MMA is a full contact sport where fighters use different fighting styles to their strategic and tactical advantage including karate, judo, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling as well as other emerging interdisciplinary techniques . Punters must weigh up the relative merits of fighters abilities in the different codes as well as other important physical and cardiovascular attributes.
The history of MMA
Despite MMA having a mere two decades under its belt, the roots of the sport go back much further.
MMA exploded into the sporting scene in November 1993 with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 1, which saw Telia Tuli, a 6ft 2" Hawaiian Sumo weighing 420lbs take on Gerard Goudreau a 6ft 5" Dutch Savate kick-boxing champion, half his weight, in a no-holds barred cage fight in Denver, Colorado.
The bout lasted barely 30 seconds, and was ended by a vicious head-kick from Goudeau, leaving spectators open-mouthed. UFC 1 had successfully brought together eight men from different fighting codes, to find out which would prevail.
Though only 2,800 people attended UFC 1, 86,000 viewers paid to watch the spectacle on TV - billed as without rules - echoing an age-old obsession with Ultimate Fighting that goes back to 648 BC.
In ancient Greece the sport of pankration fighting was hugely popular mixing Hellenic boxing and wrestling, and governed by just two rules - no biting and no eye gouging. The bouts took place in a 168 square foot ring, and with no time limits, lasted until submission by raising of the hand, knock-out or in some cases death.
Pankration fighting was intended to enhance close-quarter combat skills and Alexander the Great sought to recruit pankratiasts as soldiers. His invasion of India in 326 BC is widely believed to have sewn the seed for all Martial Arts, whose routes can be traced to the sub-continent about the same time.
The Gracie Challenge
More recently the history and heritage of MMA is intrinsically linked to a famous Brazilian martial arts dynasty - the Gracie family. The Gracie's established Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a combat sport, based itself, on Kodokan Judo.
The Gracie's started an academy in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1920's. The all-comer vale-tudo matches - full contact with few rules - became immensely popular.
It was the intention of the promoters of UFC 1 to grab headlines by promoting Cage-fighting in the same way, as no-holds barred orchestrated violence. However, the negative impact of the media eventually forced its evolution into a legitimate sport, and an increasingly popular betting medium.
Betting on MMA
Betting on MMA has evolved as the sport has grown in stature, but in order to stand a chance of winning you have to understand the particulars of betting on MMA, and then get the best available odds, usually found at Pinnacle.
Other than ring side bets, UFC 1 was ignored by the sports betting industry, but today MMA rivals boxing as a betting medium.
Betting on MMA like most sports has a number of comparables to help you make an informed bet. Understanding and analyzing the pugilist, fight styles and past records will give you a more rounded understanding for betting on MMA.
Punters must also be aware of the fight logistics such as if the fight is a Championship bout (five, five minute rounds) or a normal fight (three, five minute rounds ), or what weight the contest is being fought at.
Mixed Martial Arts have the following weight classes: Flyweight (max 57 kgs), Bantamweight (max 61 kgs), Lightweight (max 70 kgs), Welterweight (max 77 kgs), Middleweight (max 84 kgs), Light Heavyweight (max 93 kgs), Heavyweight (max 120 kgs) Super Heavyweight (no limit).
Influences of fighting styles on MMA betting
Fighting styles make fights. To have more chance of winning with MMA betting it is crucial to understand the different fighting styles and how they influence a bout.
For instance, despite the evolution of the sport eroding the marked difference in fighting codes, with fighters now well rounded combat specialists, fighters can struggle when facing an opponent who is an expert in a different fighting style.
Fighting styles and fighters characteristics are also important when betting on the over/under markets for the number of rounds the bout will last. In addition to studying fighters form, whether or not the fighters are aggressive or defensive should have a bearing on your bet.
Although common sense would suggest most fighters would convert from boxing, it is actually from NCAA wrestling where most fighters originate from. The reason for this is it is harder to learn martial arts than boxing.
Differences in fighting styles can bee seen in the upcoming UFC 152 event between Jon Jones (1.110) and Vitor Belfort (8.110). Jones is an American mixed martial arts wrestler who combines Muay Thai with Greco-Roman wrestling.
Belfort in comparison trained under the Greco family and uses a combination of boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The contrasting styles will see the big puncher Belfort aim to keep the bout on his feet, however, Jones holds a massive reach advantage of 10.5 inches.
This could see Jones not only hold the advantage on the ground, but also on the feet as well.
Remember Pinnacle offer the best MMA betting odds on-line for a number of fights on MMA Mixed Martial Arts promotion company's such as UFC, Bellator and StrikeForce.