UFC Underdog to Top Dog: Who’s Next?
If you’re someone who likes to bet on sports, the UFC is a great place to practice betting on underdogs. Because the sport is based on money line betting, it is usual to see underdogs go off with huge potential returns, and upsets are a crucial element of the game. But, of course, you can’t just gamble on all underdogs and expect to earn — it’s not that simple. There are some instances when finding a potentially lucrative underdog is significantly more likely than others.
The UFC does an excellent job of promoting its stars and making its best fighters appear impressive. So when those fighters meet, it’s not uncommon for them to start as heavy favourites. Many UFC bettors are casual fans, so they will base their decisions primarily on reputation, which means they will be drawn to the favourites. The underdog, on the other hand, isn’t always as outclassed as the odds would suggest.
Many UFC fans aren’t MMA fans in general, and many don’t watch the sport outside of UFC pay-per-view and broadcast events. Even though fewer and fewer top-level organizations are out there, there are still some excellent fighters working outside of the UFC. Unless they’re well marketed, a fighter entering the UFC for the first time will frequently receive little regard from bookmakers – especially if they are up against a UFC veteran. However, if you do your research, you may discover that the fighter is extremely impressive and capable of giving his opponent a tough fight on the most significant platform.
Looking for a fighter who is taking a significant step up in class is one of the easiest ways to locate an attractive underdog. When a fighter goes up against a much tougher level of opponent than he or she usually does, the public is unlikely to respect them – especially if the favourite is a well-known fighter. However, there are occasions when a fighter is ready to take that step forward in class and compete. For example, suppose the fighter has dominated his or her previous battles, has shown an improvement in form in each fight, or is a young fighter visibly developing physically. In these cases, he could be better than the opposition and appealing as an underdog.
Let’s turn our attention to a few of the fighters that have upset the odds this year.
Anthony Hernandez vs Rodolfo Viera
Rodolfo Vieira appeared to be on his way to an easy victory, but exhaustion set in, leading to an incredible comeback by Anthony Hernandez. The latter submitted the jiu-jitsu champion and handed Vieira his first MMA loss at UFC 258. Hernandez was the card’s most significant underdog, with odds of 30-to-1. Viera dominated with top pressure in the first seconds of the bout, coming close to landing a choke and an armbar and maintaining control as the action went against the cage.
Vieira was stunned after Hernandez hammered him in the opening round, with Viera’s punches seeming weak and unconvincing. Hernandez tried unsuccessfully for a choke, but even though it didn’t work, he managed to thwart Vieira’s takedown attempt with ease. As the second round began, Vieira had next to no energy left. Hernandez quickly brushed him off even as he countered a flying knee attempt and gained the upper hand. The fight came to a surprising conclusion when Hernandez grabbed Vieira in a guillotine and forced a tap.
Beneil Dariush vs Tony Ferguson
Beneil Dariush won his sixth consecutive fight in the UFC 262 co-main event, shutting down the former UFC interim champion Tony Ferguson in three rounds. Dariush, who is now 21-4-1, received 30-27 scores across the board. Ferguson, ranked No. 5, has dropped three in a row and is now 26-6. Dariush put the pressure on Ferguson right on, and in the second minute, after hitting many strikes, he took the fight to the mat. Both fighters stayed busy there, but the judges preferred Dariush’s dominance throughout the first round.
As round two began, Ferguson attempted a D’Arce choke, but El Cucuy was forced to relinquish the hold, allowing Dariush to resume his ground onslaught from the top position. Ferguson was caught in a scramble with two minutes left as Dariush went for a heel hook, but he was able to get loose. Dariush’s lead was growing, placing Ferguson in a situation where a third-round finish was required to win. Instead, Dariush’s slam knocked Ferguson out for the second round, and the surging contender wasn’t going to let him get back up. And he didn’t, since Dariush regained control of the situation until the final horn rang.
Terrance McKinney vs Matt Frevola
Terrance McKinney had a sensational short-notice debut in the Octagon eight days after an LFA victory, scoring the fourth-fastest finish in UFC history with a seven-second finish of Matt Frevola. As soon as the two lightweights were thrown into the ring, they exchanged gloves, and McKinney landed a quick 1-2 to knock Frevola out.
At 0:07 of the first round, the follow-up bombardment brought in referee Jason Herzog, who stopped the bout, making it the fastest finish in UFC lightweight history.