UFC on Fox 31 on Saturday in Milwaukee -- the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s final event on the Fox network -- brought a slew of upsets to the Fiserv Forum. In fact, four underdogs picked up wins, and they are the subjects of this edition of Beating the Books.
Note: The light heavyweight clash between Adam Milstead and Mike Rodriguez closed at even odds, with both men entering the cage at -110. While not a true underdog, Rodriguez won via first-round technical knockout.
Al Iaquinta (+275)
The main event produced the show’s most significant upset, as Iaquinta took a close unanimous decision from Kevin Lee. Iaquinta had previously defeated Lee by unanimous decision back in 2014, but given Lee’s improvements and Iaquinta’s inactivity inside the Octagon, most figured “The Motown Phenom” would manage to win the rematch. That was not the case, as Iaquinta neutralized Lee’s wrestling, kept the fight on the feet and use his superior striking attack to author the upset. Iaquinta cashed at +275 odds.
Edson Barboza (-105)
In a potential frontrunner for “Beatdown of the Year,” Barboza put on striking clinic against Dan Hooker in the co-headliner -- a fight which the Brazilian won via third-round knockout. Looking back, it seems incredible that Hooker took so much damage and lasted as long as he did. Barboza completely outclassed the City Kickboxing star, landing brutal kicks and punches until Hooker finally broke late in the third round. Hooker deserves credit for the toughness he showed, but Barbosa was on another level despite closing as a -105 underdog.
Zak Ottow (+230)
In what can only be described as a controversial decision, Milwaukee native Ottow walked away with a narrow split decision over UFC newcomer Dwight Grant. It was a highly disappointing fight from an entertainment standpoint, as neither man offered much in terms of output. Still, most observers thought Grant did enough in the first two rounds to take home the win. However, the judges awarded Ottow on the scorecards, allowing him to cash as a +230 underdog.
Joaquim Silva (-105)
In a brilliant match that ended up winning “Fight of the Night” honors, Silva stormed back after being down two rounds and brutally knocked out Jared Gordon in the third round. Silva and Gordon exchanged heavy blows throughout their contest, with the latter getting the best of the exchanges in the first and second rounds. Round 3 was a different story, as Silva managed to lodge Gordon against the fence and land a series of brutal unanswered punches that resulted in a standing knockout. Silva cashed as a -105 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.