The Ultimate Fighting Championship celebrated its 25th anniversary with UFC Fight Night 139, which provided a fun night of mixed martial arts and delivered from top to bottom on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Everyone is talking about Yair Rodriguez’s crazy no-look elbow knockout of Chan Sung Jung in the main event, but that was not the only unexpected result from the Mile High City. The two underdogs who sprang upsets are the focus of this edition of Beating the Books.
Donald Cerrone (+170)
The most notable upset occurred in the co-main event, where Cerrone used an armbar to submit Mike Perry in the first round of their welterweight clash. Cerrone was a considerable underdog heading into this fight, as age, durability concerns and a rift with his old camp at Jackson-Wink MMA cast doubt on whether or not he could get the job done. On the other hand, Perry was the younger fighter, had proven himself a knockout artist and came into the fight with more momentum. You can see why he was favored to win, but the oddsmakers were wrong.
By springing the upset, Cerrone set UFC records for most victories and most finishes inside the Octagon. While “Cowboy” had lost four of his previous five fights, he made it known that he still had plenty left in the tank and admitted his infant son had given him new motivation with which to compete. It was Cerrone’s first submission win since 2016 and his first via armbar since he tapped Danny Castillo with the maneuver more than a decade ago in World Extreme Cagefighting. In hindsight, +170 proved to be great odds for an experienced and crafty veteran.
Michael Trizano (+145)
The other upset took place in a lightweight showcase, as Trizano outstruck and out-grappled Luis Pena to a split decision. Though Trizano won Season 27 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” many banked on Pena for the win, given his size advantage and the fact that he trains alongside UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at the American Kickboxing Academy. None of it mattered. In a close fight, Trizano showed himself to be the more well-rounded mixed martial artist, as he edged Pena in virtually every aspect of the fight. Pena has a bright future in the Octagon, and his personality and look figure to keep him popular with fans; however, Trizano’s ceiling may be higher than first thought. With a win over Pena on his resume, perhaps now the Team Tiger Schulmann representative will get the respect he deserves.
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 “Shogun” 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.
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