The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday made its debut in Rochester, New York, and UFC Fight Night 152 turned out to be one of the more memorable events of 2019 thus far. Despite lacking star power, the show was littered with impressive performances and surprising upsets. In fact, six underdogs on the 13-fight card walked out of the cage with their hand raised. They are front and center in this installment of Beating the Books.
Rafael dos Anjos (+130)
The main event resulted in one of those aforementioned upsets, as dos Anjos submitted Kevin Lee with a fourth-round arm-triangle choke. It was a grueling, grappling-heavy affair that exhausted both men, but the Brazilian got his second wind late in the fight, exploited the fatigued Lee and finished him in impressive fashion. Dos Anjos scored as a +130 underdog.
Ian Heinisch (+140)
The co-headliner also gave rise to a victorious underdog, as Heinisch managed to outlast Antonio Carlos Jr. and take home a unanimous verdict. Carlos Jr. appeared to be in control of the contest when he dominated the ground exchanges in the first round. However, he tired as the fight deepened, and Heinisch leaned on his superior conditioning to secure the decision. Heinisch was a +140 underdog.
Felicia Spencer (+180)
In a pivotal women’s featherweight clash, Spencer steamrolled Megan Anderson on the mat and finished her with a rear-naked choke in the first round. Spencer, a former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder, is now a perfect 7-0 as a pro, with five wins by stoppage. In a division that sorely needs new contenders, she may find herself fighting for UFC gold sooner rather than later. Spencer closed as a +180 underdog.
Michel Pereira (+210)
In a welterweight encounter that ended early in the first round, Pereira connected flush on a flying knee and then landed a brutal straight right to knock out Danny Roberts. Anyone who has seen tape on Pereira knows him as something of a wildman, and he certainly did not disappoint in his UFC debut. Pereira cashed as a +210 underdog.
Ed Herman (+220)
In a light heavyweight tilt between seasoned veterans, Herman managed to catch Patrick Cummins on the chin with a knee and then finished him off with ground-and-pound for his first win since 2016, perhaps saving his spot on the UFC roster in the process. The lone remaining graduate of Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter” still in the UFC, Herman snapped a three-fight losing skid and did so as a +220 underdog.
Zak Cummings (+170)
In a preliminary welterweight battle, Cummings showed improved striking and bested Trevin Giles on the feet, knocking him down late in the third round with a crushing overhand left before dispatching him with a guillotine choke. It was the second straight win inside the Octagon for Cummings, who closed as a +170 underdog.
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.