Fight Facts: ‘The Ultimate Fighter 28’ Finale

By: Jay Pettry
Dec 4, 2018

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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Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter” came to a close in Las Vegas on Friday at the Palms Casino Resort, marking the end of an era with the reality show and the Fox family of networks. The event crowned two new “Ultimate Fighter” winners at heavyweight and women’s featherweight and featured the oldest fighter to ever win the show, a submission not seen since Semaphore Entertainment Group owned the Ultimate Fighting Championship and a rare body kick stoppage.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE: Five undefeated fighters competed at “The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale”, and four of them ended the night with their unblemished records still intact. Macy Chiasson, Edmen Shahbazyan, Antonina Shevchenko and Roosevelt Roberts all picked up wins, while Michel Batista had his perfect 4-0 record snapped with a submission loss.

FOUR OF A KIND: With two rear-naked chokes, a guillotine choke, a triangle choke and a straight armlock, “The Ultimate Fighter 28” Finale became the first event since UFC on Fox 23 in January 2017 to feature at least four different types of submissions.

GROWING PAINS: Two bouts in the women’s featherweight division took place at this event, more than any other in history. Keep in mind, only seven bouts at this weight class have occurred to date inside the Octagon.

BEAR WITNESS TO THE FITNESS OF THE MODERN WARRIOR: Five active fighters have winning streaks in the UFC of nine fights or more: Max Holloway (12), Khabib Nurmagomedov (11), Tony Ferguson (11), Robert Whittaker (nine) and Kamaru Usman (nine). That number jumps to six if you include Georges St. Pierre (13). Ferguson, Whittaker and Usman won previous season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

COMBO, INTERRUPTED: By winning a decision over Rafael dos Anjos in the main event, Usman broke the streak of 12 straight UFC events in which the headlining bout ended in a finish.

KICKIN’ IT OLD SKOOL: Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa’s straight armlock submission marked the 10th time a fighter had ever performed an armlock submission, which varies slightly from an armbar. The last time an armlock had been officially recorded was at UFC 20, where Pete Williams submitted Travis Fulton with one in 1999. Dieppa’s was the first submission in UFC history recorded as a straight armlock.

OLD MAN, NEW TRICKS: When Dieppa, 38, defeated Justin Frazier, he became the oldest fighter to ever win “The Ultimate Fighter.” According to the Season 28 application, the UFC seeks fighters, ages 21-34, to compete on its reality series.

SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS: With only two career victories coming into “The Ultimate Fighter,” Chiasson won the Season 28 tournament at women’s featherweight despite the reality show’s application stating that all fighters “MUST have a minimum of 3 Professional MMA fights to be considered.” With two career bouts under her belt, Chiasson became the least-experienced fighter to win a season of “The Ultimate Fighter” since Amir Sadollah won Season 7 without ever taking a pro fight.

SAME SAME SAME (BUT DIFFERENT): The last time Chiasson competed was at Invicta Fighting Championships 29 in May, when she defeated Allison Schmidt by decision. Also competing on that card was Pannie Kianzad -- her eventual opponent at “The Ultimate Fighter 28” women’s featherweight final. Kianzad also won by decision, topping Blanca Daimoni on the scorecards.

THE BODY ELECTRIC: In stopping Bryan Caraway with a body kick and follow-up punches, Pedro Munhoz became the second bantamweight to stop an opponent with a body kick in UFC history. The first came at UFC Fight Night 125 in February, when Iuri Alcantara stopped Joe Soto with one.

ARE YOU THE KEYMASTER?: In four of his last five fights, Darren Stewart has faced fighters that earned contracts from Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. After losing a decision to Edmen Shahbazyan, Stewart has dropped three of those four bouts.

NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: When he knocked out Alex Perez, Joseph Benavidez won his 11th fight at flyweight -- good for second-most in divisional history. He ranks first in the category among active UFC flyweights now that former champion Demetrious Johnson has left the promotion.

FIGHT FOR THE FORGOTTEN: Benavidez’s victory over Perez, which practically required him to finish the latter twice before referee Yves Lavigne finally stopped the bout, earned him a “Performance of the Night” bonus. With his third such bonus in the organization, Benavidez tied Louis Smolka for the second-most post-fight bonuses at flyweight. Both trail the aforementioned Johnson, who has nine.

TRIANGULAR TRADE: Maurice Greene’s first-round triangle choke of Batista made him the second heavyweight to ever pull off a triangle choke in UFC competition. Stefan Struve was the first, as he submitted Chase Gormley with the move in 2009 and did the same to Pat Barry in 2011.

SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK: After putting away Darrell Horcher in the first round with a guillotine choke, Roberts has now finished all seven of his opponents within two rounds. None of his fights have gone beyond 2:13 of the second round.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into “The Ultimate Fighter 28” Finale, Frazier (12 fights), Horcher (16 fights) and Chris Gutierrez (16 fights) had never been submitted, Shahbazyan had never fought beyond three minutes of the first round (seven fights) and Perez had never been knocked out (25 fights).

SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR: Shahbazyan walked out to “Artsakh” by Armenian musician Ara Gevorgyan and defeated Stewart. Famously known as the walkout song of former UFC fighter and current Bellator MMA middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, the track has treated both men to success. They have gone a combined 6-1 when walking out to it.

WHO AM I TO DISAGREE?: For the first recorded time since 2012, a fighter walked out to a song by Marilyn Manson, as Kevin Aguilar made his walk to the Octagon accompanied by “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and won in his UFC debut over Rick Glenn. Fighters that walk out to Marilyn Manson have a combined record of 4-1 over the years.

SHINDIG ADDICTION: Making his drop down to bantamweight, Raoni Barcelos also changed his walkout song to “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers -- the same walkout song used by divisional kingpin T.J. Dillashaw -- and submitted Gutierrez. Overall, fighters that walk out to that song have a recorded winning percentage of .706.

Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012, and writing 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.

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