UFC Betting: Sportsbooks Took a Beating Along With Rousey

Martin Williams

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 2:38 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 2:38 PM UTC

Ronda Rousey was not the only one feeling faint after her beating Saturday night.  The bookmakers felt like they were the ones with getting KO'd with a load of sharp money on Holm.

Sportsbook executives must have felt Ronda Rousey’s pain when she was knocked out by underdog Holly Holm during their UFC193 bout at the weekend as most suffered damaging losses.

Nobody gave Holm much of a chance and the line on Rousey started at -2,000 and was higher than -1,500 in the build-up to the fight, while Holm opened at around +1000. It was the biggest handle on any of Rousey’s 11 fights and bettors decided there was not much value to be had on the American, instead taking a punt on the underdog. Holm picked up steam towards the start of the fight and the prices on offer fluctuated wildly, but Rousey never got above -1000 and the lowest price you could get on Holm was +650. Sportsbooks revealed they were killed when Rousey crashed to the ground in one of the sport’s greatest ever shocks.

Dave Mason of BetOnline said it was the biggest loss the bookmaker had ever suffered on a fight. He revealed that 93% of bettors had gone for Holm, and many got on at the +850 mark before the price went in. William Hill said 70% of the bets it took on the fight were on Holm as punters smelled an upset. “Just like Rousey, we got absolutely smashed. We had more than double the amount of people place bets on the Holm upset,” William Hill spokesperson Tim Ashworth said.

In the build-up to the fight Westgate said it had way more bets against her than for her because bettors were far more attracted to a low-risk, high-reward situation.

Among those to win big on Holm were her own team. Manager Lenny Fresquez revealed they pooled their money and scooped a six-figure win on the Australian. Professional gambler Dave Oancea also claimed to have made $240,000 off a $20,000 stake, although it was written off as a Photoshopped ticket on social media.

Golden Nugget said the betting was so lopsided that it lost everything it won on college football. Sportsbooks are being far more cautious when creating lines for a much-anticipated rematch. Despite being knocked out in such spectacular circumstances, William Hill has named Rousey as the favourite at -181, while installing Holm as the outsider once more at +145, although the gap is far smaller now.

UFC president Dana White said a rematch makes sense, and Holm said she felt Rousey deserved it and would have no problem giving her one.

The current UFC odds have Rousey as favourite at -147 and Holm at +133.

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