DraftKings has announced its first ever MMA qualifier-only contest, the MMA Rumble in Gotham, which will take place November 12. The contest will feature 25 contestants and its outcome will be based on the results of the historic UFC 205 card, which will unfold at Madison Square Garden on that same date. The contest will feature a total prize pool of $100,000, with a top prize of $25,000. Contestants will be allowed to qualify up to three (3) times for the Rumble through November 5.
Satellites and Qualifiers Already Underway
Satellites and qualifiers are currently running in the DraftKings lobby, with the former featuring entry fees ranging from as little as .25 cents up to $100.00, and the latter contests being offered at price points between $3.00 and $1,000.
$50,00 Awarded to Top Three Finishers
As per DraftKings, all 25 qualifiers will win cash, with the prize distribution as follows:
If one or more contestants finish tied in a qualifier contest for the event in which the tie determines who wins the seat to the MMA Rumble In Gotham, there will be a tiebreaker playoff contest between the tied DraftKings players, to determine the Qualifier Winner. The scheduling of the tiebreaker playoff contest will be solely determined by DraftKings.
As of this writing, seven of the available 25 slots for the MMA Rumble in Gotham are already filled, with renowned DFS pro aejones already having secured two seats. The other five qualifiers to date are users jap1015, MrJames824, Zelda3024, Starsprophet and TIEBREAKER, leaving 18 seats to be filled by the aforementioned November 5th date.
Noteworthy Event on Multiple Fronts
The intertwining of UFC 205 and MMA Rumble in Gotham is fitting, considering that both represent momentous firsts in their own right. For UFC, it is their first card ever in the state of New York, after a multi-year legalization effort culminated in the passing of a bill in March that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law on April 14. The legislation made New York the last state to legalize the wildly popular combat sport.
On the DFS side, the qualifier-only contest is the first of its kind for DraftKings, and ironically comes several months after the expiration of what was apparently a one-year deal between UFC and the fantasy operator that made DraftKings the mixed martial arts organization’s daily fantasy partner. While no official reason was given for that agreement not being renewed, the possibility certainly exists that it could be revived in some form under UFC’s new ownership group in the future.
Another common ground for the DFS and MMA industries has been their respective legal battles in the host state of UFC 205, New York. This location brings up another interesting point of discussion, as DraftKings’ legal standing in the Empire State technically remains unresolved despite the legislature passing a bill legalizing daily fantasy sports in June. That piece of legislation still requires Gov. Cuomo’s signature to be officially enacted into law, but it’s a step that is widely expected to have been taken long before November 12.