2012 tazmma Upset of the Year

Normally the biggest upsets in MMA happen in the biggest organizations, since they provide the greatest volume of opportunity for upsets to take place. On any given card, upsets take place, it’s just the scope of the upset that changes. For example, according to oddsmakers Cain Velasquez defeating Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 was a fairly sizeable upset.

Compared to other years, 2012 didn’t really see a large number of statistically “big” upsets. There were no Matt Serra over GSP moments, or even many Mackens Semerzier subbing Wagnney Fabiano type shockers. That isn’t to say there were zero though. By nature, MMA will always have a certain degree of randomness, and upsets will come with that.

Some of the bigger upsets we saw in the UFC were:

  • Jamie Varner over Edson Barboza
  • Cung Le over Rich Franklin
  • Chan Sung Jung over Dustin Poirier was also seen as a rather large upset at the time as well.

As unexpected as they were, none of those were the biggest upset of 2012. It happened outside of the UFC, Strikeforce, or Bellator… although it could affect the business practices of the latter organization moving forward.

The biggest upset of 2012 was:

  • Tyson Nam defeating Eduardo Dantas at Shooto Brazil 33.

Not only is Dantas one of the best Bantamweight prospects in MMA, but after his dominating win over Zack Makovsky in capturing the Bellator Bantamweight Title, he was seen as one of the best 135ers in the world period. The performance had fans talking about how Dantas would fare against the best the UFC had to offer in the division, and remmissed about him being locked into a Bellator contract. One of the features of those contracts however, is that the fighters are free to fight in other organizations if cleared by Bellator.

Fast forward to August, and that’s exactly what Dantas was doing while he was stuck in the state of limbo that too many of the organization’s champions find themselves in. He went about staying active in an intelligent way, taking a fight in the organization (Shooto Brazil) run by his trainer (Andre Pederneiras), against a journeyman opponent (Tyson Nam). Unfortunately, Nam didn’t plan on being another name on Dantas’ record. Although Dantas seemed the better fighter early on, the randomness of MMA stepped in, Tyson Nam landed a right hook in an exchange, and just like that, the biggest upset of 2012 happened.

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About bradtaschuk

An MMA enthusiast who also fancies himself a writer, I've been following the sport in depth since moving off to University in the fall of 2004 allowed me more free time than I knew what to do with. Quickly, an obsession with watching as much MMA as possible developed, which has continued to this day in the form of writing and editing articles for various MMA sites, and now to my own blog about my views on the sport.
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