Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 15

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 24, 2020

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

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 barely made it to showtime with a card that trickled down to nine fights thanks to withdrawals and the coronavirus. UFC on ESPN 15 still featured plenty of wild action, including monumental upsets, knockout artists on full display and a boatload of accomplishments for a future hall of famer.

UPSET NIGHT AT THE APEX: UFC on ESPN 15 is the first event in UFC history to see two favored fighters above -600 fall throughout the night. Massive favorites Mariya Agapova (-1375) and Timur Valiev (-640) both saw their fights cut short due to knockout losses.

TOOK 26 FIGHTS TO GET TO HIS NATURAL WEIGHT CLASS: Frankie Edgar took home a split decision over Pedro Munhoz to become one of a small number of UFC fighters to ever win bouts in three different weight categories. The former lightweight king prevailed in eight featherweight matches before dropping down to bantamweight. The only other fighters to win at 155, 145 and 135 pounds were George Roop, Lucas Martins and Manny Gamburyan.

JUST PUNCHING A CLOCK: Edgar extended his record for the most time spent inside the Octagon after his 25-minute affair with Munhoz. Edgar, who has now clocked over seven hours, 40 minutes of UFC fight time, is almost an hour above the next closest competitor, Rafael dos Anjos.

THE ANSWER IS MORE PUNCHING: “The Answer” scored 135 significant strikes en route to victory, and he is now eight shy of the second most in promotional history. Joanna Jedrzejczyk has landed 1,711, while Max Holloway stands atop the list with 2,173.

THE JUDGES KNOW THE ANSWER ALREADY: The win was Edgar’s 11th on the scorecards as a UFC fighter, placing him one below all-time co-leaders Diego Sanchez and Georges St. Pierre.

GIVE ME SEVEN ROUNDS: Edgar has left the fight result in the hands of the judges in ten separate 25-minute fights, more than any other fighter in company history. Jedrzejczyk, Jon Jones and St. Pierre all trail him with eight full five-rounders.

A SPLIT SPLIT DECISION: Although the Toms River, New Jersey, native has been involved in 10 scraps that lasted 25 minutes, he has only won four of them. In comparison, Jones and St. Pierre won all eight of their 25-minute contests. In all, six fighters have won more five-round decisions than Edgar: Jedrzejczyk and Demetrious Johnson (five each), Jose Aldo and Benson Henderson (six each) and Jones and St. Pierre.

NOT SO SLOW NOW: In his sudden co-main event spot, Mike Rodriguez battered Marcin Prachnio with an elbow and two punches to earn the knockout victory. “Slow” has finished his opponent in all 11 of his career triumphs, with nine first-round finishes to his credit.

NEVER TELL HER THE ODDS: Shana Dobson (+900) sprang the biggest betting upset in UFC history when she pounded out Agapova (-1375) in the second round. Prior to Dobson’s triumph, the largest underdog to score a win was the +735 Johnny Eduardo over -935 Eddie Wineland in 2014.

NO TURBULENCE FOR THIS FLIER: Prior to this shocking upset, all 30 UFC fighters that ever came into their bouts with odds above -1000 had won their matchups. Dobson is the first in promotional history to topple an opponent with such a line.

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN MMA: Only 10 previous fighters had ever come in as high or higher of a favorite as Agapova. She tied Zabit Magomedsharipov’s betting line when the Russian appeared at UFC 228 against Brandon Davis. All but one of those 10 prior overwhelming favorites had finished their foes.

BD, AD: Before Dobson’s win, four -1000 favorites had been defeated throughout UFC history. “GSP” was finished by Matt Serra, Niklas Backstrom got knocked out by Mike Wilkinson, Devonte Smith went down against Khama Worthy and Maycee Barber fell to Roxanne Modafferi earlier this year.

DOUBLE RODRIGUEZ KNOCKOUT: After an unexpected opponent change the day before the event, Daniel Rodriguez faced Dwight Grant and knocked him out in the first round. Eleven of the 13 wins for “D-Rod” have come inside the distance, but only four in the opening frame.

I AM ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE: Jordan Wright advanced his still undefeated record to 11-0 with a no-contest thanks to his 91-second doctor stoppage victory over Isaac Villanueva. All 11 victories for “The Beverly Hills Ninja” have taken place within the first two rounds, with 10 happening in Round 1.

SISQO HAS SIGNED WITH THE UFC: Stepping up mere days before the fight, Trevin Jones made his triumphant organizational debut when he stopped fellow newcomer Valiev in the second round. The upset was the third-greatest of the year, with Jones a +470 underdog to Valiev at -640. Only Modafferi vs. Barber and the aforementioned Dobson upset were more substantial in 2020.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC on ESPN 15, Grant (12 fights) and Valiev (18 fights) had never been finished, Amanda Lemos had never won by decision (nine fights) and Carlton Minus had never lost on the scorecards (12 fights).

GOOSEBUMPS WHEN THE SONG PLAYS: Edgar has walked out to “Kick in the Door” by Notorious B.I.G. for 21 of his last 22 recorded entrances, including this win over Munhoz. He is one of a very small number of UFC fighters to ever use the same song more than 20 times, along with Donald Cerrone’s “Cowboy” by Kid Rock and Joe Lauzon’s “Move” by Thousand Foot Krutch.

MAYBE THIS SONG ISN’T CURSED…? M. Rodriguez made his walk to the cage with “Lucky You” by Eminem featuring Joyner Lucas playing, instead of his previous tracks of “We Don’t Care Anymore” by Story of the Year or “Maldicion” by Raw Marquez featuring Chizzdot, and won by knockout. His use of “Lucky You” is the first time this Eminem song has been used inside the Octagon.

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