FORMER boxing champ Holly Holm caused a massive boil over in the UFC on the weekend, knocking the stuffing out of the bantam weight title holder Ronda Rousey.
Both sides talked tough in the lead up to the fight, but it was widely accepted by pundits that Rousey would wipe the floor with Holm and defend her title for the sixth time.
But not by punters at sportsbet.com.au
The bets for Holm flowed in in the lead up to Saturday’s fight, and her brutal kick to Rousey’s head during the second round gave her victory and cleaned out the bookie’s coffers to the tune of $700,000.
Sportsbet took twice the money on Holm as it did on Rousey and crunched her price in from $9.30 to $7 before the fight.
And, with UFC boss Dana White hinting at a re-match between the two fighters, the bookie could be in trouble again, opening Rousey as a $1.40 favourite, but taking bets at a rate of four to one on Holm, who is a much shorter $2.75.
“After cleaning us out of more than $700,000 on Holm’s victory, punters are looking to do it again with a rush of money coming through for Holm to win a rematch,” sportsbet.com.au’s Ben Bulmer said.
“A Holly Holm knock out hasn’t knocked Ronda Rousey from her perch as UFC queen, though.
“Punter of the day for Sunday’s UFC 193 goes to a keen eyed UFC fan who managed to turn a $5 multi bet into $13,510.04 by successfully picking every winner on yesterday’s card.”
The crew at WilliamHill.com.au also copped a battering at the hands of punters with the Holm win and they’ve been even more cautious with her odds, at $2.45. That means Rousey is a very juicy $1.55, perhaps the longest she’s ever started in a major UFC fight.
“Just like Rousey, we got absolutely smashed yesterday,” the bookie’s Tim Ashworth said.
“We had more than double the amount of people place bets on the Holm upset.
“Ronda Rousey is a proven champion and future great of the sport, so it’s more a matter of when, and not if, we see her serve up some revenge in a rematch against Holly Holm.”
Winning fights wins respectability and the bookies have had to reign in Holm’s price after they wore one on the weekend.
“The rematch makes a lot of sense,” White said after the boil over.
“A rematch is what a lot of people want to see.
“These are the moments in fighting that make it so crazy and so much fun.”
Holm, still ecstatic from her win, which has been called the biggest upset in UFC history by commentator Joe Rogan, said she would be up for the rematch.
“I think a re-match makes sense,” she said.
“I’ve been on the losing side of a fight and I wanted a re-match to avenge a loss.
“So for a champion like Ronda, who has gone out of her way and done great things, absolutely, she deserves a re-match.
“I don’t look at this at all and think that I’ve made it.
“I think a re match is common sense for me.
“This fight was a lot to me mentally.
“I couldn’t tell you how many times I cried in the gym leading up to this fight.
“It was a lot to take in but those kind of fights are the ones where a loss is that devastating, but a win that sweet of a victory.
Rousey was uncharacteristically disrespectful in the lead up to the fight, causing a barney at the weigh-in and then refusing to touch gloves with Holm in the octagon.
Perhaps she was feeling the pressure and that was the precursor to what was about to happen.
Rousey was taken to hospital immediately after the bout, her lip split in half after the beating.
She assured fans she was ok and would be back after a break in a post on her Instagram account.
“I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and support,” she wrote.
“I appreciate the concerns about my health, but I’m fine.
“As I had mentioned before, I’m going to take a little bit of time, but I’ll be back.”
The event, held in Melbourne, smashed records left right and centre.
The dream of seeing Rousey take on perhaps the toughest woman on the planet in Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino seems that much further away now.
“I mean it changes a lot of things, the Cyborg fight,” White said.
“Ronda hadn’t faced anyone that could close the range and the distance like she does.
“This woman has 40 times the fights that Ronda does, she’s a world champion.
“This was the right fight.”
Cyborg cheekily Tweeted a simple smiley face 🙂 after the fight, clearly pleased at the superstar’s defeat.
It was the most people ever to attend a UFC fight, with 56,214 at Etihad Stadium and the gate yielded some $9.5 million.record.
“We’ve broken a lot of records here tonight. The gate record, the commercial business,” White confirmed.
“In every way, shape or form it was a massive success.
“Every time we’ve come to Australia, Australia has been great to us.
“It’s been a pleasure doing fights over here.”
So good was the event, that the UFC will be back in Australia in March next year, White announcing Brisbane as the next venue down under.
“Australia has been an incredible market for the UFC and I’m excited to follow up our success at UFC 193 with a return to Brisbane in March,” White said.
“Brisbane was the scene of one of the greatest heavyweight bouts of all time, the first fight between Mark Hunt and Big Foot Silva.
”I look forward to our return by bringing another great card.“
Speaking of Mark Hunt, the Super Samoan, an adopted Aussie, wiped the floor with Big Foot, probably consigning him to the UFC scrap heap and keeping him at least in contention for a crack at the heavy weight title.
Rousey vs. Holm re match markets
Ronda Rousey ($1.55 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Holly Holm ($2.75 with sportsbet.com.au)
UFC 194 market
Conor McGregor ($1.55)
Jose Aldo ($2.40)
* Odds provided by WilliamHill.com.au
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