Fight Facts: UFC 264

By: Jay Pettry
Jul 12, 2021

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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 put on its biggest event of the year with an eagerly anticipated rubber match between 155-pound stars. An even dozen bouts went on inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with wildly varying results, and none more significant than the main event calamity. This event featured a lightweight rising into the stratosphere of UFC legends, an Aussie who spent more time celebrating than competing and a dazzling striking exhibition against an impenetrable chin.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond: A leg injury for Conor McGregor resulted in a Dustin Poirier victory by technical knockout, good for Poirier’s 20th win inside the Octagon. “The Diamond” is the eighth man to achieve this feat, and only Jim Miller (21), Demian Maia (22) and Donald Cerrone (23) hold more in organizational history.

Seven, Not Eight: The knockout was Poirier’s seventh as a lightweight, tying the record for the most in divisional history with Melvin Guillard and Edson Barboza. His victory over Anthony Pettis in 2017 was deemed a submission due to a body triangle, like Ivan Salaverry’s tapout of Tony Fryklund at UFC 50 in 2004.

Dustin Quartermain: Poirier elevated his career finish rate to 75 percent with the stoppage. Exactly half of the proud Louisianan’s wins have come by knockout, with another quarter by tapout.

Diamond League: Delivering 36 significant strikes to McGregor before it was all over, Poirier became the sixth fighter in UFC history to land 1,500 significant strikes in their careers. Poirier joins a group that includes Michael Bisping, Frankie Edgar, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Donald Cerrone and former opponent Max Holloway, who stands far above the pack with 2,618 in his illustrious UFC tenure.

Seems to Be Happening Often Lately: The headliner ending by a leg injury is the first main event to end this way since 2020. At UFC Fight Night 178, the night concluded with a rib injury for Tyron Woodley against Colby Covington. The McGregor and Woodley results are the only injury stoppages in marquee matchups dating back to 2015.

Fading Lights: For the second fight in a row, McGregor was unable to knock his foe down. It is the longest stretch of matches in McGregor’s UFC tenure where he could not land a knockdown on an opponent.

Try a Shoey: After posterizing Greg Hardy, Tai Tuivasa celebrated his 12th knockout win in his 13th career victory. All 12 of those have come in the opening frame.

A Bit Premature: Sean O'Malley lifted his stoppage rate to 78 percent with a drubbing of newcomer Kris Moutinho. The Montana native has earned knockouts in each of his last four wins dating back to 2018.

Someone Important Had Inside the Distance: The stoppage came at the 4:33 mark of the third round, tying O’Malley for the sixth-latest finish in UFC bantamweight history. Taking the top spot on this list is Urijah Faber’s fourth-round submission of Scott Jorgensen at the TUF 17 Finale in 2013.

Too Much Sugar in His Coffee: A whopping 230 significant strikes scored from O’Malley as he battered the UFC neophyte for nearly three full rounds, putting “Sugar” in fourth place for the most significant strikes landed in a single UFC fight. Holloway set that record earlier this year, lumping up Calvin Kattar with 445 before the final bell.

Showcase Performance: Against his short-notice replacement foe, O’Malley closed as a massive -1000 favorite. With the line closing that high, O’Malley is the biggest UFC betting favorite this year, and the largest since a -1300 Valentina Shevchenko faced fellow UFC 264 competitor Jennifer Maia in 2020.

Got His Hall Pass: Ilia Topuria scorched Ryan Hall in the opening round to advance his finish rate to 90.9 percent, while lifting his record to a perfect 11-0.

Du Pless-ee: All of Dricus Du Plessis’ 16 career wins have come inside the distance, following his second-round demolition of Trevin Giles. The South African has still never reached the scorecards as a pro.

And She Gained a Third Eye: Jessica Eye suffered her ninth loss on the roster by dropping a decision to Jennifer Maia. She now holds the distinction of the most defeats of any female fighter in UFC history alongside Angela Hill.

Eye-Opening Durability: Eight of Eye’s nine UFC defeats have come by judges’ decision, breaking the record for the most decision setbacks in UFC women’s divisional history.

An Eye for the Judges: Eye has been involved in 13 decisions since joining the roster in 2013. She has now gone the distance as many times as current women’s recordholders Hill and Randa Markos.

Sneaking into the Record Books: Winning a decision over Omari Akhmedov, Brad Tavares has earned 14 victories as a middleweight inside the Octagon. He now ties Anderson Silva for the second-most all time, and both trail Michael Bisping with 16.

Brad St. Pierre: The victory on the scorecards is Tavares’ 12th on the roster, tying him with Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez and Neil Magny for the most decision wins in UFC history.

Almost Catching Z’s: Ensnaring Jerome Rivera with a modified guillotine choke, Zhalgas Zhumagulov earned his first UFC win by notching the first submission triumph of his career.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC 264, McGregor (27 fights) and Hardy (11 fights) had never dropped consecutive bouts, Niko Price (20 fights) and Akhmedov (27 fights) had never lost on the scorecards and Hall had never been finished (nine fights).

No No No, Notorious: Both McGregor and Eye selected tracks from Notorious B.I.G., and both ended up suffering losses at night’s end. McGregor used his mashup that partly included “Notorious,” while Eye picked “Ready to Die.”

25th Anniversary Already: For the first time in UFC history, a fighter walked out to a song by the Spice Girls. Tuivasa selected popular song “Wannabe” before facing Hardy; the Aussie smote Hardy in 67 seconds and then drank beer out of a succession of shoes.

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