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 favorite Ben Askren into a first-round TKO success. However Askren, making his first UFC appearance, managed to endure 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 limp while he attempted to extricate himself in the choke, causing Dean to halt the fight in what goes down as a entry win for Askren. While contentious and unfortunate for Lawler (and his backers), it was understandable, 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 occasionally, same as every sport. Certain events, even to get a marginally market sport now in its first year of a distribution deal on ESPN platforms, can create 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 an earlier deal, continues to raise MMA’s profile. For to this this point, UFC and other promotions like Bellator have long embraced and understood the participation value of sports betting.
“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 embraced it by adding chances on the websites on telecasts. Along with the announcers will mention the betting favorites throughout 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” since the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 national ban on full scale sports wagering outside Nevada. Every one of the commissioners of those leagues now tout the virtues of greater involvement courtesy sports wagering, fabricate new monetization opportunities, and delight in the ones that have already come.
However, while every one of those leagues, especially MLB, seek to build new sports betting bridges using proprietary Statcast figures, 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 struggle. And what I mean by that is that if you’re managing a lot of different sports, you’re dealing with lots of factors, 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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