UFC on ESPN 4 was certainly not the most entertaining Ultimate Fighting Championship card of the year, as 10 of the 13 bouts -- including the first nine -- went the distance on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas. However, there were quite a few upsets. The five victorious underdogs provide the material for this installment of Beating the Books.”
Greg Hardy (-105)
The controversial American Top Team heavyweight managed to stuff an early Juan Adams takedown and unleash punches to the head until referee Dan Miragliotta was forced to wave off the fight. The match lasted only 45 seconds, as Hardy won quickly and easily against an overmatched opponent for the second consecutive outing. Despite the bout playing out in such lopsided fashion, Hardy actually closed as a -105 underdog.
Andrei Arlovski (+155)
One of the most surprising performances came courtesy of the 40-year-old Arlovski, who looked sharp and outstruck Ben Rothwell across three rounds to a unanimous decision. Arlovski’s boxing looked as crisp and fast as it has in years, as he picked apart Rothwell with punches and evaded much of the return fire in their rematch. Arlovski, who closed the book on a four-fight winless skid, entered the cage as a +155 underdog.
Raquel Pennington (+115)
Pennington took a split decision from Irene Aldana in a closely contested women’s bantamweight affair. Pennington managed to land the harder shots and attain superior positions on the ground late in the fight. All three judges scored it 29-28: Perry Hillin and Marcos Rosales for Pennington, Ruben Carrion for Aldana. Pennington closed as a +115 underdog.
Mario Bautista (+150)
Bautista’s three-round slugfest with Jin Soo Son resulted in “Fight of the Night” bonuses for both bantamweights, as they bit down on their mouthpieces and chucked bombs with little regard for their physical well-being. A +150 underdog, Bautista was awarded a unanimous decision and rebounded from his Jan. 19 submission defeat to Cory Sandhagen.
Felipe Dias Colares (+325)
A hard-fought bantamweight clash between Colares and Domingo Pilarte kicked off festivities at the AT&T Center. In a close decision that could have gone either way, Colares emerged with a split judgment at the end of 15 minutes. The Team Nogueira prospect was the biggest underdog on the card to cash at +325, as he halted Pilarte’s five-fight winning streak and spoiled his promotional debut.
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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