MMA is arguably the most unpredictable sport in the world, as one perfectly timed punch is all it takes to upset the established order. Over the years, we have seen empires fall, and fighters who otherwise looked invincible lay flat on the canvas with their consciousness separated from them. Today, we will take a look at the 5 biggest upsets in UFC history.
Ronda Rousey vs Holly Holm
Ronda Rousey was the most popular MMA athlete in the first half of the past decade, as she took the combat sports world by storm. Rousey, a former Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight champion fought Holm as a 12-0 MMA phenom, with 11 first-round finishes, nine via an armbar. The UFC’s arm collector was a -1500 favorite against Holm, who was a massive +1200 underdog at UFC 193.
Holm was supposed to be just another day at the office for Rousey, but the former boxing world champion turned the world upside down by brutally knocking out Rousey in the second round. The defeat certainly had a major impact on Rousey’s career, who fought only once after that, against Amanda Nunes, and it didn’t end well either.
Georges St-Pierre vs Matt Serra 1
Matt Serra knocking Georges St-Pierre out is probably on par with Rousey vs Holm as the biggest upset in UFC history. Serra challenged GSP for the welterweight title at UFC 69. Nobody was giving the American wrestling ace, who was a huge +825 underdog, much of a chance given the massive disparity in the skillset of the two men.
Against all odds, however, Serra clipped St-Pierre in the first round before pouncing on him with additional shots, finishing the job with nearly two minutes to spare. GSP took his revenge at UFC 83, finishing Serra in the second round to win the welterweight title.
Luke Rockhold vs Michael Bisping 2
Michael Bisping stepped in on two weeks’ notice to replace Chris Weidman and challenge Luke Rockhold for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 199. The Brit was a +530 underdog, and not many people were giving him a chance.
Bisping clipped Rockhold with a clean left hand and followed through with additional punches as the reigning champion backpedaled and crashed onto the canvas. Many consider Bisping’s win over Rockhold to be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, as he stepped in on short notice to face a man who had already submitted him 18 months before their rematch.
Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis
Derrick Lewis is the king of upsets. He’s beaten several big names in the UFC, such as Francis Ngannou and Alexander Volkov, being the underdog. However, his recent knockout win over Curtis Blaydes is considered one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
Lewis fought Blaydes at UFC Vegas 19 as a +320 underdog. Many thought Blaydes’ wrestling and pressure would be too much to handle for ‘The Black Beast’, who isn’t the greatest of grapplers by any means. While Blaydes was unable to take Lewis down, he was out striking Lewis on the feet until he landed a vicious uppercut on Blaydes as he shot for a takedown. Blaydes was out as soon as the punch landed.
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) February 21, 2021
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas
Much like her idol Rousey, Jedrzejczyk was a dominant world champion, until she crossed paths with her kryptonite in Rose Namajunas. The Pole put her strawweight title on the line against Namajunas, who was a +320 underdog, at UFC 217.
Despite all the vicious trash-talking pre-fight, Namajunas kept her cool and did her talking inside the Octagon, where she hurt Jedrzejczyk early in the first round. Joanna was able to survive the first wave of Namajunas’ brutal punches, but minutes later, she was dropped again and finished with a flurry of strikes.
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