When we mention the tournament UFC, we remember some of the best fighters of all times that have passed and gone through the various UFC fight nights. The American Mixed Martial Arts company called UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was launched in 1993. Still, the sport dates back to ancient Greek, when fighters entered an octagon fighting arena and displayed their vicious combat skills.
UFC has been around for decades, yet it was thanks to President Dana White that the sport became a global sensation. As many new fighters secured stardom in the ring, UFC’s popularity increased, with many punters seeking a list of casinos not on GamStop to place their bets on the upcoming UFC fight night.
And what a night it is when UFC is on. For some of us lucky enough to head over to Vegas to watch the fights live, we envy you. For the others, worry not, as UFC is streamed live and brought directly to your TV screens. Today we talk about the most discussed underdog wins in UFC, the ones that stunned us, or the ones that turned our humble bet into a chunky winning wager!
The best UFC upsets we didn’t expect
When you head to a gambling site to bet on your favourite UFC fighter, odds are already in place. Odds give you an excellent indication of who is the favourite to win the fight; however, just like any other sport, upsets and underdog wins do happen. Only 1 punch could turn a battle into a KO, and only 1 lock will turn a UFC fight into a submission.
BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes UFC 46
When you defend your UFC welterweight belt for the sixth time in a row, you are, of course, the favourite to win. Unfortunately, this was not on the card for Hughes, as he suffered one of the biggest underdog upsets in history and was dethroned by Matt Hughes.
BJ Penn moves up to the Welterweight division & ends Matt Hughes' reign of dominance,
to become the new UFC Welterweight Champion pic.twitter.com/OvaJCnmxBN
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) February 1, 2022
What Penn did not expect was the way that Hughes hurled to his back in the first round and held him in a choke hold until Penn was forced to tap out and submit. This was one of the biggest upsets in UFC fight night history, the day that Matt Hughes was crowned the new champion and ending the 13-fight winning streak for Penn.
Following the massive upset, Penn took some time away from mixed martial arts and UFC; however, he returned, only to lose again to Matt Hughes at UFC 63.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (UFC 70)
Gabriel Gonzaga, dubbed “Napao”, was coming out from a three-fight winning streak at UFC and was, of course, praised for his intense yet great fighting skills.
During UFC 70, he went head to head with Mirk ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic and entered the fighting arena with a 5:1 underdog card. The cards were not looking too well for Gonzaga, and a defeat was expected.
Known for his head-butting skills, Filipovic was the expected winner of the fight. Little did everyone expect that Gonzaga’s strategy was to headbutt his opponent, which he successfully did during the 1st round of the UFC 70 main card.
Filipovic did not do too well, and the head butt saw him seeing stars, disorientated, and also tapping out of the fight. Whilst the fighter was dubbed to be invincible, he only needed to meet the might Gonzaga and get a taste of his own head-butting strategy.
To date, the UFC 70 clash between Gonzaga and Filipovic remains one of the most talked-about upsets in UFC history.
Joe Lauzon vs. Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver (UFC 63)
Kicking off your UFC debut should be a small event when you can practice with fighters of your same calibre. The same cannot be said about Joe Lauzon, who kicked off his UFC start with a fight against reign pound-for-pound lightweight champion Jens Pulver.
Lauzon went into the fight as the solid underdog, with odds showing a 6:1 against him winning the bout. Pulver dubbed the “Lil Evil”, was also returning after a short stint away from the sport, yet with his reputation, he was the clear favourite.
Unexpected and out of nowhere, Joe Lauzon upset the champ during the first few seconds of the opening round when he landed a solid left hook that saw Pulver flying across the octagon.
This talked about upset cost Pulver major setbacks in the sports, whilst Lauzon went ahead to win the following 2 bouts and suffered a loss at the hands of UFC legend Kenny Florian.
Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia (UFC 68)
Randy Couture was always known to be a UFC legend, and even after a year of absence, his return was welcomed with not-so-favourable odds.
Returning to the octagon at UFC 68, the heavyweight champion went head to head with Tim Sylvia, an established heavyweight UFC fighter known for the heavy KOs he imposes on his opponents.
Using his extensive wrestling stunts, Couture threw a performance of a lifetime and outclassed the seasoned champ all through the fight. The UFC fight went to the scorecards, with the judges unanimously awarding the UFC heavyweight belt to newly crowned champ Randy Couture.
The beauty of UFC lies in the fact that many fighters come along with a bag of skills, and that skills are all martial arts. Some like to bring their boxing skills, some like to wrestle, others enjoy kickboxing, and some enjoy taekwondo or karate. All these sports mixed can only mean one thing, each UFC night is different from the other, and this is how underdogs reign supreme.
Your skills might be different than mine in the octagon, and yes mixed martial arts skills combined will always cause the best upsets and most talked about underdog wins.