The Rise of MMA Betting in Canada – Trends and Opportunities

Published on Tu, Feb 13, 2024 by KING HAZARD
MMA is among the most watched combat sports in Canada and worldwide. With organizations and promotors such as the UFC and Bellator, and some other smaller contenders such as One Championship, Rizin FF, and M-1 Global, there are fights to watch and bet on all year long. With the rise of MMA, land and online sportsbooks have gained popularity as well, providing decent odds, various types of bets, lucrative bonuses, and a chance to wager on your favorite fighters. Below, you will be able to check out how MMA became popular in Canada, what opportunities Canadian bettors have with UFC betting, and today’s current trends. Best UFC Betting Casinos

History of MMA in Canada

As a sport, MMA traces its roots back to the 90s, and it wasn’t as popular as it is today. With the rise of UFC, the biggest organizers, MMA, started to become more and more noticed. In Canada, combat sports weren’t as popular back then. However, Canadians did enjoy pay-per-view UFC events held in the US. It wasn’t until April 2008 that the UFC hosted the first-ever MMA event in Canada. The first event was the UFC 83, with the main card being hometown hero Georges St-Pierre facing Matt Serra. The event was held in the Bell Centre in Montreal, and as predicted by experts, St-Pierre won the bout with a second-round TKO, regaining his welterweight crown. After UFC 83, Canada was placed on the map for MMA events, and to this day, there have been a total of 32 UFC events held in major cities across the country. However, it wasn’t until 2021 that Canadian bettors could place single-game bets on MMA or any other sport in general. Before that, parlays were the only option given to them through online betting platforms. Today, Canadians enjoy myriad online betting platforms, including online casinos, offering truly progressive bonuses and odds. The only thing new bettors will need is this MMA betting guide provided by to collect all the essentials, including tips, strategies and news on leading MMA events.

Notable Past MMA Events in Canada

Besides the iconic UFC 83 back in 2008, there have been many special nights for MMA in Canada. Here are some of the best UFC events that we think will be remembered for a long time to come. UFC 123 Events in Canada

UFC 123 (December 11th, 2010) Belle Centre, Montreal

This event marked the second fight between Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koschek, with four other bouts on the main card. St-Pierre won the fight by unanimous decision. There were also 6 other Preliminary card bouts, with the most notable being Sean Pearson vs Matthew Riddle. The UFC 123 was the only time the organizers allowed the fans to vote for which fight was going to be chosen as the ‘Fight of the Night.’ After this event, the UFC put an end to the fan vote. UFC 140 Events in Canada

UFC 140 (Decembre 10th, 2011) Air Canada Center, Toronto

UFC 140 was the eighth MMA event held on Canadian soil, with the main bout being Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida. From the 12 bouts that occurred that night, some were televised internationally, some were aired on cable TV in Canada and the US, and some streamed on Facebook. With a packed arena, every single fan came to watch the vicious Jon Jones going up against the technical Lyoto Machida. This light heavyweight fight ended in the second round, with Jones winning by technical submission. With that win, Jones kept his light heavyweight championship title. UFC 289 Events in Canada

UFC 289 (June 10th, 2023) Rogers Arena, Vancouver

The last UFC event that was held in Canada was the UFC 289 event in the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. The main card that was supposed to headline the event was the third fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena. However, Pena stepped down from the event a month prior due to an injury, and Irene Aldana took her place. One of the highlights was Nunes winning the fight by unanimous decision and hanging her gloves from the UFC. Another highlight of the night was Charles Oliveira breaking the post-fight bonus record by beating Beneil Daiush in the first round by TKO.

MMA Trends, Tips, and Opportunities in Canada Today

Today, MMA is arguably as big a sport in Canada as it is in the US, especially UFC betting. No matter where the event is happening, Canadians can stream the fights from their homes and place various types of bets at licensed online sports betting platforms. UFC Online Betting Talking about MMA bets, online bookmakers have plenty of options. Check out some of the most popular MMA bets that you can place on your favorite online sportsbook.
  • Moneyline bet – The most common type of bet not just in MMA but all sports in general, the moneyline bet is a wager on which fighter will win the fight.
  • Over/Under Rounds – Each sportsbook will provide a line, giving you a chance to bet on when the fight will end. For example, you can bet whether the fight will end prior to or beyond 3.5 rounds.
  • Prop Bets – Proposition bets are types of bets that have nothing to do with the outcome of the fight. You can place bets on the fight going the distance, points spread, and whether the fighter will touch gloves in the beginning.
  • Round Betting – Round betting is placing a bet on which fighter will win and putting the exact round the fight will finish.
  • Method of Victory – This type of bet lets you choose how the fight will end. At many online sportsbooks, you will be able to pick whether the fight will end by decision, technical decisions, draw, KO/TKO, or submission.
  • Futures Markets – In MMA betting, you can place futures bets on who will be champion of a specific weight category by the end of the year.

Future MMA Events in Canada

MMA events are coming to Canada from the start of the year (2024). On the 20th of January, UFC 297 will be held at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. There will be 12 total bouts, with the main card and main event being the Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis middleweight title fight. Also on the main card, Amanda Nunes's vacated bantamweight belt is up for grabs as both Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva are going for the championship title. This will be the 33rd UFC event held in Canada.