Gambling has always been a controversial topic among regular people, let alone athletes. The gambling habit is considered to be addictive and socially dangerous, which is why so many countries choose not to allow it.

But times have changed drastically in the last couple of decades and now the casino industry is thriving globally. With hundreds of casino platforms available online, gambling is not so demonized anymore. On the contrary, you can even notice that professional athletes are starting to gamble and bet on all sorts of sports and competitions.

MMA fighters are not an exception because they also follow the trend and play various games in popular casinos. We want to discuss this trend in detail, so buckle up and get ready for the list of MMA fighters who love gambling.

Is gambling allowed among MMA fighters?

Gambling among athletes is a serious issue and it is often the subject of fierce discussions. After all, casino games and sports betting are addictive and prone to match-fixing, which is never a good environment for sports professionals.

However, the truth is that different associations and sports communities regulate the area differently. Some tend to prohibit casinos, bookies, and every gambling resource with no deposit free spins, while others allow casino gambling and sports betting almost entirely. It all depends on the nature of the sport and a given association, but how about MMA? Does this organization allow gambling among its fighters and other members? Here’s how it goes:

  • Casino gambling: MMA fighters can gamble freely. The organization has nothing against it because it doesn’t interfere with the game itself and cannot make an impact on the outcome of any given fight. That’s exactly why casino gambling is so popular among MMA competitors.
  • Sports betting: The situation is pretty much the same when it comes to sports betting. The logic is clear – MMA fighters can place wagers on other disciplines and competitions because it has nothing to do with their fights. After all, why wouldn’t an MMA competitor place bets on football or basketball matches?
  • MMA betting: The last option is also the most critical because of the fear of match-fixing. MMA wants to grant fighters as many rights as possible, but that can only go so far. One thing is clear here: MMA fighters cannot place bets on one score – that they are going to lose. That’s impossible because every fighter would be tempted to fix the match only to win money. On the other hand, MMA fighters are allowed to bet on their own wins because it goes well with the very logic of the sport where all participants want to win a match.

Who are the most notable gamblers in MMA?

Many MMA fighters are passionate gamblers who invest significant amounts of money in casinos and sportsbooks. This trend is not missing elite fighters as there are a few highly notable names on the list of MMA gamblers. Here are some of them:

  • Anderson Silva: One of the best fighters of all time, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, is known for being a genuine lover of gambling. The crowd has seen him in a casino many times, while he also supports and embraces bookmaking. Anderson Silva even used to promote betting websites through his social media accounts, especially during the early stages of his career. He is definitely one of the biggest names in the world of sports gambling.
  • Connor McGregor: A former MMA world champion Connor McGregor is everything but a conventional athlete. He goes out a lot, drinks whiskey, causes controversies, and does everything to grab the attention of the audience. Casinos and gambling suit Connor’s lifestyle and he never misses the opportunity to visit a gambling outlet. Besides that, McGregor has been promoting gaming websites for several years.
  • Ricco Rodriguez: Although Rodriguez is not known for being a casino gambler, many journalists reported that bet on his own win in the match against Randy Couture. Ricco was sure he was going to win the UFC heavyweight belt and so he placed a very serious wager. According to news reports, Rodriguez earned nearly $400 thousand for winning the fight against Couture.
  • Ronda Rousey: As one of the best female fighters in the world, Rousey makes a safe bet for gamblers and betting fans. She is a heavy favorite in almost every match and her team knows it well. In case you haven’t heard already, Ronda Rousey’s corner bets big cash on her to win fights! Ronda doesn’t seem to care about it because she is confident and pressure-free.

Boxers who play in casinos

Even though our article is about MMA fighters/gamblers, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention famous boxers who adore casino gambling. The list is very long since boxers really love casinos and sports betting, but we can point out a few important names.

Number one is definitely Mike Tyson, a former heavyweight champion and one of the true legends of the sport. Unfortunately, his luxurious lifestyle, gambling, and carelessness made Iron Mike waste $300 million he earned during the course of his super-successful career.

Many other names are worth mentioning here, including the likes of Tyson Fury, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Evander Holyfield, Manny Pacquiao, and Vinny Pazienza.

The bottom line

Casino gambling is not unusual among athletes, especially not among boxers and MMA fighters. Some of them turn out to be passionate gamblers who frequently visit casinos or online bookies and gambling websites. In this post, you could learn the following:

    • Are MMA fighters allowed to gamble?
    • The most passionate gamblers among MMA fighters
    • Boxers who like gambling

Who do you believe is the greatest gambler among MMA fighters? Let us know your opinion in the comments section!


Leslie Alexander is a content lead and a full-time member of the Gamblizard team.  She is an expert in blogging and online casinos. Apart from content creation, Leslie enjoys traveling and long-distance running.

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