Heading into next Saturday's UFC 168 event, Ronda Rousey is a heavy favorite to beat Miesha Tate and retain the UFC women's bantamweight championship.
When the line was opened by veteran oddsmaker Nick Kalikas, Rousey was listed as a -1000 favorite to beat Tate in their rematch. That means Rousey is a 10-to-1 favorite, the kind of line gamblers typically stay away from due to the cost and risk involved. Put another way, you'd have to bet $10 to win just $1 at those odds; it's a lot of money to put on the line for such a small reward.
The line has come back down to earth a bit, but it's still staggering. As of this morning, Rousey is listed at -800 at the MGM Grand sports book, which means people are throwing the occasional long shot bet on Tate. But Rousey remains an 8-to-1 favorite.
According to Rousey, those odds are not dissuading members of her team from throwing down gigantic wagers and expecting their fighter to win. Here's what she told UFC partner Fox Sports:
My whole corner bets on me. They get mad at me because my odds always suck. They split like over 20 grand every fight because they believe in me. It doesn't put any extra pressure on me. I'm like, 'F--- yeah.' My guys have so much faith in me they'll put down 20 grand to win five.
Who is winning this fight?
Color me skeptical. I understand Floyd Mayweather throwing down enormous bets on anything and everything, but for a fighter's corner to do the same? I can't imagine people who are not what we'd consider rich throwing down that kind of money and assuming that kind of risk, even if Rousey is a heavy favorite.
Rousey's odds will remain astronomically high until she loses. Even then, she will likely enter most fights as a favorite. For example, even though Chris Weidman knocked Anderson Silva out cold just this summer, Silva is nearly a 2-to-1 favorite for the rematch.
If you're a regular gambler, I urge you to stay away from this one unless you're planning on taking a small flier on Tate scoring the upset. Anything else is ill-advised, unless you have money to burn. And if that's the case, please contact me. I'll give you my mailing address and you can send me a check.