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 favorite Ben Askren into a first-round TKO victory. But Askren, making his first UFC look, managed to endure Lawler’s early onslaught of body and head shots, and about two minutes later, at 3:20 in the first round, finished the comeback, finishing it with a bulldog choke.
Respected referee Herb Dean saw Lawler’s arm dangle limp while he tried to extricate himself from 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 clear, and also 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 offers something different, in some ways much better and more intriguing, and really controversial at times, like each sport. Certain occasions, even for a somewhat market game now in its very first year of a supply deal on ESPN platforms, can generate the gambling handle seen in a good NFL game.
“Everyone knows a struggle”
Exposure to more mainstream audiences through ESPN and FOX Sports 1, via an earlier deal, proceeds to increase MMA’s profile. To get for this point, UFC and other promotions like Bellator have long embraced and understood the engagement value of sports betting.
“The UFC was on the forefront of sports wagering content,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology, told Sports Manage. “They embraced it by including chances on the websites on telecasts. Along with the announcers will mention the betting favorites throughout the conflicts. Also they have their own 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 national ban on full-fledged sports wagering out Nevada. Each of the commissioners of those leagues currently tout the virtues of increased engagement courtesy sports wagering, fabricate new monetization opportunities, and delight in the ones that have come.
But while each of these leagues, particularly MLB, attempt to construct new sports betting bridges using proprietary Statcast characters, as an instance, there’s no learning curve to start betting on mixed 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 dealing with a lot of other sports, then you are handling a lot of factors, the nuances of soccer, baseball, basketball,” veteran MMA writer-reporter Damon Martin told Sports Handle. “And there is a guttural instinct in everybody when it comes down to it.
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