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Almost nothing beats the satisfaction of rooting for the underdog and seeing them pull off the upset. Perhaps the only thing better is making money by backing the underdog in a sports wager.

Winning in casino online betting sites comes close. But still, there’s something to be said about winning against all odds. 

We know that for many years, betting sites Ireland have given us many memorable and historical betting odds upsets which have resulted in winning payouts.

All around mixed martial arts in 2021, from the UFC to Bellator and beyond, there were plenty of underdogs that shocked the world by winning.

The oddsmakers have the last word on who has the higher chance of winning, even though everyone, has an opinion on who would win and lose. In this article, we have compiled a list of the biggest MMA betting upsets in 2022.

1. (-7500) Holyfield vs. (+2000) McDonald 

Final result: Jurmain McDonald defeats Evan Holyfield via KO/TKO at 3:00 of Round 2

On Saturday night at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California, super welterweight prospect Evan Holyfield (9-1, 6 KOs) was knocked out by journeyman fighter Jurmain McDonald (7-5, 3 KOs) in the second round of their battle on the TrillerVerz 5 undercard.

Following a poor jab from Holyfield, McDonald was able to counter with a flawless right and win the fight.

This is a huge setback for Holyfield, who already faces the challenges of breaking into a notoriously tough and deadly sport while living in the shadow of his renowned father. Holyfield’s overwhelming favoritism versus McDonald’s relative insignificance seemed to guarantee a comfortable victory for the former.

2. (-5000) Islam vs. (+1000) Kelly

Final result: Jimmy Kelly defeats Kanat Islam via 10 Round Decision

In a middleweight bout held late on a Friday night at the White Sands Event Center in Plant City, Florida, Englishman Jimmy Kilrain Kelly beat Florida’s Kanat Islam.

Kelly’s record now stands at 26-2 with 10 knockouts after a split decision victory (one judge scored it 95-95, the other two scored it 96-94 and 97-93 for Kelly).

Even though Islam was the pre-fight favorite and had fought tougher competition, Kelly ended up becoming the victor. A year had passed since Islam’s last bout, a stoppage victory against Jeyson Minda, and it showed. His timing was off and he seemed to be flat-footed as they battled in the middle of the ring.

Islam would sometimes flip from orthodox to southpaw and back, but Kelly always maintained his game plan of working behind the jab and varied his approach. Kelly would throw a one-two combination to the head or body, or he would land a jab or lead right and move out of the pocket to keep Islam off balance.

Towards the end of the bout, when Islam saw he was down on the scorecards, he stepped up his offensive, throwing two- and three-punch combinations, but he never really threatened Kelly. While Islam and Kelly battled within, Kelly would do well to tie him up.

3. (-4500) Oganesyan vs. (+1800) Jardon

Final result: Dante Jardon defeats Artem Oganesyan via 10 Round Decision

In a shocking result, Dante Jardon (35-8, 25 KOs) defeated the favored Artem Oganesyan (13-1, 11 KOs) to win the NABF junior middleweight championship after 10 rounds.

After dropping Oganesyan in the first round, the 34-year-old Jardon outworked and out-hustled him throughout the fight, and the Armenian was unable to stop the aggressive Mexican. While Jardon’s forward momentum was not always graceful, it was always effective. Oganesyan, who was creatively stunted, found the rapid tempo a fitting challenge.

By the middle of the round, Oganesyan had begun to look sorry for himself and he still hadn’t landed anything that would have changed the outcome of the fight. Jardon stifled the atmosphere with his bullying, making it impossible for Oganesyan to make any headway. Jardon was declared the winner by unanimous decision (98-91, 97-92, 95-94) after their battle. Oganesyan reportedly visited a hospital after sustaining what seems to be a concussion.

4. (-3000) Colbert vs. (+1400) Garcia

Final result: Hector Garcia defeats Chris Colbert via 12 Round Decision

Hector Garcia took against Chris Colbert with just two and a half weeks’ notice in a premier boxing champions event, and he was an 18-1 underdog.

There was a lot at risk, and the late substitute made the most of his chance. On Saturday night, Garcia knocked Colbert down in the seventh round en route to a dominant unanimous decision win in a fight for the WBA super featherweight world championship. Garcia rose to 15-0 with the unanimous decision victory from the three judges at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Garcia, unlike the previously undefeated Colbert, came out of the gate more energized. With his increased number of punches as a result of his haste, the Dominican fighter chased Colbert around the ring. Garcia’s relentless pressure paid off in the seventh round when he landed a devastating left hook on Colbert, a boxer from Brooklyn, New York, who had his back turned.

Over the following five rounds, Garcia continued to pressure Colbert. The unanimous verdict in favor of the underdog was already well on its way when Colbert, when Garcia wasn’t lunging forward with a flurry of rapid punches, sat with his back against the ropes and showed little eagerness of his own.

5. (-2500) Robinson vs. (+1000) Gill

Final result: Shane Gill defeats Steve Robinson via 6 Round Decision

Heavyweight contenders Steve Robinson and Shane Gill engaged in a dramatic upset on Saturday night in Cardiff. The nicknames “USSR” and “Ivan Drago” were given to Robinson, who resembles the adversary from “Rocky,” and he performed well to remain on his feet while being pummeled by Gill.

