Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 44 ‘Holloway vs. Allen’

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 posted up in KCMO to deliver plenty of fight action, giving the fight-starved fans much to cheer about all the way to the end. The overstuffed billing saw half of the tilts on the lineup end by stoppage, and it managed to give a few “Best of the Year” candidates. UFC on ESPN 44 featured the triumphant return of the “Blessed Express,” a dangerous 37-year-old that still causes massive damage and an emotional double retirement.

As If They Had That Planned Out: The organization returned to Kansas City, Missouri, for the first time in exactly six years to the date. Local competitor Zak Cummings is the only fighter to appear at both events, and he won by stoppage on each show.

The Best is Blessed: In the main event of UFC on ESPN 44, Max Holloway outworked Arnold Allen to get his hand raised by decision. “Blessed” picked up his 20th win on the UFC roster, making him one of 12 men in company history to achieve this feat.

The Average Length of One UFC Card: With 25 more minutes under his belt, Holloway passed the seven-hour mark to claim the third-most time in the Octagon. His seven hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds of cage time trail Frankie Edgar’s nearly eight hours, and Rafael dos Anjos’ eight hours and about two minutes.

Even When Off, He’s On: Over the course of their 25-minute encounter, Holloway landed 147 significant strikes en route to victory. Holloway has eclipsed the 100 sig strike mark in an incredible 15 different UFC outings, nearly twice as many as the second closest fighter, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who has eight such performances.

Inconceivable: The total tally of significant strikes landed by Holloway passed 3,000 while battling Allen. His 3,122 are far and away beyond the next closest fighter: Edgar, with 1,801.

His Kingdom for a Finish: Despite a reputation as an action fighter with multiple “Fight of the Night” checks in the last few years, Holloway has now gone all 25 minutes in eight consecutive appearances. He is now tied with four other fighters for the second-most full five-round fights in promotional history. Edgar’s 10 is the most.

Lethal with Eight Limbs: Edson Barboza has put six foes away in the Octagon with his legs, following his crushing knee knockout of Billy Quarantillo. Only one man has performed more stoppages of this type: Donald Cerrone, who has seven.

Y’all Keep Forgettin’: As a result of his scorching finish of Quarantillo, Barboza landed his 15th knockdown under the UFC roster. Jeremy Stephens, Anderson Silva (18 apiece) and Cerrone (20) are the only competitors with more.

Boxing the Kickboxer: Outstriking Dustin Jacoby for much of their fight, Azamat Murzakanov boosted his pro record to 13-0. It marked his first win on the scorecards in over three years, while lowering his finish rate to 77%.

Hulk Occasionally Smash: Ion Cutelaba blew Tanner Boser away with a barrage of punches in the first round of their bout. Snapping a career long three-fight skid, “The Hulk” boosted his overall stoppage rate to 88% as a pro.

Building a Tough Record: After three methodical rounds, Rafa Garcia handed veteran Clay Guida a decision loss. The defeat for “The Carpenter” was his 17th under the UFC lights, putting him in sole possession of second place on that list. Jeremy Stephens is the sole competitor in organizational history to lose more times, with 18 on his ledger.

Not Goin’ Nowhere: While Guida did lose again, the bout was his 35th on the roster. There remain just three competitors with more UFC fights than Guida: Cerrone (38), Andrei Arlovski (39) and Jim Miller (41).

He Likes It Raw: At 2:09 of the first round, Brandon Royval smoked Matheus Nicolau with a knee and follow-up elbows. “Raw Dawg” landed his first knockout since his knee rendered Danny Mainus unconscious at WSOF 29 in 2016 – not including an arm injury suffered by foe Jerome Rivera in 2018. Royval’s pro finish rate now sits at a stellar 87%.

TUF on TUF Violence: In the battle of aging “The Ultimate Fighter” vets, Season 17’s Cummings dispatched Ed Herman of Season 3 with a punch barrage in the third frame. The former welterweight moved up to light heavyweight for this match, and became one of a small number of competitors to earn victories across three UFC weight categories.

Time to Say Goodbyes: Both Cummings and Herman retired following their fight, an extreme rarity among combat sports. Cummings leaves the sport with an unusual win-loss pattern as a UFC fighter: he never won three bouts in a row, always winning two and dropping the third. Meanwhile, Herman said farewell as the longest tenured fighter still on the roster at the time, having been around consistently since June 2006.

Wrestling Her Weight Around: Dropping down to strawweight, Gillian Robertson added to her submission total in the Octagon by hitting an armbar on Piera Rodriguez. The Canadian has performed seven subs to date in the UFC, extending her lead for the most for any female fighter. No other woman has more than four.

Brazil Beats Brasil: After the midpoint of Round 2, Denise Gomes stopped Bruna Brasil with punches to earn her first UFC win. The Parana Vale Tudo strawweight lifted her overall knockout rate to 71%.

Ease Up on the Spinnin’ Stuff: Making his promotional debut, Gaston Bolanos outpointed Aaron Phillips to pick up a decision victory. “The Dreamkiller” had only once competed beyond the second round in his last nine fights.

Instant Robbery Candidate: By contentious split verdict, Joselyne Edwards snagged a decision win over Lucie Pudilova. The Czech fighter has now heard the final bell in 16 of her 22 pro fights, including eight of nine dating back to 2020.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 44, Allen had never competed beyond the third round (20 fights), Rodriguez had never been defeated (nine fights) and Bolanos had never won on the scorecards (nine fights).

An Old Kung Fu Master: Holloway and Royval both elected to go with songs featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and both fighters picked up wins at night’s end. The Hawaiian went with “Forgiveless” by SZA featuring ODB, while Royval’s selection came with his standard of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”

Two for Foo: Another artist saw two uses on fight night: Foo Fighters, where both Quarantillo and Guida picked tracks from the popular rock act. Quarantillo’s selection of “The Pretender” and Guida’s recent move to “My Hero” both proved to be unsuccessful boosters to the performances of both men.

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