Insider's Guide to MMA Betting in Canada

For those who enjoying gambling on team sports, throwing down real money bets on mixed martial arts might seem like a foreign concept. However, if you have a good understanding on how to bet on sports, placing wagers on MMA will be quick and easy.

For those who are not as proficient, there's no need to worry. We've created the ultimate guide to MMA betting for 2024 where we'll discuss the popularity of the sport in Canada, the basics of MMA betting, the types of bets you can make, how to choose a legal betting platform in Canada, and more.

Written by Amanda Evans 8 minute read
guide to mma betting in canada

MMA's Popularity in Canada

MMA is a gigantic betting sport in Canada. The big fights featuring transcendent starts like Jon Jones or Conor McGregor have a huge build up, allowing everyone to get emotionally invested while forming their own opinion that can easily lead to the desire to place a real money bet. There is also plenty of bet types to make the experience as exciting and entertaining as possible.

A high-profile fighter with a huge social media presence can garner as much online betting action as an event like Canada's Grey Cup. What's even more attractive is that big fights in MMA happen every few months, making it easy to understand why mixed martial arts betting is so immensely popular in Canada.

The Basics of MMA Betting

Betting on MMA or the UFC is the same as betting on any other sport that you are interested in. You will constantly need to stay up to date with the fighters and events that are taking place within the sport. If you can accomplish this, you'll understand all the major betting trends that can assist you to get an edge.

If you are a novice when it comes to online betting, you'll be pleased to know that we are here to help. We've created a quick and easy guide when it comes to the basics of MMA betting that will help you on your betting journey. Below, we'll take an in-depth look at the odds and the most popular betting markets within the sport.

Understanding the Odds

The odds you'll encounter when it comes to MMA betting are the projections that oddsmakers use to indicate the potential payout of a real money bet as well as the likelihood that it will happen. There are several kinds of odds in the online gambling world, but the most popular among Canadian bettors is American. Evaluating American odds is simple once you understand how to read the (+) and (-) symbols.

When a market has negative odds, the number that is displayed next to the minus (-) symbol will indicate how much you'll need to bet to earn a return on a $100 wager. When a market has positive odds, the number displayed next to the plus (+) symbol will indicate how much you can win if you place a $100 wager. Now that you have a better understanding of how to read odds, let's take a look at the types of MMA bets you can make in 2024.

Types of MMA Bet Markets

Betting markets are essentially the outcomes that Canadian bettors can place their real money bets on. The MMA betting menu is not as broad when compared to other sporting events around the world, and betting markets for this sport will greatly depend on the magnitude of the fight. It should come as no surprise that title bouts tend to stir up more betting markets. However, most MMA betting markets include the following 5 types of bets:

  • Moneyline - There's no denying that one of the most popular betting markets in MMA betting, as with any other sport in Canada, is the moneyline bet. This is where a punter will simply select a fighter to win the bout outright. Should that fighter emerge victorious, whether that be by decision, TKO, KO, or otherwise, you will win your bet. If the fighter loses the bout, you will lose your stake.
  • Round Betting - A typical MMA fight is usually three rounds in length. However, a main or title fight length is often five rounds. With Round betting, you are basically wagering on which round the bout will likely end in. Canadian bettors don't have to select the fighter who will win the bout. Instead, you just have to predict the round the fight will end in.
  • Prop Betting - The UFC or MMA doesn't feature as many prop bets as other sports. However, there are still a handful of options to explore, such as the method of victory prop. With this prop bet, bettors will need to predict in what way the fighter will win the bout. For instance, TKO, decision, submission, and more.
  • Futures - This bet type is very popular in other sporting events where they have a start and end date to each season. However, this is not the case with MMA and UFC, making futures bets very difficult to find online. However, long-term wagers on an up-and-coming fighter that might eventually end up becoming the champion is possible.
  • Parlays - This is an extremely popular way for Canadians to bet on UFC or MMA fights. Paylay betting is when multiple wagers are combined into a single bet. However, you will need to win every wager to be successful with parlay betting. Canadians can place a parlay by selecting fighters to win across several bouts, or by placing multiple bets within the same fight if the online sportsbook will allow it.

Legal Landscape of MMA Betting in Canada

Canadian punters will be pleased to know that online sports betting in the country has undergone some huge and positive changes in recent years. As of 2024, placing real money wagers on single sports games is now completely legal due to the significant change in the law that took place in August 2021 where single-event betting was legalized.