He had only fought once before, and his opponent had prevailed. Robinson, though, continued to take overhand rights from Gill as he prolonged the fight from the opening bell. Gill continued to exert pressure to get the judgment and send the well-liked Robinson back to the drawing board despite suffering significant facial injuries.

6. (-1450) Fa vs. (+750) Browne

Final result: Lucas Browne defeats Junior Fa via KO/TKO at 1:58 of Round 1

Lucas Browne, a former WBA heavyweight champion, shocked everyone by stopping the much favored Junior Fa in the first round at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

In contrast to Fa, who had previously been competitive in a decision loss to former WBO champion Joseph Parker, Browne, at the age of 43, was viewed as a stay-busy opponent for Fa.

Fa was knocked down with an unexpectedly deadly overhand right to the side of the head. The fight should have been halted since he was injured, but the referee allowed it to go on. Fa was struck again, this time accidentally landing on the back of his head and rendering him unconscious once again. Fa dove his head to avoid the bullet’s approach, but the shot nonetheless struck him in the head. The fight was lost after yet another humiliating loss.

7. (-2000) Fress vs. (+1000) Xhoxhaj

Final result: Armend Xhoxhaj defeats Roman Fress via 10 Round Decision

On Saturday night at the lake stage at Elbauenpark, Magdeburg, Germany, cruiserweight Armend Xhoxhaj (14-2, 7 KOs) defeated Roman Fress (15-1, 9 KOs) through a ten-round split decision. Fress could not withstand Xhoxhaj’s relentless pressure. A 96-94 victory for Fress and 98-92, 96-94 victories for Xhoxhaj.

8. (-1250) Sandoval vs. (+700) Jimenez

Final result: David Jimenez defeats Ricardo Sandoval via 12 Round Decision

The fight between Ricardo Sandoval (20-2, 15 KOs) of Rialto, California, and David Jimenez (12-0, 9 KOs) of Cartago, Costa Rica took place at Arena in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, July 16, which was Sunday, July 17, in the United Kingdom and Australia.

At the 25-second mark of the eleventh round, when Sandoval seemed to be in command, Jimenez landed a right cross that knocked him down awkwardly. Sandoval got up on his feet swiftly and evaded Jimenez for the rest of the round to prevent another knockdown.

During the eighth round, Sandoval delivered several strong blows to Jimenez’s torso. Approximately 45 seconds into the eighth round, Jimenez stumbled into the ropes and was knocked out with a left hook from Sandoval.

One judge had it 113-113 after twelve rounds in the WBA flyweight world championship eliminator, while the other two judges had it 114-112 in favor of Jimenez.

9. (-1800) Maxwell vs. (+850) Meneses

Final result: Alejandro Meneses defeats Sam Maxwell via KO/TKO at 2:39 of Round 9

In a thrilling ninth-round bout on Probellum’s night in Liverpool, Alejandro Meneses defeated Sam Maxwell to win the vacant IBO super-lightweight championship.

A Mexican’s strength was the deciding factor. His right hand was the difference in the opening round, and while Maxwell seemed to be gaining the upper hand on numerous occasions, Meneses knocked him down in the fourth, gravely wounded him in the seventh, and knocked him down again in the ninth, forcing the stoppage.

The Mexican got off to a great start, shocking Maxwell with three powerful rights in the first round as Maxwell battled to find his range. Maxwell fared better in the second round, although Meneses got in a good right as they both opened up; by the third round, however, Maxwell had taken control.

The fourth was a nail-biter because Maxwell was doing so well until he took a massive right to the jaw. Although it seemed to be a quick knockout, Meneses used a lot of energy attempting to terminate the fight, and Maxwell was able to come back at the round’s conclusion and dominate the fifth and sixth rounds by picking Meneses apart.

But just when Maxwell’s luck looked to be turning, in the seventh round, Meneses down him with a left hook and never let up, hitting punch after punch as Maxwell somehow stayed on his feet. Maxwell was rocked by a right early in the eighth, but he brushed it off and continued to press the action despite taking more significant punishment.

Maxwell was doing his hardest, but he was still vulnerable to Meneses’s right. In the tenth, he took a series of right hands and was finally dropped. The Liverpudlians will finally give way, and at 2 minutes and 39 seconds, the fight was stopped by referee Howard Foster.

10. (-1250) Prodan vs. (+650) Romero

Final result: Maxim Prodan gets knocked out by Luis Enrique Romero in Round 7 at 3:00.

In round seven of their planned 10-round welterweight fight, Luis Enrique Romero had to get up off the canvas to surprise Maxim Prodan.

Prodan knocked Romero down with a devastating left hook in the sixth round. Romero entered the fight in round seven and unleashed some brutal blows that necessitated a standing eight. 

Romero delivered further strong flush strikes after severely injuring Prodan, resulting in a second standing eight-count and the end of the fight at 1:15. Venezuela’s Romero is now 11-5-1 with seven knockouts. Milan, Italy’s Prodan is 19-2-1.


Only time will tell what the next big upset betting odds will be. It is difficult to predict whether your favorite underdog will pull off an upset because so many factors go into their success.

Some people argue that winning momentum and having a good matchup can make for a successful upset.

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