Unheralded Shana Dobson brutalises Mariya Agapova at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas
Unheralded Shana Dobson brutalises Mariya Agapova at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas Image Credit: USA Today

Dubai: Every time the UFC stages a Fight Night, you can expect something spectacular to happen and Saturday night’s nine-event card in Las Vegas was no exception delivering one of the biggest shocks in women’s MMA history when unheralded Shana Dobson brutalised Mariya Agapova for a historic victory.

The 31-year-old Dobson came into the lightweight contest as a huge underdog having lost all three of her fights in the UFC since she debut in 2017. But she could not have chosen a better time, or stage, to prove that she was not the washout that everyone thought she was, including her opponent.

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On a card that featured a huge main event between future Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar and the surging Pedro Munhoz, Dobson seized the opportunity to orchestrate what will forever be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in the sport and reminiscent of Holly Holm’s shock victory over the great Ronda Rousey in 2015.

After a back-and-forth opening round where the American Top Team-trained Agapova (9-2) decidedly had the edge, Dobson (4-4) pounced on the chance to take her opponent before unleashing an avalanche of ground-and-pound punches to force the stoppage at 1:38 of Round 2.

A visibly hurt and gassed out Agapova, who had never been knocked out in her career, was stretchered out of the UFC’s Apex Arena.

“I’ve been doubted my whole career, and this fight I was doubted a huge amount,” said Dobson, who earned a $50,000 performance-of-the-night bonus.

“I didn’t know what the betting odds were until I stumbled upon them on accident when I was betting myself. I was confident. Like my coach says, ‘We’re excited, but we’re not surprised. We already knew’.”

After the co-main event between light-heavyweights Ovince St-Preux and up-and-comer Alonzo Menifield was called-off as the former returned a positive COVID-19 test, it was up to Edgard and Munhoz to compensate disappointed fight fans, and boy did they step up to the plate in an action-packed bantamweight bout that set a UFC record for most significant strikes (301).

Munhoz may have landed 166, with the majority of them being deadly leg kicks, Edgar’s 135 strikes combined with the only two takedowns in the five-rounder earned him the win via split decision (48-47, 46-49, 48-47) The contest was also voted Fight of the Night by the UFC, earning both men bonuses of $50,000.

Edgar, who became the 11th fighter in modern UFC history to win in three divisions, hit out at his critics in his post-fight interview.

“I proved all them wrong,” said Edgar, who entered the contest at the significant underdog. “I still got some fight in this tank.

“I’m showing I can compete with the best at 38 years old. I don’t want to hear nothing from nobody.”

Results

UFC Fight Night
Frankie Edgar defeated Pedro Munhoz via split decision
Mike Rodriguez defeated Marcin Prachnio via KO at 2:17 of Round 1
Joe Solecki defeated Austin Hubbard via submission at 3:51 of Round 1
Shana Dobson defeated Mariya Agapova via TKO at 1:38 of Round 2
Daniel Rodriguez defeated Dwight Grant via KO at 2:24 of Round 1
Amanda Lemos defeated Mizuki via unanimous decision
Jordan Wright defeated Ike Villanueva via TKO at 1:31 of Round 1
Matthew Semelsberger defeated Carlton Minus via unanimous decision
Trevin Jones defeated Timur Valiev via TKO at 1:59 of Round 2