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Bloody Elbow 2014 half-year MMA awards: Biggest upset

Make your pick for the biggest MMA upset from the first half of 2014 in Bloody Elbow's Half Year Awards.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Technically, we're about a month over the half-year mark, but with live MMA on TV every other minute, it's hard to fit something like this in when you have to cover the non-stop facepunching. Tim Burke used to run the Bloody Elbow half-year and year-end MMA awards, but he stepped down from the site to work on his golf game.

The Bloody Elbow staff compiled a massive list of some of the top MMA moments thus far in 2014, which you'll be able to vote on through our polls, which are open for 6 days starting from publish of each article. Today, we're focusing on the biggest upset, but in the coming days we'll also have best fighter, best event, and best comeback.

As to keep up with the format that Tim had used, I've selected 8 entries per category, but since this year's "half-year" awards is in August, I've moved the cutoff date to July 26th, which stands as the most recent UFC event (UFC on Fox 12). All of our choices are based on major MMA promotions only (UFC, Bellator, WSOF, etc.) , so that doesn't include kickboxing, boxing, Metamoris, or anything else of the sort. This was fairly difficult to sift through, so don't be angry if there's any of your favorites that have been left out.

Without influencing the vote too much, I'm fairly certain this poll will be a total blowout, but stranger things have happened.

T.J. Dillashaw destroys Renan Barao, UFC 173. With Raphael Assuncao injured, T.J. Dillashaw was next in line to fight Renan Barao, who the UFC basically went all-out to call the best P4P fighter in the sport. Barao closed as a -1215 favorite on BetDSI and was typically no lower than -850 by fight night. What ensued was a wall-to-wall ass kicking that culminated in a head kick and punches knockout that gave Dillashaw the bantamweight title and perhaps the biggest upset in UFC history. (GIF)

Tito Ortiz chokes out Alexander Shlemenko, Bellator 120. Even acknowledging the fact that Bellator MW champ Alexander Shlemenko (-410) was woefully undersized against Tito Ortiz (+365), the prevailing thought was that Tito was so shot and coming off such a long layoff that Shlemenko could've done whatever he wanted on "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy". Shlemenko was drilling Ortiz to the body, but Ortiz took Shlemenko down, had his back, then later sunk in an arm-triangle choke and didn't let go until Shlemenko went limp. Cue the grave digger celebration and an upset win for Tito. (GIF)

Will Brooks stuns Michael Chandler, Bellator 120. Chandler ballooned up to -1000 on some betting lines after Eddie Alvarez pulled out with an injury and Will Brooks stepped in on just a few days notice. The interim LW title was on the line and it was expected that Chandler would run through Brooks and set up the Alvarez rubber match once again. Brooks put a stop to that with a gutty performance and a split decision win.

Johnny Eduardo KOs Eddie Wineland, UFC Fight Night Cincinnati. Also doubling as a candidate for best KO, Johnny Eduardo closed as a +735 underdog against perennial top 5 bantamweight Eddie Wineland. Watching the fight unfold, you'd have thought that Eduardo was the one who was two fights removed from being in a championship bout, as his striking was on point en route to a late 1st round knockout via two hard right hands. (GIF)

Kiichi Kunimoto submits Daniel Sarafian, UFC 174. Perhaps the most obscure upset, relative unknown Kiichi Kunimoto was a +415 underdog to TUF Brazil's Daniel Sarafian, making a drop from middleweight to welterweight. Japan's Kunimoto was triumphant in his UFC debut via DQ when he was hit with a collection of illegal elbows from Luiz Dutra, so the small sample size compared to Sarafian's perceived potential tilted the predictions towards Daniel. Kunimoto destroyed many parlays that night by getting a rear-naked choke on the Brazilian, spoiling his WW debut.

Thiago Santos liver kicks Ronny Markes, UFC Fight Night Natal Thiago Santos skipped out on an apparent plan to drop to welterweight, this on the heels of a sub-minute loss to Cezar Ferreira. Markes had just been stopped by Yoel Romero but was still as high as a -840 favorite. An ominous sign of Markes' pending doom was a failure to make weight, and then in the fight itself, Santos had Markes in visible pain after landing a flush body kick. Markes dropped to the mat on a delayed reaction, and after several unanswered punches the fight was over in less than a minute. Markes is now out of the UFC. (GIF)

Daron Cruickshank KOs Erik Koch, UFC Fight Night Cincinnati. Koch, once set to fight Jose Aldo for the FW belt, was assumed to have the superior striking and would be able to use that to the fullest extent against Cruickshank, Instead, Cruickshank floored Koch with a head kick and then followed that up with a barrage of strikes before the bout was halted. You could've had Cruickshank as high as +305, with Koch at -460. (GIF)

Bobby Green gets short notice win vs. Josh Thomson, UFC on Fox 12. Perhaps it's time to stop slotting Bobby Green as the underdog, because this has been the case in all of his UFC fights. You could totally understand why he was pegged as high as +345 against Josh Thomson, as Thomson was ranked in the top 5 at lightweight and Green was taking the fight on two weeks notice. Green and Thomson dueled in a super close encounter, featuring plenty of head-shaking at each punch landed. The scorecards read 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 for Bobby Green, who notched the biggest win of his career and another upset win.

Tomorrow's category: Best Fighter

You can still vote for: Best KO, best submission, best fight

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