Fight Facts: UFC 235

By Jay Pettry Mar 4, 2019

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and Octagon oddities 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.

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday put on UFC 235 -- an event that proved unusual and intriguing in many ways. It featured an increasingly common double-digit UFC winning streak, a rare bulldog choke and an instant contender that has rattled off 19 straight victories in less than five years.

SIXTEEN WITH A BULLET: Jon Jones is now riding a 16-fight unbeaten streak after his win over Anthony Smith in the main event. He tied the record held by Anderson Silva, although Silva ended with a 16-fight winning streak. At UFC 214, Jones’ win was overturned to a no-contest, and his winning streak was snapped.

TITLETOWN, POPULATION: YOU: Jones’ win in a championship fight gave him 12 victories in title bouts, putting him in second place all-time with Demetrious Johnson. They trail only Georges St. Pierre (13).

WHO’S NEXT?: In winning his 18th UFC bout at 205 pounds, Jones extended his record for the most wins in divisional history.

HE IS A PROBLEM: After beating Tyron Woodley in the co-main event, Kamaru Usman became the ninth fighter in promotional history to record a streak of 10 consecutive wins. Three other active fighters -- Max Holloway, Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov -- currently have winning streaks greater than 10.

THE BUILDING OF A DYNASTY: Usman became the first African-born champion in UFC history. Francis Ngannou, born in Cameroon, competed for the UFC heavyweight title in 2018 but came up short; and at UFC 236 in April, Israel Adesanya, born in Nigeria like Usman, will vie for the interim UFC middleweight crown against Kelvin Gastelum.

BODY, BODY, HEAD: According to, Usman landed 192 strikes to the body, setting the record for the most ever in a single bout. Usman landed more strikes to Woodley’s body alone than Woodley and an opponent had landed on each other in total since Woodley faced Jake Shields at UFC 161 in 2013. The two combined for 229 total strikes in that contest.

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN WE GO: By scoring two takedowns on Woodley, Usman became the first fighter to ever land multiple takedowns on the two-time All-American wrestler from the University of Missouri.

ONE-MAN WRECKING CREW: In earning two 10-8 scores in Round 4 of their contest, Usman became the first challenger since Cain Velasquez rematched Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 in 2012 to earn a 10-8 round in a title fight that went the distance.

PURE PARITY LEAGUE: With Woodley dethroned, only one UFC champion currently holds at least three active title defenses to his or her credit: Amanda Nunes.

STILL GOTTA GIVE HIM PROPS: Ben Askren remained undefeated at 19-0 with one no-contest when he submitted Robbie Lawler. Only three other fighters in major organizations hold higher undefeated records than Askren: UFC lightweight champ Nurmagomedov, Bellator MMA welterweight Yaroslav Amosov and UFC welterweight Alexey Kunchenko.

SHOW ME BULLDOG: Although the stoppage was controversial, Askren used a bulldog choke to submit Lawler, becoming the fifth fighter to use that particular choke in UFC history.

LIKE A SCHOOLYARD BULLY: Askren’s submission of Lawler was not the first time that type of choke has been ruled a technical submission, as Raquel Pennington put Ashlee Evans-Smith to sleep with one at UFC 181 in 2014. Additionally, Yancy Medeiros rendered Damon Jackson unconscious with a reverse variation of a bulldog choke at UFC 177, also in 2014.

THE FIRST CHINESE CONTENDER?: In taking a decision over Tecia Torres, Weili Zhang improved her massive winning streak to 19 straight fights. After losing in her pro debut in 2013, Zhang has won every fight since. She has now gone the distance four times across 20 bouts, lowering her finish rate to a still-impressive 84 percent.

CARDIO FOR DAYS: Following her decision loss to Zhang, Torres has reached the judges in 13 of her 14 career fights.

THEY USUALLY GO LONGER: By winning “Fight of the Night” despite their bout ending by first-round knockout, Cody Garbrandt and Pedro Munhoz became the 19th set of fighters -- fourth at bantamweight -- to win “Fight of the Night” after a one-round fight. This accounts for about 5.1 percent of all FOTN bonuses. By comparison, fights ending in Round 3 or reaching the scorecards after three rounds account for 60 percent of the “Fight of the Night” bonuses.

