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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 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, finishing it with a bulldog choke.
Respected referee Herb Dean watched Lawler’s arm limp while he tried to extricate himself in the choke, causing Dean to stop the fight in what goes down as a entry win for Askren. While contentious and unlucky for Lawler (along with his backers), it was understandable, and the popular Lawler quickly turned from aggrieved to praising Dean and expressing his understanding (transcript here.)
The NFL is the king of U.S sports betting, but mixed martial arts provides something different, in some ways much better and more exciting, and really controversial occasionally, like each game. Certain events, even for a somewhat niche game now in its very first year of a supply 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, through an earlier deal, continues to raise MMA’s profile. For for this point, UFC and other promotions such as Bellator have embraced and understood the participation value of sports gambling.
“The UFC was on the forefront of sports wagering content,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology, told Sports Manage. “They chased it by including odds on the websites on telecasts. And the announcers will cite the betting favorites throughout the conflicts. Also they have their personal produced betting show that airs before each pay-per-view on UFC Fight Pass, which helps.”
The PGA Tour, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League alike have”evolved” since the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 national ban on full-fledged sports wagering outside Nevada. Each of the commissioners of those leagues currently tout the virtues of greater involvement courtesy sports wagering, fabricate new monetization opportunities, and enjoy the ones that have come.
However, while every one of those leagues, particularly MLB, seek to construct new sports gambling bridges with proprietary Statcast figures, for instance, there’s no learning curve to begin gambling on mixed martial arts.
“I think it comes down to it turned into a fight. And what I mean by that is that if you’re dealing with a lot of different sports, you are handling a lot of variables, the principles of soccer, baseball, basketball,” veteran MMA writer-reporter Damon Martin told Sports Handle. “And there is a guttural instinct in everyone when it comes down to it.

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