UFC 181 took place tonight at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the card top-to-bottom was one of the best the UFC has put on to date as it featured a number of brutal finishes and a huge upset in the main event. Overall from a betting perspective, eight favorites and three underdogs won based on the closing odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Here’s a quick recap for each fight. Underdogs That Won In the main event of the evening, Robbie Lawler defeated Johny Hendricks via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) to become the new UFC welterweight champion. This was an extremely-close fight that could have gone either way, but ultimately the judges sided with Lawler’s aggressiveness over Hendricks’ volume and takedowns to give him the close, controversial win for the belt. Lawler cashed at +200 (bet $100 to win $200) while Hendricks lost at -220 (bet $220 to win $100). In a middleweight bout, Josh Samman defeated Eddie Gordon via second-round KO (head kick). Gordon was controlling the bout with his wrestling and looked to be well on the way to a decision victory, but out of nowhere Samman landed a monster head kick late in the second that put him out cold. Samman was +130 while Gordon was -140. In a women’s bantamweight bout, Raquel Pennington defeated Ashlee Evans-Smith via first-round submission (bulldog choke). Smith looked to have the advantage early on with her wrestling, but as the first round went on Pennington seemed to get stronger, eventually pushing Evans up against the fence and unloading on her with clinch strikes before getting her to the mat, grabbing her neck in a scramble, and finishing her with a superb submission. Pennington was +175, while Evans-Smith was -190. Favorites That Won In the co-main event of the evening, Anthony Pettis defeated Gilbert Melendez via second-round submission (guillotine choke) to retain the UFC lightweight championship. Melendez looked tremendous in the first round and early in the second as he was able to pressure Pettis against the fence, but Pettis took his neck in a scramble and was able to get the win. Melendez lost at +285 while Pettis won at -315. In a heavyweight bout, Travis Browne defeated Brendan Schaub via first-round TKO (punches). Browne was able to get Schaub to the ground, get full mount, and rain down blows for the stoppage victory. Browne was -450 while Schaub was +400. In a heavyweight bout, Todd Duffee defeated Anthony Hamilton via first-round KO (punches). Duffee nailed Hamilton with a huge combination that dropped the big fellow and ended the fight in the first minute. Duffee was -315 while Hailton was +285. In a lightweight bout, Tony Ferguson defeated Abel Trujillo via second-round submission (rear-naked choke). After getting rocked in the first round by Trujillo, Ferguson weathered the storm and his conditioning came through for him in the second as he was the fresher fighter and took advantage of a tired Trujillo to submit him. Ferguson was -325 while Trujillo was +295. In a bantamweight bout, Urijah Faber defeated Francisco Rivera via second-round submission (neck crank). Rivera looked very good early on and did enough with his striking to win the first round, and was looking good in the second until getting poked in the eye by Faber. Rivera turned away in pain but the referee did not see the eye poke, and Faber was able to pounce on his opponent and submit him with a neck crank. Faber was -925 while Rivera was +725. In a light heavyweight bout, Corey Anderson defeated Justin Jones via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 30-26). Jones was able to hold tough and hang on to a decision, but Anderson’s striking and wrestling proved to be too much over the course of the three rounds as he corralled a unanimous decision victory. Anderson was -400 while Jones was +335. In a bantamweight bout, Sergio Pettis defeated Matt Hobar via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27). Pettis survived an early knockdown scare and getting controlled by Hobar in round one on the ground as he was able to stop the takedowns in rounds two and three and easily outstrike Hobar to win the last two rounds and take home the decision. Pettis was -240 while Hobar was +200. In a featherweight bout, Clay Collard defeated Alex White via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3). This was a slugfest between two up-and-comers who love throwing strikes and don’t mind getting punched in the face, but it was Collard who did more damage throughout and who score some key takedowns to take home a clear-cut victory on the scorecards. Collard closed at -125 while White closed at +115.
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