Holly Holm’s shocking head kick KO win over Ronda Rousey was one of the bigger upsets in UFC history, and Las Vegas sports books took a significant hit as a result.
Rousey had been a major betting favorite heading into the event, leaving bettors with potentially major rewards by betting on the risky underdog play in Holly Holm. Many, many bettors did just that, with a lot of money coming in late on Holm to drive Rousey down quite a bit. With Holm winning, those players scored big returns.
“The results around town were not good,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, in an interview with USA Today. “Most books got crushed as typical underdog betting was popular.
“[Bettors] love low risk, high reward on those fights. The rematch should be huge.”
Penick’s Analysis: That’s to be expected in situations like this. It happens every so often in sports where a major underdog pulls off a win for the shocking upset, or when some unlikely situation occurs to bring a windfall to a few lucky people, such as the case of the all underdog parlay that hit in recent memory on a UFC Fight Night card. For this one, many who actually placed bets on Holm probably weren’t expecting to see that money back. It was an improbable result given what we’d seen from both. Still, they’re enjoying the reward of putting their money down, especially those who got in early at the longest odds.