Online betting has been in place pretty much since the dawn of the internet. Some of the very first popular we all first know about were betting sites. Of course, in the United States of America, betting sites have had a little bit of a trouble time, but the same cannot be said for other countries around the world who generally see betting online as one of easiest ways to bet on different activities. While the likes of soccer, boxing, NFL and NBA have long been the kings of online sports betting, now it seems there is a new contender in town – MMA betting the new king?
The MMA competition has been increasing in popularity at a huge rate over the last decade. With the UFC providing some of the biggest pay-per-view events on the planet, as well as creating some of the biggest names in combat sports, it is a legitimate contender to the online betting throne. However, this wasn’t always the case, with boxing and even professional wrestling the sole combat sport options at one point in time.
Question that will be asked, however, is what has changed the MMA sport over the last 10 years to make it much more of a popular betting option, as well as a much more popular viewing option? That said, let’s take a look to see why this sport is increasingly appealing to the masses more than boxing is at the moment.
MMA undeniably brings more excitement
Boxing has a limited number of ways that a fight can be won. All of them come from the result of punching, dodging and counter punching. While watching two high quality boxers certainly offers plenty of excitement, there isn’t a lot of variety. What MMA offers is a lot more variety in how a match can finish.
With the meshing of different fighting styles, there are numerous ways that a fight can be ended. There are plenty of different styles that can clash to create much more excitement when compared to boxing. You only have to look at a single UFC fight card to see how many different finishes are possible. A boxing card can often provide a lot of opportunity for boredom. An MMA card is much less likely to offer that to viewers.
The larger range of fighting styles also means that more explosive attacks are available within MMA. Even the biggest boxing fan in the world has to admit that watching a fight get ended by a roundhouse kick is something special. This ensures that gamblers take a much closer look at MMA when compared to boxing as there are a lot more betting markets available to people.
Unlike boxing, MMA boasts bigger characters
Boxing has long been known for big names. Big names in the likes of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Naseem Hamed, Floyd Mayweather and Chris Eubank are just a few of the top tier characters that have graced boxing over the years. Many fighters with big personalities were boxing at the same time in the past. Now, that’s not really the case. One cannot deny the fact that only Tyson Fury is the only real character operating at the top level in boxing at the moment.
MMA is a whole different ball game. You only have to look at Conor McGregor to see the level of personality that’s involved in MMA in recent times. While he’s undoubtedly the biggest name in MMA at the moment, he’s not the only big character.
The sport is graced with fighters like Chael Sonnen, Nick Diaz and Quinton Jackson are just a few of the trash talkers that have entered the Octagon in recent years. Add this to people like Rhonda Rousey and Brock Lesnar who have managed to make the step between UFC and WWE, where personality is a necessity, and you have to realize that MMA is able to more than stand up to boxing when it comes to personalities. All of these names paved the way for the new generation of trash talkers and big personalities to enter into the world of MMA.
In fact, the press conferences that build up fights are some of the best entertainment available in the fight game at the moment. This is because MMA understands that the people at the top of the card have to be able to sell the fight. Unfortunately, this is something that only Tyson Fury is able to understand in the boxing world at the moment.
While the betting markets don’t really have much to do with the bigger characters that are on offer, the popularity of MMA means that more fights are being offered at sportsbooks now. This has significantly increased what is available to sports bettors and has helped to make it a much more popular betting option than it was in the past.
MMA provides more upset opportunities
Boxing obviously offers upset opportunities, you only have to look at the Ruiz vs. Joshua fight to see that. However, it doesn’t offer them quite to the level of MMA. Because boxing offers boxers a count of 10 to get up after a mistake, it means that a superior fighter has a much better chance of recovering from a slip up than in MMA.
In MMA, if a fighter is caught off guard by a strike and they go down, then the other fighter will usually take this as an opportunity to finish them. There’s no 10 count to recover their bearings and get up. There’s no ref to keep the other fighter away while they clear their head. The fully aware fighter will be straight in there with strikes or a submission attempt. That’s why wins within the first round are much more common in MMA than in boxing.
This provides gamblers with much more to gain. It means that a bet on an underdog has a much better chance of coming in than with boxing. If you know what weaknesses a particular fighter has and if the strengths of their opponent target these weaknesses, there is a good chance that you will be able to get good value for your bets. With boxing this is much less likely. This makes MMA much more popular with bettors and is another reason why it’s become so widespread at online sportsbooks.