Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 21

By: Jay Pettry
Mar 22, 2021

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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TOTAL NUMBER OF UFC FIGHTS: 6,041
TOTAL NUMBER OF UFC EVENTS: 556

The Ultimate Fighting Championship just stumbled across the finish line with 10 fights after multiple sudden cancellations. The blighted event managed to deliver a considerable amount of action with a majority of the matches ending by violent knockout. UFC on ESPN 21 featured a uber-rare occurrence of a married duo competing on the same card, a pro seemingly allergic to later rounds and one of the latest stoppages possible in a non-title fight.

Love Is Dead: Cheyanne and J.P. Buys became the second married couple to appear together on a UFC event, joining Mark and Montana De La Rosa, who fought at UFC Fight Night 167 in February 2020. The Buys both suffered losses in the cage at UFC on ESPN 21.

Gatekeep This: Winning a decision over Kevin Holland, Derek Brunson earned his 13th victory inside the Octagon. All 13 have come at middleweight, tying him with four other fighters for the third-most wins in UFC divisional history. Only Anderson Silva (14) and Michael Bisping (16) have more.

Thank God for Small Miracles: In a losing effort, Holland did achieve one feat. He became the first fighter in Brunson’s combined 22-fight UFC and Strikeforce tenure to land a takedown on the Division II All-American.

The Pain is Growing: For the first time in his UFC career, Max Griffin is on a win streak. Before knocking Kenan Song out in the first round, “Pain” forced the doctors to intervene against Ramiz Brahimaj in November.

You Know What You’ve Got? S-T-Y-L-E: In the third round, Adrian Yanez knocked Gustavo Lopez out with one right hand. The Texan lifted his career stoppage rate to 77 percent with the victory, having earned knockouts in five of his last six victories.

Turbo Tai: In 49 seconds, Tai Tuivasa thumped Harry Hunsucker to pick up the win. Ten of Tuivasa’s 11 career wins have come by knockout, with all 10 taking place in the opening frame.

Hurrying Hunsucker: Through his 11-fight pro career, Hunsucker has still never seen a second round. All of his wins and losses have taken place before the four-minute mark.

The Island of Dr. Reneau: Macy Chiasson overcame Marion Reneau to win a decision. Reneau is now on a four-fight skid, but she has never been stopped as a pro – each of her seven defeats have come on the scorecards.

No Mercy Granted: With one second left on the clock, Grant Dawson put Leonardo Santos away with punches. In doing so, Dawson tied the record for the second-latest finish in a three-round fight in UFC history. The latest came at the 5:00 mark when Ricky Simon put Merab Dvalishvili to sleep with a guillotine choke.

What Does ‘KGD’ Stand For? The stoppage was Dawson’s 15th as a pro, although the Glory MMA & Fitness prospect typically traffics in submissions. “KGD” now posts a mighty finish rate of 88 percent.

Forgotten How to Lose: Santos suffered his first defeat in the Octagon, and it was his first loss since May 2009. At that time, not a single competitor on this card had made their pro debut including Dawson.

Calling Mike Swick: In just under two minutes, Montel Jackson dispatched Jesse Strader. Across his 10-fight career, half of the wins for “Quik” have come before the two-minute mark of a fight.

No Buyers: Dropping J.P. Buys three times before recording the stoppage, Bruno Silva tied Matheus Nicolau and John Lineker for the most knockdowns landed in a UFC flyweight fight. Lineker achieved this feat twice against Azamat Gashimov and Phil Harris, although he missed weight ahead of the latter.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 21, neither Brunson (28 fights) nor Holland (26 fights) had ever competed beyond the third round, Song had never competed in the U.S. (21 fights) and Roman Dolidze had never been defeated (eight fights).

Diss Track: After over 200 uses of Eminem tracks over the years, Griffin still managed to pick one that had never been chosen as a walkout track. “Pain” went with “Zeus” by the famous rapper featuring White Gold, and he starched Song.

You’re Still the One I Run To: As he is wont to do through his UFC career, Tuivasa entered to an unorthodox walkout song. The Aussie selected “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain, which is a first across UFC walkout music history. It took less time for Tuivasa to win than to walk out to the cage.

You Know I Am A Righteous Man: For each of his five UFC appearances, Dawson has opted for his music to be the metal cover of Disney villain song “Hellfire” as performed by Jonathan Young. Dawson has won every time when using the song originally from the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

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