Let’s start with the fact that the odds makers know what they’re doing when it comes to UFC events. The betting line favorite has won 75% of the time. Half the upsets that occurred were by fighters that were less than 2-1 underdogs, which is considered a very close matchup. Which means, statistically, when a fighter is listed at +200 or more he will lose almost 93% of the time. Wow!
Another interesting fact is that of the previous 13 UFC Championship bouts 6 have gone the underdog. A point can be made about fighters on their way up looking to cash in on their title shot. There is also the long standing sports cliche that its easier to win the title than hold onto it.
Couture vs Gonzaga: UFC Heavyweight Title so you have got to take a serious look at the underdog, who is currently Couture. If you look at the list of underdog winners, you will see that most are younger fighters. Gonzaga should be the hungrier fighter and he certainly has all the physical edges in this fight. Couture was impressive in his win over Sylvia and showed us all what makes him great; a smart game plan, strong wrestling, and great conditioning. Sylvia was the perfect opponent for Randy to pull the upset against, Gonzaga will pose a completely different challenge though. Gonzaga is not going to let Randy set the pace, he’s going to push the intensity early and 43 year old lungs like long sustained efforts, not short extreme bursts. Gonzaga will be quick and strong enough to control where and when the fight takes place. Couture’s gameplan could be rendered completely useless if he is simply reacting to what Gonzaga does, which is very likely. Gonzaga will let it loose in an effort to win, unlike the calculating attack of Sylvia which played into Randy’s current skill set. Its a bad matchup for Randy.
Georges St Pierre vs Josh Koscheck: Koscheck is more than a 2-1 underdog currently, so we rule him out right? Common sense tells me no way, Koscheck has succeeding at every stage in his career and is the best wrestler in MMA. He knows how to train and execute a winning plan.
“I will definitely say GSP has plenty more tools to beat Kos, than vice versa. However, Kos has the best shoot in MMA and he’ll eventually get GSP down. Question really is, how strong GSP’s wrestling is against a Division 1 NCAA champ. Hughes placed 6th and 8th in both his years, whereas Koscheck was undefeated at 42-0 and won first.” -Forum
But looking back at the guys that pulled off major upsets I see that most of them were by striking. Kos is not known as much of a striker, he’s improving, but GSP is too good.
“Kos definitely has the momentum right now, although GSP wasn’t phased at all when he lost to Hughes. He came back and destroyed Trigg like nobody else. If GSP comes back like that, seeking vengeance, it might be a very short fight with Koscheck getting submitted via RNC.” -Forum