The sports world loves an upset, nothing gets than fans more excited than an underdog story or a thrilling come from behind victory, and the fight game provides no shortage of crazy outcomes. Let’s run through our top 10 most shocking upsets in UFC history.
10 – Frankie Edgar VS BJ Penn 1
Frankie Edgar shocked the world when he defeated lightweight Champion BJ Penn at UFC 112. Penn had just defended his title for the third straight time and was a huge betting favourite leading into the fight.
Meanwhile, Edgar was relatively unknown and was only given a title shot due to a lack of other contenders at 155 pounds. But that fateful night in Abu Dhabi, Frankie Edgar announced himself to the world, beating up BJ Penn for five rounds and claiming the UFC lightweight title in the process.
9 – Gabriel Gonzaga VS Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ Filipovic
Filipovic was known for his terrifying left high kick and his equally terrifying catchphrase “right leg hospital, left leg cemetery.” So it was somewhat ironic when Gonzaga knocked out Filipovic with a powerful left high kick in their heavyweight title elimination bout.
8 – Michael Bisping VS Luke Rockhold 2
Luke Rockhold appeared to be on top of the word at the time, he had just defeated Chris Weidman in dominant fashion at UFC 194 and was scheduled to defend his title in an immediate rematch against the former champ at UFC 199, but Weidman would be forced to withdraw from the bout due to a cervical disc herniation and Michael Bisping would step in to face Rockhold on just 17 day notice.
Despite being soundly defeated in their first bout, Bisping capitalised on a lazy and overconfident Rockhold, catching the champ with a solid left hook in the first round and following it up with a barrage of punches that secured him the UFC middleweight championship.
After losing to Chuck Liddell for a second time at UFC 57, Randy Couture announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition, but one year later the Hall-of-Famer would return to the octagon to face Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 68.
Many thought Couture was crazy when it was announced he would face Tim Sylvia, he had not competed at heavyweight in over five years and would be giving up a huge size advantage. Sylvia weighed in more than forty pounds heavier than couture and possessed an eleven and a half inch reach advantage.
6 – BJ Penn VS Matt Hughes 1
At UFC 46 ‘The Prodigy’ would make his welterweight debut, squaring off against Matt Hughes for the 170-pound title. Critics claimed Penn was much too small for the welterweight division and that he would stand almost no chance against Hughes, but BJ proved them all wrong.
After catching Hughes early with some quick punches, Penn took the welterweight champ down and dominated him on the mat for almost five minutes. The Hawaiian native eventually submitted Hughes with just twenty-one seconds remaining in the first round, pulling off one of the most thrilling submission victories in UFC history.