Fight Facts: UFC 226 ‘Miocic vs. Cormier’

By: Jay Pettry
Jul 11, 2018

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all 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 brought a true superfight to Las Vegas, as UFC 226 provided an opportunity to either extend the legacy of an all-time heavyweight great or crown the second simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history. The event featured betting upsets in every fight on the pay-per-view card, a former champion trying to get his swagger back and a one-man wrecking machine who demolishes anyone in his way.


INTERNATIONAL FIGHT WEAK: In all seven years since the inception of International Fight Week, the pay-per-view main card has been plagued with fighter withdrawals. The last four International Fight Week events have lost at least one scheduled title bout, and the last three events have lost a title bout during fight week.

UH-OH: Max Holloway had never pulled out of a fight in his career until he withdrew from UFC 222 with a leg injury. Since then, he has also withdrawn from UFC 223 and UFC 226, three title fights in total, including two during fight week. With that said, his withdrawal from UFC 223 was after he accepted the fight on less than a week’s notice and doctors refused to clear him.

MAY THE ODDS BE NEVER IN YOUR FAVOR: On the main card of UFC 226, all five of the betting underdogs won their fights. Overall, seven underdogs won compared to just three favorites, with the bout between Dan Hooker and Gilbert Burns considered an even-odds fight.

THE CHAMP CHAMP IS HERE: By knocking out Stipe Miocic to win the heavyweight championship, Daniel Cormier became the second fighter in UFC history to hold belts in two divisions at once, joining Conor McGregor. Cormier, who entered as the light heavyweight champion, also became the fifth fighter in UFC history to win a belt in two weight classes.

ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN OF ULTIMATE DESTINY: The bout between Miocic and Cormier was the first fight in UFC history to see the champion at light heavyweight move up in weight to vie for another belt.

DADDEST MAN ON THE PLANET: Cormier competed at heavyweight for the first 13 bouts of his career and won them all, including 10 by stoppage. Moving back up to heavyweight for first time since 2013, Cormier won by knockout to remain undefeated in the weight class.

HEAVEN COMING DOWN: Before losing to Cormier, Miocic had never lost in the first round and had delivered nine career first-round knockouts of his own.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH: The main event featured the 42nd heavyweight title fight in UFC history, now tied with light heavyweight for the most title fights in any weight class. About 74 percent of them have ended before the final bell.

NO REDEEMING QUALITIES: The co-main event between Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou saw the two men combine for only 31 total strikes landed -- the fewest for a heavyweight fight that went to a decision in company history.

PREDATOR BECAME PREY: Ngannou has stopped his opponent in all 11 of his career wins, while all three of his losses have come by decision.

DOUBLE TAPPED: By submitting Michael Chiesa with the rare triangle armbar, Anthony Pettis became the 13th fighter in UFC history to finish his opponent with the maneuver. Most recently, the triangle armbar was performed by Marlon Vera almost three years ago, when he submitted Roman Salazar at UFC Fight Night 73 in August 2015.

BOMBED: In getting starched in 96 seconds by Khalil Rountree, Gokhan Saki suffered the fastest recorded loss of his 103-fight combat sports career.

CITIZEN ERASED: Standing tall at 12-0 following a second-round knockout of Uriah Hall, Paulo Henrique Costa has recorded 11 of his wins by KO or TKO. His fight with Hall, though it lasted just 7:38, was the longest of his career.

A LITTLE RESPECT: Since dropping down to bantamweight in 2011, Raphael Assuncao has rattled off 11 wins in 12 fights. Despite once holding a seven-fight winning streak and tying the record for most wins in UFC bantamweight history with T.J. Dillashaw, Assuncao has never fought for a title.

HOOKER JOKES ARE LAZY: Since he was put to sleep with a choke in 2012, all 12 fights Dan Hooker has won have resulted in a stoppage, and all three of his losses have resulted in a decision.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC 226, Burns had never been stopped (15 fights), Mike Perry had never won by anything other than knockout (11 wins) and Costa had never fought longer than 6:23 in a single fight in his MMA career (11 fights).

YOU KNOW YOU AT THE TOP: Cormier has walked out to “Right Above It,” by Lil Wayne ft. Drake, in all 12 of his UFC appearances, sometimes using it by itself and sometimes mashed up with other tracks, like 2Pac’s “When We Ride On Our Enemies” or LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.” In 16 recorded fights, fighters who have walked out to “Right Above It” hold a winning percentage of .750.

’TIL DEATH: After losing to Junior dos Santos in December 2014, Miocic changed his walkout music to “Till I Die,” by fellow Clevelander Machine Gun Kelly. Miocic had never lost while walking out to the track -- until he was knocked out by Cormier, dropping him to 6-1 while accompanied by it.

I’VE LOST MY LEG!: For the ninth time in his career, Paul Felder walked out to “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” by the Dropkick Murphys. He presumably would have used the song at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston, as well, but Charles Rosa had already selected it earlier that night. As a result, Felder changed to “The Warrior’s Code,” by the Dropkick Murphys.

Jay Pettry is an attorney and 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 UFC result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.

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