Betting Upsets: When Dillashaw defeated Barao in UFC 173

T.J Dillashaw’s unexpected victory over Renan Barao at UFC 173 is rightfully remembered as one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

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Facing Barao under the bright lights of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the odds were stacked against the American as the Brazilian remarkably hadn’t lost in 33 bouts heading into the clash.

The fact Barao was also considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world only added to what a challenge Dillashaw was confronted with. Dillashaw importantly still believed himself and spoke with confidence ahead of the fight, asserting: “I don’t feel any pressure coming into this fight. He’s the champion and the one who has this huge winning streak and is supposed to be unbeatable, so I think the pressure is all on his side of the table.

Courtesy of SL

“I like being the underdog and think that is great because it frees me up to fight my fight and go in there with a clear head. I can go in there loose and fight like I have no expectations on me. I think that is going to bring out my best performance. No matter what the circumstances are, there’s going to be doubters. I get to prove everyone wrong. I can’t wait to do it, I can’t wait to shut their mouths.”

Unfazed and motivated by the task at hand, Dillashaw rose to the occasion by getting off to a brilliant start. Close to knocking out Barao in the opening round, the 9-1 underdog started off on the front foot, landing some heavy shots.

Finding his range and working the angles nicely, Dillashaw dominated the fight throughout, as he continued to strike his adversary and enjoyed the upper hand. The killer blow would eventually arise in the final round when Dillashaw landed a kick on Barao’s head before finishing him off with a barrage of punches.

“I’ve dreamed it for so long, it’s unbelievable,” Dillashaw said after the fight. “If you can dream it, it can happen. Barao is the best in the world in my eyes. I had to bring my ‘A’ game to become the champion.”

Inflicting Barao’s first loss in roughly a decade, Dillashaw’s magnificent victory will live long in the memory of UFC fans on a night that he’ll never forget.

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Ice Hockey: A look back on Backstrom’s PED Saga

Looking back on Nicklas Backstrom’s performance enhancing drug scandal offers an intriguing topic for our next blog article.

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Rewind to 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, and Backstrom’s world came crashing down during Sweden’s run towards winning a silver medal when he failed a drug test. A regular sufferer of allergies, the Washington Capitals star was advised by the Swedish team doctor that he’d be okay to take a Zyrtec-D to help with his issues.

This proved to be an ill advised decision, however, for the pseudoephedrine contained in those pills saw him test positive ahead of the gold medal game against Canada, thus ruling him out of the showpiece that Sweden lost 3-0.

Courtesy of Wiki

Having used the medication for seven years prior to failing this test, Backstrom clearly wasn’t taking this to gain a competitive edge, but his honest mistake was certainly costly for him and his team. Considering this drug isn’t banned by the NHL, the World Anti Doping Agency saw things differently to his unfortunate detriment.

Although he was ultimately deemed the innocent victim of an avoidable mistake, the initial ruling was to ban him. Following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, Backstrom was eventually handed a reprimand after settlement discussions, with them acknowledging that while he did commit an offence, it wasn’t to intentionally gain an advantage.

Upon reflecting back at this, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Backstrom, who obviously used the substance for a legitimate medical reason. But a failed drug is a failed drug test in the eyes of the testers, so it’s understandable why he was sanctioned initially.

Positively, Backstrom was awarded a silver medal for his part in his team’s run to the final, as common sense finally prevailed in this drawn out saga.

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Perfect Punter Book Review

Dave Farrar’s Book “The Perfect Punter: A year of losing everything and trying to win it all back ” is certainly filled with fascinating stories and pieces of information.

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For Farrar, who’s an engaging and entertaining sports commentator, this book offers a keen insight into his gambling journey, which was full of highs and lows.

Perfect Punter Cover

Charting his gambling efforts since the personal tragedy of his girlfriend walking out, Farrar recollects how he subsequently lost a five figure amount in the following six months.

