USUALLY when Ronda Rousey is about to fight in the UFC, the consensus is she is going to win and win very well.
But there seems to be a different buzz about this one.
Rousey, she of the dominant record and “deadliest female fighter in the world” title, is still the $1.06 favourite, but there is a vibe about Holm, a former boxing world champion.
Could she beat Rousey?
The big punters with sportsbet.com.au say no, but there has been a multitude of punters wagering their hard earned on Holm to cause the upset of the century.
The bookie has taken double the amount of bets on Holm as it has on Rousey.
But the big money has come for Rousey, with multiple $1000 bets laid for a return of $60
Sportsbet has taken multiple $1,000 plus bets on Rousey for a potential $60 return.
Rousey has won her last three fights in a combined time of one minute and four seconds, but 80 per cent of punters think Holm will take her beyond 1.5 rounds, at odds of $3.50, with the fight lasting into the second round the best backed at $5.50.
Rousey winning by knockout is the favourite method of victory at $3.60, but the best backed with punters is Holy Holm winning by knockout which is paying $13.
“Ronda Rousey will face her biggest challenge yet against Holly Holm and while the superstar should have the tools to get the job done, punters are telling us the result is anything but a certainty with Holm well backed in all markets,” the bookie’s Ben Bulmer said.
Perhaps a better question than can Holm win is could she last longer than a minute in the octagon with Rousey?
The crew at sportsbet.com.au says she can’t.
the bookie has released its market on when the fight will finish, with the fight being over in the first minute priced as the $3.25 favourite, with a 01:00-01:59 next in line at $5.
In the total rounds market, under 0.5 rounds will earn punters $1.91, much better odds than the $1.06 Rousey is paying to win, considering her last fight was done and dusted in just 34 seconds.
“Aussie UFC fans have waited a long time for the sport’s biggest star to take to the octagon here in Melbourne but their excitement could be short lived with the fight not expected to go beyond a minute – not that we think they will mind,” said sportsbet.com.au’s Ben Bulmer.
There is a buzz about Melbourne as the two fighters arrived in town earlier this week for their fight at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
And Rousey, usually at odds with the fighters she takes on, actually had some nice words for her opponent, before giving her a nice slap down.
“It’s nice to have a little time off from it (fighting women she does not respect) and Holly is an awesome chick.
“She’s an amazing competitor.
“As an athlete, I couldn’t have more respect for her.
“She’s the most decorated striker we have in all of mixed martial arts.
“She’s definitely my biggest challenge to date.
“But the fact is, I’m still the greatest fighter in the world.”
And Rousey says Holm probably would not enjoy it if she happened to win.
“I don’t think she would be comfortable with it,” Rousey said recently.
“It would take away from her quality of life.
“I don’t think it (UFC superstardom) is for some people.
“The kind of an environment I am in is not what Holly would like.
“I hope that she takes whatever she gets for losing and has a life that she would like a lot more than this.
“I hope that she accepts her loss in a healthy way.”
But a fired up Holm said she would definitely not be happier if she lost the fight.
“Maybe she said that because she has a lot of pressure on her,” Holm fired back.
“Trust me, I will be able to handle it.”
In the boxing ring, Holm was almost peerless, winning 35 of her 37 fights.
But the Octagon is a different kettle of fish. She’ll have to somehow combat Rousey’s considerable wrestling game and then hope to land something special.
It’s a tough ask against a woman who has gone 12-0 and only one of those fights has made it out of the first round.
Holm hasn’t been beaten in nine MMA fights and says: “Every fighter has their strengths and anything can happen.
“I know I have big things ahead of me and I am certainly not going into this fight thinking I am going to lose.
“Most of my interviews start like this – ‘so, do you really think you can beat her?’
“Well, I signed the contract.”
On a lighter note, Rousey saw Michelle Payne’s superb win on Prince of Penzance in last week’s Melbourne Cup and says the word ‘women’ should be taken out of every thing to promote equality.
“Just do whatever we can to take the word ‘women’ out of it,” she said.
“I don’t hear everyone saying ‘men’s this, men’s that’.
“People aren’t here today because they love women – it’s because they love fighters.”
Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm markets
Head to head
$1.06 Ronda Rousey
$9.30 Holly Holm
Time of Finish
$3.25 Ronda Rousey 00:00 – 00:59 Round 1
$5 Ronda Rousey 01:00 – 01:59 Round 1
$8 Ronda Rousey 02:00 – 02:59 Round 1
$10 Ronda Rousey 03:00 – 03:59 Round 1
$15 Ronda Rousey 04:00 – 05:00 Round 1
$2.50 Any other result
$1.91 Under 0.5
$1.80 Over 0.5
$3.50 Over 1.5
$1.25 Under 1.5
$1.10 Under 2.5
$6.00 Over 2.5
$1.05 Under 3.5
$8.00 Over 3.5
$1.02 Under 4.5
$11 Over 4.5
What round will the fight end?
$1.33 Round 1
$5.50 Round 2
$11 Round 3
$15 Round 4
$21 Round 5
Method of Victory
$1.45 Ronda Rousey by Submission
$3.60 Ronda Rousey by KO
$13 Holly Holm by KO
$17 Ronda Rousey on Points
$17 Holly Holm on Points
$19 Holly Holm by Submission
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