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

At UFC 235 last weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, veteran welterweight fighter Robbie Lawler nearly pounded former Olympic wrestler and 2/1 favourite Ben Askren into a first-round TKO success. But Askren, making his first UFC look, managed to endure Lawler’s early onslaught of body and head shots, and about two minutes after, at 3:20 in the initial round, finished the comeback, ending it with a bulldog choke.
Respected referee Herb Dean watched Lawler’s arm dangle limp while he attempted to extricate himself from the choke, causing Dean to halt the struggle in what goes down as a submission win for Askren. While contentious and unlucky for Lawler (and his backers), it was understandable, and the popular Lawler immediately turned from aggrieved to praising Dean and expressing his understanding (transcript here.)
The NFL is the king of U.S sports betting, but combined martial arts provides something different, in some ways much better and more exciting, and really controversial occasionally, like each sport. Certain occasions, even for a marginally niche game now in its very first year of a distribution deal on ESPN platforms, can generate the betting handle seen in a good NFL game.
“Everyone knows a fight”
Exposure to more mainstream audiences via ESPN and FOX Sports 1, through a previous deal, continues to increase MMA’s profile. To get for this point, UFC and other promotions like Bellator have long 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 embraced it by including chances on the websites on telecasts. And the announcers will cite the betting favorites during the conflicts. They also have their personal produced gaming show which airs before each pay-per-view on UFC Fight Pass, which assists.”
The PGA Tour, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League alike have”evolved” because the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 federal ban on full scale sports wagering outside Nevada. Every one of the commissioners of those leagues now tout the merits of greater engagement anyhow sports wagering, manufacture new monetization opportunities, and delight in those that have come.
However, while every one of those leagues, particularly MLB, attempt to construct new sports gambling bridges with proprietary Statcast characters, for example, there’s no learning curve to begin betting on mixed martial arts.
“I think it comes down to it being a fight. And what I mean by that is that if you are dealing with a lot of other sports, then you are handling a lot of variables, the nuances 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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