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MMA Betting Could Get Hot

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/08/2009
MMA Betting

It's something Gambling911.com has learned to accept.   The interest in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) betting has waned when compared to big time boxing matches.  And while MMA events draw some traffic, the conversion rate for sponsors is nominal.

Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review Journal addressed this issue on Tuesday. 

Youmans spoke with one of eight oddsmakers in Las Vegas who actually follows the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Others apparently do not.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants, Sean Van Patten, confirmed this:  "I'm the only guy who even watches it at all."

Youmans' writes:

While the UFC continues to gain steam as a mainstream sport, it still has a long way to go to be considered important to Las Vegas sports books. Few oddsmakers have a firm handle on how the fighters match up, and for the most part only hardcore fight fans are lining up at the betting windows.

The biggest names on the UFC 100 card Saturday at Mandalay Bay are Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir and Georges St. Pierre.

The Green Bay Packers' third wide receiver might be better known to most bettors.

Van Patten estimated that the UFC and MMA accounts for "maybe 1 percent" of Nevada's overall sports annual wagering handle.

Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay called the 1 percent estimate mostly accurate but deceiving.

The Venetian sports book oddsmaker, Rob Akers, told the LVRJ that the demand for UFC betting events is growing.

"When we first started doing it, we were only putting up the main event. Now, every two or three weeks, we're putting up five or six of the fights because the books are asking for more."

Perhaps most important of all when it comes to MMA betting is the payout potential.

"With Chuck Liddell last year there were instances where the underdog would have paid out several hundred dollars on a hundred dollar bet with online bookmakers like Bookmaker.com," said Tyrone Black of Gambling911.com. 

This coming weekend's UFC 100 has Thiago Alves paying nearly $300 for every $100 bet should he win against heavily favored Georges St. Pierre.  Frank Mir pays almost $200 for every $100 bet if he is to beat Brock Lesnar.   Michael Bisping also pays 2/1 odds.

 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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