UFC Betting Trends by Division: Historical Odds and Results

Shana Dobson Underdog Odds

UFC Betting Trends by Division – Historical Odds and Results: The most profitable UFC betting trend in 2020 was the Underdog in the Women’s Flyweight division, which went 15-18 for +15.05 units profit, while the ‘Over’ in Women’s Bantamweight went 18-1, and the Men’s flyweight favorite went 20-5-1. Let’s breakdown all the UFC betting trends by division in 2020, and focus on exactly why these numbers are significant and how they can be used as keys tools for UFC betting going forward.

Big picture handicapping pays off, even in MMA

As sports bettors, we’ve come to lean on what the industry calls ‘situational handicapping.’ The home/road splits and the various ATS/ML trends that many of us have come to know and love. Some MMA bettors don’t realize that even though MMA combat is not a team sport, the same ideas of tracking trends and situational records can be just as valid in fighting as it is on the field or on the court. Each division in the UFC has a set of tendencies that can be pointed out. While some of these tendencies are more explainable than others, the fact remains that they can be a valuable asset for MMA bettors when shopping for UFC odds, especially when the volume of events is as high as we’ve seen it as of late.

Trends Worth Tracking – UFC in 2020

Certain types of fights have a particular set of likely outcomes. Whether it be the over in women’s divisions, the underdog in welterweight, or the favorite in lightweight. Sometimes, it may be a more specific market trend, such as the ‘coin flip favorite’ (-150 to -101) at men’s flyweight.

The ‘coin flip’ favorite is a chalk favorite that is lined between -150 or better. The reason this is referred to as a ‘coin flip’ is that most of the time, these fights should be lined much closer to a pick’em, but the betting market has either pushed one fighter to become a ‘short favorite’ in that -150 to just short of pick’em range. Sometimes, you will even see the bookmakers set the odds for these kinds of bouts with one of the fighters being juiced a little bit higher than they should be, simply as a projection against the public pouring in on that fighter; since a better number on that fighter likely exists somewhere else. If one book originates a line with a little bit of juice on the favorite as protection, many other books will outright copy that line, which is why we see a ton of fights open at around pick’em, and then hover around that ‘coin flip’ range leading up to fight night. All in all, it is important to track which side ends up winning in these ‘coin flip’ scenarios, as it is a good way to predict how the betting market values a favorite or a dog in each division.

Favorites, dogs, overs, and under, whatever it may be. There is quantifiable historical data that we can analyze to identify these trends, isolate them, and exploit them for profits. Let’s take a look at the entire year of 2020 UFC betting, and find the most profitable trends and probable outcomes for each division.

UFC Women’s Strawweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
‘Coin Flip’ Dog 3-2 60% +1.35u -110
Favorites 19-7 73.1% +1.61u -272
Over 19-7 73.1% +0.16u -272

Zhang Vs Joanna OddsLast year, the favorite won 19 of 26 bouts in the women’s strawweight division for a 73.1% win percentage and +1.61 units profit. While the Over has the exact same record at 19-7, but for just a slight marginal profit of +0.16 units. Based on implied probability, both the favorite and the Over in this division in 2020 were a +EV bet at -272 or better.

Dating back to the start of 2019, the Favorite in this women’s strawweight division has gone 38-16-1, for +3.02 units profit, and the Over has gone 40-15 for a slight marginal loss of -0.77 units.

UFC Women’s Strawweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There was only one title bout in the UFC Women’s Strawweight division, and it will likely be named Fight of the Year in 2020. Weili Zhang defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk by unanimous decision back in March at UFC 248. Zhang won as a -225 favorite of Joanna, and the Over 4.5 rounds prop cashed at -119.

UFC Men’s Flyweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
‘Coin Flip’ Fav 5-0 100% +3.84u -150
Favorites 20-5-1 77% +6.05u -335
Under 14-12 53.8% +5.11u -116

The most profitable trend in the UFC Men’s Flyweight division has been the ‘coin flip’ favorite, which went a perfect 5-0 in 2020. There have been five fights in 2020 at flyweight where the favorite closed at -150 or better, and all five times the favorite won the bout. This trend includes two fights won by David Dvorak, who cashed as a -118 favorite at UFC Brasilia over Bruno Silva, and then again as a -112 favorite against Jordan Espinosa.