GRIZZLED VETERAN: Jeremy Stephens competed in his 30th bout inside the Octagon, tying Donald Cerrone for the second-most UFC appearances. They trail Jim Miller (31). Of note, Cerrone has defeated both Stephens and Miller in previous bouts, while Miller and Stephens have never faced off.

DIVISION OF SHARKS: By dropping a decision to Zabit Magomedsharipov, Stephens earned his 15th loss in the UFC, extending his record for the most in the history of the promotion. The loss, his 11th on the scorecards, was also good for the most decision defeats in UFC history.

EVEN SMOOTHER FINISH: Johnny Walker knocked out Misha Cirkunov with a flying knee and follow-up punches in only 36 seconds. Across his 17 wins, he has finished 16 opponents, including 14 in the first round.

BEAUTIFUL DESTRUCTION: Having previously demolished Justin Ledet with a spinning backfist at UFC Fight Night 144 in February, Walker became the second fighter in UFC history to ever finish opponents with both flying and spinning strikes. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos accomplished this feat in 2018, laying out Sean Strickland with a spinning wheel kick at UFC Fight Night 137 before knocking out Luigi Vendramini at UFC 224 with a flying knee.

WALKING A NEW PATH: In each of his first three UFC bouts, Walker has earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus for a knockout victory. He is the first fighter in promotional history to start his UFC career with three consecutive “Performance of the Night” bonuses.

OLD DOG, OLD TRICKS: For the first time since 2008, when he knocked out Luigi Fioravanti at “The Ultimate Fighter 7” Finale, Diego Sanchez finished an opponent by stopping Mickey Gall with punches and elbows. During that span, Sanchez won nine decisions and suffered nine defeats.

VINTAGE PERFORMANCE: By scoring a “Performance of the Night” bonus after knocking out Gall, Sanchez was the last fighter on the roster to hold at least seven post-fight bonuses without a single performance bonus, including the defunct “Knockout of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” bonuses. All of Sanchez’s previous seven post-fight bonuses were for “Fight of the Night.”

EDMOND’S REVENGE: In flattening Charles Byrd in 38 seconds, Edmen Shahbazyan improved his undefeated record to 9-0 with eight first-round knockouts to his credit.

NO-MERCY MACY: Macy Chiasson knocked out Gina Mazany in 109 seconds, scoring the fifth-fastest knockout in women’s bantamweight history and the ninth-fastest knockout in women’s divisional history.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC 235, Smith had never competed beyond the third round (44 fights), Gall had never been finished (six fights) and Mazany had never been knocked out (seven fights).

QUEEN DAY: Three fighters -- Jones, Garbrandt and Gall -- all walked out to various songs by legendary rock band Queen. Jones used “We Are the Champions,” Garbrandt used “We Will Rock You” and Gall used “Another One Bites the Dust.” Of the three, only Jones emerged victorious, with Garbrandt and Gall both getting knocked out.

EGO TRIP: Woodley walked out to his own rap song featuring Wiz Khalifa, “I’ll Beat Yo Ass,” and lost a decision to Usman. Surprisingly, Woodley was not the first fighter to walk out to this song. Gillian Robertson walked out to it one week prior and submitted Veronica Macedo at UFC Fight Night 145.

DID THEY COORDINATE?: Lawler and Mazany both strolled to the Octagon accompanied by songs from Johnny Cash, with Lawler using “Ain’t No Grave” and Mazany using “The Man Comes Around.” Both lost by first-round stoppage.

SO YOU’RE SAYING YOU’LL SET MY COUNTRY MUSIC AWARD ON FIRE?: When Cody Stamann walked out to “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver, he became the first recorded fighter in UFC history to ever walk out to a John Denver song. Stamann went on to defeat Alejandro Perez by decision.

Contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012, and writing 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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