Wanting to avoid making the same mistakes, he came up with a plan to bet on the same events he lost money on. But this time, he armed himself with plenty of information prior to placing his bets, which was gained by talking to experts and diligently researching his topics. This meant he was nicely positioned to make coherent decisions when betting, as he hoped to profit handsomely.

Travelling around the world to attend many events live including the US Open, the Klitschko vs. Haye fight, the French Cup final, multiple horse races, a snooker tournament and an NFL Playoff game. Meanwhile, one of the key terms of his staking plan was that he ambitiously decided he wanted to profit $2000 on every bet he placed.

Humorous and enjoyable, Farrar learns plenty along the way and clearly enjoyed writing the book about his fascinating betting journeys. Containing many ups and downs, it’s certainly worth your time getting stuck into this book.

A man who loves beating the bookies and challenging himself, Farrar’s book sees him overcome the odds on many occasions, in what is an entertaining and insightful read.

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Underdogs: When the Giants defeated the Patriots

If we rewind to Super Bowl XLII in 2008, and this was an incredible upset, as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots.

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Heading into the showpiece, the Tom Brady led Pats had won every single game they’d played that season. It was little wonder the Giants weren’t given much of a chance considering Brady was the best quarterback in the league and they’d won 18 straight.

Wanting to replicate his brother’s feats from the previous year, Eli Manning, the Giants’ quarterback, produced a tremendous, MVP winning display to propel his team to victory and prevent the Patriots from achieving a perfect season.

Priced at 12 point underdogs and at $4.75 to win outright, the Giants won 17-14 in a true classic, as they beat the odds impressively.

Courtesy of Wiki

Starting the match solidly by ending their first drive with a field goal, this was a decent opening by the Giants. The Patriots immediately flexed their muscles by bagging a touchdown on their first drive.

In a close yet entertaining encounter, only 10 points were scored in the first three quarters, as the Patriots were ahead 7-3 heading into the fourth term. The match really came to life in the last, though, with the lead changing hands three times.

With just 2.39 left on the clock and the Giants down 14-10, Manning and his teammates came up with a magical 83-yard drive. In a drive that contained David Tyree’s memorable helmet catch and ended with Plaxico Burress’ touchdown reception with just 35 seconds to go, the Giants remarkably won.

In what was the first Super Bowl since 1975 where neither team scored 20 points, the Giants’ unlikely triumph is unquestionably one of the biggest upsets the NFL has seen.

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Melbourne Cup Betting Review

While the race that stops the nation had a very different feel to it due to the health crisis, the 2020 Melbourne Cup was still an intriguing race.

Ostensibly leading from start to finish, Twilight Payment, ridden by Jye McNeil, won the coveted cup. Producing a brilliant ride in his first Melbourne Cup appearance, McNeil deserved immense credit for executing the race plan to perfection.

Maintaining the lead is usually no easy task, but Twilight Payment made it look easy, with the other horses unable to catch up. Priced at a whopping $27.20 to win and $8.10 to place, many bettors profited handsomely, including one lucky punter who won a staggering $130,000 on the Irish horse.

Courtesy of Wiki

Finishing second, third and fourth were Tiger Moth, Prince of Arran and The Chosen One respectively. With the quinella paying $97.20, the trifecta $1806.90 and the first four $38,939.90, a couple of bettors cashed in. Particularly notable was how one gambler won a first four bet to take home $64,418 and another won $40,497 on a same race multi.

In what was quite the upset, Twilight Payment amazingly beat the odds to triumph against a strong field to etch its name into history.

The race that always demands the attention of almost all Australians certainly delivered in spades this year.

AFL Grand Final an Interesting One for Bettors

Last weekend AFL’s Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats was a memorable one.

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In a match where Geelong started impressively and raced out to a 22 point lead in the second quarter before Richmond impressively surged back to triumph, the AFL grand final was certainly an entertaining clash in Brisbane.

Made all the more exciting by the fact it was the first night Grand Final and first to be held outside of Melbourne due to the health crisis in Victoria, this added to the occasion.

