Fight Facts: UFC 243

By: Jay Pettry
Oct 8, 2019

The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 243 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

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 broke its own attendance record with UFC 243, as 57,127 fans packed into the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The event featured an ultra-impressive championship performance, a rare technical submission from a heavyweight and only the third triangle choke in a UFC women’s bout.

PRIDE (AND KSW) NEVER DIE: Over 57,000 fans came to watch UFC 243, breaking the old promotional record held by UFC 193, which had a billed attendance of 56,214. They are still shy of two major events: KSW 39 (57,766) at Warsaw National Stadium in 2017 and Pride Shockwave 2002, ranging from around 71,000 to 91,000 in the crowd at Tokyo National Stadium.

THE ‘0’ REFUSES TO GO: Israel Adesanya improved his record to 18-0 and continues to hold one of the best unbeaten records in a major promotion. He only trails Yaroslav Amosov (22-0) in Bellator MMA and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0).

IZZY POP: After scoring a “Performance of the Night” bonus by knocking out Robert Whittaker, each of Adesanya’s last five wins -- and six of his past seven -- has been awarded post-fight bonus money. His only fight in the Octagon that did not earn a post-fight bonus was his split decision victory over Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29 in 2018.

JUST HANGING OUT: By needing three rounds to defeat Al Iaquinta, Dan Hooker won just the second fight in his career by decision. All eight of his prior UFC wins came by stoppage, with this decision snapping a 13-fight finish streak for “The Hangman.”

SPIVAK THE SANDMAN: Sergey Spivak put Tai Tuivasa to sleep with an arm-triangle choke in the second stanza, and all ten of his career wins have come inside the distance.

HE’S DOING SHOEYS IN HIS SLEEP: By rendering Tuivasa unconscious from an arm-triangle choke, Spivak became the fifth heavyweight in modern UFC history to put his opponent out with a choke. The last technical submission via choke at heavyweight came when Brendan Schaub slept Matt Mitrione with a brabo choke at UFC 165 in 2013.

JUST LIKE BALD BULL: By starching the previously undefeated Justin Tafa in the first round, Yorgan De Castro improved his unbeaten record to 6-0 with five knockouts, including four in the first round.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH FICTIONAL COUNTRY ‘VAL VERDE’: De Castro is the first fighter from African island nation Cape Verde to ever compete -- and record a win -- inside the Octagon.

LEGS GO ALL THE WAY UP: Megan Anderson pulled off a first-round triangle choke on Zarah Fairn dos Santos, recording the first submission of its kind at women’s featherweight and only the third among female UFC fighters. Marion Reneau performed the first two, over Jessica Andrade in 2015 and Sara McMann in 2018.

THERE’S FIRE IN THOSE FISTS YET: Ji Yeon Kim earned only her second stoppage with strikes when she handed Nadia Kassem her first career knockout loss at 4:59 of Round 2. It was the fifth stoppage to come from strikes to the body in UFC women’s divisional history.

GREAT FISTS OF FIRE: With the fight officially taking place at a 128-pound catchweight since Kim missed weight, it was the first KO scored in a UFC women’s catchweight affair. Had the fight taken place in the originally scheduled flyweight division, it would have been the second clean knockout in UFC women’s flyweight history. The first came when Valentina Shevchenko head kicked Jessica Eye at UFC 238 in June.

I AM THE WARRIOR: On the UFC 243 card opener, Khalid Taha tapped Bruno Silva with an arm-triangle choke in the third round. Across his 14 victories, “The Warrior” has finished his opponent in 12 of them.

PAYING DEARLY FOR VICTORY: Both Kim and Taha missed weight, and both won by stoppage. It is the first time since UFC Fight Night 121 in 2017 that multiple fighters came in over their respective weight limits and prevailed on the same night.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC 243, Tuivasa had never been submitted (11 fights), Maki Pitolo (15 fights) and Jamie Mullarkey (14 fights) had never lost on the scorecards and Fairn dos Santos had never been finished (eight fights).

FEAR NO MUSIC: Two fighters walked out with songs accompanying historically low winning percentages -- De Castro with “Till I Collapse” by Eminem, and Brad Riddell with AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.” Both won in exciting fashion and picked up post-fight bonuses for their victories.

THE CROWD’S ON YOUR SIDE: Callan Potter chose to excite the locals by walking out to “Up There Cazaly” by The Two-Man Band, a song known as the unofficial anthem of Australian football. He won, much to the delight of the crowd.

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working 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. Advertisement

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