The outright favorite won 20 of 26 UFC flyweight bouts in 2020 for a 77% win percentage and +6.05 units profit. A trend that continues over the last two years, where the favorite has gone 26-12-2 dating back to the start of 2019. There were only five fights where the Underdog at Flyweight cashed, which includes one a knockout victory by Deiveson Figueiredo at +125 the first time he fought Joseph Benavidez back in February; the highest odds of the five underdogs was Brandon Royval at UFC 253, who beat Kai-Kara France as a +175 dog.

The ‘Under’ went 14-12 for +5.11u units profit in 2020, which is a continuation of a trend from 2019, as the Under has gone 19-21 in the last two years. It’s an interesting trend because the regular betting line almost always has the Under as the plus-money, mostly because the Flyweight fighters don’t have the knockout power as the heavier weight division. However, over the past few years, we have seen more entertaining flyweights fighters, which have given us a ton of entertaining finishes.

UFC Men’s Flyweight Title Bouts in 2020:

Deiveson Figueiredo OddsDeiveson Figueiredo Went Undefeated in 2020: There were 4 UFC Men’s Flyweight title bouts in 2020, all of which included by ‘The God of War’ Deiveson Figueiredo, where he went an undefeated 3-0-1. Figueiredo defeated Joseph Benavidez at UFC Norfolk back in February, picking up the win as a +125 underdog; however, Figueiredo missed weight, so the title remained vacant. Figueiredo defeated Benavidez again at UFC Fight Island 2 in July, picking up the win, this time as the -240 betting favorite.

Figueiredo returned to defend his Flyweight gold at UFC 255 against Alex Perez; Figueiredo picked up the decisive first-round submission victory over Perez as a -320 favorite. Figueiredo would cap off 2020 with a stellar performance at UFC 256. Both Figueiredo and his opponent Brandon Moreno had a 21 day turn around, and Figueiredo became the first UFC champion to defend their belt in two fights in less than 22 days.

Figueiredo and Moreno fought to a very entertaining draw in a bout that could be called one of the best in Flyweight history. Three of the four flyweight bouts went Under the betting, with the only one not going ‘Under’ being the final title fight of 2020, which went to the 5 round draw.

UFC Women’s Flyweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Dog 15-18 45.5% +15.05u +120
Under 14-19 42.4% +6.8u +136

Roxy Modafferi OddsThe most profitable trend in the UFC Women’s Flyweight division was the Underdog that hit at a 45% rate (15-18) for +15.05 units profit in 2020. The underdog at women’s 125lbs got off to a hot start, winning 6 of the first eight bouts of the year, including Roxanne Modafferi winning as a +560 underdog against Macey Barber at UFC 246 back in January. After the COVID-19 pause, we saw a few more heavy underdogs come through at Women’s Flyweight, including Shana Dobson at UFC Vegas 7, who cashed as a +770 underdog, the biggest underdog in the UFC in 2020.

The Under has been profitable at Women’s Flyweight in 2020, going 14-19 for +6.8 units profit. Based on implied probability, an Under in this division has been worth a bet at the price of +136 or better in 2020. We’ve seen a couple of big scores on the Under at 125lbs as of late. Antonina Shevchenko defeated Ariane Lipski by TKO at UFC 255 in November, with the ‘Under 2.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at +225, while Lauren Murphy picked up a submission win at UFC 254, with the Under cashing at +290.

Valentina Shevchenko OddsUFC Women’s Flyweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There were two UFC Women’s Flyweight title bouts in 2020, both of which were won by Valentina Shevchenko, who successfully defended her title on two different occasions. Shevchenko defeated Katlyn Chookkagian at UFC 247 as the first title bout of 2020 via 3rd round TKO, cashing as a heavy -1100 favorite. In November of 2020, she did the same as an even bigger favorite (-2100), picking up a 5-round unanimous decision over Jennifer Maia at UFC 255.

UFC Men’s Bantamweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Under 27-26 50.9% +9.99u -104
Coin Flip Favs 11-6 64.7% +2.32u -150
Favorites 35-16-1 67.3% +1.23u -206

The most profitable betting trend in the UFC Men’s Bantamweight division in 2020 was the Under, going 27-26 for +9.99 units profit. A $100 bettor who backed the ‘Under’ in every bout at men’s 135lbs in 2020, profited +$18 per fight, win or lose. To end 2020, the Under hit in 5 of the last six fights in the Men’s Bantamweight division, with the biggest cash being Martin Day vs Anderson dos Santos, where the ‘Under 2.5 Rounds’ prop cashed at +150.

