Best Things Non-UFC MMA Promotions Offer
The UFC Is Not Just The Best Place For MMA Action
The UFC is the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world, so much so that fans mistake “UFC” as the actual sport. However, other MMA promotions offer something the UFC doesn’t. This makes them worth watching and worthy of betting online.
Two of the leading MMA promotions are Bellator MMA and the Professional Fighters League (PFL). Other than featuring plenty of prospects and ex-UFC contenders, the two feature formats unique from the UFC.
Bellator has a single-elimination tournament that runs concurrently with their regular bouts. Both champions and top contenders compete in this tournament so not only will the winner win the grand prize of $1 million dollars, but they will be the new Bellator champion.
The PFL takes it further by adopting a format similar to professional leagues like the NFL: They feature a regular season and a playoff tournament. Like Bellator, a grand prize of a million awaits the winner on top of being crowned the PFL champion.
ONE Championship also runs occasional tournaments and features cross-sport matchups with its kick-boxing divisions. The promotion also features Pride FC rules, which allow knees and kicks to a downed opponent.
These different rules and formats make for a varied product that impacts the MMA betting odds as well.
Different Weight Classes
In the UFC, there are a total of 12 weight divisions: — eight on the men’s side and four on the women’s side. This run from heavyweight (265 pounds) to women’s strawweight (115 pounds). However, those aren’t all the weight classes in MMA.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s MMA promotion, Eagle FC, features a super lightweight class that is contested at 165 pounds. They also bump up welterweight to 175 pounds. Several prominent fighters like Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor have already expressed interest in fighting in this weight class as “tweeners.”
Additionally, there is a men’s strawweight division in promotions like ONE, while Invicta FC, a women’s-only MMA promotion, features an atomweight division at 105 pounds.
Having extra divisions allows several fighters to compete at a more comfortable weight. In the case of men’s strawweight and women’s atomweight, fighters like Michelle Waterson can make a name for themselves.
Find Prospects and Fan Favorites
Waterson is now a UFC contender but was once a rising star in Invicta. Similarly, there are plenty of prospects featured in promotions like Bellator on the North American side, KSW and M-1 on the European side, and Invicta with women’s MMA.
While The Ultimate Fighter and Dana White’s Contender Series feature a glut of these prospects, Bellator has been known to showcase some of the top NCAA Division I wrestlers. Meanwhile, KSW, M-1, and other European promotions are a hotbed for some of the best sambo fighters.
Additionally, many organizations are “feeders” to the UFC. M-1, Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), and Invicta typically have fighters who head to the UFC after a handful of fights. And on the flip side, many UFC fighters that are still in their prime head to Bellator and PFL. Shane Burgos, a fan favorite, most recently signed with PFL fresh off two straight UFC wins.
Better Betting Opportunities
Many of these MMA promotions can also be a gold mine for bettors. The UFC is highly scrutinized now so it may be harder to find good betting value on fights. But fights in Bellator, PFL and other smaller organizations could be a haven for value bettors. The online sportsbook features these MMA promotions and more.
Underdog bettors could also make a killing considering all the upsets that happen. Many of the bouts feature little-known fighters or prospects whose hype precedes them. Any bettor willing to wade into the weeds and pore over these bouts can unearth themselves a tidy profit. Alternatively, parlays can be made across different MMA promotions.