Fight Facts: UFC 252

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 17, 2020

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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 ended a hurried trilogy strong and likely determined the greatest heavyweight in promotional history in the process. UFC 252 featured the first time any UFC fighter has ever faced the same opponent three times in a row, an heir to the violence throne at bantamweight and two brothers that couldn’t be more different.

FORCING A TRILOGY: Facing Daniel Cormier for the third time in a row, Stipe Miocic is the first fighter in UFC history to ever compete against the same opponent in three consecutive bouts.

WHAT’S MINE IS MINE: Miocic is the third heavyweight champ to ever successfully defend his title on two separate reigns, joining Tim Sylvia and Randy Couture.

NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA: The win was Miocic’s sixth in UFC heavyweight title fights, tying him with Couture for the most in divisional history. Couture also won three championship matches at light heavyweight throughout his career.

PULLED A PRIMUS: Marlon Vera lifted his stellar finish rate to 87 percent by stopping Sean O'Malley in the opening round. Each of the Ecuadorian fighter’s last eight victories have come inside the distance.

FLAMIN’ HOT CHITO: With eight stoppages now coming in 135-pound fights, Vera tied T.J. Dillashaw for the most finishes in UFC bantamweight history.

MADE HIM HIS JUNIOR: Jairzinho Rozenstruik laid waste to Junior dos Santos in the second round, earning his 10th knockout across his 11 career wins. Lifting his knockout rate to 91 percent, this was only his third to take place beyond the opening frame.

TIME TO THINK ABOUT A RETIREMENT PLAN: Dos Santos’ knockout defeat was his sixth inside the Octagon, and among all UFC heavyweights, only six other men have been stopped with strikes more times. Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski, Antonio Silva and Stefan Struve have all been knocked out seven times, while Frank Mir and Gabriel Gonzaga sit atop the list with eight apiece.

THE PIT AND THE CRUCIFIX: Daniel Pineda kept his 100 percent finish rate intact after knocking out Herbert Burns in the crucifix position with elbows. One-third of his career wins have come by knockout, with the remainder via tapout.

USADA IS WATCHING YOU: Pineda’s victory came in his first walk to the UFC cage since his last stint with the organization that ended in 2014. His prior victory inside the Octagon coming in April 2013, at that time eight fighters on the card had yet to make their professional debuts.

DECISION MACHINE: A full 75 percent of Merab Dvalishvili’s career wins have come on the scorecards following his unanimous verdict over John Dodson. This includes all five of his victories inside the Octagon.

JUDGES HATE HIM: Dodson, on the other hand, has lost by decision in all 12 of his career setbacks. His seven UFC losses at the hands of the judges are the most in promotional history for any fighter that has competed at bantamweight or lighter.

SPRINGS IN HIS SOLES: Dvalishvili attempted 20 takedowns throughout his encounter with Dodson, but only managed to ground “The Magician” on two separate occasions. The only UFC fighter to ever put Dodson on his back more than two times throughout his tenure was Demetrious Johnson, who did so twice.

NEVER NOT MILLER TIME: Albeit in a losing effort, Jim Miller made his 36th appearance under the UFC banner, extending his record for the most in company history. Former opponent Donald Cerrone will be looking to tie him again in September, as “Cowboy” is booked against Niko Price.

NEED A FEW MILLERS TO DEAL WITH THIS: Miller suffered his 14th defeat inside the UFC cage, tying former foe Clay Guida for the second-most in promotional history. Jeremy Stephens stands alone with 17.

THE FEMALE Rani Yahya: Virna Jandiroba pulled off her 13th win by submission when she tapped Felice Herrig with an armbar. Sporting a submission rate of 81 percent in her career, “Carcara” has never needed to end a fight with strikes.

DON’T SLEEP ON VIRNA: The finish coming at 1:44 in the opening stanza, Jandiroba secured the ninth-quickest tapout among all female fighters, and the fourth-fastest in her strawweight division.

A WALK IN THE PARKER: Chris Daukaus lifted his knockout rate to 89 percent by finishing Parker Porter with punches and a knee in the opening frame. Six of his eight knockout victories have come in the first period.

WHICH ONE IS THE BLACK SHEEP? Daukaus earned his ninth career victory with his knockout of Porter. He tied his brother Kyle Daukaus with nine wins, with the latter making his unsuccessful promotional debut against Brendan Allen in June. All but one of Chris’ wins have come by knockout, while all but one of Kyle’s triumphs ended by submission.

HAWAIIANS FIGHT TILL THEY’RE BURGER: Needing three full rounds to defeat Tony Kelley, Kai Kamaka III earned his seventh career decision win across eight victories. Including two appearances in Bellator MMA, “The Fighting Hawaiian” has won each of his last six by unanimous verdict.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC 252, Cormier had never lost consecutive bouts (25 fights). O’Malley had never been defeated (12 fights) and Burns (13 fights) and Herrig (22 fights) had never been finished.

JUNIOR’S SONG: In 21 of 22 bouts inside the Octagon, dos Santos has emerged with “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti from the “Rocky” soundtrack playing. “Cigano” made his UFC debut alongside “Party People” by Nelly featuring Fergie, and never looked back.

HOW SWEET: In an unusual choice of walkout music, Daukaus made his promotional debut to the tune of “Fox on the Run” by 70s glam rock band Sweet. He is the first recorded UFC fighter to ever select a song from the library of Sweet.

WORSE THAN “LOSE YOURSELF”: Porter made his walk to the cage accompanied by “Cinderella Man” by Eminem and lost by first-round knockout. The track’s paltry winning percentage of .227 is the lowest of any song with at least 20 recorded uses in UFC history.

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