UFC and IMG Arena to Launch Unique Sports Betting Product

  • UFC Fight Center will enable sportsbooks to offer 50 different markets per bout
  • Only 8% of MMA fans currently gamble after the bell sounds to start a fight
  • UFC will allow official data to be licensed to over 300 sportsbook operators
Referree watching two MMA fighters battle inside a cage.
UFC Event Center will enable sportsbooks to offer up to 50 different betting markets per bout, 20 of which will be new types of wagers not previously available. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

UFC Event Center announced

The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and IMG Arena, a leading sports betting service and content hub, have joined forces to launch a groundbreaking sports betting product.

Known as UFC Event Center, this first-of-its-kind live betting product will combine fight stats with real-time betting, including 20 new types of wagers not previously available.

first-of-its-kind live betting product will combine fight stats with real-time betting

Through an official data center that will be linked to hundreds of sportsbooks, each fight market will come equipped with fighter biographies, pictures, and up to 50 different betting markets per bout.

Changing betting practice

The format of betting during a fight will be novel for fans of mixed martial arts (MMA).

According to the UFC’s launch partner, IMG Arena, only 8% of fight fans bet after a match has started. This is a very low figure when compared with sports such as tennis, which can see as much as 70% of bets placed after a match begins.

As part of their new sports betting offering, there will instead be a number of new options to bet on. These are set to include the number of takedown attempts and how many strikes a fighter lands. There will also be some more unusual betting markets, such as how long a fighter will spend on the mat.

This should please UFC fans, as around a third of the sport’s fan base already visits gambling websites on a regular basis.

Unlike other sports like the American football and basketball, there are no breaks between seasons when it comes to the UFC. Events are held throughout the year, meaning fans will have lots of opportunities to bet on their favorite fighters.

UFC COO Lawrence Epstein told Bloomberg: “There’s no off-season.”

Licensed to operators

To get involved, sportsbooks will have the option to license software for the UFC Event Center, which is also due to include the existing portfolio of IMG Arena. IMG Arena’s existing portfolio of over 300 sportsbook operators will now have access to the UFC’s official data feed.

over 300 sportsbook operators will now have access to the UFC’s official data feed

Freddie Longe, managing director and executive vice president of IMG Arena, said: “The UFC brand is extremely powerful and already resonates strongly with the key demographics of global sports betting consumers. Through this partnership with UFC, we have been able to develop official products that will help unlock significant value for both UFC and our global sports betting partners.”

Game-changer for fan interaction

Fans who like to know their fighters every move will be pleased with the new, additional data that will be available through the UFC Event Center. This will include fighter rankings, weight, division information, plus 3D visuals of live action.

More than 50 positional and striking statistics will also be incorporated in order to please the growing fanbase.

Commenting on the launch of UFC Event Center, UFC President Dana White said: “We have the most passionate, die-hard fans of any sport, and they’re going to love the option to place bets live during a fight. The UFC Event Centre and its official data feed will be a game-changer for how UFC fans engage with our events through sportsbooks and gaming operators.”