Canadian-born rapper Drake made his fortune in music, but has repeatedly shown a penchant for sports betting. Things don’t always go his way. But betting $1 million on Israel Adesanya to win UFC 276 bout paid off.
Rapper Drake performing on stage. He just won a $1M wager on UFC 276 that netted him more than $220,000. (Image: Getty Images)
On Saturday, Adesanya took on Jared Cannonier in the UFC middleweight title fight. In a battle that went right for him almost from the start, the UFC title holder won unanimously.
As a result, Drake broke his losing betting streak. However, with a reported net worth of more than $250 million, losing wouldn’t have broken the bank.
No Pressure on Adesanya
Drake called up Adesanya a day before the match, telling him that he put a “light million” on him to win the UFC 276 bout. The rapper hasn’t had much luck when choosing UFC or MMA fights, and previously lost $275,000 on Jorge Masvidal to beat Colby Covington in March. He also wagered and lost $550,000 on Justin Gaethje to defeat Charles Oliveira in May. Both were underdogs.
The news may have been a low blow for Adesanya before the match. However, the Nigerian-born, New Zealand-raised fighter didn’t let it stand in the way. He dominated his opponent, landing 116 important strikes on his way to victory. With that, Adesanya won by unanimous decision, and subsequently, so did Drake.
Instead of rooting for the underdog, Drake went for the favorite this time around. It was a smarter play, given that the 32-year-old Adesanya holds the belt. He already defended his title in five consecutive appearances prior to Saturday’s match. Cannonier, on the other hand, was making his first run at the title.
Adesanya fought Robert Whittaker twice as he continued to retain the title. Cannonier was 5-1 going into the match, with the one defeat coming against Whittaker. The two went the distance, needing all five rounds before a winner could emerge.
Drake didn’t say where he placed his bet. However, DraftKings had Adesanya at -450 on the moneyline heading into the match. On a bet of $1 million, the payout would have been around $222,000.
UFC 276 Doesn’t Go Well For Everyone
Adesanya and Cannonier went the distance, much to the dismay of many fight fans. They felt they seemed to be acting more like they were at a neighborhood social than fight for the title.
However, other matches on Saturday’s cards delivered completely different results. Julija Stoliarenko took down Jessica-Rose Clark in brutal fashion just 42 seconds into their bantamweight match.
Clark was the favorite, but Stoliarenko was determined to stop her three-match losing streak. Unfortunately, things went horribly wrong when the Luthuanian Stoliarenko managed to pin her opponent and put her arm in a vice. Clark struggled to get free at first before realizing that she was done.
She tried to tap out, but it was too late. As she started to make her move, Stoliarenko turned the vice more, dislocating the Australian’s arm. Clark later told reporters that she will likely need surgery.
Max Holloway was the fan favorite, but the bookmakers’ underdog, to overcome UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski in their match. The former champion came into the bout having beaten Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez, but things didn’t go as planned.
Volkanovski dominated his opponent, winning the fight. At one point, he landed a brutal right hook that reverberated around the octagon. Then, in what was later dubbed the “worst cut in UFC history,” Holloway was left with a huge gash over his left eyebrow. It was bad enough to require an emergency trip to the hospital to receive stitches.
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