Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 23

By Jay Pettry May 3, 2021

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

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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TOTAL NUMBER OF UFC FIGHTS: 6,098
TOTAL NUMBER OF UFC EVENTS: 561

The Ultimate Fighting Championship followed a mega pay-per-view event with an ESPN offering that built a sneakily solid main card. The fighters and the promotion had to contend with questionable judging, fouls and more throughout the night. UFC on ESPN 23 featured the first disqualification of a female fighter inside the Octagon, a knockout artist who separated himself from the pack and an increasingly common draw in one weight class.

In A Post-Buffer World: Since debuting with the organization at UFC on FX 6 in 2012, announcer Joe Martinez called his 50th UFC event with UFC on ESPN 23. His most active year so far has been 2020, when he was on the microphone for 13 of the promotion’s 39 shows.

Dana White’s Commentator Series: Starting much later than Martinez, play-by-play commentator Brendan Fitzgerald joined the Las Vegas-based company in 2017 after serving on the first season of Dana White's Contender Series. This event was also Fitzgerald’s 50th on the horn.

Prochazkiller: Jiri Prochazka smashed Dominick Reyes with a spinning back elbow in the second round. His knockout is the third from this strike in company history, joining Dong Hyun Kim over John Hathaway in 2014 and Ricardo Ramos over Aiemann Zahabi in 2017.

Tong Po, But with Spinning Strikes: Prochazka becomes the second fighter heavier than middleweight throughout UFC history to land a knockout via a spinning strike. The first came from Johnny Walker over Justin Ledet at UFC Fight Night 144 in 2019, when Walker scored a spinning back fist finish in 15 seconds.

Jacked Up by Jiri: The knockout for Prochazka is his 25th in his career, and his 10th in a row. “Denisa” posts a knockout rate of 89 percent after his win.

Czech Out Those Checks: Prochazka picked up not just “Fight of the Night” but also “Performance of the Night” honors for his thrilling win over Reyes. He is now the seventh light heavyweight in company history to rack up double post-fight bonuses.

Jiri Gaethje: “Denisa” is the first UFC fighter in just under a year to earn multiple post-fight bonuses after a win. The last fighter to achieve this feat was Justin Gaethje for his UFC 249 win over Tony Ferguson in 2020.

Giga Kicked: Giga Chikadze became the first person since Jose Aldo to knock Cub Swanson out, finishing the job in 63 seconds. The last time Swanson was finished, 19 of the other 21 fighters on UFC on ESPN 23 had yet to make their professional debuts.

Hulk Draw: After three eventful rounds, Ion Cutelaba vs. Dustin Jacoby was scored a split draw. It is the fourth draw in UFC light heavyweight history, and the third since 2019. Before 2019, only the Tito Ortiz-Rashad Evans bout in 2007 had been scored a draw at 205 pounds.

D-1 All-American Cutelaba: Hitting nine takedowns throughout the fight, Cutelaba is now tied for the fourth-most takedowns landed in a UFC light heavyweight fight. Patrick Cummins (10), Rodney Wallace (11) and Corey Anderson (12) are the only ones with more.

I Am The Machine: Through their three-round bout, Merab Dvalishvili landed five takedowns on Cody Stamann – the most that Stamann has surrendered in his UFC career. “The Machine” has hit multiple takedowns in each of his eight UFC bouts, and added to his lead at bantamweight of 46.

Legalize Kicks to Grounded Opponents: Thanks to a pair of illegal upkicks, Randa Markos was disqualified and Luana Pinheiro was awarded the win. The result was the first disqualification in any women’s fight across UFC history.

The Storm Gets Quieter: Markos suffered her 10th defeat inside the Octagon. In doing so, “Quiet Storm” set the record for the most losses in UFC women’s divisional history, breaking a tie held with former foe Angela Hill.

Downtown Scoring: The controversial split decision that T.J. Brown won over Kai Kamaka III marked just the second time that “Downtown” had ever won on the scorecards. In the process, Brown’s career finish rate lowered to 87 percent.

Luana Takeover: After Luana Carolina’s win over Poliana Botelho, there have now been two women named Luana to compete and prevail inside the Octagon. They both fought on this card.

Let Us Never Speak of This Fight Again: Taking a decision over K.B. Bhullar, Andreas Michailidis is the first Greek-born fighter in UFC history to ever notch a win.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 23, Stamann (23 fights), Botelho (11 fights) and Sam Hughes (seven fights) had never lost consecutive bouts; Bhullar (nine fights) and Luke Sanders (17 fights) had never lost on the scorecards and Bhullar had also never competed in the U.S.

Hit the Shore ‘Cause I’m Faded: In an unsuccessful effort, Reyes returned to the walkout music he first used against Chris Weidman at UFC on ESPN 6 in 2019. Reyes selected “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan and lost to Prochazka in the headliner.

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