While it is still illegal to operate a sportsbook in the country, individual bettors in Canada don't have anything to fear when placing bets on MMA, UFC, or any other sporting events. With that in mind, let's take a look at how you can choose a legal and reliable online betting platform on both desktop and mobile devices below.

choosing legal betting platforms

Guide to Choosing Legal Betting Platforms in Canada

Each provincial government in Canada operate their own sportsbooks that you'll find at corner stores, land-based casinos, and even online casinos. However, these sportsbooks tend to provide tiny payouts and terrible odds. It's for this reason why we created this guide to help you choose a legal and reliable betting platform where you can look forward to excellent odds with huge winning opportunities.

The best Canadian online casinos with sportsbooks are usually situated offshore, but there's no law that stops you from registering with these online establishments. Now that you have a better understanding on the Canadian landscape when it comes to online betting, here are some valuable tips to find a reputable online betting site in 2024.

  • Licensing and Security - Not every online sportsbook is allowed to operate in Canada. Most sportsbooks are required to obtain a licence before they can operate in the country, while others operate exclusively within the grey market. Make sure to read our reviews to see if the operator is licensed and regulated by a reputable gambling authority to ensure fairness on bets and provide fast payouts. We also recommend evaluating the security measures to ensure your personal and financial information is safe and secure at all times.
  • Promotions and Bonuses - If you want to boost your bankroll before placing bets on any MMA fights, we highly recommend claiming promotions and bonuses as both a new and existing player. This can include free bets, welcome packages, and ongoing promotions like cashback deals and reload promotions. We urge our readers to review the terms and conditions to ensure the wagering requirements are achievable and that there's enough time to clear the bonus before it expires.
  • Competitive Lines and Odds - The biggest difference between two sportsbooks is the odds they give for the same bout. This should be a top consideration for most punters. Most sports betting sites provide similar products, and therefore need to compete on price. Due to this, Canadian punters should never settle with paying more money to win an equal amount. Always compare several sportsbooks to get the most competitive odds that can lead to the biggest real money winnings.
  • Sports Coverage - While MMA or UFC might be your primary reason for choosing an online sportsbook, make sure there's also excellent coverage for other sporting events around the world. This makes it easy to bet on other sports without having to register with another site. The more sports coverage one site offers, the less likely you'll jump from one site to another. You can also compare odds for other sporting events to see how competitive they are compared to other sportsbooks to ensure you pick the perfect site for your gambling needs.
  • Live Betting Opportunities - There is nothing more exhilarating than having the freedom and flexibility to place a real money wager while the fighting action is underway. To achieve this, you'll need to ensure the betting site you choose offers live betting or in-play betting. This gives you the ability to watch the bout and place additional bets at the same time. You can also look forward to updated odds in real time, potentially giving you access the biggest returns.
  • Payment Methods - Some online betting sites are notorious for only supporting a handful of deposit and withdrawal options. If you only want to make online transactions with credit or debit cards, you'll be fine. However, if you want to use e-wallet options like Interac, prepaid cards like Paysafecard, or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, you'll need to review the cashier section before registering a new account. We also advise our readers to check for transaction fees and the turnaround time on withdrawals.
  • Customer Service - There's nothing worse than encountering a problem on your account only to realize that customer support is not available 24/7, or don't offer multiple contact channels. Therefore, we highly recommend taking a look at the customer service center to ensure you can contact them at any time via live chat, email and telephone whenever you have a query or request. Go ahead and test the responsiveness and professionalism of support to get a good idea of what you'll be dealing with before signing up for a new account.
  • Ease of Use - The final step to ensure you register with a legal, reputable, and reliable sportsbook online is to browse through every section of the platform. This will give you a better understanding of how the site functions and whether it suits your gaming needs. Evaluate the user-interface, check that you can easily find a specific sport or promotion without any struggles, and test everything out on mobile if you plan on placing bets while on the move.

Responsible Betting Practices

The best online sportsbooks offering MMA betting should come equipped with responsible gambling practices. This means that the sports betting site should offer you the ability to take breaks, set deposit limits, offer educational campaigns, provide helpline services, give behaviour monitoring, and provide player protection at all times.

Should you ever feel that you are developing a gambling problem, you need to ensure that you have support from the online operator to assist you. Any reputable online sportsbook will uphold the Gambling Act principles and will conduct their operations responsibly and safely so that online gambling can be enjoyable instead of harming individuals and their loves ones.

 Amanda Evans
Written by
Amanda Evans Editorial Director

With more than 15 years of experience in the field, Amanda is in charge of organising and editing all featured content. She also manages a group of writers to guarantee that the information our Canadian readers receive about the iGaming sector is reliable. For further information, see Amanda's author profile.

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