The seemingly inexplicable link between poker and fighting was strengthened once again this weekend after Olivier Busquet agreed to a six-figure mixed martial arts (MMA) contest.
The high stakes pro made his name crushing online heads-up tournaments, but he recently put out a tweet that he’s looking for a real life one-on-one showdown with someone in the poker community.
A fan of MMA for the last few years and now a dedicated student of the sport, Busquet is keen to accelerate his training in the best way he knows how: by setting up a $100,000+ prop bet.
Following the strategy that’s served many high stakes pros well in the past (think bets on golf, tennis and boxing), Busquet tweeted that he’s willing to bet six-figure sum on an MMA fight against another poker pro.
Interest Turns into Reality
Initially just wanting to gauge some interest in the idea, Busquet received a slew of replies and suggestions.
Terrance Chan was one of the names touted as a potential opponent; however, given that Chan has had some pro MMA fights, he was quickly deemed unacceptable.
The other name that appeared numerous times on Busquet’s timeline was JC Alvarado. Another MMA fan with something of a physical presence, many thought he would make a great opponent for Busquet.
After weeks of negotiations behind-the-scenes, the pair of potential combatants finally agreed terms and made the news public over the weekend.
Alvarado was first to break the news, announcing that he will be putting up $150,000 to Busquet’s $120,000 in catch weight fight.
Busquet quickly followed up to confirm that the fight had been booked while he was, somewhat ironically, watching a professional MMA event at Foxwoods.
Early Betting Favors Alvarado
According to the early details, Busquet, the naturally heavier man, will be allowed to weigh in at 187.5 pounds, while Alvarado will step into the octagon at 165 pounds.
For those in the know, this sort of weight disparity could give Busquet a significant advantage in the fight if his skills are up to par.
However, if he’s still in the early stages of his learning and Alvarado has any significant experience in the sport then that advantage will count for nothing.
Once news of the fight had filtered through the community, the side action started.
English pro Max Silver was the first one to throw his support behind Alvarado by stating that he’s willing to bet up to $2,500 against anyone who wants to back Busquet.
Many other pros also joined the betting action and it’s likely that almost as much money will be wagered by those on the rail as the two men in the cage.
In fact, Chan was quick to point out that the two fighters (as well as some spectators) stand to make significantly more than many professional MMA fighters do for their fights.
As yet a date for the fight hasn’t been scheduled.