MMA And Sports Betting: A Match Made In Heaven — And Las Vegas

At UFC 235 last weekend in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, veteran welterweight fighter Robbie Lawler nearly pounded former Olympic wrestler and 2/1 favourite Ben Askren to a first-round TKO success. But Askren, making his first UFC look, managed to survive Lawler’s early onslaught of head and body shots, and about two minutes after, at 3:20 in the initial round, finished the comeback, finishing it with a bulldog choke.
Respected referee Herb Dean watched Lawler’s arm dangle limp while he tried to extricate himself from the choke, causing Dean to stop the struggle in what goes down as a entry win for Askren. While controversial and unlucky for Lawler (and his backers), it was clear, and the popular Lawler quickly turned from aggrieved to praising Dean and expressing his own comprehension (transcript here.)
The NFL is the king of U.S sports gambling, but combined martial arts provides something different, in some ways much better and more exciting, and really controversial at times, same as each game. Certain events, even for a somewhat niche sport now in its very first year of a distribution deal on ESPN platforms, can generate the betting handle seen in an excellent NFL game.
“Everyone understands a fight”
Exposure to more mainstream audiences via ESPN and FOX Sports 1, through a previous deal, continues to raise MMA’s profile. To get for this point, UFC and other promotions such as Bellator have embraced and understood the participation value of sports gambling.
“The UFC has been on the forefront of sports wagering content,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology, informed Sports Manage. “They chased it by including odds on the websites on telecasts. Along with the announcers will cite the betting favorites throughout the conflicts. They also have their own produced betting show that airs before every pay-per-view on UFC Fight Pass, which assists.”
The PGA Tour, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League likewise have”evolved” because the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 national ban on full scale sports wagering out Nevada. Each of the commissioners of those leagues currently tout the merits of increased engagement anyhow sports wagering, manufacture new monetization opportunities, and enjoy those that have already come.
However, while each of these leagues, particularly MLB, attempt to build new sports gambling bridges with proprietary Statcast characters, for example, there’s no learning curve to start betting on mixed martial arts.
“I think it comes down to it being a struggle. And what I mean by that is that when you’re managing a lot of other sports, then you are handling a lot of factors, the principles of soccer, baseball, basketball,” veteran MMA writer-reporter Damon Martin told Sports Manage. “And there is a guttural instinct in everyone when it comes down to it.

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