love to gamble, dana white

MMA Stars Who Love to Gamble

Fighting and gambling, it’s a never ending love affair that has lasted for decades and has seen the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, also become the fight capital of the world. From boxing to MMA, fight nights in Vegas see millions of dollars wagered on the outcome in the ring or the octagon.

So it should come as no surprise that many fighters, and those pulling the strings behind them, are big time gamblers. After all, they quite literally have skin in the game.

Here are some of MMA’s biggest stars who love to gamble.

Conor McGregor

McGregor may not be the all-conquering fighter he once was but is still, without a doubt, one of the biggest names in the sport. Full of arrogance and prone to trash talking, it’s no real surprise that McGregor fancies himself as a bit of a gambler.

Horse racing, football, even the UFC itself—you name it, and the chances are McGregor has dropped a few Gs on it. He’s a frequent guest at casinos in Las Vegas and has been known to play a bit of poker himself.

His various run-ins with the power players at the UFC also show his penchant for gambling. Back in 2016, ‘notoriously’ refused to do many of the press conferences in the build up to the Diaz fight while he also ‘retired’ in what many saw as a thinly veiled bluff to see his demands for more money for fighters met. The gamble paid off, and now UFC fighters are earning big wages thanks, in large part, to McGregor’s bluff.

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva is possibly one of the greatest fighters in MMA history but it wasn’t until he got himself onto social media that we realized how big a gambler The Spider actually is.

Silva is known to hit the poker tables at local casinos at every opportunity and has even spent a bit of time practicing his skills . He’s supposed to be a pretty good poker player so we’re not too surprised to hear this.

But it’s not just casino games that Silva is big into. A quick look at his social media game and you’ll see that The Spider loves his sports betting. Earlier in his career, Silva signed several deals with prominent sports betting companies to promote their services and it seems his love for gambling has continued into his retirement.

Ricco Rodriguez

Rodri has one tactic when it comes to gambling—betting on himself. Okay, so that’s not entirely true, but the fact remains that Ricco always places a wager on himself to win in each of his fights where he is considered the underdog. His love for gambling is said to have earned him quite a lot in the past especially on one particular occasion.

In his heavyweight challenge fight for the vacant UFC belt. He bet on himself to beat Randy Couture and did so in empathic fashion.

Dana White

Okay, so White may not be a fighter but there’s no doubting that he is a star of MMA and the UFC in particular. And one thing we know for sure about White is that he is one of the biggest gamblers in the sport.

Blackjack is his main game and the legend goes that he won as much as $7 million in one night. In fact, he is so well known for cleaning out casinos that many have placed an outright ban on him playing any of their games. The Palms even gave him a replica UFC belt as a sweetener to keep him away from the blackjack tables.

White has so much money, it’s no surprise that he drops huge wagers on fights and major sporting events. His favorite bets though seem to be on Canelo fights. He won over $200k backing the fighter.

As you can see, it’s not just the fans that love to gamble when it comes to MMA. Fighters and the people behind the scenes seem to get just as much thrill from a wager as we fans do. That said, there probably aren’t that many fans who can throw down bets the way that the likes of McGregor and Dana White can.


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Staff Report