Fight Facts: UFC Fight Night 173

By Jay Pettry Aug 3, 2020

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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 limped back to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas with a card that barely made it to the gates. With just eight fights in tow after the dust settled, UFC Fight Night 173 featured not one but two fighters who fainted by night’s end, more groin strikes than actual bouts and welterweight silently writing his name in the record books.

CALL THE EXORCIST: UFC Fight Night 173 ended up with just eight fights on the card. This is the fewest number of bouts on a UFC card since UFC 177 in 2014, which also suffered its fair share of unexpected withdrawals.

DROPPING LIKE FLIES: On fight day, two separate fights were scratched for varying reasons. Gerald Meerschaert tested positive for COVID-19 after a false negative had cleared him earlier in the week for his fight with Ed Herman. Also, right before he was set to walk out, Trevin Giles passed out backstage in an incident similar to Stefan Struve losing consciousness shortly before his scheduled appearance at UFC 175 in 2014. Giles’ bout against Kevin Holland was called off, as well.

ONE FOR EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK: Over the course of the evening, the action was halted 10 different times because of groin strikes—more groin strikes landed than there were fights on the card.

AN UNNECESSARY EXTENSION: The main event between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan was scheduled for just three instead of five rounds, as it was elevated to the headliner position when Irene Aldana withdrew from her top-billed fight against Holly Holm. It is the first three-round UFC main event since UFC Fight Night 163, where Zabit Magomedsharipov took a three-round decision over Calvin Kattar in the marquee matchup.

CHASING ANDERSON: The knockout was Brunson’s seventh in the UFC’s middleweight division. By dispatching Shahbazyan, Brunson moved himself into a tie for the second-most knockouts in divisional history with Chris Leben and Thiago Santos. All three are one shy of the leader, Anderson Silva (eight).

NO HEAD MOOMENT: The fight for Shahbazyan marked the second time in his 12-fight career that he had ever fought out of the first round.

MAIA THINGS: Snapping a streak of eight straight fights that went the distance, Jennifer Maia snatched up an armbar over former presumptive title challenger Joanne Calderwood in the opening frame.

BAD MOJO FOR JOJO: When she tapped out to the armbar from Maia, Calderwood became the second female fighter—Alex Chambers was the first—to ever submit to multiple armbars in the UFC.

NOT SO SILENT: Vicente Luque shut out Randy Brown’s lights with a knee and follow-up punches, and in the process lifted his career finish rate to 89 percent. All but one of Luque’s wins under the UFC banner have come inside the distance.

VINNIE AND THE MATTS: Luque’s finish is his 11th as a welterweight, tying Matt Hughes for the second-most in UFC welterweight history. Matt Brown holds 13, the most of any 170-pound fighter, and no other welterweights have amassed even 10.

170-POUND WRECKING BALL: “The Silent Assassin” recorded his 8th knockout as a UFC welterweight, putting him in second place for the most in divisional history. Brown stands alone with 11.

BE GETTING LUQRATIVE: After knocking out Brown, Luque was awarded a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his efforts. Four of the last six fights for the Brazilian have been followed by post-fight bonus money.

BOBBY FULLTIME: Even though he boasts a finish rate around 65 percent, Bobby Green has gone the distance in each of his last seven bouts, and done so in 10 of 11. Green avenged a draw to Lando Vannata by winning a clear-cut unanimous decision against “Groovy.”

COVERING LOSSES: The rematch between Green and Vannata—their first fight was scored a draw—received betting odds of +3000 that their second outing would also be a draw. This is a far lower line than any standard fight going to a draw roughly around +5000, or 50/1, and the remaining seven fights on the card closed with draw options ranging from +4000 to +6500.

DUNDASSO ON THE UFC STAGE: In a bout chock full of fouls and an eventual point deduction, Joseph Nathan Maness made his successful promotional debut at the expense of fellow debutant Johnny Munoz Jr. Maness did so with a trio of contentious 29-27 scorecards.

I AM JACK’S COMPLETE LACK OF SURPRISE: The first fight of the night ended in a draw when Cody Durden won the first frame with a 10-8 score and lost the next two rounds to Chris Gutierrez. The result is just the third unanimous draw in company history.

LOCALLY SOURCED, ORGANIC DRAW: The draw between Durden and Gutierrez was not impacted by a point deduction, making it the first unanimous draw scored naturally in UFC history. Both Tito Ortiz and Cheick Kongo lost points in their bouts for fouls to force their draws.

GOOD THING NO CROWD WAS THERE: This event is the first to open with a fight scored a draw since Alejandro Perez and Albert Morales drew at UFC Fight Night 94 in 2016. Perez was deducted one point for striking Morales after the bell, and the judges scored it a majority draw. It is the first unanimous draw to kick off any UFC card.

FOOL ME NINE TIMES: Ray Borg was supposed to compete on the card, but he was forced to withdraw for undisclosed reasons on the day of the weigh-ins. By stepping out of the fight, Borg tied the UFC’s all-time record for fight withdrawals with Thiago Alves. Both men have removed themselves from nine UFC bouts across their careers.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC Fight Night 173, Shahbazyan (11 fights) and Munoz (10 fights) had never been defeated, Brunson had never knocked out an opponent outside of the first round (27 fights, 11 knockouts) and Munoz had never competed for any organization other than King of the Cage.

SHE WON THE FIGHT: Each of Maia’s five walkouts in the UFC have come with “TNT” by AC/DC playing in the background, and she ended the night getting her hand raised after a first-round armbar. With the victory, the win percentage of “TNT” lifted to still-feeble .363, although it is far above the lowest with over 20 uses. That honor goes to the .238 “Cinderella Man” by Eminem.

C’MON, C’MON, C’MON: All 15 appearances inside the Octagon for Luque have been accompanied by “Baby Baby” by Tropkillaz. Luque has won 12 of those 15 bouts, giving the track an excellent winning percentage of .800.

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