The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday brought UFC 230 “Cormier vs. Lewis” to Madison Square Garden in New York. Although the majority of betting favorites came through, the event did feature a number of notable upsets. Here are the five fighters who shrugged off the oddsmakers in this edition of Beating the Books:
Jared Cannonier (+265)
The biggest statistical upset of UFC 230 took place on the main card, as Cannonier brutally knocked out David Branch in his middleweight debut. Cannonier had an up-and-down run in the UFC in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions but looked at home in his first fight at 185 pounds, where he managed to take out a Top-10 ranked fighter in devastating fashion. Cannonier cashed out at a huge +265 number.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (+140)
The most significant upset took place in the co-main event, as Souza cut down Chris Weidman in the third round of a potential middleweight title eliminator. The fight was extremely close until the finish, with both men exchanging hard blows in the first two rounds. However, Souza landed the deciding shot late in the third and recorded a massive win in the process. The odds on Souza winning the biggest fight of his career were +140 -- great odds in what seemed like a pick-’em fight.
Jordan Rinaldi (+250)
In one of the more surprising results from MSG, Rinaldi won a lopsided decision over Jason Knight on the undercard. Rinaldi looked fantastic in his featherweight debut, using his size advantage to take down Knight, hold him on the ground and score points to win rounds. Rinaldi failed to net the stoppage, even though he had back control several times, but still won a clean decision. The odds on Rinaldi pulling off the upset were +250, a number that in hindsight was good value when considering Knight entered the cage on a three-fight losing streak.
Sheymon Moraes (+215)
In the bloodiest fight of UFC 230, Moraes outstruck Julio Arce and avoided his submission attempts to edge out a split decision. Moraes dropped Arce early in the fight but could not finish and had his back taken near the end of the first round. Arce failed in his bid to secure a choke, and Moraes managed to outstrike and outrapple him to a close decision. Moraes closed at +215.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+150)
The first fight on the card ended in upset fashion, as de Lima bested Adam Wieczorek for a unanimous decision. De Lima managed to take down Wieczorek when necessary, and he outstruck him on the feet to make sure the rounds were his. All of the de Lima’s other bouts in the UFC ended by stoppage, and this was the first time since 2010 that he won a fight by decision. Despite Wieczorek taking the fight on short notice, de Lima closed as a +150 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 “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.