In these last last 12-18 months in the UFC, we have seen some of the biggest upsets in big title fights.
On the eve of UFC 200, with a stacked card and two title fights, should we be expecting some underdogs to surprise the odds makers?
Given the colossal upsets in recent history, maybe some of that money should go on long shots.
1) Bisping KO’s Rockhold
Luke Rockhold had dominated Bisping and submitted him in their previous meeting. In taking the title from reigning Chris Weidman, Rockhold was relentless on the ground, battering the champ and looking more than ready to continue defending the middleweight title.
In the lead-up to the fight, Rockhold was supremely confident and predicted a similar result to their first fight.
The first round Rockhold stalked Bisping (not known for his KO power) with hands low and a sneer on his face. The next thing he knew, the referee was standing over him and he was looking up at the lights wondering what had just happened?!
Underestimating Bisping led to Rockhold being KO’d and losing his title to Bisping.
2) Miocic Dethrones Werdum
You could make a solid case for Fabricio Werdum as being the GOAT heavyweight when we look at some of his wins against heavyweight legends Fedor Emelianenko, Minotauro, and guillotining Cain Velsaquez to take the heavyweight strap.
All that was academic when Miocic caught Werdum chasing him and ended their title fight in the first round.
Miocic was a solid, balanced fighter, but most thought he was a notch below the talented Werdum.
3) Rousey vs. Holm
The superlatives and hype were flying around Rousey, hailing her as the most dominant athlete in sports and “a once in a lifetime athlete.” Rousey’s swagger and lack of sportsmanship was not earning her respect among many fans.
Perhaps over confident in her striking, she met world-class striker Holly Holm who “shocked the world” (an overused cliche, but true in this case!) when she turned out the lights on MMA’s most dominant champion in round 2 with a devastating head kick.
Before the fight, the fight media was giving very little credibility to Holm and most predicted another first round submission by Rousey.
One of the biggest upsets ever in MMA!
4) Dos Anjos Loses the LW Belt to Alvarez
Eddie Alvarez has long been mentioned as one of the top lightweights in the world fighting outside of the UFC, but appeared to be on the downside of his career trajectory. His move to the UFC had not exactly set the division on fire.
In contrast, RDA had bested a murderer’s row of top level competition, defending his title in dominating fashion and appearing more dominant and well-rounded in each appearance.
In the most competitive division in professional MMA, Eddie Alvarez did not even need the second round to stop Dos Anjos and become the new lightweight champion.
5) Nate Diaz not surprised motherf#@cki%s!
Nate Diaz was brought in to showcase the superstar Conor McGregor when the original match with RDA was scrapped. The media tour preceding the fight showed an ultra confident Conor taunting the sullen Diaz, all suggesting that the result of their fight was all but a foregone conclusion.
Diaz did come up with the epic line :
“Who do you train with? You’ve got that little goofy motherf—-r with you. I have real training partners,”
“Top 10 fighters, top 10 boxers, top 10 jiu-jitsu guys, top 10 kick boxers. You’re playing touch-butt with that dork in the park with the pony tail. And I’m the one who don’t got no training partners? I don’t think so. You’ve got it all figured out when you’re fighting midgets. You’ve got s–t.”
The first round ended with a confident McGregor seemingly hitting his target at will and a bloodied Diaz.
The second round proved a different story as an exhausted McGregor and the accumulation of Stockton slaps forced Conor into a sloppy shot at a takedown.
Once the fight was on the mat, Diaz quickly found the rear naked choke and the legend of Conor McGregor was temporarily made mortal.