The ‘Coin Flip’ favorite at -150 or better at 135lbs went 11-6 in 2020 for +2.32 units profit, while the outright favorite went 35-16-1 for +1.23u, at 67.3%.

Petr Yan OddsUFC Men’s Bantamweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There were two title bouts in the UFC Men’s Bantamweight division in 2020. Henry Cejudo defended his UFC gold for the final time against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249, cashing at -215 on the moneyline, with the ‘Under 4.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at +152. Cejudo retired from the sport in the octagon, relinquishing the title. A few months later, at UFC 251, Petr Yan and Jose Aldo fought for the undisputed gold, with Yan picking up the win as a -260 favorite, with the ‘Over 3.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at -113.

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Over 18-1 94.7% +6.46u -1780
Favorites 15-4 78.9% +3.41u -374
Coin Flip Favs 3-2 60% +0.11u -150

The most profitable trend in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division in 2020 was the Over that hit at a 94.7% rate, with only one bout at women’s 135lbs that went Under betting total, with 18 of 19 bouts going Over.

The favorite went 15-4 in the Women’s UFC Bantamweight in 2020, with two of the four dogs that cashed in 2020 coming at the end of the year, with Pannie Kianzad cashing at +125 at UFC Vegas 17 and Ashlee Dumont a few weeks prior cashing at +115.

UFC Men’s Featherweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Over 39-17 69.6% +12.8u -230
Coin Flip Favs 9-6 60% +0.89u -150
Favorites 34-21-1 60.7% -4.94u -154

Alexander Volkanovski OddsThe most profitable trend in the UFC Men’s featherweight division in 2020 was the Over that hit at a 69.6% rate, going 39-17 for +12.8 units profit. A continuation of over the last tw0 years, as the Over has gone 75-41 since the start of 2019. The ‘Coin Flip’ favorite went 9-6 for a marginal profit of +0.89 units, a complete turnaround from last year, considering the ‘coin flip’ dog at 145lbs has gone 22-20 for +3.46 units profit since the start of 2019.

UFC Men’s Featherweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There was just one title bout in the UFC Men’s Featherweight division in 2020. Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway at UFC 251, in a rematch from late 2019. Volkanovski picked up a decision victory as a -210 favorite, with the ‘Over 4.5 Round’ prop cashing at -255.

UFC Women’s Featherweight Division

Since 2017 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Under 10-7 58.8% +3.21u -143
Favorites 13-4 76.5% +0.49u -325
Coin Flip Dog 2-2 50% +0.04u -110

Amanda Nunes OddsOnly 3 UFC Women’s featherweight division bouts in 2020, and only 17 went back to 2017. The favorite won all three bouts in 2020 and has gone 13-4 since 2017 for +0.49 units profit. The ‘Under’ went 2-1 in 2020, with the only bout going over being the title fight. Since 2017, the Under has gone 10-7 for +3.21 units profit in the UFC Women’s Featherweight division.

UFC Women’s Featherweight Title Bouts in 2020:

The UFC Women’s Featherweight bout was only on the line one time in 2020. Amanda Nunes defeated Felicia Spencer as a -650 favorite at UFC 250 via unanimous decision, with the ‘Over 2.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at -105.

UFC Lightweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Coin Flip Dog 7-5 58.3% +1.93u -110
Dogs 22-31 41.5% +6.87u +141
Under 27-26 50.9% +5.28u -104

Khabib Nurmagomedov OddsThe Underdog in the UFC Lightweight division turned the tide in 2020, going 22-31 for +6.87 units profit. A stark contrast to 2019, where the favorite went 57-19. Meanwhile, the Under was profitable in 2020 at 155lbs, going 27-26 for 5.28 units. Another turn of the tide considering in 2019 the Over went 50-27.

UFC Lightweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There were two title bouts in the UFC Lightweight division, one undisputed and one interim. Justin Gaethje defeated Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in Jacksonville back in May. Gaethje was a +190 underdog and picked up the win and the UFC interim gold. The win gave Gaethje a date with UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 for the undisputed championship. Khabib made short work of Gaethje, defeating him by way of 2nd-round submission, cashing as a -280 moneyline favorite.

