to see why the ESPN crew made this one an instant classic.

A Brief History of the UFC

Station Casinos executives Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brand for $2 million in 2001. Then they launched Zuffa, a sports promotion company, to run it and installed popular fighter manager Dana White as UFC president.

When they sold Zuffa and the UFC to a group led by William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME) in 2016 for $4.025 billion, a couple of things were made perfectly clear: The UFC was no longer a no-holds-barred curiosity, nor was it the fastest growing sport in America.

The UFC was now firmly established as one of the world’s most popular sports franchises, producing events capable of drawing millions of eyes and generating millions of dollars.

The UFC began in 1993, trying to determine which martial art was superior through a single-elimination eight-man tournament with few rules.

Unified Mixed Martial Arts rules are adopted, the UFC stages fight in eight men’s and four women’s weight classes, and more than 500 UFC events are held worldwide. These days, the UFC is more about determining which UFC superstar can draw the most fans and pay-per-view buys than which martial art is best.

So far, the answer to these questions is Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.

Rousey versus Holly Holm at UFC 193 on Nov. 14, 2015, inside Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, holds the record for the largest live UFC attendance at 56,214.

McGregor versus Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018, inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, holds the record for the number of pay-per-view buys at a whopping 2.4 million.

White is still UFC president; his promotional efforts are a major reason why the UFC is the popular multibillion-dollar enterprise it is today.

UFC FAQ

What did Dana White do before UFC?

Dana White was a boxer in high school. Later, he was a college dropout and a boxercise coach before running up a debt with Boston’s Irish mob that forced him to move to Las Vegas.

White eventually landed work as a manager for fighters including Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, before he helped broker the deal for the UFC between owner Bob Meyrowitz and his childhood friend Lorenzo Fertitta. He became UFC president after the Fertitta brothers bought it.

How much does the average UFC fighter make?

UFC fighters at the top of the game can make $200,000 just for fighting and double that if they win. There are also various fighter bonuses available on each card. The average UFC fighter annual salary is between $130,000 and $140,000 a year.

UFC superstars like Conor McGregor are in a different class since they draw big crowds and huge pay-per-view audiences. McGregor broke the record for the largest UFC payday ever, taking home $3 million from UFC 202. He made a similar $3 million from UFC 246.

How much is the UFC brand worth?

Station Casinos executives Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the UFC brand for $2 million in 2001. However, they turned it around and sold it to a group led by William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in 2016 for $4.025 billion.

That makes the UFC worth more than $4 billion and among the richest sports franchises in the world.

What moves are illegal in UFC?

The UFC started as a no-holds-barred fighting tournament of sorts. However, there are rules to the game now and several things a fighter cannot do in the octagon.

The list includes but is not limited to:

  • Headbutting
  • Biting
  • Spitting
  • Hair pulling
  • Eye gouging
  • Grabbing the fence
  • Holding onto an opponent’s gloves or shorts
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