The Biggest UFC Upset Bets of 2021

Julianna Pena topped off the 2021 calendar year with one of the biggest upsets in UFC History.
Julianna Pena topped off the 2021 calendar year with one of the biggest upsets in UFC History. / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC's 2021 schedule has come to a close and now begins an almost month-long break with their next event scheduled for January 15th.

Now that their year of events is over, let's take a look at some of the biggest upsets that occurred this year. After all, everyone loves a good underdog story.

Biggest UFC Upsets in 2021

Julianna Pena +700 vs. Amanda Nunes

The final pay-per-view event of the year, UFC 269, delivered in a big way. The card featured two title fights, and the underdog in both of them walked away victorious.

Nobody gave Julianna Pena a shot against Amanda Nunes, who everyone believed was the women's mixed martial arts GOAT. Sure enough, anything can happen in the world of sports and that's what was proven that night. Pena sunk in a rear-naked choke in the second round, and shocked the world in doing so.

According to, this was the fourth biggest upset in UFC history and the second biggest upset in women's UFC history.

Gerald Meerschaert +440 vs. Makhmud Muradov

There's a belief among UFC bettors that you generally shouldn't bet against fighters who hail from the former Soviet Union, especially so when they're set as sizable favorites.

Gerald Meerschaert broke that fallacy at UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs. Chikadze on August 28th of this year when he upset the Uzbekistanian fighter as a +440 (bet $100 to profit $440) underdog. Much like Pena against Nunes, Meerschaert locked in a rear-naked choke in the second round to secure his victory.

Meerschaert finished 3-0 in the 2021 calendar year, which is huge for a fighter who was just 2-5 in his last seven fights entering the year.

Anthony Hernandez +375 vs. Rodolfo Viera

Anthony Hernandez was 1-2 (1 NC) in his last four fights entering a prelim main event bout against Rodolfo Vieira at UFC 258 in February. Nobody was giving him a shot against the undefeated 7-0 fighter, who looked unstoppable in his first two UFC fights.

Hernandez ended up finishing the submission artist with a submission of his own, locking in a 2nd round rear-naked choke to cash as a +375 (bet $100 to profit $375) underdog.

Side note: The top three underdogs in 2021 all won via second round rear-naked choke. Interesting little nugget for this year's UFC action.