Sports are one of those rare platforms that have the power to transcend itself beyond its own medium and into something larger in the social zeitgeist. At UFC 190 we witnessed one of those moments when the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey blasted her way through Brazilian-opponent Bethe Correia in 34 seconds to earn her 12th straight victory and eighth in under a minute.
Rousey herself is at the forefront of a paradigm shifting movement that has seen women in sports breakdown barriers and change the way the world views female athletes. In 2015 women are producing the most exciting and talked-about sports moments in the pop-culture landscape. Add in Team USA's Women's World Cup victory, Becky Hammon winning an NBA Summer League title with the San Antonio Spurs and Jen Welter being named the first female coach in NFL history, and you have a monumental movement for women in the field.
Now, with all the attention on Rousey, new eyes will be drawn to the sport of mixed martial arts. And for bettors who may not be familiar with MMA, the question is how they can take advantage of her success by wagering on the sport. Let's take closer look at MMA, Rousey herself, and figure out the best way to make a profit on the most dominant fighter in the world.
What Is Next For the Champion?
UFC 190 has turned into the coming-out party for Rousey and women's MMA. The 28-year-old fighter is in the middle of a meteoric rise. She was already in the mainstream media prior to her last bout, but two movie roles and an ever-expanding public profile has turned Rousey into a must-see attraction, similar to Mike Tyson in his prime. According to reports, UFC 190 received over 6 million Internet search inquiries during the week of the bout, nearly six times as much as the searches for UFC 189, which featured the organization's biggest male star, Conor McGregor.
UFC President Dana White has already named Rousey's next opponent, the former Strikeforce champion and the No. 2 women's bantamweight, Miesha Tate. The new No. 1 contender is also building a name for herself outside of the sport and is expected to film a movie of her own during the next few months. The matchup, which is being targeted for a December card, will be the third meeting between Tate and Rousey, with the challenger being the only person to survive more than a round against the champion-the pair's UFC 168 bout ended in the third round with a Rousey arm bar.
Moneylines and Parlays
A potential matchup between Rousey and Tate, which is already being expected to top 1 million pay per view buys, would probably see the champion open up as a substantial favorite in the -800 to -1000 range. During Rousey's last matchup against Correia, the oddsmakers opened the line at -1500, and the bettors pushed it up to -1600 at most sites. Dominant champions in combat sports are difficult to bet on because the moneylines open so huge, and wagering such a large portion of your bankroll on one matchup is always a risky proposition. One of the easiest ways to wager on a dominant favorite like Rousey is to throw the fight into a parlay with another solid favorite or two. Parlaying a -1000 favorite with two -250 favorites would pay out nearly even money and present bettors with a solid payout for taking three big favorites.
Props and Round Totals
Perhaps the easiest way to get in on the Rousey action without having to wager a significant amount of money is to look at the prop wagers or total on rounds. During UFC 190 the "over"/"under" was placed at 1.5 rounds, with the under being a huge favorite at -300. Bovada also offered a 3/1 prop bet that Rousey would finish opponent in under one minute-something she has done to three straight opponents. The site also offered props on the way the fight would finish, with a submission being the favorite and KO and decision receiving positive payouts.
Rousey's star will almost certainly continue to rise, which will lead to more and more people looking to wager on her next few fights. There is simply something special about watching a great athlete dominate their sport, and when you add betting into the mix, the moment can be nothing short of spectacular.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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