UFC Fight Night 153 on Saturday in Stockholm was full of upsets, a fact that sent shockwaves through more than one Ultimate Fighting Championship division. Five underdogs on the 12-fight card at the Ericsson Globe emerged victorious. They supply the material for this installment of Beating the Books.
Anthony Smith (+260)
In the main event, Smith picked up the most significant win of his career when he submitted Alexander Gustafsson with a fourth-round rear-naked choke. The fight remained competitive up until the finish, as Smith managed to find a hole in Gustafsson’s game and cinch the choke, retiring the Swede in the process. Smith, now 4-1 in the UFC as a light heavyweight, closed as a +260 underdog.
Christos Giagos (+145)
Giagos took a unanimous decision from Damir Hadzovic in a lightweight feature, as he posted back-to-back wins in the UFC for the first time. Giagos fought smart and implemented a grappling-heavy attack to grind down and wear out Hadzovic on the mat. Although Giagos tired late and lost the third round, he did enough to secure the first two periods and walked away with a decision. Giagos closed as a +145 underdog.
Daniel Teymur (+110)
Teymur snapped his three-fight losing skid and picked up his first UFC win with a unanimous decision over Sung Bin Jo in a featherweight showcase. Teymur outstruck and outwrestled Jo, racking up enough points to take home a clear decision in his home country. It was a disappointing debut for the previously undefeated Jo, who could not get anything going in the 15 allotted minutes. Teymur closed at +110.
Lina Lansberg (+325)
Lansberg defeated former Invicta Fighting Championships bantamweight titleholder Tonya Evinger by unanimous decision in the biggest statistical upset at UFC Fight Night 153. Evinger’s game plan was to grind out Lansberg, and she enjoyed early success with her wall-and-stall tactics. However, Lansberg opened a nasty cut with an elbow strike midway through the first round and changed the complexion of the fight. From there, it was smooth sailing for the Swede. Lansberg was the biggest underdog on the card to cash at +325.
Joel Alvarez (-105)
Alvarez managed to pick up his first UFC victory in the opener, as he stopped Danilo Belluardo on a second-round technical knockout. Although Belluardo looked strong in the first round, he tired in the second. Alvarez capitalized, forced his opponent into a bad position on the mat and pounded away with punches until the referee jumped in and stopped the contest midway through the middle stanza. Alvarez closed as a -105 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.