UFC's 10 Most Unexpected Outcomes of 2012

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2012

UFC's 10 Most Unexpected Outcomes of 2012

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    April is coming to a close and that means a third of the year is already gone.

    Many mixed martial arts events have hit the airwaves to thrill and surprise us. From the UFC to Strikeforce to Bellator and beyond. As fans of mixed martial arts we never know what to expect, and that is part of the fun with MMA.

    2012 has already provided us with some remarkable action: impressive submissions, toe-to-toe wars, come-from-behind victories and so on down the line.

    Let's go back and review some of the most unexpected outcomes that we have had so far in 2012.

No. 10: Ryan Bader Defeats Rampage Jackson

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    UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

    Heading into the fight, all things pointed to Rampage having a favorable match-up against Ryan Bader. Even after weighing in well over the limit, many still expected an impressive performance in front of his favorite crowd in Japan.

    Ryan Bader had none of it. Bader's wrestling and cardio made all the difference in the fight, and he took home a decision victory over a legend in the light heavyweight division. The much-needed victory put Bader back on the right path in the 205-pound division.

No. 9: Siyar Bahadurzada Defeats Paulo Thiago

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    UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    42 seconds in and the result was Thiago face down unconscious. Bahadurzada's striking prowess was touted, but flattening a tough fighter like Paulo Thiago with one clean shot shocked the Swedish crowd.

    Bahadurzada made the most of his UFC debut.

No. 8: Munah Holland Defeats Marianna Kheyfets

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    Bellator 63

    Marianna Kheyfets and Munah Holland entered Bellator 63 as two up-and-coming prospects in the flyweight division.

    Kheyfets has been one of the prospects creating the most buzz in the women's scene and entered with an undefeated record.

    After Bellator 63, it was clear that Holland was further along in her development. The striker brutalized Kheyfets in the second round, finishing her off at 4:45 with a right hook. The victory boosted the former Golden Gloves amateur boxing champion's record to 4-1.

No. 7: Vaughan Lee Defeats KID Yamamoto

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    UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

    KID Yamamoto was unquestionably the favorite in the fight. His longtime fans were expecting a rousing performance from one of the former pound-for-pound greats.

    Vaughan Lee was not deterred by being an +250 underdog. Lee submitted KID with an armbar in the first frame. The victory got Lee back on his winning ways and showed that maybe time, and new talent, has passed KID by.

No. 6: Mark Hunt Defeats Cheick Kongo

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    UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

    This is where the rally for Mark Hunt began.

    While clearly the more accomplished and decorated striker, Mark Hunt was the underdog to one of the UFC's long-standing heavyweights. Many expected Kongo to get this fight to the ground and exhibit brutal ground-and-pound against Hunt.

    However, he chose to stand in range against the heavy-handed Hunt.

    Hunt made quick work of Kongo, putting him away just 2:11 into the first round. The knockout introduced Hunt to a new array of fans who have been vocal in their support for Hunt moving up the heavyweight rankings.

No. 5: Eddie Yagin Defeats Mark Hominick

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    UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans

    Coming off of his seven-second knockout loss to Chan Sung Jung, Mark Hominick was looking to start his newest winning streak, but Eddie Yagin was not going to give it up easily.

    In fact, he was not going to give it up at all

    The two doled out punishment to one another that saw Yagin get the better of Hominick. Yagin impressed the Atlanta crowd by winning a decision against the former title contender and handing him his third straight defeat.

No. 4: Edson Barboza Defeats Terry Etim

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    UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes

    One of the best fights of the year ended with the potential knockout of the year.

    Barboza and Etim threw down in a stand-up war, and it looked like they were headed to the judge's cards. But two minutes into the third and final round, Barboza unleashed one of his patented spinning wheel kicks that landed flush and knocked Etim out cold.

    Barboza remained undefeated and came away with another KO for his highlight reel.

No. 3: Martin Kampmann Defeats Thiago Alves

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    UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann

    "The Pitbull" was on his way to a decision victory. He had battered Kampmann for the better part of three rounds, and one mistake cost him a chance to rejoin the ranks of contenders at 170.

    After hurting Kampmann with another shot, he inexplicably went for a takedown and left his neck exposed. The crafty veteran took advantage and cinched a guillotine to force the tap with less than a minute before the end of the fight.

No. 2: Tim Boetsch Defeats Yushin Okami

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    UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

    The former No. 1 contender, and perennial top five middleweight, Yushin Okami was on his way to another victory.

    For two rounds, Okami controlled the action. It was a typical performance from the Japanese contender. Boetsch's corner told him before the start of the third round that he was down and that he had nothing to lose. That advice forced "The Barbarian" to throw caution to the wind.

    In under a minute, Boetsch ignited the crowd with a spectacular comeback victory. Controlling Okami's head and unleashing a barrage of uppercuts, he was able to stop the fight and thrust himself in to middleweight contention.

No. 1: Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall Fight to a Draw

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    UFC on FX 2

    Unfortunately, this fight is here because of the judges. Or rather the judges' lack of understanding addition.

    After an extraordinary battle between two of the top flyweights in the world, the judges botched what was a draw, with a sudden-death round in play, by announcing Johnson as the victor.

    It was not until just before the post-fight press conference that the gaffe was known and too late to give the crowd the fourth round they wanted. An unfortunate event, but without question the most unexpected.