Fight Facts: Road to M-1: USA 2 ‘Road to the Desert’

By Jay Pettry Apr 7, 2019
Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

TOTAL NUMBER OF FULTON FIGHTS: 320
TOTAL NUMBER OF RITCH FIGHTS: 148

M-1 Global on Thursday came to California with an event that brought together some of the most experienced fighters in the sport. Road to M-1: USA 2 featured an iron man earning his mind-blowing 255th career win, a veteran who has now been tapped by almost every move in the book and a competitor one fight away from his 100th appearance.

TRULY ONCE IN A LIFETIME: The Travis Fulton-Shannon Ritch collision brought the most combined experience of any fight in the history of MMA, with 468 combined professional MMA bouts between the two. Surprisingly, the two had never competed against each other before, although they have appeared at the same event multiple times. This does not include dozens of undocumented fights nor does it include over 110 pro boxing and kickboxing matches they have taken over the years.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?: The combined MMA experience of Fulton and Ritch is more than the entire lineup of the upcoming UFC 236 card, which features 26 competitors that have fought a total of 436 times in MMA coming in to the event.

OVERFLOW ERROR: In securing the win, Fulton had his hand raised for the 255th time, extending his record for the most wins in MMA history. Only one other fighter has at least 100 recorded wins in their MMA career: Dan Severn, who retired with 101 victories. Of note, Severn earned five combined victories with one draw against Fulton and Ritch.

HE’S SEEN A MILLION FACES, AND HE’S TAPPED THEM ALL: Fulton scored his 152nd submission victory by making Ritch tap in the second round. No other fighter in MMA history has submitted even half that many opponents.

CHOKE EM' IF YOU GOT EM': Fulton forced Ritch to tap out by a forearm choke, giving him his second win with that maneuver in his lengthy career. He first pulled off that type of choke against Jesse Nunez in 2011.

IN A ROW?: With the win being Fulton’s second straight, it marks the 37th time he has strung together a multiple-fight winning streak.

CONFIRMED BACHELOR: By taking out Ritch, Fulton has now beaten 191 different men throughout his career. In comparison, he has picked up at least three victories over 13 different fighters.

FULTON BY FAR: This bout was the 320th time Fulton competed in a professional MMA bout. Comparatively, Invicta Fighting Championships has only put on 305 total fights across 34 events in its history, entering its seventh year of existence at the end of this month.

THIS GUY HATES JUDGES: With the bout ending in the second round, Ritch has still never reached the scorecards in his nearly 150-fight career.

SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS: Ritch reached the second round for only the seventh time in his career.

GLASS CANNON: After suffering his 87th defeat, Ritch holds the all-time record for the most losses suffered in MMA. Jay Ellis trails him with 85, and both men are still in active competition.

LIVED TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY: When Ritch tapped out, he earned his 57th career submission loss, more than any other fighter.

TAKE YOUR PICK: Ritch had never been submitted with a forearm choke despite a multitude of submission defeats. In addition to two undefined submission losses and three undefined chokes, he has tapped out for the following reasons: Achilles lock, ankle lock, arm-triangle choke, armbar, armlock, guillotine choke, heel hook, keylock, kimura, kneebar, rear-naked choke, reverse armbar, toe hold and triangle choke. He has also verbally submitted once, tapped once to injury, been put to sleep by a triangle choke from Ray Elbe and been struck into submission on a number of occasions.

STOPPABLE FORCE MET MOVEABLE OBJECT: As Ritch had never faced Fulton, when he lost, he was beaten by the 82nd different fighter throughout his career. He has only lost to four fighters more than once: Severn, Chris Brennan, Garett Davis and Mavrick Harvey.

PROVE IT: Ritch had not competed in MMA since December 2017, when he heel hooked Eriko Vasquez. The nearly 16-month layoff was among the longest of his almost 21-year career, but he did not fight from September 2006 to March 2008 after the California State Athletic Commission accused him and opponent Brian Ebersole of working their fight.

FUELED WITH DIESEL: In picking up a tough unanimous decision win over Josue Lugo, Travis Wiuff competed in his 99th career bout. Wiuff intends on retiring after his 100th fight.

SUPER HEAVY DUTY: The bout between Wiuff and Lugo was contested at super heavyweight, and although Wiuff weighed in well below the heavyweight limit at 254.8 pounds, Lugo hit the scales at 332 pounds. Across major promotions, there has been one bout in Ultimate Fighting Championship history officially at super heavyweight, and it occurred between Josh Barnett and Gan McGee at UFC 28. Three took place inside World Extreme Cagefighting, with Ron Waterman as the promotion's only champ in that weight class. One took place in Strikeforce, where Jan Nortje knocked out Bob Sapp at Strikeforce at the Dome in 2008. World Series of Fighting had one when Tim Hague came in 10.1 pounds over the heavyweight limit at WSOF 14. Polish promotion KSW has had nine, although eight involved five-time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski.

HAVEN’T THEY SUFFERED ENOUGH NOW?: Fulton made his walk to the M-1 ring accompanied by “Enough” by Disturbed. Over in the UFC, Disturbed has the lowest winning percentage of any walkout artist with at least 20 recorded uses at .333. Fulton defied the odds to submit Ritch.

PLAY ‘LOSE YOURSELF’ AND LOSE, YOURSELF: Ritch made the unfortunate choice of walking out to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem and lost. “Lose Yourself” has the lowest winning percentage of any walkout song in the UFC, along with “Cinderella Man,” with both sharing a victory rate of .263.

Contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.
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