UFC Fight Night 88 took place May 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and saw half of its fights result in thrilling underdog wins.
The main event featured two 24-year-olds with unbeaten records. Brazilian Thomas Almeida came into the bout with an impressive 21-0 record, while Ohio native Cody Garbrandt entered the fight at 8-0. Though Almeida was the betting favorite (-165) going into the fight, it was Garbrandt (+135) who came out with fierce intent, delivering aggressive, precise strikes that knocked Almeida out and sent a bold message to the rest of the bantamweight division.
In the co-main event, Renan Barao (-200) and Jeremy Stephens (+160) went to war over three rounds with solid back-and-forth action. In the end, it was Stephens who landed more significant strikes, 55 to Barao’s 43, which was enough to take home the biggest win of his 11-year career and spoil Barao’s featherweight debut.
On paper, the biggest betting upset of the night was Bryan Caraway’s (+325) split decision victory over Aljamain Sterling (-450). Undefeated Sterling (13-0) had an exceptional first round and controlled Caraway on the ground for the majority of the opening stanza. Caraway dug in and dominated the final two rounds to edge out a win.
Fight of the Night Honors went to Jeremy Stephens and Renan Barao for their classic three-round all-or-nothing battle.
A Performance of the Night bonus went to Jake Collier (+110) who defeated Alberto Uda (-140) who, after suffering a broken nose in the first round, rallied in the second round to deliver on-point punches followed up by a vicious spinning back kick to the mid-section to topple the 9-0 Brazilian in his UFC debut.
Cody Garbrandt also received a Performance of the Night bonus for his fast-paced effective win over highly-favored 21-0 undefeated Thomas Almeida.
Underdog winners are highlighted below:
Main Card Results:
Cody Garbrandt def. Thomas Almeida, KO (punches), Rd. 1 (2:53).
Jeremy Stephens def. Renan Barao, Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Rick Story def. Tarec Saffiedine, Unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Chris Camozzi def. Vitor Miranda, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Lorenz Larkin def. Jorge Masvidal, Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Paul Felder def. Josh Burkman, Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Preliminary Card Results:
Sara McMann def. Jessica Eye, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Abel Trujillo def. Jordan Rinaldi, Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Jake Collier def. Alberto Uda, TKO (punches and spinning back kick), Rd. 2 (1:06).
Erik Koch def. Shane Campbell, Submission (rear-naked choke), Rd. 2 (3:02).
Early Preliminary Card Results:
Bryan Caraway def. Aljamain Sterling, Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Adam Milstead def. Chris De La Rocha, TKO (punches), Rd. 2 (4:01).
*Rick Story and Tarec Saffiedine were even odds going into the fight, however, Story was the slight underdog with some oddsmakers.
*Odds per Bovada