Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 56 ‘Lewis vs. Nascimento’

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 streaked through the Gateway Arch in St. Louis with a dozen fights on tap, and a few records changed along the way. All the locals had their hands raised at night’s end, while members of the old guard showed their time had not yet passed. UFC on ESPN 56 featured another brick on the wall for the UFC’s all-time knockout king, a lightning-quick finish from a surging 205er and a grappler that’s proving he’s got hands too.

Country Grammar: Three competitors fighting out of St. Louis appeared at UFC on ESPN 56: Joaquin Buckley, Sean Woodson and Charles Johnson. All three picked up wins via decision.

This Is the Way: Laying waste to Rodrigo Nascimento in the third round, Derrick Lewis extended his UFC record for the most knockouts in UFC history to 15. The next closest active fighters are Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway (11 apiece).

Not Too Old for This S--t: Putting a little more space between himself and the pack, Lewis’ 15 knockouts are the most at heavyweight by a wide margin. Andrei Arlovski and Stipe Miocic celebrate nine as the only active UFC heavyweights with half that many.

Nary a Submission in Sight: Although all 15 of his stoppages have come via strikes, Lewis adds one more to his total of finishes for the most at his weight class. Just three fighters have more in company history: Donald Cerrone (16), Jim Miller (18) and Charles Oliveira (20).

19 for 39: The victorious 39-year-old cements his place as the second-winningest heavyweight in promotional history by picking up win no. 19. Arlovski (23) is the only man with more.

The Most Active Heavyweight: The appearance was Lewis’ 29th under the UFC banner. He and Arlovski (41) are the only two big men still on the roster with at least 20 fights, although Marcin Tybura will reach 20 in his next outing.

More Knockouts Than Knockdowns: Throughout 29 UFC bouts, Lewis has now amassed 10 knockdowns. He ties Arlovski, Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem for the second-most in UFC heavyweight history, all behind Junior dos Santos’ 14.

Almost Had ‘Im: Buckley needed the full 15 minutes to get past Nursulton Ruziboev. The local combatant has reached the second round or later in his last nine appearances, win or lose.

Competition About to Get Much Fiercer: Coming into this co-headliner, Ruziboev had won 10 fights in a row, all in the first round. This is the first time since 2019 that he has fought beyond 3:41 of a bout.

Like an 80’s Kickboxing Movie Villain: In 12 seconds, Carlos Ulberg dusted Alonzo Menifield. The Kiwi’s speedy stoppage clocked in as the third-quickest in divisional history. Ryan Jimmo’s seven-second destruction of Anthony Perosh in 2012 sits above the rest.

On a Silver Platter: With the knockout, Ulberg saw his career finish rate elevate to 80%. “Black Jag” holds all but one of those stoppages via strikes, with six coming in the opening round.

Frontrunner Met Late Resurgent: Before his lightweight match against Diego Ferreira, Mateusz Rebecki had won 16 straight fights since 2014. Ferreira derailed that streak by putting Rebecki away with nine seconds to spare. When Rebecki last lost, 14 of the other 21 fighters competing on this card had yet to make their professional debuts.

Defying Expectations Every Step of the Way: Sean Woodson outworked Alex Caceres to a close decision win. Even in defeat, it was Caceres 20th UFC outing at 145 pounds, keeping him with the fifth-most in the division’s history while now six behind leaders Darren Elkins and Max Holloway.

Only 1,800 Behind Max: In a losing effort, Caceres landed 82 significant strikes on Woodson. “Bruce Leeroy” has now passed the 1,000 sig-strike mark at 145 pounds (1,056), making him the sixth fighter in the history of the UFC’s weight class to do so.

Hide Waldo Again: Waldo Cortes-Acosta landed the first takedown of his UFC career when he grounded Robelis Despaigne in their match. He has heard the final bell in five of his six UFC bouts following his decision victory against the Cuban.

The Worst 15 Minutes of His Life: Ahead of his encounter with Cortes-Acosta, Despaigne had amassed a total fight time of 5:31. He fought beyond the first round for the first time while nearly tripling his in-cage time by going all 15 minutes with the former baseball player.

Landed His First Knockdown Too: Chase Hooper annihilated Viacheslav Borshchev and settled for a brabo choke victory. “The Dream” has ended 79% of his wins inside the distance, including seven of his last eight.

Floating Rib: With one mighty shin to the chin, Esteban Ribovics slept Terrance McKinney in 37 seconds. “El Gringo” has performed 12 of his 13 pro wins before the final bell, with half of those coming in Round 1.

Always Bet on His Under: After 22 pro fights, McKinney still has yet to go to a decision. Eighteen of his 22 appearances have concluded in the opening round, win or lose.

One of the Sharknado Sequels: Tabatha Ricci emerged as the victor over Tecia Pennington via split decision. The Brazilian known as “Baby Shark” has reached the second frame in her last eight outings, encompassing her entire UFC run.

Always Bet on Her Over: A pro since 2012, Pennington entered her 20th career bout when she faced Ricci. “The Tiny Tornado” has heard the final bell in 18 fights.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Trey Waters picked up the nod on all three scorecards in a “Fight of the Night”-winning battle with Billy Goff. The Floridian posts an even distribution of victory, with three knockouts, three submissions and three decisions on his ledger.

Full of InnerG: Of his eight fights in the UFC thus far, Johnson has gone the distance in seven following his decision over Jake Hadley. The lone stoppage for “InnerG” came against Jimmy Flick in early 2023.

All of the Time: J.J. Aldrich fell short to Veronica Hardy at the hands of the judges. The 303 Training Center-based fighter has fought beyond the first round in all her fights since 2016. This spans her whole time in the UFC and a total of 16 matches.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 56, Despaigne had never been defeated (five fights), Borshchev had never been finished (11 fights) and Hadley had never dropped consecutive bouts (12 fights).

Trunks Keep Dropping Down in St. Louis: For the 12th time in a row, Lewis has walked to the Octagon accompanied by Fat Pat’s “Tops Drop.” “The Black Beast” is now a member of a small class of UFC fighters who have consecutively picked the same song at least a dozen times.

It’s Someone’s Time: On 45 recorded occasions, UFC fighters have selected “My Time” by Fabolous featuring Jeremih as their walkout music. Fewer than 10 songs in promotional history have been picked at least 45 times, but none more than Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now.”

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