Fight Facts: UFC Fight Night 174

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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 played on at the UFC Apex with an event that was not kneecapped right out of the gate. Unlike the previous card, a full 12 fights went down at the event. UFC Fight Night 174 featured a new top dog for heavyweight knockouts, a rare and elusive spinning backfist in its natural habitat and an unfortunate milestone for the “Eminem Curse.”

HE HAS TO DO WHAT NOW? Taking out Alexey Oleynik in the second round, Derrick Lewis notched his 11th knockout inside the Octagon. In doing so, Lewis now holds the all-time records for the knockout victories in UFC heavyweight history.

MAYBE THAT IS WHY HE KNOCKS THEM OUT: Lewis is one knockout shy of the record among all fighters ever to compete under the UFC banner, which was set by Vitor Belfort in 2015 when he flattened Dan Henderson. Belfort holds 12 knockout wins in the UFC.

AT 35, LEWIS CAN BREAK IT: Although all of his UFC stoppage wins have come by knockout, Lewis is chasing the all-time finish record among heavyweights. Tied with Andrei Arlovski, Gabriel Gonzaga and Stefan Struve, they all trail Frank Mir (13).

FEAR THE BEAST: With his triumph, “The Black Beast” enhanced his finish rate to 83 percent. All but one of his 20 career fights won inside the distance have come due to strikes; Lewis hit an armbar on Rakim Cleveland in 2010.

THE CHRIS 2.0: Chris Weidman handed Omari Akhmedov his first career defeat on the scorecards after 26 fights when he captured a unanimous verdict. Throughout Weidman’s career, he posts six wins by knockout, five by decision and another four via submission.

AS EASY AS PULLING TEETH: Before his fight with Maki Pitolo, British striker Darren Stewart had never even attempted a submission in the UFC after nine bouts. “The Dentist” picked up his first win by tapout when he locked up a guillotine choke in the opening stanza.

JUST KEEP SPINNING: Although he connected more with his forearm than his fist, Beneil Dariush officially earned the eighth spinning backfist knockout across promotional history when he flattened Scott Holtzman.

PAUL FELDER WAS IMPRESSED: Dariush joined the list that includes Shonie Carter, John Makdessi, Paul Felder, James Moontasri, Douglas Silva de Andrade, Johnny Walker and Steven Peterson with his spinning backfist finish. Across those names, Dariush the only one to do so in a catchweight contest, as he came in two pounds above the lightweight limit.

TEXAS HEAT: One final punch from Kevin Holland forced referee Mark Smith to intervene and end the fight against Joaquin Buckley by technical knockout. The Texan now boasts an impressive finish rate of 83 percent with his one-sided victory.

URIJAH FABER COULDN’T SAVE HIM: Only one fighter came into this event with an undefeated record: Alex Munoz. He did not escape the evening with his 6-0 mark intact, dropping a decision to Nasrat Haqparast.

BRINGING BACK EL DIRTE: Demolishing Wellington Turman with one punch, Andrew Sanchez earned his first stoppage win on the UFC roster and his first since August 2015. Despite a reputation for winning by judges’ decision, every one of Sanchez’ victories before signing with the UFC ended by finish.

ROUND THREE, THE WAY TO BE: Gavin Tucker recorded his second consecutive rear-naked choke finish in the third frame by tapping Justin Jaynes. In doing so, he became the second fighter in UFC history to land back-to-back submissions in the third round. Hermes Franca did this first in 2005, when he hit a triangle choke on Joe Jordan and an armbar on Jamie Varner at UFCs 61 and 62, respectively.

MAKING IT WORK: Youssef Zalal racked up his third decision win in the UFC in 2020, making him the first fighter in the promotion to score three victories this year.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC Fight Night 174, Holtzman (17 fights), Turman (19 fights) and Jaynes (20 fights) had never been finished; Peter Barrett had never lost by decision (14 fights) and Laureano Staropoli had never lost consecutive bouts (11 fights).

WELCOME TO THE LAND, WHERE IT JUST DON’T STOP: This entrance is Lewis’ third in a row to use “Tops Drop” by Houston rapper Fat Pat. Lewis has won all three bouts when walking out to this track, and is the only recorded fighter to ever select Fat Pat as a walkout artist.

THE CURSE IS REAL: Turman walked out to “Phenomenal” by Eminem and suffered a first-round knockout defeat. The loss attributed to Eminem is the 100th in recorded UFC walkout music history, far and away more than any other artist.

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