UFC Welterweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Over 40-17 70.2% +14.04u -236
Coin Flip Favs 13-6-1 65% +3.57u -150
Favorites 37-19-1 64.9% +0.2u -185

Kamaru Usman OddsThe most profitable betting trend in the UFC Welterweight division in 2020 was the Over, which hit at a 70% rate, going 40-17 for +14.04 units profit. This trend has continued from 2019 on, as the Over has now gone 89-45 for +20.45 units profit over the last two years.

The favorite went 37-19-1 for a marginal profit of just +0.2u in 2020, with about a 65% win percentage. Based on implied probability, the favorite at welterweight was a +EV bet at -185 or better in 2020. However, the underdog has been much more profitable than the favorite in this division over the last two years. The underdog at 170lbs has gone 54-791 for +13.2 units profit since January of 2019.

UFC Welterweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There was only one UFC Welterweight title bout in 2020, with Kamaru Usman taking on short notice opponent Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251. Usman won via unanimous decision as a -275 favorite, with the ‘Over 4.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at -102.

UFC Middleweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Under 26-19 57.8% +8.65u -137
Favorites 33-12 73.3% +3.7u -275

Israel Adesanya OddsThe most profitable betting trend for 2020 in the UFC Middleweight division was the Under, which hit at a 57.8% rate in 2020, going 26-19 for +8.65 units profit. It was a much different story in 2019, as the ‘Over’ was the trend at 185lbs, going 35-13. The middleweight division is one of the divisions that is most affected by the implementation of the use of the smaller cage in 2020. The smaller cage could be creating more finishes, or middleweights could be getting betting at closing out fights. Either way, the Under has been the way to go in 2020.

The favorites were dominant at middleweight in 2020, hitting at a 73% rate, going 33-12 for +3.7 units profit. Going back to 2019, the favorite at middleweight has gone 57-33. Based on implied probability, any favorite in 2020 at odds of -275 or better was a +EV bet.

UFC Middleweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There were two middleweight title bouts in 2020; both were successful title defenses by ‘the Last Style Bender’ Israel Adesanya. UFC 248 was the last event in 2020 to take place in front of fans. Israel Adesanya defeated Yoel Romero in an underwhelming unanimous decision, cashing as a -290 moneyline favorite, with the ‘Over 3.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at -121. Fast-forward a few months later, Adesanay defended his title again at UFC 253, defeating Paulo Costa as a -195 favorite, knocking out Costa in the 2nd round.

UFC Light-Heavyweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Coin Flip Fav 7-1 87.5% +4.24u -150
Favorites 23-11-1 65.7% +0.53u -192
Under 18-17 51.4% +0.17u -106

Jan Blachowicsz OddsThe most profitable trend in the UFC Light Heavyweight division in 2020 was the ‘coin flip’ favorite of -150 or better, going 7-1 for +4.24 units. The only coin flip chalk fighter at 205lbs to lose in 2020 was Michal Oleksiejczuk, in the pre-covid era at UFC Auckland in February, losing to Jimmy Crute (+100) as a -124 favorite. Apart from him, every other ‘coin flip’ favorite in 2020 cashed, going on a 7-0 streak from UFC 249 until the end of the year.

The outright favorite won at a 65.7% rate in 2020, going 23-11-1 for a marginal profit of just +0.53 units. The ‘Under’ was also in the black in 2020 at 205lbs, going 18-17 for a sliver of profit at +0.17 units. Going back to the start of 2019, the Under has hit at a 52% rate at Light-Heavyweight, going 40-36-1 for +0.05 units.

UFC Light-Heavyweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There were two title bouts in the UFC Light Heavyweight division in 2020, including the last title defense by the legendary and problematic Jon Jones. Jones defeated Dominick Reyes with a controversial unanimous decision, as a -520 favorite, with the ‘Over 3.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at -106. A few months later, after Jones left the light heavyweight division, a title bout for the vacated championship took place between the aforementioned Reyes and top 205lbs contender Jan Blachowicz at UFC 253. Blachowicz TKO’d Reyes in the second round, cashing as a +200 underdog, with the ‘Under 2.5 Rounds’ prop cashing at +110.

