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5/4/16: Top Five Unexpected Fight Results on UFC’s 2016 Schedule (Thus Far)
Every event and every fight holds the potential for the unexpected, and fans and pundits alike find themselves shocked or surprised by different potential outcomes as they come together. Today we take a look at some of the more recent close calls that have come together.
5. Miesha Tate chokes out Holly Holm (UFC 196): That Tate found a way to win wasn’t entirely shocking, but the fact that she choked Holm out in the fifth round of a fight she was losing certainly qualifies. With Holm having come off the upset over Ronda Rousey, most believed she’d get past Tate in order to secure that rematch for later in the year. Instead, Tate threw off the power balance in the division, and if she beats Amanda Nunes this summer she’s the one getting a rematch with Rousey. Crazy turn of events.
4. Michael Bisping survives, edges out Anderson Silva (UFC Fight Night 84): Not only did Michael Bisping score a decision win over the greatest middleweight fighter in UFC history, he did so after essentially getting knocked out midway through the fight. Surviving that flying knee and holding on late to win made this a strange fight, but a win is a win, and Bisping will take the biggest victory of his career by just about any means.
3. Stephen Thompson takes out former Champ Johny Hendricks (UFC Fight Night 82): Johny Hendricks had been on the road back to try regaining the Welterweight Title he lost to Robbie Lawler before Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson decimated him in February. Thompson had shown flashes of brilliance in past performances, but this blew all of those away, as he picked Hendricks apart and made quick work of him to move into contention himself in the UFC’s 170 lb. field.
2. Ben Rothwell submits Josh Barnett (UFC on Fox 18): Rothwell beating Barnett at this stage wasn’t the most shocking result in the world, but submitting a man who had never tapped out to a submission hold? That was pretty special. Rothwell failed to capitalize on the momentum he had out of this victory, but that he submitted one of the best submission fighters in the game was a fantastic highlight for him and one of the most surprising moments of the year.
1. Nate Diaz submits Conor McGregor (UFC 196): McGregor had been unstoppable at featherweight, and followed up on every bit of talk he’d said in the UFC to that point heading into UFC 196. He chose to fight Diaz as his replacement opponent when Rafael dos Anjos pulled out, and he beat Diaz up through the first seven minutes of that fight. Then Diaz turned the bout around on a dime with a well placed jab, and once he had McGregor hurt he never let up. Diaz’s scrappy turnaround win completely blew up the intended plans for the summer for the UFC, and it’s a victory that continues to have ramifications for all involved as the year continues.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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