Fight Facts: UFC Fight Night 143

By Jay Pettry Jan 21, 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 in Brooklyn, New York, set the New Year ablaze with its debut on ESPN and ESPN Plus, staging an event rife with drama and plenty of action. UFC Fight Night 143 featured even more records broken by the promotion’s all-time wins leader, one of the fastest finishes in a title fight and the first win for a long-dreaded walkout song.

GIVE FLYWEIGHTS SOME LOVE: With a flyweight title fight as the main event and Joseph Benavidez facing off against Dustin Ortiz on the main card, UFC Fight Night 143 became the first event since “The Ultimate Fighter 24” Finale in 2016 to feature multiple men’s flyweight bouts on a single main card. It also became the sixth event in UFC history to ever hold more than one men’s flyweight bout on the main card.

MISSING MOUSE: The flyweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw was the first of its kind, as after 13 championship bouts at 125 pounds, it did not feature Demetrious Johnson.

CEJUDOMINATED: Cejudo’s 32-second knockout of Dillashaw tied Tito Ortiz’s slam knockout of Evan Tanner at UFC 30 in 2001 for the sixth-fastest finish in UFC championship history. It was the fastest such finish in a flyweight title fight.

THE MESSENGER ERA: By finishing Dillashaw in 32 seconds, “The Messenger” picked up the second-fastest knockout in UFC flyweight history, trailing only Ortiz’s 15-second demolition of Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night 114.

NEW ORDER: In scoring a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his knockout, Cejudo tied Benavidez and Louis Smolka for the second-most post-fight bonuses in UFC flyweight history. They all trail Johnson with nine.

HIGHS AND LOWS: By knocking out Dillashaw in the first round, Cejudo became the sixth flyweight in the UFC to win and lose a bout in the first round. Cejudo previously suffered a first-round knockout to Johnson at UFC 197. He joined Benavidez, Alex Perez, Hector Sandoval, Jussier da Silva and Roberto Sanchez on the list.

FOUR UP, ONE DOWN: Throughout Dillashaw’s career, he has won four fights before losing the next one, only to win his next four and repeat the cycle. Coming into his bout with Cejudo, Dillashaw had won four straight fights.

POINTS FOR TRYING: Dillashaw attempted to become the fourth fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold belts in two divisions but failed to do so. He was the first champion to ever go down in weight to seek another belt, with all other previous champions moving up in weight to go after their second strap.

WORST-CASE SCENARIO: By landing an illegal knee while Allen Crowder was grounded, Greg Hardy earned the first disqualification in the UFC since Hector Lombard was DQ’d for striking C.B. Dollaway after the bell at UFC 222 in 2018.

PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT: In his three previous bouts, Hardy had totaled 2:07 of time in the cage. His bout with Crowder went over three times that long, as they fought for 7:28 before the foul.

THE GIFTED: Gregor Gillespie remained undefeated at 13-0 with 11 stoppages after he finished Yancy Medeiros in the second round of their bout.

IT’S NOT OVER YET: Benavidez defeated Ortiz by unanimous decision, picking up his 12th win at flyweight -- one shy of the record held by Johnson. The bout was his 15th in the division, as Benavidez tied Johnson for the most appearances at 125 pounds.

CAN’T SLOW DOWN: In losing on the scorecards to Benavidez, Ortiz picked up his sixth loss at flyweight under the UFC banner, tying him for the most losses at flyweight with John Moraga.

TAKING A PAIGE OUT OF RONDA’S BOOK: When she tapped Rachael Ostovich with an armbar, Paige VanZant became only the second female fighter in UFC history to submit multiple opponents with armbars, joining Ronda Rousey. VanZant previously submitted Alex Chambers with the maneuver at UFC 191 in 2015.

THE MAN: By knocking out Alexander Hernandez in the second round, Donald Cerrone extended his UFC records for the most wins (22) and the most finishes (16).

THE MYTH: In picking up his 28th win in the combined history of the UFC, World Extreme Cagefighting, Pride Fighting Championships and Strikeforce, Cerrone is now the all-time wins leader for Zuffa organizations. He broke his tie with Wanderlei Silva, who owns 27 victories.

THE LEGEND: By earning “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” bonuses for his knockout of Hernandez, Cerrone became the UFC’s all-time bonus leader with 16. He leapfrogged Nate Diaz and Joe Lauzon, who each have 15.

SIX-FIGURE MAN: In pocketing two bonuses for his win, Cerrone became the second fighter in UFC history to ever earn double bonuses in multiple bouts, joining Anderson Silva, who did so on three separate occasions. Cerrone previously won “Fight of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” honors when he stopped Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 in 2012.

ZUFFA ZOMBIE: After making his 40th appearance in Zuffa-owned promotions, Cerrone now holds the most appearances in Zuffa history, breaking a tie with the aforementioned Wanderlei Silva with 39. He also became the second fighter to fight at least 30 times inside the Octagon, joining Jim Miller.

ULTIMATE BONUS CHAMPIONSHIP: After being awarded two bonuses following his win, Cerrone extended his record for the most post-fight bonuses awarded to a fighter in combined UFC and WEC history with 21.

I’M GONNA TAKE THIS RIGHT FOOT …: With his knockout victory stemming from a head kick, Cerrone has now knocked out seven fighters with a head kick, extending his record for the most in UFC history.

… AND I’M GONNA WHOP YOU ON THAT SIDE OF YOUR FACE: When he dropped Hernandez in the second round, Cerrone tied Anderson Silva for the most knockdowns scored with 18.

A NEW START: By picking up a decision win over Ariane Lipski, Joanne Calderwood tied Jessica Eye for the most wins in the relatively new UFC women’s flyweight division with three.

GONZO FOR ALONZO: Alonzo Menifield smashed Vinicius Alves Moreira in the first round and improved his undefeated record to 8-0. All eight of his wins have come by finish, and he has never fought beyond 32 seconds of Round 2.

MENACE OUT: Upon snapping a four-fight losing streak with a decision win over Te Edwards, Dennis Bermudez retired after getting his hand raised one last time. A finalist in “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 featherweight tournament, “The Menace” spent his entire UFC career in the featherweight division until this last bout at lightweight. He retired with a UFC record of 10-7, with five post-fight bonuses. Bermudez also took part in one of the greatest fights in UFC history when he battled Matt Grice at UFC 157 in 2013.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC Fight Night 143, Medeiros had never lost consecutive bouts (21 fights), Hernandez (11 fights) and Stewart (12 fights) had never been finished and Mario Bautista had never been defeated (six fights).

NO SLEEP TILL …: VanZant made her walk to the cage with “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys and won by stoppage. The win improved the Beastie Boys’ record to a recorded 2-6 in the Octagon, and she became the second fighter to walk out to that song at a UFC event in Brooklyn. Philipe Nover had the same idea at UFC 208 but lost a decision to Rick Glenn.

HAD TO HAPPEN SOMETIME: Glover Teixeira walked out to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, and he became the first fighter in eight recorded uses to win with the track when he submitted Karl Roberson.

RIDING AT NIGHT ’CAUSE HE SLEEPS ALL DAY: As he has done in each of his 30 Octagon appearances, Cerrone walked out to “Cowboy” by Kid Rock, extending his record for the most uses of a song by a single fighter. He also improved the winning percentage of the song to .733, the highest of any song with over 20 recorded uses. In his WEC career, Cerrone also walked out to “Cowboy” for at least eight of his 10 bouts.

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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