Heading into the game Richmond were priced as favourites at $1.87 while Geelong weren’t far behind at $2.00. Winning by a 31 point margin in the end, punters could have got Richmond to win by over 25 points at a solid $4.20.

Courtesy of Wiki Comms

Excellent odds of $5 on Norm Smith Medal winner Dustin Martin, given for the man of the match, were also taken advantage of by many. Moreover, quite a few cashed in on Martin being priced at $1.65 to record over 20 disposals, which he did by getting 22 touches.

Geelong captain, Joel Selwood, beat the odds to record over 20 disposals too, as he was paying a hefty $3.25 that many took advantage of.

One lucky punter who bet a whopping $10,000 on Richmond to win the final back in September at $4.25 would’ve unquestionably been delighted at the outcome.

Having now won three of the last four Grand Finals, Richmond are unsurprisingly favourites to win again in 2021. Priced at 4.50, the Tigers will certainly be tough to bet, as plenty of bettors will already by backing them for glory next season.

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Carl Froch’s fight fixing scandal

The revelations of Carl Froch’s fight fixing scandal first came into the spotlight when he released his autobiography back in 2012.

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The fight in question was his 2005 fifth round knockout of Ruben Groenewald, which he stated he let go into the fifth so his family and friends could win their bets. When speaking to the BBC back about the topic, Froch’s comments made for interesting listening.

“I’ve done it on more than one occasion and it was round five but that’s not illegal. I can say, ‘right, I’ll stop this kid in round five’. If I’m good enough to do that then fair enough. I don’t gamble but my brothers and my friends, they did quite well off it,” he asserted.

“I can openly say that because if I’m good enough to step on the gas in round five and force the stoppage then that’s my privilege, and that’s what I did in this particular fight at the Arena for the Commonwealth title defence.”

Courtesy of Wiki

While it wasn’t a full blown match fix, as there was no predetermined discussion between the fighters, it still left a bad taste in the mouths of many. His statements also landed him in front of British Boxing Board of Control to discuss the situation.

Although nothing really came from it, the whole saga certainly wasn’t a good look for the star Englishman, who did admit it was a mistake while trying to defend himself by saying his comments shouldn’t have been taken seriously.

Despite this being an unfortunate happening, it didn’t harm his reputation too severely, for the now retired Froch is fondly remembered as a brilliant world champion.

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Biggest Betting Upsets: UFC 69 - Serra vs. St-Pierre

Biggest Betting Upsets: UFC 69 – Serra vs. St-Pierre

There’s no doubting Matt Serra beating Georges St-Pierre was one of the biggest shocks in UFC history, which makes it an ideal topic for our next betting upsets series.

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In what was the headline bout of UFC 69 on April 7th, 2007, which was the first UFC event to be held in Texas, many gave Serra no chance of beating the highly fancied GSP.

Priced at 7 to 1 to defeat current titleholder GSP, some experts even stated that Serra didn’t have any attributes that were better than those of his opponent. Considering GSP had just beaten B.J Penn and Matt Hughes, it was somewhat understandable journeyman Serra wasn’t given a sniff.

Courtesy of Wiki

By the time Serra had knocked out GSP in just three minutes and 25 seconds, the skeptics were made to eat their words. Battering GSP with some wicked shots, Serra outgunned his masterful opponent, as he showed tremendous heart and courage to become champion. Clocking GSP with a right hook at around the three-minute stage, Serra then pounced, unleashing on the champion before GSP submitted.

Although GSP would win the rematch shortly after, Serra cemented his place in history on that memorable night in Texas.

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LA Lakers already title favourites for next season

LA Lakers already title favourites for next season

At the completion of the 2018/2019 NBA season, not many expected the Los Angeles Lakers to go all the way and take home the 2019/2020 title.

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After making the astute acquisition of Anthony Davis to supplement the legendary LeBron James in the offseason, they quickly propelled themselves into contention, as they were desperate to challenge having not made the playoffs since 2014.

