Fight Facts: UFC Fight Night 188

By: Jay Pettry
May 25, 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 ended a seven-week stretch of events with Fight Night fare that may have dragged in parts, but still provided ample points of interest. A pair of instant title challengers emerged with one-sided performances, and a feature-length heavyweight tilt that proved historically entertaining. UFC Fight Night 188 featured a lightning-quick knockout at flyweight, a Barnett hunter going hunting and the first finish for a former champ in quite some time.

Rob “Comic Sans” Font: In capturing a five-round unanimous verdict over Cody Garbrandt, Rob Font competed beyond the third round for the first time in his 23-fight pro career.

Rob “Arial” Font: Font landed 176 significant strikes on Garbrandt, blowing away his own career high while notching the second-most in any bantamweight fight. The past record was set by Petr Yan, when he lumped up Jose Aldo with 194 significant strikes in 2010.

Rob “Papyrus” Font: Font became the first fighter in UFC competition to take Garbrandt down. The Boston native succeeded where Pedro Munhoz, T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz fell short, as those three were unsuccessful in their past nine attempts to ground “No Love.”

Get Crucified! Carla Esparza put Xiaonan Yan away in the second round with a rare finish due to punches in the crucifix position. In doing so, Esparza notched her first stoppage win since her UFC debut in 2014, and her first knockout since 2012.

Former Champ Turned Future Champ: Esparza’s last stoppage win due to strikes came over Lynn Alvarez at Invicta FC 3 in October 2012. At that time, 11 of the other 23 fighters on the card had yet to make their professional debuts.

C Is for Crushing: The record for the most takedowns landed in UFC strawweight history was already held by Esparza, who had already scored 39 over the years. “Cookie Monster” added to that total by putting Yan on her back three times.

Worth Every Penny: The exciting battle between Jared Vanderaa and Justin Tafa earned “Fight of the Night” honors for the two heavyweights. The decision win for Vanderaa is the first heavyweight contest since Junior dos Santos took on Derrick Lewis in 2019 to earn that post-fight bonus.

Full-Length Heavyweight Fights Aren’t Always Fun: While Dos Santos-Lewis is the last heavyweight fight to receive a “FOTN” bonus, it ended inside the distance. Dos Santos also was involved in the last “FOTN”-winning heavyweight fight that reached the scorecards, when he defeated Stipe Miocic at UFC on Fox 13 in 2014.

I CaN MaKe BaNtAmWeIgHt: Upsetting Felicia Spencer by split decision, Norma Dumont became the first woman not named Megan Anderson, Cristiane Justino, Amanda Nunes or Spencer to win at 145 pounds since Macy Chiasson prevailed on the finale of Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” That event occurred in November 2018.

Barnett and Barnett…No Relation: Back in 2016, Ben Rothwell throttled Josh Barnett with a modified 10-finger guillotine choke also called a gogo choke to hand “The Warmaster” his first submission defeat. Rothwell performed this same choke on Chris Barnett, and it was the first time that “Huggy Bear” had ever been submitted.

Big Man Strong: “Big Ben” lifted his career finish rate to 90 percent by putting Barnett away. Each of his last three submission wins have come from a guillotine choke, dating back to 2015.

Court Is Now in Session: Snapping the longest skid of his career, Court McGee prevailed by unanimous decision over Claudio Silva. “The Crusher” has not finished a foe in over a decade, with each of his seven victories coming after three full rounds.

Bulldog Strength: Bruno Silva only needed 60 seconds to starch Victor Rodriguez at flyweight, In the process, “Bulldog” earned the fifth-fastest knockout win in UFC flyweight history. The quickest came in 15 seconds at the hands of Dustin Ortiz over Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night 114 in 2017.

Rear-Naked Undertaking: The rear-naked choke win for David Dvorak over newcomer Juancamilo Ronderos is his eighth as a pro, evening his knockout to submission ratio. Two-thirds of the submissions for “The Undertaker” have come by that maneuver.

Dvowrecked: Although his opponent came in on short notice, Dvorak put him away in the first round. The Czech flyweight is now on a 16-fight win streak, with 14 finishes along the way.

Dominant Damir: Returning after nearly two years away, Damir Ismagulov came back to win a unanimous decision over Rafael Alves. The Russian extends his win streak to 18 with the performance, and six of his last seven victories have come on the scorecards.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC Fight Night 188, Garbrandt (15 fights), Edmen Shahbazyan (12 fights) and Alves (28 fights) had never lost on the scorecards; Yan had never been knocked out (15 fights); and Spencer (10 fights), Tafa (six fights) and C. Silva (16 fights) had never lost consecutive bouts.

Rob “Jamrock” Font: Font made his walkout song switch to “Welcome to Jamrock” by Damian Marley ahead of his meeting with Douglas Silva de Andrade at UFC 213 in 2017. Since then, Font has won six of eight, including this victory over Garbrandt.

Didn’t Strangle, Did Win: McGee made his walk accompanied by “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent and ended the night getting his hand raised. As a result, the Ohio native lifted the recorded winning percentage of the track above .700, where it stands as the winningest song with over 25 uses in company history.

Two-Pack for 2Pac: Both C. Silva and Rodriguez emerged to tracks by 2Pac, and both lost their fights. Silva selected “Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” while Rodriguez went with “Whoopty” featuring Eminem and CJ.

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