Why the delay in posting odds for MMA events?

Since I began betting on MMA fights, I’ve noticed that most of the MMA sportsbooks really have no consistency as to when they post their lines for upcoming events.  My observations thus far are as follows…

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Major UFC title fights get posted very early 

  • This would include fights with Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture.  They seem to be the only three fighters that warrant a very early line posting.  For fights like this, the lines are usually posted at least 3 weeks in advance.

Fighters with no mainstream notoriety have odds posted within a week of the event.

  • This has been the case with the past three UFC events.  Fighters like Georges St. Pierre, Josh Koscheck and Anderson Silva are all household names within the world of MMA, but to a casual fan, most people really don’t know who they are.  Fighters of this type usually have their odds posted 4-7 days before the event.

Undercard UFC bouts get posted the day of the event

  • This has been a pretty standard move by the main sportsbooks thus far.  On the day of the event, they usually fill in the undercard and the rest of the main bouts if they haven’t posted odds yet for those bouts.  Most of the sportsbooks really want to limit the action of the undercard betting, because if it doesn’t draw enough bettors they could end up with a real lopsided handle on the fight, and could potentially get hit with a big loss.

Smaller fight leagues have odds posted within 2-3 days of the event

  • Most of the smaller fight leagues don’t draw near the amount of action that a UFC event does, so sportsbooks usually put the lines up pretty close to the day of the fight.  This has happened in recent events with BodogFight and Cage Rage.

Leave a comment if you have any more information about when odds are posted for MMA and UFC events.