Think you know how the next fight card will play out? Play UFC Pick 'Em
Following weeks of words exchanged in interviews and on social media, Cub Swanson finally met Artem Lobov in the main event in Nashville on Saturday night and the fight lived up to the hype as the two featherweights slugged it out for five rounds.
While Swanson stepped into the fight as a decided favorite as the No. 4-ranked fighter in the division, Lobov was not about to back down from the challenge as he tried to seize the moment in the biggest matchup of his young UFC career.
Swanson hit Lobov with everything he had in his arsenal during the 25-minute battle, with 209 significant strikes landed. To his credit, Lobov never faded or backed away as he fired back during every exchange until the final horn sounded.
Lobov certainly proved he could hang with the best in the world, but Swanson was just too much during the course of the fight as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory, which marked his fourth win in a row.
Fantasy players agreed with the odds makers going into the main event, with a whopping 86 percent picking Swanson to win, but the vast majority – 72 percent to be exact - believed he would get the job done by knockout. Swanson came through with the victory as expected, but credit to Lobov for showing off incredible heart and durability to stick around until the end of the fight.
The co-main event didn't feature such lopsided odds, although fantasy players definitely had the result pegged correctly as Al Iaquinta dished out a vicious knockout to Ultimate Fighter season one winner Diego Sanchez in the first round. Despite a two-year layoff, Iaquinta was selected by 69 percent of players going into the night, and he pulled off another stunning victory while handing Sanchez his second defeat by knockout in his past three fights.
Ovince Saint Preux put an end to a three-fight losing streak with a second-round submission victory over Marcos Rogerio de Lima in a light heavyweight matchup on the main card. While Saint Preux was definitely in need of a win, fantasy players still believed he was the odds-on favorite, with 77 percent picking him going into the night, and he delivered in a big way while becoming the first fighter in UFC history to finish an opponent with the rare Von Flue choke for a second time.
While Swanson may have been the biggest favorite according to the odds makers, it was former title contender John Dodson who enjoyed the most lopsided selections on the main card according to fantasy players. Dodson was picked by an overwhelming 89 percent of players for his fight against Eddie Wineland as he earned a unanimous decision win over three rounds.
MORE FROM NASHVILLE: Swanson dominant in five rounds | Iaquinta scores huge KO over Sanchez
The only upset on the main card according to fantasy players came in the lightweight matchup between UFC veteran Joe Lauzon and Scottish fighter Stevie Ray. Lauzon was a heavy favorite, with 85 percent of players picking him to win while Ray only had 15 percent on his side. Still, Ray battled back from a tough first round to ultimately earn a majority decision win.
The preliminary card also showcased an upset in the featured bout, with Thales Leites putting an end to Sam Alvey's four-fight win streak with a unanimous decision win in Nashville. Leites was picked by just 32 percent of fantasy players, but those who selected him also earned an additional 120 points thanks to the fight being such a tight matchup.
Elsewhere on the card, Brandon Moreno also earned the fantasy players who picked him a 120-point bonus for his fight with Dustin Ortiz after he earned a dazzling second-round submission to move to 3-0 in his UFC career. Moreno was picked by 62 percent of players going into the night as he continues to put on a show every time he steps into the Octagon.
As far as upsets go, Danielle Taylor managed to pull off one of the bigger underdog victories on the card as she knocked off former title contender Jessica Penne via decision. Taylor was selected by just 24 percent of fantasy players, but she's now 2-1 in the UFC with victories in each of her last two bouts.
All told, UFC Fight Night in Nashville ended with nine favorites getting wins, according to the picks made by fantasy players, with only four upsets on the card.