Despite entering the match as a heavy underdog, UFC women's flyweight contender Shana Dobson managed an upset against Mariya Agapova at UFC Fight Night on August 22.
Dobson's impressive showing not only won her the Performance of the Night award, but also turned heads across the entire UFC.
It was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, as it looked like both women were going in opposite directions in their careers. Dobson was riding a 3-fight losing streak and had not won a fight since December 2017. On the other hand, Agapova was absolutely tearing through her competition. She came into the bout with an imposing 9-1 record.
The last time that a competitor overcame +800 or greater odds in a bout was in 2015 when Holly Holm upset Rhonda Rousey, who was unbeaten and seemed unbeatable.
Rousey was never the same after the shocking defeat, and she only had one more fight in her professional career (another loss to Amanda Nunes in December 2016). If a superstar like Rousey can have her career derailed by one loss, then one would think Agapova could certainly fall to the same fate.
Agapova reportedly had to be stretchered out of the ring after the bout due to exhaustion. It’s clear that there was a lack of preparation on her part, likely the result of underestimating her opponent.
Even with the impressive notch in her belt, people are still not giving Dobson the respect that she deserves. Many believe her victory had more to do with the fact that Agapova tired herself out, which is a notion that Dobson resents.
“I’m gonna be honest: I guess that works for her sometimes, but she’s 9-2 now,” Dobson said. “She’s been in there, she’s experienced. That ‘I gassed’ bull sh*t, I ain’t buying it. I had an adrenaline dump one time in my fighting career and that was my very first exhibition fight in the basement of some kickboxing gym.”
Dobson climbed to .500 after the fight, as will hopefully her reputation. Many had her pegged as a “layup” before the breakout fight, but Dobson has proved that she can go the distance in a fight.
Meanwhile, Agapova will have to work extremely hard to overcome this mark on her record.
While the fight has gone down as one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, one person who was not surprised by the outcome: Dobson herself.
“We saw this coming,” Dobson said in a post-fight interview. “We’re excited, but we’re not surprised. We expected to get this dub, no matter how we were going to get it.”
Dobson has proven that she has the competitive edge to match anyone in the ring, and she has the opportunity to completely turn her career around if she can keep up the momentum.
Written by: Jerry Markarian