Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 3

By Jay Pettry Jul 1, 2019

The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 239 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

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 returned to Minneapolis for the first time since 2012 and did so with a barnburner of an event. UFC on ESPN 3 featured a perennial flyweight contender punching his ticket to another title shot, the winningest Brazilian in the UFC chalking up another victory and the heavyweight “Predator” adding another skull to his trophy case.

BEHOLD LA VIOLENCIA!: Seven fights on the card ended by stoppage due to strikes, tying 12 other shows for the sixth-most knockouts at an event. The five events with more each had eight on their respective nights.

I TOLD YOU … DON’T CALL ME ‘JUNIOR’: The only two fighters on the active roster with the forename “Junior” -- Junior Albini and Junior dos Santos -- competed at UFC on ESPN 3. The two had never competed on the same card together, and both lost by first-round knockout.

AND HE STOLE PEE WEE’S BIKE: Francis Ngannou has only needed a combined 2:22 seconds to dispatch dos Santos, Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez. Comparatively, it took Ngannou as long to finish dos Santos (71 seconds) as it did to stop Blaydes and Velasquez combined (71 seconds).

N-GOIN’-OUT: After smashing dos Santos in a little over a minute, all 14 of Ngannou’s wins have now come by stoppage within two rounds, including 10 inside Round 1. On the other hand, each of his three defeats came on the scorecards.

LE PREDATEUR: Ngannou’s 71-second knockout was his seventh in the UFC to take place before the two-minute mark. Only Frank Mir has more stoppages at heavyweight within two minutes (seven), although five of those came by submission.

HEIR TO THE ‘DEMOLITION MAN’ THRONE: Ngannou has finished his last three OPPONENTS within two minutes, joining Vitor Belfort and Shane Carwin as the only other UFC heavyweights to accomplish such a feat.

GIVE THAT MAN A TITLE SHOT: By defeating Jussier Formiga in the second round, Joseph Benavidez tied Demetrious Johnson for the most wins in UFC flyweight history with 13.

JOE BONES ABOUT IT: Benavidez’s knockout gave him his fifth in the flyweight division, more than any other UFC fighter. The finish was his sixth and includes a submission of Tim Elliott in 2014. Benavidez holds the second-most stoppage victories in the division, trailing Johnson with seven.

ONE BAD BENAVIDEZ: In dispatching Formiga with a head kick and follow-up punches, Benavidez scored the fourth head kick knockout in UFC flyweight history.

WHO SAYS THE DIVISION DOESN’T HAVE POWER: Formiga suffered his third knockout loss at flyweight, tying John Moraga, Willie Gates and Wilson Reis for the most stoppage losses in divisional history.

I FACED IT ALL, AND I STOOD TALL: Demian Maia earned his 21st UFC win, more than every fighter to ever step foot inside the Octagon not named Donald Cerrone (23).

AND DID IT MAIA WAY: Maia’s bout with Martin marked the 30th time he has walked to the UFC cage, tying Jeremy Stephens for third on the all-time appearances list. They trail only Cerrone and Jim Miller, who each have 32 UFC fights.

SOME DOBERING THOUGHTS: By laying out Marco Polo Reyes in 67 seconds, Drew Dober earned his eighth career knockout victory. In addition, he holds seven wins on the scorecards and another six by submission. On the other side, he holds five losses at the hands of the judges, along with four stoppage losses. It should be noted that Dober has made three different fighters tap to strikes, and he also holds two clean KO wins. Finally, Dober had one bout declared a no-contest when the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission overturned a mistaken submission loss in 2015.

ALONZO NOT-IN-MOURNING: Alonzo Menifield demolished Paul Craig in the first round, improving his unbeaten record to 9-0. All nine of his wins have come by stoppage -- including eight by knockout -- with seven having occurred in the opening frame.

MAMMOTH UNDERTAKING: Win or lose, Vinicius Moreira has still never gone the distance in his 12-fight career. It took 78 seconds for Eryk Anders to separate Moreira from his senses. All of Moreira’s fights have ended before the second round came to a close.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC on ESPN 3, Roosevelt Roberts had never been defeated (eight fights), Journey Newson had never lost on the scorecards (10 fights) and Dequan Townsend had never been knocked out (29 fights).

I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER: In walking out to “God's Plan” by Drake, Ngannou became only the second fighter to use this song and go on to win the fight. Anthony Pettis did so first when submitting Michael Chiesa in 2018. Along with those two wins, the song accounts for six recorded losses from various fighters in the last two years.

GAME: BLOUSES: Newson made a bold walkout song choice for his Octagon debut, electing to use “When Doves Cry” by Minnesota legend Prince. Newson lost, and no recorded fighter to use a Prince song has ever won a fight in the UFC.

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. Advertisement
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