clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bookies take a beating: Bovada loses nearly $1 million on UFC Fight Night

In case you didn't already know, UFC Fight Night Porto Alegre was an historic night for underdogs, which meant it was a terrible night for bookies.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir will go down as one of the most improbable events in UFC history. After Ivan Jorge defeated Josh Shockley to open the Fight Pass prelims, not one other betting favorite won. That's 10 straight bouts where the underdog came out on top. Per one source of calculation, the odds on the first 8 underdogs winning their bouts came back at 63,000 to 1. Which is to say that a bet of one dollar would have paid back $63,000 through the first 8 fights alone.

All of which meant that bookies apparently lost big off the UFC's bizarro betting card. Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager for Bovada.lv, spoke to ESPN.com after the event, reporting that they lost close to a million dollars off underdog performances down in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

"We had at least a dozen of these bets that paid out $10,000 or more," Bradley said.
...
"We're not getting this money back from the people that won," Bradley said. "The type of bettor that wins these bets throws a small amount of money on all the favorites or all the underdogs to try to get rich. Well, I guess it worked."

Other reports, from ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, show a number of big scores for gamblers:

As well as a report that some finicky rules saw Oddsmaker.ag bettors get capped off at payouts of $150,000, despite advertising a potential for much, much more.

Still, even at 1/4th the price, these losses are a bit of a gut check for an industry that rarely comes up in the red when all is said and done.