The unpredictability of the Ultimate Fighting Championship is what separates it out from many other popular sports on the planet. Other sports, be it soccer or baseball, can become easy to predict as the cream tends to rise to the top more often than not. In the UFC, though, all it takes is one flash knockout or a war in the Octagon to shock viewers of the sport. Over the years, we have seen plenty of upsets too.
Of course, not every UFC match-up is unpredictable. Every now and then, certain fighters take on easy opponents as they look to maintain their dominance at the top of a specific division and make a name for themselves on a global scale in the process. Even some upcoming bouts appear to be set in stone in terms of the result, with most fans of MMA betting clearly backing Jan Blachowicz at odds of 4/11 heading into the fight with Glover Teixeira.
Likewise, whenever the likes of Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya fight, they tend to reign supreme, and it almost appears as if it’s a foregone conclusion well before the ring walks take place. Thankfully, though, fighters with the same prestige as the likes of Usman and Adesanya have been on the receiving end of a shock defeat or two in the past, further highlighting the all-around unpredictable nature of the UFC.
With that in mind, below is a look at some of the biggest upsets the sport has seen.
Matt Serra vs Georges St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre is one of the biggest legends to grace the Octagon, but we had to kick things off with a horrific reminder for fans of the true great. Coming up against Matt Serra, his followers were expecting to see a typically stunning performance from St-Pierre as he cruised to victory and delighted his millions of fans in the process. What actually materialised, though, was probably the biggest upset in UFC history as Matt Serra came out on top and stunned GSP with a remarkable performance nobody saw coming.
Michael Bisping vs Luke Rockhold
Not many expected Michael Bisping to see off Luke Rockhold and become the UFC middleweight champion in the process, especially given the fact that the Englishman only had two weeks to prepare for the fight, but he did exactly that in one of the biggest shocks in UFC history. After losing to Rockhold 18 months before the second match-up between the two, Bisping clearly took a different approach to the fight and put on a truly amazing show, knocking out Rockhold in style as shocked fans watched on in their millions.
Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey was the undisputed star of the female fight scene, which is exactly why her defeat to Holly Holm was far from expected. Almost like MMA’s version of Mike Tyson against Buster Douglas, Holm knocked Rousey out in style to secure the title and prove to the world that the seemingly unstoppable Rousey was indeed beatable.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs Mirko Cro Cop
Mirko Cro Crop and his lethal kicks were expected to prove too strong for Gabriel Gonzaga, who ended up giving the Croatian fighter a taste of his own medicine with a perplexing head kick knockout that wowed audiences everywhere. Fans were in shock, commentators didn’t know what to say, and even Gabriel Gonzaga himself couldn’t quite believe what he’d just accomplished.
Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jędrzejczyk
Despite being picked by the vast majority to win the contest, Joanna Jędrzejczyk was dismantled by Rose Namajunas in one of the most memorable nights the UFC has ever seen. Namajunas announced her arrival onto the scene in style, that’s for sure.