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

At UFC 235 this past 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. However Askren, making his first UFC look, managed to survive Lawler’s early onslaught of head and body shots, and about two minutes later, at 3:20 in the first round, completed the comeback, ending it with a bulldog choke.
Respected referee Herb Dean saw Lawler’s arm dangle limp while he tried to extricate himself in the choke, causing Dean to halt the fight in what goes down as a submission win for Askren. While controversial and unfortunate for Lawler (along with his backers), it was understandable, and the popular Lawler immediately 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 offers something different, in some ways better and more exciting, and really controversial at times, same as each game. Certain events, even for a somewhat market game now in its first year of a distribution deal on ESPN platforms, can generate the gambling handle seen in an excellent NFL game.
“Everyone understands a fight”
Exposure to more mainstream audiences through ESPN and FOX Sports 1, via a previous deal, continues to raise MMA’s profile. For to this this point, UFC and other promotions such as Bellator have embraced and understood the engagement value of sports gambling.
“The UFC has been on the forefront of sport wagering content,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology, told Sports Handle. “They chased it by including chances on the sites on telecasts. Along with the announcers will mention the betting favorites during the fights. They also have their own produced betting show that airs before every pay-per-view on UFC Fight Pass, which helps.”
The PGA Tour, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League likewise have”evolved” since the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 federal ban on full-fledged sports wagering outside Nevada. Every one of the commissioners of those leagues now tout the merits of increased engagement anyhow sports wagering, fabricate new monetization opportunities, and delight in those that have already come.
But while each of those leagues, particularly MLB, attempt to construct new sports gambling bridges with proprietary Statcast characters, as an example, there’s no learning curve to start gambling on combined martial arts.
“I think it comes right down to it turned into a fight. And what I mean by that is that when you are managing a lot of different sports, then you’re handling a lot of variables, the principles of soccer, baseball, basketball,” veteran MMA writer-reporter Damon Martin told Sports Manage. “And there’s a guttural instinct in everybody when it comes down to it.

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