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Uncaged: Some of the UFC’s biggest upsets

We’ve got the greatest 5 of the greatest shocks including Matt Serra’s win over GSP and Ryan Bader losing to Tito Ortiz.

Tito Ortiz celebrates beating Ryan Bader in 2011.
Tito Ortiz celebrates beating Ryan Bader in 2011.
Image: Eric Jamison/AP/Press Association Images

AS THE DUST settles on Chris Weidman’s astonishing KO of Anderson Silva last week it seems like the perfect time to look back on some of biggest upsets in UFC history.

From unproven newcomers beating wily old veterans to the unpredictability of one punch wonders we’ve got it all covered starting with a fight that strikes a chord with last week’s bout.

UFC 69 Matt Serra beats Georges St. Pierre

Chris Weidman has a good teacher when it comes to legend-killing as his coach Matt Serra holds arguably the biggest upset in the UFC of all time. Despite having won a series of TUF, Serra was a massive underdog when he was paired with the newly crowned welterweight champion GSP.

St. Pierre had just defeated the legend Matt Hughes, the man who had inflicted the only loss of GSP’s career at the time and while Serra had won the TUF via a split decision win over Chris Lytle he was given only a puncher’s chance. But sometimes in MMA that is all you need.

YouTube credit: Axl19

GSP went on to win the re-match and has held the belt ever since while Serra has recently retired from the sport unable to reach the heights of that first victory again.

UFC 112 Frankie Edgar beats BJ Penn

For a long time BJ Penn was seen as unbeatable at lightweight. His dalliances in other heavier divisions seemed to suggest that lightweight was the best home for Penn so when he was paired up with Frankie Edgar it seemed like his lightweight legacy would continue to grow.

Edgar was a worthy contender however, working his way up to a title shot with some tough victories over Sean Sherk and Matt Veach. Penn had finished his last four lightweight title defences before the judges were called upon but Edgar outworked Penn to claim his first UFC belt and subsequently beat BJ in the re-match, putting to bed the controversy from the first decision.

UFC 156 Antonio Silva beats Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem was the biggest star outside of the UFC and was unbeaten in five years. Antonio Silva matched him in stature but it was thought his biggest underdog victory had come against the formidable Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce back in 2011. His subsequent losses to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez seemed to back that up.

Overeem had already taken out former champ Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut and a win over “Bigfoot” would set the heavyweight division up nicely with a showdown against Cain Velasquez the prize.

An over-confident Overeem began to tire in the third round and was rocked with a big shot that seemed to take the whole audience by surprise and it was long before he was being held back by referee Herb Dean as he berated a semi-conscious Overeem on the ground who was struggling to work out what just happened.

YouTube credit: howard7777777

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UFC 71 Houston Alexander defeats Keith Jardine

Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine had just knocked out Forrest Griffin when he was paired with the relative new-comer Houston Alexander at UFC 71. It was Alexander’s promotional debut and he was viewed as being a little rough round the edges when it came to having a full MMA skill-set.

He had a decent stand up game but it was thought Jardine was far superior in most aspects and that he would simply have to take the fight to the mat to claim another victory. Unfortunately for Jardine he never got the chance to as Alexander unleashed a flurry of punches and knees that ended the fight 48 seconds into the first round.

UFC 132 Tito Ortiz defeats Ryan Bader

It had been five years and five fights since Tito Ortiz had tasted a UFC victory in his career and as he entered the bout against Ryan Bader it had all the feeling of a farewell about it. Given this, it was not predicted that it would be a fairy-tale ending for Ortiz, more a going out on his sword affair.

Bader had just lost against the all-conquering Jon Jones last time out and this fight was seen as the perfect way to start back up the divisional ladder once again. Ortiz locked on a guillotine after catching Bader with an uppercut and while he probably should have went out on that high, Ortiz put a lot of demons to bed with that unexpected win.

YouTube credit: Tito Ortiz

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About the author:

Brian Kirk

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