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It comes as little surprise that a card featuring as many upsets as UFC on ESPN 1 also saw a number of profitable prob bets cash at the sportsbooks. Here are the six best examples from the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Phoenix on Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena:
Emily Whitmire Wins in Round 1 (+1050)
No one could have predicted before the event that Whitmire would be the fighter who turned in the most profitable prop bets, but that is exactly what happened. Whitmire needed just 61 seconds to finish Aleksandra Albu and set the record for fastest finish in UFC women’s strawweight history with a rear-naked choke. The prop on Whitmire winning by submission cashed at +660, which was crazy enough, but the most insane prop was Whitmire winning in the first round, which cashed at +1050 odds.
Vicente Luque Wins in Round 3 (+975)
The best fight of the night saw Luque and Bryan Barberena go to war for nearly three full rounds before the Brazilian scored a brutal knockout with knees and punches with just six seconds left in the third round. Despite being a large betting favorite to win, Luque was actually down on the judges’ scorecards before the finish, making it even more special. Both men were rewarded with $50,000 bonuses for “Fight of the Night,” and bettors who took the prop on Luque winning in the third round were also rewarded. That prop cashed at massive +975 odds.
Luke Sanders Wins in Round 2 (+700)
After losing the first round to Renan Barao, Sanders came on strong in the second and picked up the biggest win of his MMA career to date. Sanders landed a straight left down the pipe right on the chin to put his opponent down and out and perhaps save his spot on the UFC roster in the process. The prop on Sanders winning by knockout cashed at +335 odds, and the prop on his winning in the second round hit at +700.
Paul Felder Wins by Decision (+400)
The co-main event saw Felder take home a hard-earned decision over James Vick. Felder’s striking technique proved to be superior, as he thrived in his role as the underdog. The prop on Felder winning a decision cashed at +400. In hindsight, this was a gift from the sportsbooks and a prop that almost everyone seemed to overlook.
Francis Ngannou Wins in Round 1 (+225)
Ngannou needed just 26 seconds to finish two-time heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez due to a combination of punches and an apparent knee injury. The prop on Ngannou winning in the first round cashed at +225 odds. If you were going to take Ngannou in this fight, his winning in the first round was always going to be the likeliest outcome.
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 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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