UFC 194 Closing Odds and Results

UFC 194Perhaps the biggest and best UFC card ever on paper, UFC 194 turned in a bit of everything. Some great performances, some shocking performances, and a few duds as well. In the end, however it didn’t matter what happened at the beginning of the night, or even through the first four fights of the main card (which included a pair of phenomenal middleweight bouts). The evening was all about Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. After sitting as a favorite from the time the odds opened back in July until the day of weigh-ins, McGregor became an ever-so-slight underdog, closing at +100 to Aldo’s +100. All of the late money ended up being wrong however, as McGregor stunned the world — not by winning — but by knocking Aldo out with one punch just 13 seconds into the fight. It was the culmination of perhaps the greatest rise from prospect to champion that MMA has ever seen, with McGregor calling his shots all along the way. McGregor’s left hand was placed perfectly on the chin of the lunging champion — who landed a left hand of his own after being knocked out — as he was sliding backwards. It was truly a display of what McGregor always preaches, accuracy above speed and power, and it was never on display more perfectly than in his crowning moment. As for the other 11 fights, only five favorites came through, while six underdogs picked up wins based on the closing odds at Several Bookmakers. Here’s how all the rest of the bouts played out: Favorites That Won In a fight that didn’t quite deliver as expected, Max Holloway earned a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens. The first two rounds were fairly tepid, with Stephens looking for takedowns and leg kicks more than exchanges with the Hawaiian, but the third was entertaining as Holloway showed some good improvements on the ground and Stephens was hunting hard for the finish to close the bout. Holloway closed -430, and solidified his place in featherweight contendership with the win. In the main event of the prelims, Urijah Faber bounced back from the first non-title fight loss of his career with a hard-fought decision over Frankie Saenz. The former WEC champion had Saenz badly hurt in the second round, but otherwise the bout was nip-and-tuck, with Faber getting his hand raised as a -460 favorite. Despite the loss, Saenz stock will surely rise, while Faber seems like he’s beginning to show his age in consistently competitive fights against lower ranked fighters. Tecia Torres extended a somewhat infamous record with a unanimous decision over Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger. The victory was Torres’ seventh professionally, with all seven now coming by decision. The third round did see a nice flurry from Torres which looked like it might stop the fight, but Jones-Lybarger survived. She was a -280 favorite heading into the bout. Magomed Mustafaev looked every bit the -345 favorite he was lined as, taking under 2 minutes to dispatch Joe Proctor in their lightweight bout. A flurry of punches and knees spelled the end for Proctor at 1:54 of the opening round, and extended the Dagestani’s winning streak to 11. Court McGee returned from a nearly two-year absence to take a unanimous decision over Marcio Alexandre in the opening bout of the evening. McGee used a spells of top control in the first and third rounds to secure those on the scorecards and earn the decision as a -160 favorite. Underdogs That Won The other newly minted champion at UFC 194 was Luke Rockhold, who punished Chris Weidman in the third and fourth rounds to earn a TKO stoppage that came way too late. Rockhold closed at +135, but took over what was a competitive fight when Chris Weidman threw an ill-advised spinning wheel kick that allowed Rockhold to take his back and get him down. From there, Rockhold showed the same dominant top game that he blasted Lyoto Machida with, and should have earned the stoppage at the end of round three. Herb Dean let Weidman finish out the round, but he had nothing left coming out for the final round, and Rockhold was able to take him down again to finish him off. Yoel Romero started out strong against ‘Jacare’ Souza, and it ended up being enough for him to hold on for a split decision as a +120 underdog. The Cuban landed a spinning backfist in the opening round that dropped ‘Jacare’ and then ventured into his opponent’s guard to unleash a torrent of ground and pound that had Souza stumbling back to his corner. The second round was a stalemate fought at a much slower pace, although a blatant cage grab by Romero that didn’t result in a point deduction played as big a role in the result as anything. The final round saw ‘Jacare’ get top position and score with some decent shots of his own. In the end, the scores were 29-27, 28-29, 29-28 for Romero, meaning that a point deduction would have resulted in a draw. Demian Maia was favored over Gunnar Nelson from the time the betting lines opened until fight day, when Nelson moved to a -120 favorite. Maia closed at +110, but performed like he should have been -1000, as he put an absolute grappling clinic on Nelson for 15 minutes en route to a 30-26, 30-25, 30-25 unanimous decision victory. It may have been the best performance in Maia’s lengthy career, and puts him into title contention at welterweight even at his advanced age. Most expected that Warlley Alves needed to get Colby Covington out of their bout in the first round, and that’s exactly what the Brazilian did. He hurt Covington with a body kick early, and continued to show that he has one of the most dangerous guillotines in all of MMA by slapping it on and forcing a tap 1:26 of the first round. Alves was a slight +110 underdog in the battle of unbeaten prospects. Bruce Buffer announced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Leonardo Santos as a ‘Muay Thai Kickboxer’ ahead of his bout with Kevin Lee, and then Santos proceeded to drop Lee with a big counter right and finish him off with ground and pound. Moral of the story, Bruce Buffer knows more about MMA than any of us. Also, if you bet on Santos as the +505 underdog, you were sitting pretty. Yancy Medeiros and John Makdessi had an extremely close fight through 14:30, and then Medeiros scored a knockdown in the final flurry of the bout. That earned him the final round from most, but the judges were split on the others, as Medeiros barely eeked out the decision as a +155 underdog.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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