Fight Facts: UFC 242

By Jay Pettry Sep 10, 2019

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all 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 returned to the United Arab Emirates for the first time since 2014 and did so with a show that turned up the heat, both in terms of temperature and excitement. UFC 242 featured a Dagestani wrecking machine who has still beaten all comers, an heir to the heavyweight “Elbow King” throne and a couple of crushing one-punch knockouts.

THE POWER OF THE ‘V’: Five fighters from Dagestan competed at UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Muslim Salikhov and Omari Akhmedov. The only one of those five who did not emerge victorious was Abdurakhimov.

THE EAGLE SOARS: Nurmagomedov improved his spotless record to 28-0 with a submission victory over Dustin Poirier in the main event. No other fighter in a major MMA promotion has an unbeaten record close to that of “The Eagle,” with the next closest being 22-0 Bellator MMA welterweight Yaroslav Amosov.

COLLISION COURSE: By winning his 12th straight fight inside the Octagon, Nurmagomedov tied Tony Ferguson for the longest active winning streak in the UFC.

LIKE A RUSSIAN ‘SPIDER’: As he has not lost since joining the Las Vegas-based promotion, Nurmagomedov is now the second fighter in promotional history to start his UFC career with 12 consecutive victories. The only other fighter to accomplish this was Anderson Silva, who won 16 in a row from 2006-12.

OH, OH, IT’S MAGIC: Nurmagomedov is the first fighter in 2019 to win a championship match by submission and the first since Daniel Cormier tapped Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in 2018.

WELL-ROUNDED IN THE WRONG WAY: After tapping out to Nurmagomedov’s rear-naked choke, Poirier has now suffered two defeats by submission, two by knockout and another two on the scorecards.

RAZOR-SHARP HELLBOWS: By smashing Abdurakhimov with an elbow and follow-up punches to force a stoppage, Curtis Blaydes tied the record held by four other fighters, including fellow UFC 242 competitor Paul Felder, for the most elbow-based finishes in company history.

CAIN WHO?: After grounding Abdurakhimov five times, Blaydes has now racked up 45 takedowns in his 10-fight UFC career -- the most in UFC heavyweight history.

‘JOJO’ HAS MOJO: Having previously posted the first win in UFC women’s flyweight history a full 16 months before the division was enacted, Joanne Calderwood took a split verdict over Andrea Lee to earn her fourth victory at 125 pounds. It ties her for the most wins in divisional history with current champion Valentina Shevchenko.

IT WASN’T THAT CLOSE: The judges scored the bout between Zubaira Tukhugov and Lerone Murphy a draw -- although every media scorer disagreed -- making it the first UFC fight to be ruled even in 2019.

SUSPECT JUDGING: The Tukhugov-Murphy fight was the ninth in promotional history to be scored a split draw. It was the first split draw since Bobby Green drew with Lando Vannata at UFC 216 in 2017, when Vannata was deducted one point in the opening round due to an illegal knee.

THIS JOKE IS TOO EASY: Despite missing weight by two pounds, Sarah Moras ended up finishing Liana Jojua with strikes in the third round. “Cheesecake” became the second female fighter to win a fight after coming in heavy and win another when her opponent weighed in beyond the limit, joining Cynthia Calvillo.

WHAT A BULLDOZER: Ottman Azaitar faceplanted Teemu Packalen with one punch in the opening round, raising his undefeated record to 12-0 with nine first-round stoppages.

SANDA SUPERSTAR: With a single overhand right, Muslim Salikhov decked Nordine Taleb to secure a stoppage in the first round. Fourteen of his career wins have come inside the distance, including 11 knockouts in Round 1.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC 242, Jojua had never been knocked out (nine fights), Belal Muhammad had never won by submission (18 fights) and Fares Ziam had never lost by decision (12 fights).

DAVI LOVES DANGER: After making the choice to use “Till I Collapse” by Eminem as his walkout tune, Davi Ramos dropped a decision to Makhachev. With the loss, the track is now one of five songs in recorded UFC walkout track history to accompany over 15 individual defeats.

NO NEED TO PAY ROYALTIES: Packalen returned to the cage by using “Kipinan Hetki” by Robin featuring Elastinen. Robin is Packalen’s cousin. In each of his last three outings, Packalen has used his cousin’s music, to mixed results.

Sherdog 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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