UFC 225: Fantasy Rewind
June 11, 2018
UFC 225 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable events of 2018, with an epic five round middleweight fight capping off the night as Robert Whittaker narrowly defeated Yoel Romero in the main event.
Whittaker, who wasn't able to defend his title due to Romero missing weight, had no hesitation accepting the fight and he looked strong during the early going in this rematch from their first bout in 2017.
The tides turned in the third round when Romero clipped Whittaker with a stiff punch that left him on rubber legs, trying to hold on to anything to keep him vertical. Romero was doing everything in his power to get the finish but Whittaker showed an iron will and a concrete chin as he refused to go down.
Whittaker powered back in the fourth round but then found himself in trouble yet again in the final five minutes as Romero poured on the punishment looking to get the stoppage. Whittaker was getting blasted with some huge shots but he kept getting back up and coming after Romero no matter how many punches were thrown.
When it was over, the middleweight showdown was declared an instant classic with Whittaker edging out Romero in a razor close decision after 25 minutes of war.
While the fight was a back and forth epic, Whittaker was a heavy favorite going into the night according to the picks made by fantasy players, with 72 percent siding with the reigning middleweight champion. Whittaker obviously got the job done, but not without a major scare courtesy of Romero.
In the co-main event, Colby Covington used a superior strategy mixing takedowns with control in the clinch to overpower Rafael Dos Anjos over five rounds to become the new interim welterweight champion.
Covington definitely had to fight through some adversity, with Dos Anjos constantly coming after him with big, bruising body shots. Unfortunately, Dos Anjos couldn't avoid Covington's seven takedowns and his ability to press the action against the cage and do damage from inside the clinch.
Going into the card, Covington was actually a massive underdog, with just 24 percent of fantasy players picking him to win, but he definitely got the job done over five rounds. The players who picked Covington also enjoyed an extra 150 point bonus because it was a title fight victory.
Former champion Holly Holm picked up her first win as a featherweight with a dominant performance over Megan Anderson on Saturday night. Holm was a decided favorite, with 74 percent of fantasy players picking her to get the win.
Speaking of favorites, Australian heavy hitter Tai Tuivasa got the biggest win of his young career as he defeated former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in an absolute slugfest. Tuivasa was favored by 74 percent of fantasy players, but he definitely had his hands full with Arlovski from start to finish.
Mike Jackson was able to get his first professional win as he defeated CM Punk over three rounds at UFC 225. While Jackson had the same record as Punk, the Texas-based welterweight definitely had the edge with experience as he was selected by 54 percent of fantasy players making him a slight favorite over Punk, which is exactly how the fight played out.
In the featured preliminary bout, Curtis Blaydes picked up the biggest win of his UFC career as he earned a vicious TKO over Alistair Overeem. Blaydes was a very slight favorite, with 54 percent of fantasy players picking him to win as he takes one more step towards title contention following Saturday night.
The players who picked Blaydes also enjoyed an extra 120 point bonus because it was such a tight matchup on paper.
Claudia Gadelha picked up a very close split decision win over former champion Carla Esparza at UFC 225 after three hard fought rounds. Gadelha was the biggest favorite on the entire card, with a whopping 90 percent of fantasy players picking her to win, but she definitely had to battle to get the job done over Esparza.
Mirsad Bektic picked up the biggest win of his career with a split decision nod over former title challenger Ricardo Lamas with just 39 percent of fantasy players picking him going into the fight. Meanwhile, Chris de la Rocha was another upset pick as he earned a TKO victory against Rashad Coulter with just 20 percent of fantasy players selecting him.
Sergio Pettis was another underdog getting the job done at UFC 225 as he edged out former two-time title challenger Joseph Benavidez with just 28 percent of fantasy players picking him in this flyweight contest.
Charles Oliveira tied Royce Gracie for the most submission wins in UFC history with his guillotine choke finish over Clay Guida. Oliveira was picked by 62 percent of fantasy players while also earning an extra 50 points because he accepted the bout on short notice.
All told on Saturday night after 13 fights, there were nine victories by the favorites on the card based on selections made from fantasy players, with five upsets taking place over the course of the stacked event from Chicago.