The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday staged its debut event in Wichita, Kansas, and UFC Fight Night 146 featured a number of bouts that ended in upset fashion. Five underdogs emerged victorious on the 13-fight card, and they provide the subject matter for this installment of Beating the Books.
Maurice Greene (+215)
According to the betting odds, the biggest underdog on the card to come through with a win was Greene, who eked out a close split decision over Jeff Hughes in a heavyweight prelim. This was actually a rematch, as they had previously fought in the Legacy Fighting Alliance, with Hughes winning a five-round decision. Hughes pitched a shutout in their first encounter, but he struggled to find his groove in the rematch, allowing Greene to win a close decision with his superior striking. “The Crochet Boss” cashed out as a +215 underdog.
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+100)
The co-main event resulted in a mini upset, as Zaleski dos Santos submitted Curtis Millender in an important showdown between rising welterweight contenders. In his previous UFC outings, Zaleski dos Santos had only utilized his standup, so to see him take Millender to the ground and finish him there was a strong sign moving forward. Armed with a seven-fight winning streak in the UFC, Zaleski dos Santos appears to be in position for a Top 10 opponent. He scored as a +100 underdog.
Niko Price (+175)
One of the most exciting fights on the card saw rising welterweight Price knock out veteran Tim Means with a vicious right hook and follow-up ground-and-pound. It was a back-and-forth battle while it lasted, which was just under a full round of fighting. Price took advantage of Means leaving his chin exposed to catch him and pick up the most significant victory of his career to date. “The Hybrid” was victorious as a +175 underdog.
Blagoy Ivanov (+100)
In a controversial heavyweight confrontation, Ivanov took a unanimous decision from Ben Rothwell. All three judges on the live Sherdog play-by-play scored the fight in Rothwell’s favor, and it seemed like the general sentiment on social media was that “Big Ben” deserved to get his hand raised. Seeing Ivanov walk away the victor was a surprise. Regardless, the Bulgarian was a winner at the sportsbooks as a +100 underdog.
Matt Schnell (+110)
In a bantamweight pairing buried deep on the prelims, Schnell upped his winning streak in the UFC to three with a spectacular triangle choke submission of Louis Smolka. Schnell’s two previous victories inside the Octagon came by narrow decisions, so to see him net a finish was quite impressive. Perhaps the UFC has found another gem in its increasingly stacked 135-pound division. “Danger” 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.