Mixed martial arts, as showcased by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is known for its unpredictability and the capacity for underdogs to rise to glory. In a sport where skill, strategy, and heart collide, upsets are a testament to the essence of MMA. Over the years, the UFC has witnessed several astonishing upsets that left fans and experts in awe. In this article, we'll delve into the top 5 biggest upsets in UFC history, moments that continue to define the sport.
1. Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre (UFC 69 - April 7, 2007)
The ultimate underdog story, Matt Serra was given little chance against the dominant welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre. Serra was a gritty fighter and winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show, but he was considered a significant underdog. In a shocking turn of events, Serra secured a first-round knockout to claim the welterweight title. This victory remains one of the most remarkable underdog stories in UFC history.
2. Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey (UFC 193 - November 15, 2015)
Ronda Rousey was an iconic figure in women's MMA, unbeaten and seemingly invincible. Holly Holm, a former boxing champion, entered the octagon as a considerable underdog. Holm's striking prowess proved to be the kryptonite for Rousey, as she knocked her out in the second round, dethroning the queen of the bantamweight division. Holm's victory reshaped women's MMA and reminded fans that no one is unbeatable.
3. Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman (UFC 162 - July 6, 2013)
Anderson Silva was hailed as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, with a unique, unorthodox style that had baffled his opponents. Chris Weidman, an undefeated contender, was considered a formidable opponent but still an underdog. In a shocking upset, Weidman knocked out Silva in the second round, ending Silva's dominant reign as the middleweight champion. This fight proved that even legends can fall.
4. T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barão (UFC 173 - May 24, 2014)
Renan Barão was on an extraordinary 32-fight unbeaten streak when he faced T.J. Dillashaw for the bantamweight title. Barão was regarded as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters globally, and Dillashaw was given little chance. However, Dillashaw displayed unparalleled skill and determination, dominating Barão for five rounds and winning the title via a fifth-round TKO. This upset showcased the ever-evolving talent pool in the UFC.
5. Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn (UFC 112 - April 10, 2010)
BJ Penn, a UFC legend and reigning lightweight champion, was expected to easily dispatch Frankie Edgar, a talented but less-heralded challenger. However, Edgar's speed, footwork, and relentless pace proved to be Penn's undoing. Edgar won a unanimous decision and claimed the lightweight title, marking one of the most surprising upsets in the division's history.
The UFC has a rich history filled with incredible stories of underdogs defying the odds and achieving greatness. The top 5 upsets mentioned in this article serve as timeless reminders that in the world of MMA, anything can happen. These moments of triumph for the underdogs, against all odds, epitomize the essence of the sport and continue to inspire fighters and fans alike. UFC's legacy is built on these moments, showcasing that true champions are forged in the fires of uncertainty.