Even though the campaign was sadly interrupted due to the health crisis, the Lakers brilliantly overcame the Miami Heat to be crowned deserved champions.

Starting the season in blistering style, they won 17 of their first 19 games to record the team’s best start to a season in franchise history. Impressively powering through the season, Frank Vogel’s men finished atop their division and conference on their way to enjoying a 52-19 record.

Courtesy of Pixy

As a result of their excellent work, they earned the number one seed for the first time since the 2009/2010 crusade for the playoffs. Starting their playoff journey against the Portland Trail Blazers, they brushed aside them with minimal fuss, winning in five games.

Moving onto the Western Conference semifinals, and the Lakers faced the dangerous Houston Rockets, who featured the excellent Harden and Westbrook. But the Lakers breezed by the Rockets 4-1 to progress to the Conference finals against the Denver Nuggets. In this series, James and co. produced another dominant display by crushing the Nuggets in 5 games too. With Lebron in devastating form, their adversaries struggled to come to grips with his amazing form.

Importantly, James continued his sparkling output into the finals series against the Miami Heat, where his magical efforts ensured they won in six games. Named as finals MVP as the Lakers won their 17th title and their first in a decade, there was no denying James.

Unsurprisingly, after their magnificent season, the Lakers are favorites for next season, with them priced at 4.50 to win again. Although the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Brooklyn Nets will provide stiff competition, if LeBron and his teammates can keep up their incredible level, it’s hard to see anyone beating the Lakers.

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Betting Underdogs: Douglas vs. Tyson

Betting Underdogs: Douglas vs. Tyson

To get an idea of just how big of an upset Buster Douglas defeating Mike Tyson was in 1990, HBO’s legendary boxing commentator, Jim Lampley, still believes it’s the biggest shock he’s witnessed. “Year in, year out it (the biggest upset) is still Tyson-Douglas,” he explained to BoxingScene.com in 2018.

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“Twenty-eight years later people still can’t get over it. People freak when I tell them it was an on-merit style loss. Mike had trouble with anyone who was taller, could move and jab, drop the right hand over the top. Buster was the best he had met in those categories up to that moment.”

The fact Douglas was a 42/1 underdog to win on that memorable night, where he won via a 10th round knockout to claim the heavyweight world title, certainly cements his achievement as one of the finest upsets in sports history. Moreover, the bout was considered such a foregone conclusion that most sportsbooks didn’t even take bets on the fight.

They obviously hadn’t observed Tyson’s lacklustre preparation for the fight, where all he did was a few training sessions and a bit of sparring that from all accounts didn’t go well. Promoter Don King even charged fans $60 a ticket to see Tyson do two rounds of sparring with Greg Page. But with Tyson having been given a tough time, King called the session short after a single round.

So going into the fight undercooked yet supremely confident and having not watched any video of his adversary, Tyson was punished for his lack of respect for Douglas. Upon reflecting back, it’s understandable Tyson was so sure he’d win, for he was the world champion with a record of 37-0 that included 33 knockouts.

Douglas didn’t have an ideal build up either, with his mother passing just before the fight. But instead of pulling out, he used this as motivation to do his best. And that he did, in a fight where he got off to a brilliant start by using his jab effectively to limit Tyson’s ability to get close and attack. Douglas would go on to largely control the early stages of the fight despite Tyson landing some notable uppercuts.

While Douglas continued to look good in the eighth round, Tyson struck him with a massive shot to send Douglas to the canvas near the end of the round. Douglas got up and survived a Tyson barrage in the ninth before knocking out the highly fancied Tyson, who famously couldn’t get up after some huge blows from Douglas in round 10.

A joyous Douglas who’d achieved the seemingly impossible feat of beating Tyson was delighted after the fight, as he eventually broke into tears when explaining he dedicated the victory to his mum.

An unlikely victory that’ll never be forgotten, Douglas defeating Tyson in Tokyo 30 years ago rightfully takes its place as one of the biggest upsets ever seen in the sporting world.

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