UFC Heavyweight Division

Since 2020 Record Win % Profit (Units) Buy Price
Coin Flip Dog 8-5 61.5% +2.74u -233
Dog 20-25 44.4% +4.63u +125
Over 24-21 53.3% +0.2u -114

Andrei Arlovski OddsThe trend with the highest ROI in the UFC Heavyweight division in 2020 was the ‘Coin Flip’ Underdog, going 8-5 for +2.74u profit. This trend has continued on since 2019, as the ‘coin flip’ dog has now gone 16-9-1 for +7  units over the last two years. The outright underdog was profitable in 2020, going 20-25 for +4.63 units.

Some of the biggest underdogs to cash in 2020 included Alexey Oleynik cashing as a +245 underdog to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 249; Werdum followed up that rough performance by bouncing back at UFC FIght Island 3, cashing as a +240 underdog with a submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson, who was making his heavyweight debut. However, the biggest underdog in the UFC heavyweight division in 2020 was none other than the former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, who cased as a +275 underdog to Tanner Boser at UFC Vegas 13 in early November.

Stipe Miocic OddsAs far as the total went in the UFC Heavyweight in 2020, the ‘Over’ hit at a slightly higher rate and was just a hair into profit going 24-21 for +0.2 units. At 53.3%, based on implied probability, any ‘Over’ at -114 or better at heavyweight was a +EV bet to make in 2020.

There were numerous fights in the finals months of 2020 where the ‘Over’ was lined on the plus-money side. For whatever reason it may be, whether it be because of the heavyweight bout happening in a smaller cage, there are more ‘mismatches’ where one fighter was a heavy favorite, which will sometimes cause the chalk to be heavy the Under in those scenarios.

Never the less, multiple bouts including Villante/Collier, Parisian/Porter, Mayes/Martinez, De Caste/Felipe, even Miocic/Cormier, are all fights where the Over is getting the plus money. In 2020, you couldn’t go wrong being on the Over at that price.

UFC Heavyweight Title Bouts in 2020:

There was just one UFC Heavyweight title bout in 2020, which went down at UFC 252 in the Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stipe Miocic defended his gold in the trilogy fight against future UFC Hall of Famer Dustin Cormier, as Stipe won by unanimous decision, picking up the victory as the coin flip chalk underdog at -108.

The total was lined at ‘2.5 Rounds’ with the Over heavily juiced at -150. However, the alternative round prop at 3.5 Rounds had more two-way action, with the total lined at ‘Over 3.5’ at +114 and ‘Under 3.5’ at -137. The bout went all five rounds, with the ‘Fight Goes the Distance’ prop cashing at +170.

UFC Apex OddsOverall, the favorite dominated title fights in 2020, going 14-4-1, but for just +0.57 units profit. The ‘Over’ prop cashed in 11 of 19 title bouts, profiting +2.22u along the way. The biggest underdog to win a UFC title in 2020 was Justin Gaethje at UFC 249, beating Tony Ferguson to win the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship. While the biggest betting favorite was Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 255, defeating Jennifer Maia as a -2500 betting favorite.

There were so many twists and turns along the way, but many of these betting trends stayed their course from the path they were on over the last few years. However, numerous betting trends did change direction; for whatever reason, it may be whether it was the smaller cage, the increased amount of short notice fights, and the added stress on the fighter and their training team in the lead-up to fights. Whatever it may be, the heightened degree of variance in 2020 showed it’s head in the betting results in different ways, but 2020 was a very unique year that we as MMA bettors were forced to adjust to over a very short amount of time.

UFC Fight Island OddsWith that being said, even though 2020 is over, we are still watching UFC events happening behind closed doors, with no capacity crowds in attendance, and based on Dana White’s comments at the end of 2020, until the UFC can start packing buildings again, we will continue to see fights with no crowds, and fights being held on either a middle eastern covid-free island, or a closed training facility in Las Vegas. Whatever it may be, it is essential to look at the historical trends of 2020 and see how the changes have affected the betting outcomes over time because there are plenty of juicy angles that be used to generate profits into the new year and beyond.

For all your UFC betting needs, continue to keep it locked to Odds.com, and our UFC Picks page for all the latest UFC Betting Breakdowns and Predictions in 2021.