The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 239 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
UFC 239 turned out to be an epic night of fights, one that featured a couple of big-time upsets unfold. Although nine favorites came through with the win, three notable underdogs turned in upsets. They are listed below in the UFC 239 edition of “Beating The Books.”
Jorge Masvidal (+180)
Although not the biggest underdog to win, the most notable upset to take place saw Masvidal absolutely paste Ben Askren with a vicious flying knee just five seconds into their important welterweight tilt. It was an astonishing knockout by Masvidal, who set the UFC record for fastest stoppage in the process. Masvidal has now won two straight fights by knockout over Askren and Darren Till, and he was a sizeable underdog in both fights. Well, no one will be counting him out any longer. With the win over Askren, Masvidal has arguably slotted into the role of No. 1 contender at 170 and he could find himself as the next opponent for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. This was the breakthrough performance Masvidal needed to cement his place as one of the elite welterweights in the sport, and it’s a knockout that will live on in UFC highlight reels for all of eternity. Masvidal closed as a +180 underdog for the win over Askren.
Jan Blachowicz (+220)
In light heavyweight action, Blachowicz welcomed Luke Rockhold to the light heavyweight division with a devastating second-round knockout. Many were counting Blachowicz out of this fight as Rockhold was a former UFC middleweight champion and Blachowicz has been mostly a gatekeeper in the light heavyweight division. But Blachowicz showed why there’s weight classes in this sport as he was able to tag Rockhold on the chin and put him away in brutal fashion early in the second round. It was such a bad knockout loss that UFC president Dana White is urging Rockhold to retire now that he’s lost three of his last four fights by KO. For Blachowicz, this is arguably the most notable win of his long and underrated career. Blachowicz closed as a +220 underdog.
Chance Rencountre (+435)
The biggest upset according to the odds took place on the Fight Pass portion of the card as unheralded Rencountre defeated rising welterweight prospect Ismail Naurdiev via unanimous decision. Not only did Rencountre get his hand raised, he did so with relative ease. After Naurdiev started off strong in the first round with his kicks, Rencountre realized the key to winning the fight was to take Naurdiev down to the mat and smother him. Although the first round was close, the second and third frames were all Rencountre. He was able to take Naurdiev down at will, pin him to the mat, beat him up, attempt submissions, and win his second straight fight in the UFC. It was a huge win for Rencountre and showed that he is not to be taken lightly going forward. One of the biggest underdogs on the entire card, Rencountre closed as at +435.
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.
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