UFC Fight Night 148 on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, was one of the most upset-filled Ultimate Fighting Championship cards of 2019 thus far. Six of the 12 fights at Bridgestone Arena were won by underdogs, including a shocking knockout in the main event. Therein lies the material for this installment of Beating the Books.
Anthony Pettis (+345)
The headliner resulted in an early contender for “Knockout of the Year,” as Anthony Pettis floored Stephen Thompson with a Superman punch late in the second round in first UFC appearance as a welterweight. Thompson won the first round and the majority of the second with his point-fighting style, but Pettis reminded the MMA world why he calls himself “Showtime” when he brutally knocked out Thompson, becoming the first man to do so. The odds against Pettis winning were a robust +345, so he was easily the biggest underdog to win at the event.
Jussier da Silva (+150)
In what was a potential flyweight title eliminator, da Silva became the first man to defeat Deiveson Figueiredo, as he took home a clear unanimous decision after three rounds. Rather than stand and trade with his dangerous opponent, da Silva went to his bread-and-butter grappling, as he used takedowns to score points and carry the cards. Da Silva was a +150 underdog.
Bryce Mitchell (+130)
In what turned out to be the “Fight of the Night,” Mitchell walked away with a unanimous decision over Bobby Moffett in a featherweight prelim. Theirs was a high-paced fight that took place all over the cage, but when it mattered most, Mitchell managed to show his superiority. He put Moffett in a bad position on the mat late in the third round, and though he did not get the tapout, he had done enough to sway all three judges. Mitchell closed at +130.
Jennifer Maia (+125)
In another close fight, former Invicta Fighting Championships women’s flyweight titleholder Maia outstruck Alexis Davis to take home a competitive unanimous decision for her first UFC victory. Although Davis dominated her on the ground in Round 2, Maia won the striking exchanges in the first and third rounds, as she did enough in the judges’ eyes to pick up the decision. Maia closed as a +125 underdog.
Randa Markos (+135)
Perhaps one of the most surprising finishes saw Markos submit Angela Hill with an armbar in the first round of their women’s strawweight contest. The betting line for this fight was close, with most figuring it would be a competitive three-round decision either way. However, Markos did not mess around, took the fight to the mat early on in the first round and got a quick submission win by armbar. Markos closed at +135.
Jordan Espinosa (+110)
The opening bout saw UFC newcomer Espinosa squeak by fellow flyweight Eric Shelton for a narrow unanimous decision victory. The judges’ scorecards were without controversy, as many observers -- including two of the three Sherdog judges -- saw the bout in Shelton’s favor. However, the three judges who mattered all scored the fight for Espinosa, who cashed as a +110 dog.
Adam Martin is a mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2011. He is currently the lead odds analyst for Sherdog.com, as well as the lead staff writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Adam is also the co-host of “The Parting Shot Podcast” on iTunes. His favorite fight of all-time is Dan Henderson-Mauricio Rua, and he wishes Pride Fighting Championships never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter at @MMAdamMartin.
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