A card that flew under the radar turned out to be one of the most exciting events of 2018, as UFC Fight Night 137 featured a “Fight of the Year” contender in the main event and 10 other fights that ended with a finish. For the most part, the favorites came through, but in three instances, the underdog managed to beat the odds and get the win. Below are the three underdogs who beat the books.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (+290)
The biggest upset of the night came when 42-year-old Nogueira turned back the clock and put on a boxing clinic against Sam Alvey in a light heavyweight showcase, coming through with the win as a +290 underdog. After outstriking Alvey and edging out the first round, Nogueira came out fast in the second and managed to catch “Smilin’ Sam” on the chin and finish him via TKO just a minute into Round 2. It was one of Nogueira’s most complete performances in the Octagon to date show that he is not done yet. He may not be a title contender anymore, but Nogueira is a tough gatekeeper, and the fact that he was able to knock out a younger fighter like Alvey -- who has an iron chin and thunder in his hands -- was extremely impressive. It was Nogueira’s first win since 2016 and marked Alvey’s first loss since his return to 205 pounds.
Andre Ewell (+170)
A number of fighters enjoyed brilliant Ultimate Fighting Championship debuts on this card, but perhaps the best of the bunch came courtesy of Ewell, a former CES MMA bantamweight champion who eked out a close split decision over onetime UFC bantamweight titleholder Renan Barao; it was the biggest win of his career thus far. Ewell cashed as a +170 underdog. He came into the UFC on a nice winning streak on the regional circuit and showed in the win over Barao that he is a legitimate talent at 135 pounds. Ewell certainly looks like someone with a bright future. As for Barao, the loss saw him drop to 1-5 over his last six fights. He is currently on a three-fight losing streak and looks like a shell of his former self. His decline has been nothing short of amazing and leaves his future in doubt.
Mayra Bueno Silva (+120)
The preliminary card saw mostly favorites come through, but the one underdog on the underdog who did get a win was Silva, who tapped Gillian Robertson with a first-round armbar in her UFC debut. With the win, Silva cashed as a +120 underdog for those who backed her. It was not an easy win at all, as Silva appeared to injure her leg near the end of the first round. It seems plausible the fight would have been stopped had it seen a second round, but Silva managed to pull off the submission with five seconds to spare. Silva made a strong first impression and kept her perfect record intact, while Robertson was undoubtedly disappointed in the result. She had won her first two UFC fights by submission.
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 vs. Shogun Rua and he wishes Pride never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.