Over the next few days, Bloody Elbow is going to ask for your opinion on some of the best things that have happened in the MMA world over the course of 2013. There will be a total of eight different categories you'll be asked to vote on. For simplicity's sake we're going to stick with high-level and relevant MMA stuff in these posts. While I'm sure there was a ludicrous knockout in an unscheduled MMA event at The Lumberyard strip club in Des Moines, or an insane pancreas lock submission on an obscure ZST! card in Japan, let's just stick to stuff a lot of us have seen, okay? (If that spiel looked familiar, it's because I've used the same one for three years in a row. Originality? What originality?)
It's pretty simple. I'll post 5-10 options in a category, you vote for what you think was the best. If you think I left something really important off my list, post it in the comments and we can add it to the poll if it's deemed worthy. I can almost guarantee you won't like all my suggestions, but narrowing down these lists is tough.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get onto the first poll - the biggest upset of 2013.
Emanuel Newton knocks out Mo Lawal, Bellator 90 - The spinning backfist heard 'round the MMA world. Newton closed between +750 and +975 for that fight. Yes he did beat him later in the year again, but I don't think that takes anything away from the first one.
Eddie Alvarez beats Michael Chandler, Bellator 106 - While some might not think of this as an upset in the classic sense, it certainly was in my eyes. Alvarez was a big underdog to a guy that had already beaten him and he hadn't fought in over a year. The bout was close, but Alvarez pulled it out to hand Chandler the first loss of his career.
Antonio Silva beats Alistair Overeem, UFC 156 - He was down two rounds and KO'd Overeem in the third. Most betting sites had Bigfoot as a 3-1 or 4-1 underdog, which is one of the bigger UFC upsets of the year in terms of odds.
Chris Weidman defeats Anderson Silva, UFC 162 - Like Newton/Mo, a bit of the luster was taken away by a second straight win later in the year. But while Weidman wasn't a huge underdog going into the first bout, anyone beating the great Anderson Silva was huge. And Weidman did it emphatically, putting him completely out while Anderson clowned one too many times.
Robbie Lawler beats Rory MacDonald, UFC 167 - Lawler came in as a 3-1 dog and while he definitely had a lot of fan support, he wasn't really seen as a serious threat to Rory. He proved everyone wrong by hurting MacDonald and picking up the biggest win of his long career.
Josh Burkman submits Jon Fitch, WSOF 3 - Yes, it was an amazing sub win and that adds to it. But the simple fact is that almost no one was picking him to win at all. He closed between +284 and +375. I don't know what a finish by sub prop odds were, but I'm sure it paid out a pretty penny to anyone that actually bet on it.
Michael Johnson beats Joe Lauzon, UFC Fight Night 26 - Johnson came in on a two-fight losing streak and had just been submitted by Reza Madadi. The bout looked to be a bounce-back fight for Lauzon, but he was completely flat for the whole fight and Johnson dominated him with his striking.