Bloody Elbow 2016 Year-End MMA Awards – Biggest Upset

Over the next few days, Bloody Elbow is going to ask for your opinion on some of the best things that have happened in…

By: Tim Burke | 7 years ago
Bloody Elbow 2016 Year-End MMA Awards – Biggest Upset
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Over the next few days, Bloody Elbow is going to ask for your opinion on some of the best things that have happened in the MMA world over the course of 2016. There will be a total of eight different categories you’ll be asked to vote on. For the sake of simplicity we’re going to stick with high-level and relevant MMA stuff in these posts. While I’m sure there was a ludicrous knockout in an unscheduled MMA event at The Lumberyard strip club in Des Moines, or an insane pancreas lock submission on an obscure ZST! card in Japan, let’s just stick to stuff a lot of us have seen, okay? (If that spiel looked familiar, it’s because I’ve used the same one for six years in a row. Originality? What originality?)

It’s pretty simple. I’ll post 5-10 options in a category, you vote for what you think was the best. If you think I left something really important off my list, post it in the comments and we can add it to the poll if it’s deemed worthy. I can almost guarantee you won’t like all my suggestions, but narrowing down these lists is tough.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get onto the third poll – the biggest upset of 2016. As usual in MMA, you can never tell who is going to win even if you think you have a good idea. Here are some of the most unlikely outcomes of the year.

Before that though, if you haven’t yet, go back and vote on the first two categories – Best Submission and Biggest Robbery.

Michael Bisping outlasts Anderson Silva, UFC Fight Night 84 – Bisping wasn’t really a monstrous underdog on the books – he was anywhere from +160 to +220 before the fight – but the fact that he was able to win was pretty crazy. Especially after being destroyed by a knee and all of Silva’s theatrics in the middle of the fight.

Joe Taimanglo submits Darrion Caldwell, Bellator 159 – The biggest upset of the year from an odds perspective by far. Caldwell was between -1200 and -1600 in the major books. He was one of the brightest prospects the promotion had. Then he made a major faux pas and got tapped.

Miesha Tate submits Holly Holm, UFC 196 – Holm had just knocked out Ronda Rousey (it seemed more impressive at the time). Tate had lost to Rousey twice. MMA Math isn’t all that relevant, but Tate was a 3-1 underdog coming in. She was also down on the cards until a miracle fifth-round submission win.

Brandon Moreno shocks Louis Smolka, TUF 24 Finale – Moreno was a young TUF fighter taking the bout on less than 10 days notice. He was a huge underdog. He got knocked down early too. He persevered though, picking up a highly unlikely submission win and making a lot of fans in the process.

Eddie Alvarez stops Rafael dos Anjos, UFC Fight Night 90 – Eddie’s win over Anthony Pettis could be here too, but the title win seemed a little bigger of an upset. RDA had been unstoppable and Alvarez had been winning tepid decisions. That was not the case here though, as Alvarez KO’d Dos Anjos to win the lightweight title.

Eric Spicely submits Thiago Santos, UFC Fight Night 95 – Another case of a TUF fighter being sacrificed to a big-time opponent. Spicely was +500 coming in, and managed to win.

Michael Bisping knocks Luke Rockhold out, UFC 199 – He was a late replacement. He had already been worked by Rockhold once. He was a massive underdog. But Bisping surprised nearly everyone by stopping his overconfident opponent in the first round with strikes to finally win the UFC middleweight title.

Cody Garbrandt rolls through Dominick Cruz, UFC 207 – The last card of the year saw another champion lose his belt. Garbrandt was a 2-1 underdog on the books, but it seems like most fans and media were expecting Cruz to…well, cruise. As we witnessed, that was not the case at all and a new star was born.

Nate Diaz submits Conor McGregor, UFC 196 – While it might  not seem like a crazy upset now, Diaz was a huge underdog (in the +300 range) going into the bout. Conor was coming off the 13-second KO of Jose Aldo. Diaz had won his last bout in impressive fashion, but seemed beatable. He didn’t stick to the script though, picking up a submission win in the second round.

Amanda Nunes defeats Miesha Tate, UFC 200 – This was the beginning of the end for Tate. She was a sizeable favorite over an opponent that was viewed as beatable for her. That is not the way it went at all, and Nunes claimed the title.

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