Who doesn’t love a good upset?
In 2020, MMA saw its fair share of underdogs who defied the odds – in the UFC, Bellator, and beyond. While everyone has an opinion of who should win and who should lose, the oddsmakers largely get the final say on what history reflects.
This year, with the help of MMA database Tapology, MMA Junkie has compiled the top 10 betting upsets of 2020. Fights that were eligible were those which numerous major online sports books recognized, and which Tapology recorded prior to line close.
Check out the top 10 MMA betting upsets of 2020 below, per Tapology:
Julian Erosa (+350) def. Sean Woodson (-500) | UFC on ESPN 12
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Full result: Julian Erosa def. Sean Woodson via submission (D'Arce choke) – Round 3, 2:44 Not many fighters get one stint in the UFC – nevermind three. At UFC on ESPN 12, [autotag]Julian Erosa[/autotag] not only defied the odds by stepping into the cage for his third UFC stint – he won in emphatic fashion. After looking good on the feet, Erosa and opponent Sean Woodson hit the mat where "Juicy J" pulled off a slick D'Arce choke submission.
Billy Goff (+405) def. Robson Gracie Jr. (-525) | Bellator 254
Full result: Billy Goff def. Robson Gracie Jr. via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:46 [autotag]Billy Goff[/autotag] was scheduled to fight Robson Gracie Jr. twice before it finally came to fruition. The third time was the charm as Goff pummeled Robson Gracie Jr. en route to a brutal standing TKO. After the win, Goff expressed his interest in sticking around with Bellator, though he was expected to go back to his day job the next morning.
Marius Zaromskis (+410) def. Andrzej Grzebyk (-565) | KSW 56
Full result: Marius Zaromskis def. Andrzej Grzebyk via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 4:58 [autotag]Marius Zaromskis[/autotag] has been around, having competed for a handful of notable promotions over the span of his 20-year professional MMA career. That said, when he entered KSW 56, the odds were in Andzej Grzebyk's favor. An injury ended the fight late in the first round, but a win is a win. Zaromskis, 40, has won two in a row.
Sasha Palatnikov (+445) def. Louis Cosce (-600) | UFC 255
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Full result: Sasha Palatnikov def. Louis Cosce via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:27 [autotag]Sasha Palatnikov[/autotag] entered his UFC debut with only five wins to his name, but showed he's a fighter more advanced than his record indicated. Against highly touted Dana White's Contender Series signee Louis Cosce, Palatnikov weathered his opponent's attack for the first two rounds. In Round 3, Palatnikov showed great cardio and focus as he finished Cosce with punches.
Trevor Gudde (+455) def. Khonry Gracie (-655) | Bellator 252
Full result: Trevor Gudde def. Khonry Gracie via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 3:28 If being a 6'6" welterweight didn't turn heads initially, [autotag]Trevor Gudde[/autotag] caught Bellator fans' attention when he wrecked Khonry Gracie in his promotional debut. At Bellator 252, Gudde finished Gracie with a violent knee and series of punches. The finish left a stunned Gracie in need of repairs and his mouth and jaw covered in blood.
Yutaka Saito (+450) def. Mikuru Asakura (-715) | RIZIN 25
Full result: Yutaka Saito def. Mikuru Asakura via unanimous decision Mikuru Asakura was all the rage entering RIZIN 25 but met an unexpectedly stiff test in [autotag]Yutaka Saito[/autotag]. Despite being a heavy underdog, Saito did enough over the course of three rounds to get a unanimous decision nod.
John de Jesus (+450) def. Valdyslav Parubchenko (-750) | Bellator 244
Full result: John de Jesus def. Vladyslav Parubchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) [autotag]John de Jesus[/autotag] played the role of spoiler in his Bellator debut when he defeated highly touted newcomer Vladyslav Parubchenko at Bellator 244. The unanimous decision win set de Jesus for a major fight against Bellator star Aaron Pico later in the year.
Timothy Johnson (+540) def. Tyrell Fortune (-800) | Bellator 239
Full result: Timothy Johnson def. Tyrell Fortune via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:35 The biggest knockout of the year in Bellator took place in the heavyweight division. Timothy Johnson entered Bellator 239 at 0-2 in the promotion since jumping over from the UFC. However, he punched his way to his first Bellator win in emphatic fashion when he violently knocked out then-undefeated prospect Tyrell Fortune in Round 1.
Roxanne Modafferi (+525) def. Maycee Barber (-850) | UFC 246
(Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)
Full result: Roxanne Modafferi def. Maycee Barber via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) Entering 2020, Maycee Barber was circled on many people's list of future UFC stars. At UFC 246, [autotag]Roxanne Modafferi[/autotag] delayed Barber's ascent up the divisional rankings with a one-sided beatdown unanimous decision win. Barber injured her knee in the fight and has not competed since. Meanwhile, "The Happy Warrior" proved she still has it after all these years.
Shana Dobson (+950) def. Mariya Agapova (-1400) | UFC on ESPN 15
Shana Dobson (UFC/Getty Images)
Full result: Shana Dobson def. Mariya Agapova via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:38 Not only did [autotag]Shana Dobson[/autotag] score 2020's biggest MMA betting upset, it was the fifth-biggest ever. Entering the fight sub-.500, Dobson took it to surging prosepct Mariya Agapova. When the fight hit the mat, Dobson finished the fight with strikes. The win snapped a three-fight losing skid for the 31-year-old flyweight.