On Saturday December 8th, mixed martial arts and boxing both aired at the same time with a full card of fights. The UFC’s Ultimate Fighter reality show on Spike TV featured a main bout between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida, while boxing had a pay per view event featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton.
Online sportsbook Bodoglife.com made a statement to MMAbetting.com that
“The betting handle for Ultimate Fighter 6 was small. Huerta and Guida was the most bet on fight of the event, but in terms of revenues it only drew what we normally see for a preliminary match of a UFC pay per view”
They went on to compare the handle for The Ultimate Fighter and the PPV boxing event of the night.
“On a night where the UFC went head to head with the most hyped boxing matches of the year, the UFC was the forgotten event in the bettor’s eyes. Even the Roger Huerta-Clay Guida fight failed to outdraw the Jeff Lacy-Peter Manfredo Jr. undercard.”
The outcome of the betting revenues is a bit shocking to me. I understand that the TUF finale was not a PPV event, and had it been a PPV event with bigger fighters the betting handles would have obviously been much higher. However, when the Bodog sportsbook doesn’t even draw as much betting action for the main TUF fight as boxing does for an undercard bout, I think it shows how much more betting is ingrained in the boxing culture.
Mixed martial arts is still a very new sport to many people. The majority of the public probably does not even realize they can bet on MMA fights. As MMA continues to gain popularity, and betting becomes a more acceptable part of the culture, I think we will see a rise in the amount of betting action handled on MMA events. With Chuck Liddell fighting at UFC 79, the December 29th event is sure to compete with any sport in terms of betting action. We’ll have to wait and see…