Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 29

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 23, 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 proved yet again that name value is secondary to violence potential when matchmaking events, putting on a show with few recognizable stars but a fair amount of action. Remarkably, this UFC on ESPN 29 card is the first in company history to see no betting favorite above -200. The event featured many fighters sound asleep after their matches concluded, one of the most heavyweight contests ever and a walkout battle with two competitors picking the same artist.

Closest It’s Ever Been: Of the 12 fights on the card, not a single bout saw a betting favorite close higher than 2-to-1 odds. This event is the first in UFC history with lines available for every match to feature odds this narrow.

The Violence Meter Broke: The first four losing fighters of the night all lost consciousness by strikes or chokes. Both “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16 Finale in 2012 and UFC 199 in 2016 saw four consecutive fighters get put to sleep by blows or submissions, but this card was the first in company history to start off with four unconscious defeated fighters.

You Let That Girl Tap: With both Trevin Jones and Sasha Palatnikov being rendered unconscious from submissions on the card, UFC on ESPN 29 became the 10th event in organizational history to bring multiple technical submissions throughout the night.

A Chin He Couldn’t Crack: Winning a decision over Kelvin Gastelum, Jared Cannonier lowered his career finish rate to 79 percent in victory. Including his three-round loss to Robert Whittaker, this two-fight stretch is just the second time in the career of “The Killa Gorilla” where two straight fights went the distance.

Glass Cannonier: Through his last seven fights, Cannonier has either landed a knockdown or been knocked down himself a single time. In those four bouts where he knocked his foe down, he won. In the three he came up short, he was dropped by his opponent.

Judge-Pleasing Style: Swiping a split decision from Clay Guida, Mark O. Madsen is now a perfect 11-0 as a pro. Although he started his career with four first-round finishes, five of his last seven outings have seem him need three rounds to get his hand raised.

Chins Held Up: Parker Porter and Chase Sherman clocked in at a combined 266 significant strikes landed over the course of their 15-minute slugfest. That total now serves as the third-most in any UFC heavyweight fight, behind Fabricio Werdum-Marcin Tybura with 282 and Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 2 with 304.

Learn His Name: Making his successful UFC debut on short notice, Saidyokub Kakhramonov put Jones to sleep with a guillotine choke late into the third round. The Illinois-based fighter out of Uzbekistan now celebrates a finish rate of 78 percent, with stoppages in each of his last four victories.

Pichel Never Fell: Three full rounds were required for Vinc Pichel to defeat Austin Hubbard, extending the win streak of “From Hell” to three in a row. The Californian has recorded all but one of his UFC victories on the scorecards, including each of his last four.

Cannibalizing the Opposition: Throttling Brandon Royval in the second round, Alexandre Pantoja notched his fifth finish on the roster. “The Cannibal” now sits with the fourth-most stoppage wins in UFC flyweight history along with John Moraga. The two trail Joseph Benavidez (six), along with Demetrious Johnson and Deiveson Figueiredo (seven each).

Should Have Been the Co-Main Event: The stoppage for Pantoja netted him a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his work, giving him his third under the UFC banner. The Brazilian claims the four spot for the most in divisional history, and only Benavidez and Brandon Moreno (four each) and Johnson (nine) celebrate more.

Giant Killer 3: In her UFC debut, 5-foot-3 Brazilian striker Josiane Nunes introduced herself to the promotion by clocking Bea Malecki with a left hand to put the Swede out cold. As a pro, “Josi” has notched seven knockouts in eight victories, and she is now riding a six-fight knockout win streak.

A New Nunes: Nunes’ knockout of Malecki marked just the ninth time in UFC women’s divisional history where a single punch cleaned out their opponent.

Like Knocking a Tree Down: Of those nine one-hitter quitters among women inside the Octagon, Nunes clocked in with the fourth as a bantamweight. The first three to do so were Ronda Rousey, Viviane Araujo and Irene Aldana.

Ally to Good, Knightmare to You: A check left hook and follow-up punches from William Knight put Fabio Cherant away in the opening round. In victory, “Knightmare” has seen nine of his 10 foes fall victim to a knockout.

Etimmed: With five seconds left in the fight, Ignacio Bahamondes smote Roosevelt Roberts with a spinning wheel kick. Although the name of the move may vary, this is the 10th knockout of its kind in promotional history. Edson Barboza famously recorded the first over Terry Etim at UFC 142 in 2012.

Brahimighty: Ramiz Brahimaj put Palatnikov out with a rear-naked choke halfway through the first round to earn his first UFC victory. In Brahimaj’s career, all nine of his wins have come by submission, with all but one coming in the first round.

Show Starter: Although he lost, Palatnikov did become the third fighter in UFC history to start off his UFC run with three straight card-opening bouts. The first two to achieve this distinction: Sean Sherk and Emily Whitmire.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into UFC on ESPN 29, Royval had never been submitted (17 fights); Roberts had never been knocked out (13 fights) and Cherant (nine fights), Palatnikov (nine fights) and Royval had never dropped consecutive bouts.

50/50: A rarity for walkout music, two opposing fighters selected music from the same artist. Both Pantoja and Royval went with 50 Cent tracks, with Pantoja leaning towards “Many Men (Wish Death)” while Royval countered with “Hustler’s Ambition.” Pantoja emerged victorious.

Can You Help Me Occupy My Brain: While many fighters have picked Black Sabbath songs over the years for their entrance tunes, none had selected “Paranoid” by the legendary heavy metal band. Luis Saldana became the first, although he fell short to Austin Lingo by decision.

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