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Gaming Guru

Matt Youmans
 

Sportsbooks, Lesnar win big at UFC 100

13 July 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- A monster challenge faced Frank Mir in the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title fight Saturday. Mir was a big underdog to Brock Lesnar, and the betting line turned out to be right.

Too many bettors got it wrong, however, as much of the wagering action was on Mir. The fight was one-sided in favor of Lesnar, who won by second-round technical knockout at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Lesnar closed as a minus-220 favorite at MGM Mirage sports books.

"We need Lesnar to win the fight. There has been money on Mir," Mirage sports book manager Jeff Stoneback said.

Lesnar pinned Mir to the mat early in the second round, unleashed a barrage of shots at Mir's head, and the fight was stopped at the 1:48 mark. Mir was beat up and bloodied and unable to turn his rematch with Lesnar into a mirror image of their first bout in February 2008.

Mir won that meeting by kneebar submission in the first round. Lesnar called the result a fluke, and he delivered on his promise to pound Mir and exact revenge.

Lesnar walked into the octagon at about 275 pounds, giving him about a 30-pound advantage, and the difference showed.

The main event failed to live up to the hype, but wagering on UFC 100 met high expectations.

"It probably has been our biggest handle on the UFC," Stoneback said. "I was surprised that we didn't get as many large wagers as usual, but the number of bets have been significantly more than we usually take."

Stoneback said action was heavy on all the underdogs.

Upsets are commonplace in the UFC, but favored fighters won nine of the night's 11 fights.

Georges St. Pierre retained his welterweight title by winning a tough five-round decision against Thiago Alves. St. Pierre's popularity made it surprising the betting action was mostly on the underdog. St. Pierre closed as a minus-220 favorite after the line soared as high as 330.

"We can't get anybody to bet St. Pierre," Stoneback said.

The star of the show was Dan Henderson, who threw a right-handed bomb that knocked out England's Michael Bisping in the second round. Henderson closed as a minus-210 favorite, down from the opening number of 270.

The biggest upset of the night was staged by 44-year-old Mark Coleman. The betting public and MMA experts barely gave Coleman a chance, but he encountered few problems with the much younger Stephan Bonnar, a minus-350 favorite.

Coleman took Bonnar down in the first round, bloodied Bonnar's face in the second and had the stamina to finish strong. All three judges scored the fight 29-28. Coleman cashed as a plus-275 underdog.

Tom Lawlor also won as an underdog, using a guillotine choke to beat CB Dollaway in the first round. Dollaway was a minus-250 favorite.

The bloodiest fight ended with underdog Mac Danzig on the losing end. Danzig and Jim Miller, a minus-190 favorite, hooked up in a lightweight brawl, and Miller opened a gash on Danzig's head early and won by unanimous decision.

A fighter to watch is 21-year-old Jon "Bones" Jones, who defeated Jake O'Brien by submission in the second round. Jones, a rising star in the UFC, delivered as a 4-1 favorite.

Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jon Fitch, Shannon Gugerty and Dong Hyun Kim also won as favorites.