The UFC® never ceases to surprise, and these upsets prove it. Here is our countdown of some of the biggest upsets in the UFC®:
4. Alex Caceres vs Sergio Pettis
Despite the hype surrounding the younger brother of current lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, Sergio was unable to live up to expectations when facing less-known bantamweight contender, Alex Caceres, last January.
Pettis came out strong in the first round, until Caceres changed it up and dropped him with a left-hand strike early in the second. The two went back and forth the majority of the fight with Caceres looking more energized with each successful hit landed.
In the final minutes, Caceres was able to finish the fight with a flawless rear-naked choke. The fight marked Pettis’ first loss since signing with the UFC®.
3. Ben Rothwell vs Alistair Overeem
It was a huge upset between two huge fighters when ‘Big Ben’ took down former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem last September.
Overeem began the fight strong enough, landing multiple controversial oblique kicks when Rothwell became visually frustrated. It may have been anger which fueled Rothwell to push himself to the limit and take the out the much-talked about Overeem.
‘The Reem’ walked into the fight ranked number seven, but Rothwell managed to shock fans by knocking him out within the first two minutes with a series of old-fashioned, hard punches.
2. Rafael dos Anjos vs Benson Henderson
Claiming to have always been the underdog, dos Anjos took everyone by surprise when he knocked out former lightweight champion Benson Henderson with one heavy-handed hit in a controversial bout back at UFC® Fight Night 49 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Henderson claimed he was not knocked out, but film from the fight said otherwise. Dos Anjos had taken out the popular lightweight fighter with one strike.
Dos Anjos went on to face the trash-talking Nate Diaz in the Octagon™ months later, and he again dominated his opponent. The win against Diaz earned him a title shot against the current lightweight champion, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. He will challenge Pettis for the title shot at UFC® 185 in Dallas, Texas.
1. TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao
With bantamweight champion Renan Barao starting UFC® 173 as the 9 to 1 favorite, fans were stunned when the champion was dominated by dark horse, T.J. Dillashaw, or “Viper”.
Barao showed up to the bout with a 33-fight winning streak and a second place ranking in pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC®, making Dillashaw the obvious underdog.
From the moment “Viper” stepped into the Octagon™, he did not stop moving. Throughout the entire five rounds, he never lost momentum and continued to chip away at Barao, stike by strike and kick by kick.
After five rounds of dominating the bantamweight champion, Dillashow knocked Barao out with a powerful head-kick and a series of punches in the fifth round, taking the bantamweight champion’s title.
To figure out whether or not Barao’s loss was a fluke and to give him a chance to redeem himself, a rematch has been scheduled for UFC® 186 in Montreal between him and the new featherweight champion on April 25.
Don’t Miss These One-Time Underdog’s Climb to the Top!
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