The Octagon made its way to the United Center in Chicago on Saturday night for the promotion’s latest offering on Fox. UFC on FOX 16 featured 12 fights, headlined by the bantamweight title rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao. The champion managed to walk away with the belt once again in the main event, and fans in the arena and on TV got an exciting night of fights. When all was said and done 7 favorites won and 5 underdogs had their hand raised. Here’s how the fights broke down: Favorites That Won: The main event ended up being another episode of the TJ Dillashaw show. The defending champion battered Renan Barao for almost all of the 15:35 that the bout lasted, using precise angles and blinding speed to land at will on the former champ. Dillashaw landed a massive combination against the cage to force Herb Dean in to stop the fight (irresponsibly late, which was his second big gaffe of the evening). After being victorious as a +710 underdog in the first fight against Barao, the line was extremely different this time (Dillashaw closed at -190), but the result was very, very similar. In the co-main event, Miesha Tate withstood an early start by Jessica Eye to drop her opponent in the first round and second round en route to winning a unanimous decision. The victory earned Tate a third date with Ronda Rousey (assuming the current champion gets past Bethe Correia next weekend), which although we’ve seen before is still the most marketable fight the UFC can make with the fighters currently under contract. Tate was a -190 favorite as the opening bell rang. Edson Barboza and Paul Felder put on an absolute striking clinic in their lightweight bout, but in the end the Brazilian had his hand raised as a -150 favorite. Barboza’s body attack seemed to give him the edge in the fight, as both fighters did damage to their opponent’s head. Felder had some gruesome welts on his body from all of the kicks landed on him. In the opening bout of the main card, Joe Lauzon may have put an end to the legendary career of Takanori Gomi. After dragging the fight to the ground, Lauzon showed why he closed as a -295 favorite, dominating on the mat and knocking Gomi unconscious. Referee Herb Dean was slow on the stoppage, so Lauzon simply got up and walked away, prompting the end of the bout in one of many strange officiating happenings on the night. Jim Miller was able to win his grappling exchanges against Danny Castillo, while the striking remained very competitive throughout. After 15 minutes, the bout went to the judges’ scorecards and Miller earned a split verdict as a -135 favorite. Elizabeth Phillips defeated Jessamyn Duke via unanimous decision after dominating the grappling over the first 10 minutes of their bout. Phillips, a -145 favorite, faded badly in the third and Duke put her in some serious trouble but was unable to secure the necessary finish. The opening bout of the evening didn’t last long, as the biggest favorite on the card, -380 favorite Zak Cummings, took just 43 seconds to dispatch of his short notice replacement opponent Dominique Steele. Underdogs That Won: The most surprising underdog victory of the night certainly belonged to Tom Lawlor. The former TUF contestant was returning after a 27-month absence and moved up from middleweight to light heavyweight. In the first round he looked as if he didn’t belong, but a perfectly placed right hook in the second ended Villante’s night and cashed +190 underdog tickets for bettors. One of a pair of controversial decisions saw Ben Saunders emerge from his battle with Kenny Robertson with a split decision. Saunders used his rubber guard to completely shut down Robertson in the final round, but was hurt with punches from the wrestler in the opening two stanzas. Still, judges saw enough to make Saunders a winner at +120. It wasn’t necessarily surprising that Bryan Caraway beat Eddie Wineland as a +125 favorite, but it was surprising that he was able to do it entirely on his feet. Despite a notable speed disadvantage, Caraway was able to land more and harder than Wineland en route to unanimous cards from the judges. James Krause seemed to have no problems fighting on the ground against Daron Cruickshank, and once Cruickshank finally engaged him it didn’t take long for Krause to find a rear-naked choke. The tap came at 1:27 of the opening round, and was the 14th submission victory of Krause’s career. He also cashed a nice +175 ticket for bettors. Andrew Holbrook showed some nice grappling in his UFC debut against Ramsey Nijem, but most onlookers agreed that he received some extra help from the judges to emerge victorious as a +140 underdog. This result also started a string of four consecutive upsets on the undercard.
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