When it comes to sports betting, the UFC is one of the most exciting and unpredictable sports to wager on. With a wide range of weight classes, fighters with different fighting styles, and constantly evolving rules, it’s not always easy to predict the outcome of a fight. In this article, we’ll take a look at the biggest UFC upsets in betting history and what we can learn from them.
UFC Betting Upsets
Betting underdogs in the UFC win approximately 30-40% of the time. However, it is important to note that not all underdogs are the same, and the chances of an underdog winning can vary based on various factors such as their skill level, fighting style, and previous performances. For more ways to bet on UFC fights, check out our how to bet on MMA guide. We’ve also got a top-rated list of UFC betting apps for bonuses come fight night!
In the UFC, upsets can and do happen frequently, as any fighter has the potential to win on any given day. Fighters who are perceived as underdogs can sometimes use that perception to their advantage and come out with unexpected victories.
Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69
The first upset on our list happened at UFC 69 when Matt Serra, a huge underdog, defeated Georges St-Pierre, one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. Serra was a +800 underdog, meaning a $100 bet would have won $800 if he won. Serra won the fight by TKO in the first round, shocking the UFC world.
One of the biggest lessons we can learn from betting on UFC underdogs is to never underestimate them. Anything can happen in the UFC, and sometimes the fighter with less hype can pull off a surprise win.
This was seen in the upset victory of Matt Serra over GSP at UFC 69, where Serra was a huge underdog at +800 odds, but he won the fight by TKO in the first round, shocking the UFC world. It’s essential to take into account a fighter’s skills and experience, rather than just their odds.
Key Takeaway: Don’t underestimate an underdog
Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey at UFC 193
At UFC 193, Ronda Rousey was considered one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. She was an overwhelming favorite over Holly Holm, a former professional boxer making her UFC debut. Holm was a +900 underdog, but she dominated the fight and won by knockout in the second round.
Another key takeaway from betting on UFC underdogs is to never write off a fighter because of their lack of UFC experience. A fighter with a unique skill set can still defeat a more experienced opponent.
This was demonstrated in the victory of Holly Holm over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, where Holm, a former professional boxer making her UFC debut, was a massive underdog at +900 odds. However, she dominated the fight and won by knockout in the second round, proving that her skill set could overcome Rousey’s experience.
Key Takeaway: Never write off a fighter because of their lack of UFC experience
TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao at UFC 173
Renan Barao was on a 32-fight win streak heading into his title defense against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 173. Barao was a -700 favorite, but Dillashaw stunned the world by dominating the fight and winning by TKO in the fifth round.
One of the most crucial lessons to learn from betting on UFC underdogs is that no one is invincible in the UFC. Even a fighter with a long winning streak can be defeated by a determined opponent.
This was seen in the upset victory of TJ Dillashaw over Renan Barao at UFC 173, where Barao was on a 32-fight win streak and a -700 favorite. However, Dillashaw dominated the fight and won by TKO in the fifth round, stunning the world.
Key Takeaway: No one is invincible in the UFC
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 196
At UFC 196, Conor McGregor was one of the biggest stars in the UFC and a heavy favorite over Nate Diaz. Diaz was a replacement for McGregor’s original opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, who had to pull out due to injury. Diaz was a +400 underdog, but he submitted McGregor in the second round.
Another takeaway from betting on UFC underdogs is always to be prepared for the unexpected. Injuries and last-minute replacements can completely change the dynamics of a fight.
This was seen in the victory of Nate Diaz over Conor McGregor at UFC 196, where Diaz was a replacement for McGregor’s original opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, who had to pull out due to injury. Diaz was a +400 underdog, but he submitted McGregor in the second round, proving that fighters who step up to the plate can still come out on top.
Key Takeaway: Always be prepared for the unexpected
Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217
Joanna Jedrzejczyk was undefeated in the UFC and considered one of the best female fighters of all time heading into her title defense against Rose Namajunas at UFC 217. Jedrzejczyk was a -600 favorite, but Namajunas dominated the fight and won by knockout in the first round.
Another important lesson from betting on UFC underdogs is that a fighter’s record doesn’t always tell the whole story. A less experienced fighter can still defeat a more established opponent with the right strategy and skillset.
This was seen in the victory of Rose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217, where Jedrzejczyk was undefeated in the UFC and a -600 favorite. However, Namajunas dominated the fight and won by knockout in the first round, proving that fighters who are less experienced can still win with the right skills.
Key Takeaway: A fighter’s record doesn’t always tell the whole story
Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold at UFC 199
During UFC 199, Luke Rockhold held the middleweight championship title and was widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters globally. Due to an injury, Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from the fight, and Michael Bisping was a last-minute replacement.
Despite being a +550 underdog, Bisping secured a knockout victory over Rockhold in the first round, causing a significant upset and becoming the new UFC middleweight champion.
Finally, a crucial takeaway from betting on UFC underdogs is that late replacements can still win. Sometimes, a fighter who is brought in as a late replacement can still pull off a win, even if they are a significant underdog.
Key Takeaway: Late replacements can still win
UFC Betting Upsets
What are UFC betting upsets?
UFC betting upsets occur when an underdog fighter wins a fight, causing an unexpected outcome for bettors who placed wagers on the favorite fighter. Upsets are a common occurrence in the UFC and can result in significant payouts for bettors who correctly predict them.
How can I identify a potential UFC betting upset?
There are several factors to consider when identifying a potential UFC upset, such as the fighters’ records, styles, and previous performances. It’s also important to consider external factors such as injuries, training camps, and weight cuts. Conducting thorough research and staying up-to-date on the latest news and trends in the sport can also help identify potential upsets.
What are some of the biggest UFC betting upsets in history?
Some of the biggest UFC betting upsets in history include Matt Serra’s victory over Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69, Holly Holm’s victory over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, and Chris Weidman’s victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 162.
How can I manage my risks when betting on UFC upsets?
Managing your risks when betting on UFC upsets involves a combination of strategies, such as avoiding high-risk bets, setting a budget and sticking to it, and conducting thorough research before placing any wagers. It’s also important to have a solid understanding of the odds and to never bet more than you can afford to lose.
What are some tips for betting on UFC upsets?
Some tips for betting on UFC upsets include looking for fighters who have a history of winning as underdogs, identifying fighters who have a stylistic advantage over their opponents, and looking for fights where there is a significant skill gap between the fighters. It’s also important to consider external factors such as injuries and the fighters’ training camps.