UFC Event Centre

IMG Arena is leading the charge in sports data, combining innovative fan engagement tactics and original digital content to bridge the gap between sport information and gambling.

UFC Event Centre Looks to Grow Live-Wagering

In October 2019, UFC launched UFC Event Centre with IMG Arena, a betting platform that streamlines in-fight wagering. The platform contains official data from the mixed martial arts giant, including logos, photos, and fighter bios.

UFC Event Centre is tailored toward the UFC fan. Through official branding, captivating visuals, and live streaming ability, the platform makes the worldwide leader in championship cage fighting more accessible to its 900 million fans, while encouraging engagement from bettors who are breaking into the sport.

The platform offers more than 50 unique ways to bet on a fight and 20 new live-betting options.

“In-game betting is the fastest-growing part of the sports-gaming industry,” UFC’s Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said to Bloomberg. “Some of the stuff we’re doing is stuff that hasn’t been done with respect to UFC in the past.”

UFC believes this partnership will sustain fan loyalty and bring fans closer together. Bettors have everything they need within the platform, so they will never have to worry about doing outside research during a fight. By bringing on SportCast, a betting data company that personalizes the betting experience, fans will be able to access information about their favorite fighters with one tap.

“It’s fun to go to a Vegas sportsbook at 11 o’clock at night and watch everybody go crazy over the University of Hawaii game, which no one would care about but for the fact that it’s the only college football game left,” Epstein said. “We’re for anything that increases fan engagement.”

Changing the Way Bouts Are Bet On

Because of the volatility of a bout, UFC is one of the least live-bet sports. Only eight percent of bouts are live-bet, according to IMG Arena. But UFC Event Centre hopes to buck that trend by increasing the amount of props that can be bet on, such as the amount of time a fighter will spend on the mat, the number of take-down attempts, when a fighter will get knocked-down, and total strikes landed.

UFC Event Centre is the first sports betting product attached to a major professional sports organization. The PGA Tour followed in UFC’s footsteps when it released an IMG Arena game in 2021. Golf fans can bet on lowest score, closest to the hole, and what score a player will post on a certain hole.

UFC’s target market is men aged 21 to 44, which fits right in the line with the heart of the gambling demographic in the United States. According to research done by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, 50 percent of online gamblers are between the ages of 18-34. A whopping 80 percent are male.

Epstein said close to a third of UFC fans visit gambling websites, and the sun virtually never sets on UFC gambling because the sport continues year-round. Gambling is the big thing in sports right now and will continue to dominate MMA for the foreseeable future.