The ‘Drake Curse’ Returns, as Rapper Loses Small Fortune on UFC Bets

Posted on: August 22, 2022, 07:19h. 

Last updated on: August 22, 2022, 12:53h.

Canadian rapper Drake had a habit of losing big-money bets on UFC fights — until last month, when he won a million-dollar bet. His six-figure bets never paid off until that win, but he’s now back in the tank once again.

Rapper Drake
Recording artist Drake speaks about Apple Music during the Apple WWDC on June 8, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The gambling aficionado has a habit of losing bets on UFC fights, which he did once again this past weekend. (Image: Getty Images)

Drake’s regular sports betting losses led to what became known as the “Drake Curse.” However, winning a $1-million bet when Israel Adesanya beat Jared Cannonier in UFC 276 brought the curse to an end.

However, it reappeared this past weekend. Returning to, his favorite betting platform and where he’s an ambassador, Drake placed two bets per bout on UFC 278 for a total of $430,000. Neither went his way.

Usman Over Edwards

On several occasions, Drake targeted the underdog with his UFC bets, perhaps hoping for a larger payday. However, when Adesanya took down Cannonier, the rapper with the most top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 bet on the favorite and won.

Since backing the favorite seemed to break the curse, Drake took Kamaru Usman to beat Leon Edwards in the fighters’ welterweight title match. Usman was a massive favorite, getting around -370 to Edwards’ +265.

Drake put $149,000 on the Nigerian fighter Kamaru to take down his British opponent by knockout. He placed another bet worth $49,000 that the favorite would finish the bout in the fourth round. Neither happened.

Edwards showed signs that he was out for blood early in Round 1 against Usman. He landed a takedown in the round, but then seemed to lose momentum. Usman’s chances of retaining his title increased throughout the match, until a surprising Round 5 move changed everything.

Usman’s actions in the fifth will be the talk of UFC films for years to come. He appeared to drop his guard, assuming the match was his. However, Edwards didn’t let up, and with less than a minute to go, scored a massive blow. He moved in with a jab and a head kick that knocked his opponent out.

With that, Usman lost the match and Drake lost his money. He had $200,000 on the favorite, although Edwards made it clear after the match that he made the wrong choice.

In an Instagram post, Edwards called out Drake for not backing him. Drake had given two UFC fighters, Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann, Rolex watches in appreciation of their wins. Edwards told the rapper to bet on him next time and give him “one of those Rolexes.”

Edwards Ready for Next Bout

Usman and Edwards met in 2015 in Usman’s first official UFC fight after winning The Ultimate Fighter 21 event. So, naturally, and with better odds, it made sense to back the favorite.

However, Edwards has been consistently strong since then. He was on a 9-0 run heading into Saturday’s match, although he has limited his appearances for the past two years. Things could now change, and the Brit may begin to appear more often.

Edwards said after the match that it was “one of the worst performances” of his career. However, if landing a kick that knocks out the title-holder is among the worst, then there should be a lot of great things still to come.

British UFC fans might be able to see Edwards in action at home. While most fights have been in the US, UFC President Dana White suggested it might be time to go across the pond.

He said in a press conference after the fight that perhaps it’s time the UFC paid a visit to Wembley. Out of the past 36 fights, according to ESPN, only three were outside the US. Two were in London and one was in Singapore.