It took Marlon Moraes just 33 seconds to catapult his name into title contention with a stunning first-round knockout over Jimmie Rivera in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Utica on Friday night.
As soon as the fight got underway, Moraes and Rivera met in the center of the Octagon with each of them gauging the distance to unleash the first strike.
It was Moraes who acted first as he uncorked a lightning quick kick that ricocheted off Rivera's head and sent him crashing to the canvas. Moraes followed up with a few more punches as the referee swooped in to stop the fight at less than one minute into the opening round.
While Moraes earned a jaw-dropping knockout, he actually walked into the Octagon as a decided underdog based on the picks from fantasy players, with just 34 percent picking him to win. Another 47 percent of those players did correctly predict that Moraes would win by knockout.
The good news for those players that picked Moraes is that his win also netted them an extra 120 points because this was such a close matchup on paper going into Friday night.
In the co-main event, Gregor Gillespie kept his undefeated record intact with a second-round submission victory over Vinc Pichel in lightweight action.
Gillespie was dominant with his grappling game all night long until he finally found an opening to lock on an arm triangle choke that forced Pichel to tap out.
Heading into the card, Gillespie was an overwhelming favorite, with 85 percent of fantasy players picking the former national champion wrestler to get the job done.
Heavyweight knockout artist Walt Harris was another big favorite on Friday night as he earned another big finish with his win over Daniel Spitz. Harris was selected by 85 percent of fantasy players with another 78 percent predicting that he would finish the fight by knockout.
Veteran welterweight Ben Saunders pulled off an upset in his fight against Jake Ellenberger as he slammed home a devastating knee strike to the body that earned him a first-round victory in Utica. Saunders was selected by just 35 percent of fantasy players, but those who did pick 'Killa B' to get the win also earned an extra 120 points because the fight was so tight going into the event.
Another upset took place when local fighter Julio Arce pulled off a third-round rear naked choke submission to put away Daniel Teymur. Arce was a heavy underdog with just 36 percent of fantasy players picking him.
Sam Alvey moved to 2-0 in his light heavyweight career after he earned a split decision win over Gian Villante in the kickoff fight on the main card. Alvey was picked by 65 percent of fantasy players in this back and forth battle at 205 pounds.
On the preliminary card, former Ultimate Fighter finalist Sijara Eubanks finally got her first UFC win with a unanimous decision victory over former housemate Lauren Murphy. Eubanks was a sizable favorite, with 68 percent of fantasy players correctly predicting her victory in this flyweight showdown.
David Teymur remained undefeated in his UFC career with a unanimous decision win over Nik Lentz with 68 percent of fantasy players picking him in this featherweight clash.
Also on the undercard, Belal Muhammad dominated newcomer Chance Rencountre with an overwhelming 88 percent of fantasy players calling this fight while Desmond Green also came through as a favorite with 71 percent of fantasy players picking him to win over veteran lightweight Gleison Tibau.
The early prelims saw a pair of comeback victories as Nathaniel Wood came through in his UFC debut with a D'Arce choke submission over Johnny Eduardo with only 43 percent of fantasy players picking him while newcomer Jose "Shorty" Torres got a win over Jarred Brooks with 48 percent of fantasy players taking a shot on him in his debut.
Because it was Torres' first UFC fight, he also earned those players an extra 40-point bonus.
By the end of the night, seven favorites were victorious according to the picks made by fantasy players while five upsets took place at UFC Fight Night from Utica.