Fight Facts: UFC Fight Night 159

By: Jay Pettry
Sep 23, 2019

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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 on Saturday returned to Mexico City for the first time in a few years with a card that delivered, at least until the very end. UFC Fight Night 159 featured an extremely unusual marquee fight, a shockingly low amount of momentum leading up to the show and a stoppage that may challenge Jorge Masvidal for the “Knockout of the Year” award.

NOT THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD: The combined momentum for UFC Fight Night 159, as measured by fellow MMA statistician Nick Dwyer, was among the lowest of any event in company history. Only UFC Fight Night 138 in 2018 had less momentum in terms of fighters winning their previous UFC bouts coming into the show.

REDEMPTION ARC: Four of 24 fighters came into this event celebrating victories in their previous Octagon appearances: Yair Rodriguez, Carla Esparza, Alexa Grasso and Claudio Puelles. The rest were either making their promotional debuts, returns or had lost their last UFC bout.

IT ENDS ON SUCH A DOWN NOTE: The no-contest in the headliner was the first in promotional history to end in such a manner. While there have been three others -- four if you include the partially overturned draw between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva -- all of those were overturned later due to positive drug test results.

JUST LIKE REAL LIFE: Bellator MMA has had multiple events this year conclude with no-contests in their marquee matchups. Bellator 215 ended after 15 seconds when Matt Mitrione landed an accidental groin kick on Sergei Kharitonov, while Bellator 226 was stopped after an accidental eye poke to Cheick Kongo from Ryan Bader. Pride Fighting Championships also had one show end like that: Pride Final Conflict 2004, where Fedor Emelianenko suffered a cut after a clash of heads with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS: Going just 15 seconds, the bout between Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens is the second-quickest bout in UFC history to be ruled a no-contest. Antonio Carlos Jr. poked Kevin Casey in the eye 11 seconds into their encounter at UFC Fight Night 80 in 2015.

GOT THE JUDGES ALL TIED UP IN KNOTS: Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov fought to a split draw, which was just the 10th in promotional history and the second this year. Only 2016 had previously seen multiple split draws in a calendar year.

THE DRAW THAT SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN: The draw between Moreno and Askarov was the second in the flyweight division. The first came at UFC on FX 2 in 2012 between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall. In that instance, the commission erred because it was a tournament matchup, so it should have seen a fourth “sudden victory” round.

THE BIGGER THEY ARE …: In a fight he was losing, Steven Peterson shocked the masses by leveling Martin Bravo with a counter spinning backfist. “Ocho” pulled off the seventh spinning backfist knockout in company history, joining Shonie Carter, John Makdessi, Paul Felder, James Moontasri, Douglas Silva de Andrade and Johnny Walker.

THE MORE BONES THEY BREAK: As the bout was contested at featherweight, Peterson is the lightest fighter in organizational history to score a knockout with a spinning backfist.

THE FIRST KID ON MY BLOCK TO GET A CONFIRMED KILL: Angela Hill recorded her first stoppage victory inside Octagon when she hit Ariane Carnelossi with a nasty elbow that sliced open the Brazilian instantly, forcing the cageside doctor to intervene.

REMEMBER THIS, BROTHER MINE: In taking a one-sided decision over the debuting Tyson Nam, Sergio Pettis recorded his ninth win inside the Octagon. With his win, he ties older brother Anthony Pettis, who also celebrates nine victories under the UFC banner.

15 MINUTE TO WIN IT: All nine of the younger Pettis’ UFC wins have come by decision. In comparison, his sibling has finished his opponent in seven of his nine UFC victories.

JUST TAP!: After tapping Vinicius Moreira Castro in the first round with a rear-naked choke, Paul Craig has submitted his opponent in all but one of his career wins. Neither Craig nor Castro has gone the distance in either of their careers.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHOKE ARTIST: Despite holding 10 previous wins by tapout, this was Craig’s first by rear-naked choke. Six of his submission wins have come by triangle choke.

BETTER FIX UP YOUR RESUME: Both Sijara Eubanks and Marcos Mariano suffered decision losses at this event, and their defeats dropped their respective records to .500.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC Fight Night 159, Peterson (26 fights) and Eubanks (seven fights) had never competed outside of the United States, Carnelossi had never been stopped with strikes (13 fights) and Castro had never been submitted (12 fights).

CURSE? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ CURSE!: Stephens and Peterson walked out to Eminem tracks. Stephens appeared with “Till I Collapse”, while Peterson used “No Apologies.” Neither man lost, making this card the first since UFC 218 in 2017 in which multiple fighters used Eminem and none suffered defeat.

SHE’S A KILLER: Staying with her trend of powerful walkouts, Hill used Mexican metal band Transmetal as her walkout artist, coming out to the cover song “Killers.” She is the first fighter to ever use a song from this death metal band, and she won by slashing open her opponent’s forehead with an elbow.

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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