DraftKings Sportsbook reached a groundbreaking deal with the UFC to be the official sportsbook and fantasy partner of the UFC. DraftKings and the UFC will roll out a proprietary new UFC Fight Clock system, the brand new Free-To-Play UFC Pool with $10k in prizes, and plenty of new in-game promotions.
Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the deal is expected to be worth $350 million over the next five years.
DraftKings Sets Itself From The Pack In UFC Live-Betting
There is another major piece of this for UFC bettors (like myself) to get a taste of. The UFC will be unveiling its brand new UFC Fight Clock, which is a proprietary new time-keeping system. The expectation is that DraftKings’ partnership and work with the UFC will bring this new system to bettors as well. DraftKings is expected to bring new prop bets, in-game promotions, and in-broadcast odds integrations across the platform.
Many sportsbooks struggle with UFC’s fast pace making it extremely difficult to put out a strong product in the sport. While competing sportsbooks like PointsBet and FanDuel are in need of quicker response times, DraftKings will now be able to the lead in this sector.
UFC President Dana White expects nothing but the best from DraftKings Sportsbook. White added, “This is a massive deal that will benefit UFC, DraftKings, and most of all the fans,” said UFC President Dana White.
“DraftKings is the best at what they do in the betting and daily fantasy space, and unlike other sports, UFC has no off season. The action will be non-stop for fans of UFC and DraftKings. This is the most important deal we’ve ever done to increase engagement with our fans and reach new ones, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we’re going to do with DraftKings over the next few years.”
Could This Deal Help The Fighters As Well?
While there is little doubt that cash infusion should help the UFC pay its fighters more – there is also the point of multiple new clocks being installed in the arena.
When there is a submission attempt or takedown attempt, fighters have difficulty finding the clock. It is important to know how much time is left in the round to see how long they need to defend it. DraftKings is expecting to be adding three large clocks throughout the octagon.
Fighters will have a much better sense of time-keeping for their energy reserves. UFC COO Lawrence Epstein also explained the issue of time-keeping on TV vs. in the arena.
“In every other sport, you have a clock and that’s it. People know how much time there is, and it’s official. But in combat sports, there has been this disconnect. There was the TV clock and the official clock and there was no integration and a lot of times, you’d see at the end of the round, the TV clock would go away and [the fight would continue for a few more seconds].”
The new agreement will make things aesthetically pleasing for the fan and it should help fighters with their energy. Being able to keep track of time is extremely important to winning fights and winning bets. DraftKings will be a huge part of the broadcast on Saturday and all UFC events going forward.