Best Sportsbooks for UFC Betting for the UK
The sport of mixed martial arts has grown right across the world and it enjoys a particularly strong following in the UK. Traditionally a boxing stronghold, British fight fans are now tuning in to MMA in their millions while the country is also producing its own competitors who step into the octagon with the world’s best.
When a sport starts to grow, the bookmakers take more of an interest too and here is a guide to UFC and MMA betting along with tips on finding the right sportsbook.
UFC Bookmakers for UK Players
Most, if not all sportsbooks now offer betting markets for MMA and UFC fights but not all are created equal. If you’re looking to get involved in the sport, either as a casual or serious punter, here are our recommendations.
Coral may be one of the oldest betting brands in existence but they haven’t simply relied on that long history. In order to compete in the digital age, brands need to innovate and that’s exactly what they have done.
This is a bookmaker with great prices on all core sports but they have always been quick to welcome new events on board. In terms of UFC betting, they have a good spread of fights on any bill and, along with the result betting, there is a choice of side bets for the bigger battles.
Coral are always active when it comes to offers and promotions and that extra value is a bonus on top of regular odds that are often out on their own in the MMA markets.
Ladbrokes and Coral are part of the same group so punters will often find that their prices are identical for any sport. However, Ladbrokes tend to have more regular price boost offers so players here can often get just a little more value for their stakes.
This is another established brand with decades of history behind them and the trust that this conveys plays an important role when choosing a bookmaker. That element is backed up with value, as we’ve seen, but Ladbrokes also provide one of the widest set of MMA markets, particularly for the big UFC nights.
History is also on the side of William Hill who have been a respected betting brand since the 1950s. They have been on the British high street for many years and as such, have a loyal following among the online betting community too.
This is another bookmaker who likes to move with the times and embrace new sports and Hills have certainly done that with MMA. There are early prices going up for the big events and it’s therefore easy to take an ante post bets on the UFC nights and, once again, those odds are seriously competitive.
Choice is good once again and the trust built up over 60 years of trading makes William Hill another great all-round package.
Betway are a relatively new addition to the list of recommended sportsbooks, having first come online in 2006. Ten years is enough time in the digital age to get established and the operator is a big favourite among UK punters.
Betway are particularly strong on live betting and this is a preferred destination for many who like to bet in play. Prices are competitive and there are regular daily boosts which can appear for the bigger UFC battles. Overall, the value is available through those odds while there is another good set of MMA betting options, both in play and ante post.
Unibet’s roots are in Scandinavia but they are dedicated to providing a great experience to customers all over the world, including the UK. This is a company that may not be quite so big on side betting but for those who like to concentrate on the straight result markets, they are definitely worth checking out.
Unibet’s odds are frequently out on their own as the longest in the industry and this includes their MMA and UFC options. Add in some seriously generous promotions and here you have a sportsbook where value is key.
Of the many new bookmakers that are around, we would recommend checking out Sportnation.bet when it comes to UFC betting. They may only select the biggest fights on any Ultimate Fighting Championship bill but when they do declare, the odds involved are tough to match.
SportNation also offer just the main side markets for those fights and so, while their coverage is smaller, the odds are worth comparing for those who bet on the bigger contests.
Another way to judge a good bookmaker is to see whether they offer a good set of funding options. The majority of customers may well want to play using either a debit or credit card and that is the minimum requirement for any sportsbook to provide.
It’s usually possible to make bank transfers too but be aware that some operators will need between two and five days to complete that transaction. That covers our essential requirements but for greater flexibility, it helps to have some eWallets included in the mix.
|Bookies / Payment Methods:|
|Free, Instant, £5-, Credit Card||Free, Instant, £5- , Debit Card||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet||Free, Instant, £5-, eWallet||Free, Instant, £5-, eWallet|
|Free, Instant, £5- £99,999, Credit Card||Free, Instant, £5-£99,999, Debit Card||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet|
|Free, Instant, £5-£99,000, Credit Card||Free, Instant, £5- £99,000, Debit Card||Free, Instant, £10- £5,500, eWallet||Free, Instant, £10- £80,000, eWallet||Free, Instant, £10- £25,000, eWallet|
|Free, Instant, £10-, Credit Card||Free, Instant, £10-, Debit Card||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet||Free, Instant, £10-, eWallet|
|Free, Instant, £10- £20,000, Credit Card||Free, Instant, £10- £20,000, Debit Card|
|Bookies / Payment Methods:|
|£0.01 / no min., 2-5 Days*, Credit Card||£0.01 / no min., 2-5 Days*, Debit Card||£0.01 / no min. Up to 24 hours, eWallet||£0.01 / no min. Up to 24 hours, eWallet||£0.01 / no min. Up to 24 hours, eWallet|
|£5- £30,000, 1-3 Days* Free, Credit Card||Free, £5-£30,000, 3-5 Days*, Debit Card||Free, £0.01-, Up to 24 hours, eWallet||Free, £0.01-, Up to 24 hours , eWallet||Free, £0.01 Up to 24 hours , eWallet|
|£5-, 3-5 Days*, Credit Card||£10-, 3-5 Days*, Debit Card (excl. MC)||£10-, 1 Day*, eWallet||£5-, 1 Day*, eWallet||£5-, 1 Day*, eWallet|
|£10-, 3-5 Days*, Credit Card (excl. MC)||£10-, 3-5 Days*, Debit Card, (excl. MC)||£10-, 1 Day*, eWallet||£10-, 1 Day*, eWallet||£10-, 1 Day*, eWallet|
|£20-, 3-5 Days*, Credit Card||£20-, 3-5 Days*, Debit Card|
The best example of an eWallet is PayPal – a company that stores your money safely and securely and allows you to pay businesses directly out of your balance. PayPal are very choosy over which gambling companies they deal with but Coral, Ladbrokes and other established brands offer their facilities.
