Fans prefer to see an underdog story in which a dark horse defeats a strong UFC betting favorite opponent. This then makes an unexpected upset, which is one of the most exciting moments in sports. During UFC fight nights, fans often have an idea on who is going to win, but the UFC are good at interesting matchups.
These kinds of events have happened before in the UFC. They are moments that live on in the hearts and minds of the audience. It’s not everyday you see an underdog take on and beat a champion. Even the most seasoned champions only need to be hit once in the right place which makes them go down.
Read on to learn some of the greatest UFC upsets in the sports history, where the underdogs have become the champion.
Ronda Rousey Vs Holly Holm
Prior to facing the unbeaten Holly Holm in November 2015, Ronda Rousey was dominating the women’s bantamweight field during her reign as champion. Holm carried out the ideal game plan by preventing takedown attempts on Rousey and counter-punching the champion by taking advantage of her reach.
This strategy ultimately led to Holm’s picture-perfect head kick to Rousey’s chin, which put her to the ground. This was followed by ground blows that caused the referee to call time in favor of Holm.
George St-Pierre Vs Matt Serra
When Georges St-Pierre and Matt Serra faced off in the 2007 UFC 69 championship, St-Pierre was expected to win with ease. Serra, however, had other ideas, as he defeated St-Pierre through a first-round TKO. He claimed the title of undisputed UFC Welterweight Champion.
The ”Terror,” a significant underdog entering the fight, punched St-Pierre in the head with a right hand, causing the champion to stumble. Serra backed it up with a flurry of blows that St-Pierre was unable to return.
This forced the referee to stop the fight and name Serra the new king of welterweights. Serra’s victory in 2007 will go down in UFC history as one of the greatest surprises.
Amanda Nunes Vs Julianna Pena
The most recent surprise victory in UFC history came from Julianna Pena. She defeated Amanda Nunes via second-round submission during the main event of UFC 269 in December 2021. Pena defeated Nunes to capture the title of undisputed UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, ending Nunes’ 12-fight winning streak that began in 2015.
From the first bell, the “Venezuelan Vixen” applied pressure on the champion, forcing her to retreat in order to fend off any strong attacks from Nunes. This strategy paid off because Pena was successful in taking down her clearly exhausted opponent, and securing in the choke submission which then forced Nunes to tap out.
Keep an eye on the latest UFC odds at FanDuel, to see if any other underdogs have a good chance at causing a new UFC upset, and becoming a champion.
Anderson Silva Vs Chris Weidman
In July 2013, Chris Weidman stunned many fans by knocking out Anderson Silva in the second round. This stopped Silva in his tracks before he could become the greatest champion in UFC history.
The opening round was controlled by Silva, who even made fun of Weidman for not staying in constant contact with him. The ”Spider” persisted in his taunt, which is also why he was struck with a left hook punch from the ”All-American” when Silva spotted an opportunity.
Weidman finished the fight with an abundance of blows that made him the new UFC Middleweight Champion. This then signaled the beginning of the end for Silva.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk Vs Rose Namajunas
In their 2017 title matchup, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a strong favorite to easily defeat Rose Namajunas and win her 15th consecutive victory and 6th title defense. With a record of 6 victories and 3 losses going into the match, Namajunas had further reasons to be considered the underdog.
Namajunas landed a short left punch which immediately disoriented and sent Jedrzejczyk to the ground. This then ensured that she would go down in history as the champion slayer. As the referee intervened to officially end the match, “Thug” continued to deliver stronger punches to the ground, forcing the champion to tap and end the fight.
Five months later, Rose Namajunas defeated Joana Jedrzejczyk again by unanimous decision, demonstrating that her earlier triumph was no accident.
UFC is a well-loved sport, which fans enjoy to watch. The matchup between players is always interesting to watch, as you can’t always be certain on what the result is going to be. Many times an underdog has entered the ring and executed their plan perfectly to take down the champion.
These games are true highlights to watch, and they last in the memories of fans forever. Even recently there have been many UFC upsets, which fans never saw coming, as underdogs took the championship from high profile players that had been doing so well.
We hope this article has been interesting. Now you know some of the greatest UFC upsets that have happened in recent years. In all of these games the underdog has come through to become the champion.