Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 27

By: Jay Pettry
Jul 26, 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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The Ultimate Fighting Championship rocked the UFC Apex with a wild card full of high-flying action and head-scratching scorecards. The word of the day was “upset” as seven of the 10 betting underdogs won their fights, not including the pick-‘em in the opener. UFC on ESPN 27 featured a veteran with a flair for a dramatic comeback, a Houstonian striker shining bright and the commencement of a redemption arc for a disgraced former champ.

Bad Night for Chalk: The night ended with four consecutive betting favorites losing, as Maycee Barber, Darren Elkins, Raulian Paiva and T.J. Dillashaw all prevailed as underdogs. UFC on ESPN 27 is the first event to conclude with four straight upsets since UFC 226 in 2018.

Luck of the Alpha: Three Team Alpha Male fighters in Paiva, Elkins and Barber had their hands raised at the end of the night. Paiva and Barber emerged victorious by contentious decision, where an overwhelming majority of the media scorers did not award wins to the respective victors.

Dillashaw 5th Symphony, 1st Movement: Through his 20-fight career before this headlining outing, Dillashaw had won four fights and lost the fifth in a pattern. True to form, Dillashaw not only rebounded from his last defeat with a win, but he did so by decision – just like each of the past three occasions.

Daddy’s Split: With the headliner going to a split verdict, Dillashaw is now one shy of the UFCs bantamweight record for a fighter’s involvement in a split decision. Kyung Ho Kang holds that honor, fighting to split scorecards four times while winning three.

Matrix Money: Even though he lost to Paiva by majority decision, Kyler Phillips pocketed $50,000 for “Fight of the Night.” In his four UFC fights, “The Matrix” has earned three post-fight bonuses.

Damage, Inc. Back in Business: Elkins still holds the record for the longest of any UFC fighter to go without earning a post-fight bonus, as it took him 16 bouts to score his first. His knockout of Darrick Minner made him an extra 50 grand richer, for just his third UFC bonus in his lengthy career.

Seven Minutes of Steam: In his 38-fight career, Minner has still only gone the distance four times. He has reached the scorecards just once in his last 15 tilts.

Houston Beat Boston: Adrian Yanez stopped Randy Costa in the second round with punches, earning his third consecutive knockout victory since joining the UFC roster. He is the first men’s bantamweight in UFC history to win his first three outings by knockout.

Yane$: Each one of Yanez’ knockouts have been followed by a $50k “Performance of the Night” bonus, including this victory over Costa. Like Elkins, Yanez has earned three UFC post-fight bonuses; it took Elkins 24 bouts to earn that tally, while Yanez did it in three.

He Messed with the Zohan: Win or lose, the fight reaching 7:11 was the longest that “The Zohan” has competed in a single match as a pro. Both of Costa’s bouts to reach the second frame have ended with him getting finished.

Dodging Hawaiian Punches: Brendan Allen needed 15 minutes to upset Punahele Soriano, lowering his career finish rate to 82 percent. Two of the last three victories for “All In” have come by decision, compared to when he started his career with stoppages in his first 10 wins.

Dagestan by Day, MMA Factory by Night: In the second round, Nassourdine Imavov put Ian Heinisch away with punches. The Frenchman born in Dagestan now posts a stoppage rate of 80 percent, with an equal percentage of knockouts to submissions.

Galling Performance: Before the three-minute mark, Mickey Gall hit a rear-naked choke on Jordan Williams. Every one of Gall’s five stoppage wins have come by this type of choke. Gall now celebrates the fourth-most submission wins in UFC welterweight history alongside Erick Silva and Matt Hughes. Gunnar Nelson sits at the top spot with seven.

The Gall of That Man: Since joining the UFC roster, Gall has notched five rear-naked choke wins. Gall ties Antonio Carlos Junior and Michael Chiesa for the third-most in UFC history, trailing Kenny Florian (seven) and Demian Maia (eight). Of note, Maia also sports a victory over Rick Story by neck crank.

“SarJ” in Charge: Sijara Eubanks destroyed Elise Reed in under four minutes, putting the Octagon newcomer away with ground-and-pound. The stoppage was Eubanks’ first since knocking AmberLynn Orr out almost exactly five years ago. At that time, five fighters at this event including her opponent had yet to turn pro.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 27, Sandhagen had never competed beyond the third round (16 fights), Costa (seven fights) and Heinisch (18 fights) had never been knocked out (18 fights) and Soriano (eight fights) and Reed (four fights) had never been defeated.

On the Highway to Damage: Walking out to “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC, Elkins came back to finish Minner in the second round. Even though AC/DC as a whole maintains a paltry UFC winning percentage below 40 percent, fighters picking this song throughout UFC history have ended up winning above 64 percent of their appearances.

Shipwreck with Us: For nearly a decade, fighters including Ross Pearson, Rory MacDonald, Nate Marquardt and Henry Cejudo have been walking out to various Lupe Fiasco tracks. Phillips picked “Wav Files” by the Chicago-based rapper, and his loss lowered the high winning percentage of Lupe Fiasco’s music to 73.3 percent.

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