UFC on ESPN 8 took place Saturday, May 16, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. The card was headlined by an heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.
Favorites that Won
In the co-main event, Claudio Gadelha had a close battle with Angela Hill. Both fighters had their moments, with Gadelha starting strong with a big takedown, Hill dropping Gadelha in the second and a pretty even third round, but the judges sided with Gadelha via split decision. Gadelha was a hefty favorite at -240 while Hill was +205
Krzysztof Jotko utilized his technical skill advantage to outstrike Eryk Anders and avoid Anders’ grappling attempts to win a unanimous decision. Jotko was a -126 favorite while Anders was +106
Song Yadong and Marlon Vera had a very entertaining back-and-forth battle that saw both men trade evenly in the first two rounds, but Vera scored takedowns in the third. All three judges gave Yadong the first two rounds, however, and he won a unanimous decision. Yadong was -200 while Vera was +175
Miguel Baeza looked like he was on cruise control early with big leg kicks, but Matt Brown had him in big trouble after a combination along the fence midway through round one. Baeza recovered and hurt Brown badly in the second half of the round, then finished Brown with a beautiful counter left hook just 18 seconds into round two. Baeza closed -158 while Brown closed +138
Giga Chikadze dominated a completely overmatched Irwan Rivera, who had taken the fight on one day’s notice. Chikadze won almost every second of the fight and easily took a unanimous decision as the biggest favorite of the night. Chikadze closed -470 with the return on Rivera +375
Mara Romero Borella thought she was in a good position when she took Cortney Casey down in the first round, but Casey turned the tables by latching on an armbar from guard and forced a tap. Casey closed -165 while Borella closed +145
In the opening bout of the night, Rodrigo Nascimento traded evenly with Don’Tale Mayes on the feet, but it was all Nascimento when it went to the canvas, where he finished Mayes with a rear naked choke in the second round. Nascimento closed -115 while Mayes closed -105
Underdogs that Won
In the main event of the evening, Walt Harris had Alistair Overeem on the ropes, but Overeem was able to grab a takedown to survive and finish the first round strong. Overeem then blasted Harris with a head kick and finished him with ground and pound in the second round. Overeem closed +130. Harris closed -150
Dan Ige survived getting dropped early by Edson Barboza to outland him in round two, then he finished the fight strong from top position to spoil Barboza’s featherweight debut with a split decision victory. Ige closed +115 while Barboza was -135
Nate Landwehr fended off almost all of Darren Elkins’ takedown attempts and bloodied Elkins up badly in a wild brawl, and the judges awarded Landwehr with a unanimous decision. Landwehr closed +110 while Elkins closed -130
Kevin Holland was a man on a mission, blasting Anthony Hernandez early with an elbow and then dropping him with a brutal knee to the body before following up with ground strikes to finish the fight in just 39 seconds. Holland’s performance made the pick’em -110 odds for both fighters seem laughable.