Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 34 ‘Luque vs. Muhammad 2’

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 trudged back to the UFC Apex, subjecting audiences to a lengthy 14-fight operation that did not dazzle at night’s end. A few head-scratching referee calls, a handful of lackluster performances and unwise post-fight praise for an alleged international crime boss interview marred an event struggling to stay afloat. UFC on ESPN 34 featured the rare occurrence of not one but two technical decisions, the continuance of a shocking low finish rate for a top contender and the first stoppage win for a veteran fighter.

You Get a Decision, and You Get a Decision! UFC on ESPN 34 marked the first time in company history that all four types of decisions took place independently on a single card. Five fighters won by unanimous decision, one claimed split scorecards, another prevailed by majority with one judge ruling it a draw, and two fights wrapped as technical decisions – both scored unanimously.

Should Have Been DQs: At night’s end, two fights ended due to illegal strikes that ultimately resulted in technical decisions. This is the second event where multiple decisions took place for incomplete bouts, with this first occurring in 2013 at UFC 159 when Michael Bisping and Gian Villante could not continue after getting fouled.

Ugly Technicalities: Before UFC on ESPN 34, there had only been four technical decisions in organizational history: the two at UFC 159, Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Jarjis Danho at UFC Fight Night 84 in 2016, and Alexander Romanov against Juan Espino at UFC on ESPN 22 in 2021. Five of the six to ever occur came in April.

Just Win, Baby: After five rounds, Belal Muhammad topped Vicente Luque on the scorecards to lift his unbeaten streak to eight in a row. The rematch-winning decision lowered Muhammad’s career finish rate to 24%, and he has registered just one stoppage in his last 11 wins.

Caio Clowning People: The first six career victories for Caio Borralho came by stoppage. Since then, five of six have been by decision, and all five of those came unanimously, following his technical decision win over Gadzhi Omargadzhiev.

Ending the Great Gadzhi: Win or lose, the Borralho fight marked just the third time that Russia’s Omargadzhiev had ever gone to the judges as a professional. He had won the first two decisions of his career before falling short in this one.

Fialhout: Decking Miguel Baeza to earn the first-round knockout, Portugal native Andre Fialho earned his first UFC win and advanced his stellar finish rate to 87%. A clean 80% of his victories have come due to strikes.

Not to Be Confused With Cheetara: Over her last three fights, Mayra Bueno Silva has fought to a draw, dropped a decision, and now won one as she beat Yanan Wu. “Sheetara” had only gone the distance two times as a pro before this current run that began in 2021.

Bad Move: Claiming a decision over Ange Loosa, Mounir Lazzez then went on to thank a member of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group for his support. That member, Daniel Kinahan, is currently wanted by the U.S. government, which issued a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Lazzez, meanwhile, lowered his 80% knockout rate to 73% with that win.

Proper Mauling for Brown Bear: For the first time as a UFC fighter, Devin Clark won inside the distance. “Brown Bear” knocked out William Knight at heavyweight, putting the 251-pound Knight away in Round 3 with an elbow and follow-up punches.

Swede on Swede Violence: After three bloody rounds, Pannie Kianzad prevailed in the rematch against fellow countrywoman Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision. The finish rate for “Banzai” is just 19%, and she has not won by stoppage since 2014 – a span of 16 fights and 10 wins.

Wasn’t Even Klose: Scorching Brandon Jenkins early into the second frame, Drakkar Klose performed his first knockout since 2015. The previous six wins for the Michigan native all came on the scorecards.

And a Buday to You, Sir: Although his match with Chris Barnett ended at 1:38 of the third round and went to the judges, Martin Buday has yet to reach the 15-minute mark since his second pro bout, which came against Juan Espino in 2017.

Fourth Time’s the Charm: In her fourth try, Sam Hughes notched her first win as a UFC fighter by taking a majority decision over Istela Nunes. The new Fortis MMA product recorded the second victory at the hands of the judges in her young career that began in 2019.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 34, Luque had never competed beyond the third round (29 fights); T.J. Laramie (16 fights), Knight (14 fights) and Lansberg (15 fights) had never dropped consecutive bouts and Nunes had never lost on the scorecards (nine fights).

It’s Party Time: With a penchant for unique entrance music, Kianzad selected “Saturday Night” by Whigfield ahead of her scrap with Lansberg. Like she has done many times before, the woman formerly known as “Sexy Scramble” picked a walkout artist never heard at a UFC event.

Go Play: Walking out to “All Star” by Smash Mouth much to the delight of those at the UFC Apex, Jordan Leavitt pulled off a decision win over Trey Ogden. “The Monkey King” is just the third person in company history to use a Smash Mouth song, with the first two Alessio Sakara and Kalindra Faria in 2009 and 2018, respectively.

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