The most common eWallet providers in the gambling sector are Skrill and Neteller and the majority of bookies have them on their list. Others, such as PaySafeCard, Sofort and Zimpler are a little more obscure but some customers will find them useful and would like to see them included.
Ideally, all transactions should be fast and free but check the payment section of your individual bookmaker or contact customer support to confirm this.
Is it legal to bet on sports online in the UK?
Unlike certain other countries around the world, there are relatively few restrictions when it comes to online betting in the UK. General Gambling Commission rules state that players have to be at least 18 years of age but as long as that requirement is met, online betting is perfectly legal.
As long as the bookmaker in question is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, players are free to access their services. That point should be confirmed at the bottom of any homepage and as long as this is in place, customers are open to bet on all sports including MMA and UFC.
Most Popular UK MMA / UFC Fighters
MMA fighting grew in popularity in the United States but in the modern day, this is very much a global sport. Great Britain has produced its fair share of top fighters and here are some of the best.
The man known as the Gorilla began his fighting career as a Muay Thai Kickboxer but Darren Till is such a strong all-round performer that a move into mixed martial arts was a logical one. He competes in the welterweight division and at the end of 2018, he was ranked number three in that class by the UFC.
After a successful start with other MMA organisations, the Ultimate Fighting Championship added Till to their roster in 2015. At that stage he was unbeaten at professional level and that impressive record has continued ever since. As 2019 came in, the versatile fighter from Liverpool had achieved a tally of 17 wins from 19 professional fights plus one draw and just one defeat. With that type of record behind him, it will surely only be a matter of time before he’s crowned as a UFC Champion.
East London’s Darren Stewart first made his name with the Cage Warriors organisation before being picked up by the UFC in 2016. He began his career with the ultimate MMA division against Francimar Barroso in a fight that was eventually declared a no contest. Stewart lost the rematch the following year but his career has been steady ever since and he is another British fighter with a strong chance of making a UFC Championship challenge in the near future.
As he began 2019, Darren Stewart’s pro career showed nine wins from 14 fights with four losses, plus that no contest with Barroso in 2016.
Ross Pearson is one of the veterans of the sport having made his professional MMA debut back in 2004 and he’s been a fixture of the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2010. The man from Sunderland is also a versatile competitor, having fought in three divisions – featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.
He really made his name on an MMA-related reality show, The Ultimate Fighter – United States vs United Kingdom and after coming first in the lightweight division, a successful pro career really took off.
Ross Pearson will be at a peak age of 35 in 2019 and he started the year with a record of 20 wins from 36 pro fights with 12 of those coming inside the distance.
The man known as Poster Boy puts his face on the line when he steps into the UFC Octagon in the light heavyweight division. In his late 30s’, Jimi Manuwa is something of a veteran of the sport but in a stop-start career, he began 2019 with just 22 pro fights behind him.
Injuries have played their part but Manuwa has enjoyed a successful career since beating Kyle Kingsbury on his UFC debut back in 2012. He’s risen through the ranks and is always a tough opponent and at the end of 2018, he was rated number 10 in the UFC’s official light heavyweight list.
Of those 22 fights, Jimi Manuwa has won 17 with an impressive 15 victories coming via knockout.
In terms of percentages, Tom Breese has the best record of any of these British fighters with 11 wins from 12 professional MMA fights. Like Jimi Manuwa, Breese has also had issues with injury but if he can stay fit and maintain that level of form, he could well become a future UFC Champion.
The fighter from Birmingham turned pro in 2010 and of those 11 career victories, ten have come inside the distance with four by knockout and six by submission.
Mixed Martial Arts is one of the newest sporting success stories. Some twenty years ago it was a fringe sport and one that wasn’t taken too seriously by fight fans but the sheer skill and technique of the competitors has won people over.
The bookmakers are definitely on board too with thousands of fights covered every year and hundreds of markets available for the big fight nights. Any UK punter looking to get involved here will need to choose their bookmaker wisely and they can do that using the criteria of trust, choice and value that we touch upon throughout this review.
If you have an account with a bookmaker who isn’t on this list, you can easily apply that system to see if they are a tangible proposition. Once you’re happy with your choice, do plenty of research ahead of the MMA fights that you want to bet on.
It’s a boom period for the sport and the UK is turning on to mixed martial arts in a big way. Britain has its own set of competitive fighters so look out for them or for any of the biggest exponents in the sport and get involved with the many exciting events across the calendar.