After UFC 236 on April 13 featured five upsets, UFC Fight Night 149 saw more betting favorites come through with victories, as just three underdogs had their hands raised on the 11-fight card on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Russia. The three fighters who pulled off the upset supply the nuts and bolts for this installment of Beating the Books.
Roxanne Modafferi (+270)
Modafferi pulled off the biggest upset on the card, as she was awarded a split decision over the previously unbeaten Antonina Shevchenko in their women’s flyweight showcase. Although Shevchenko enjoyed quite a bit of success on the feet during the bout, Modafferi walked through her strikes, turned it into a grappling-heavy affair and took advantage. Modafferi managed to complete takedowns when she needed to avoid danger on the feet and won most of the grappling exchanges on the ground, currying favor with two of the three cageside judges. The odds on Modafferi to pull off the upset were +270.
Shamil Abdurakhimov (+115)
Abdurakhimov put together arguably his best performance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship to date, as he brutally knocked out Marcin Tybura with punches in the second round of their preliminary heavyweight affair. Abdurakhimov’s boxing looked sharp early and allowed him to win the first round. That proved to be the story of the fight. Tybura failed to make the necessary adjustments in Round 2, as Abdurakhimov punished him with strikes until the former M-1 Global champion could withstand no more, prompting a referee stoppage. Abdurakhimov was a +115 underdog.
Magomed Mustafaev (+120)
Mustafaev registered a beautiful first-round knockout over Rafael Fiziev on the undercard, as the twice-beaten lightweight made a successful return to the Octagon following a long layoff. In fact, Mustafaev had not competed since his November 2016 submission loss to Kevin Lee. However, he looked better than ever against Fiziev, as he ended the fight with a vicious spinning back kick and follow-up punches. The kick was partially blocked but was powerful enough to daze Fiziev through his guard. The win moved Mustafaev to 15-2 overall and 3-1 in the UFC. The odds on his springing the upset were +120.
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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