In a night filled with action-packed finishes, the UFC’s latest trip to Orlando ended with a highlight reel knockout as Jeremy Stephens put away Josh Emmett in the second round of the main event.
Of course, Stephens didn’t get the win without first enduring some early trouble after he got a little over aggressive in the opening round and got clipped with a punch from Emmett that dropped him to the mat briefly.
Stephens survived and then returned with a vengeance in the second round, as he was headhunting and looking for the finish from the moment he was unleashed from his corner.
After baiting Emmett into a big exchange, Stephens connected with a beautifully timed left hook that dropped the Team Alpha Male fighter to the canvas.
Stephens followed up with a barrage of strikes that finally ended with a devastating elbow on the ground that put Emmett down and out. The knockout served as Stephens’ second in a row after he just finished Dooho Choi in similar fashion last month.
Heading into the event, Stephens was a solid favorite, with 73 percent of fantasy players picking him to win and another 76 percent correctly predicting that he would get the job done by knockout.
In the co-main event, Jessica Andrade got her second win in a row over a top five-ranked opponent, as she defeated Tecia Torres by unanimous decision in a three-round battle at strawweight. Andrade definitely had to earn her victory after eating some hard shots from Torres in the opening round, but the powerful Brazilian eventually muscled her way back into the fight by using her grappling and ground control to earn the win.
Andrade was also heavily favored, based on the picks from fantasy players, with 77 percent picking her to win and another 67 percent saying that she would get the victory by decision.
While the main and co-main events both ended with the favorites winning, a pair of underdogs pulled off the upset in the other two bouts on the four-fight main card.
Ilir Latifi made short work of former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux with a standing guillotine choke submission to earn the win in this light heavyweight matchup. Latifi was picked by just 21 percent of fantasy players, which worked out well for them as the victory also earned an extra 120 points because it was such a close matchup on paper.
The biggest upset of the night took place in the kickoff bout on the main card as Max Griffin showcased a picture perfect game plan to defeat heavy-handed welterweight Mike Perry over three rounds. Griffin was selected by just 10 percent of fantasy players, and now they will definitely enjoy the spoils of war from that upset pick.
On the preliminary card, Brian Kelleher made it three in a row for upsets as he took out former bantamweight champion Renan Barao by unanimous decision after three rounds. Kelleher was a heavy underdog, with just 19 percent of fantasy players picking him.
Meanwhile, Marion Reneau had to endure a lopsided first round to pull off the upset against former Olympic silver medalist and UFC title challenger Sara McMann in their matchup in the 135-pound women’s division. Reneau was selected by just 19 percent of players and she certainly earned her victory by second-round triangle choke.
Angela Hill turned things around for the favorites as she earned the nod by unanimous decision over Maryna Moroz with 61 percent of fantasy players picking her on the card. Hill’s win also earned an extra 120 points because this was a close matchup on paper going into the event.
Alan Jouban came in as a solid favorite over local favorite Ben Saunders, with 79 percent of fantasy players picking him to win as he earned a devastating knockout in this welterweight matchup.
In the featured bout of the early prelims, Sam Alvey added another knockout to his record as he defeated Marcin Prachnio in the first round with 70 percent of fantasy players picking him to win. Alvey also earned an extra 120 points because it was a close matchup on paper. Rani Yahya also came through as a favorite with 77 percent of fantasy players picking him to defeat Russell Doane.
The opening two bouts of the night both ended in upsets, with Alex Perez getting past Eric Shelton with just 33 percent of fantasy players selecting him, while newcomer Manny Bermudez defeated Albert Morales as a slight underdog, with 48 percent of fantasy players picking him.
All told, UFC Fight Night in Orlando ended in a dead even split, with six favorites and six underdogs getting wins according to the picks made by fantasy players