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There are few bouts in Ultimate Fighting Championship history that have ended in more disappointing fashion than Saturday’s headliner between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens in Mexico City, Mexico.
A matchup that began with the potential for fireworks at UFC Fight Night 159 ended in just 15 seconds after Rodriguez inadvertently poked his opponent in the eye. Stephens took as much time as he could to recover, but he was unable to open his eye after several minutes, so the bout was ruled a no contest. The crowd was understandably upset in the aftermath, as was Rodriguez. There won’t be much in the way of statistics to review regarding the featherweight main event, but it did produce one interesting footnote regarding short-lived no contests in UFC competition. Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC Fight Night 159, with statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com.
0:15: Time of the no contest ruling in the bout between Rodriguez and Stephens, making it the second-quickest no contest in UFC history. The only shorter no contest occurred at UFC Fight Night 80, when a matchup between Antonio Carlos Jr. and Kevin Casey ended due to an eye poke in 11 seconds.
6: Strawweight victories for Carla Esparza, tying her with Rose Namajunas, Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres for the third-most in the history of the division. Only Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade have won more in the UFC at 115 pounds. Esparza captured a hard-fought majority decision against Alexa Grasso in the evening’s co-main event.
115: Total strikes landed by Esparza. By comparison, Grasso landed 113. Grasso held a 45-to-44 edge in significant strikes landed.
4: Takedowns landed in 11 attempts by Esparza. “Cookie Monster” has now landed 33 takedowns in her UFC tenure.
12: Unofficial media scorecards, of the 13 tracked by MMADecisions.com, that scored the flyweight bout between Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov in favor of Moreno. However, the cageside judges were not in agreement, as the official result of the contest was a split draw.
2,170: Days since Irene Aldana’s last appearance in her home country, a 43-second knockout of Mayra Arce at Xtreme Kombat 21 in Mexico City on Oct. 12, 2013. The Lobo Gym MMA representative made a successful return to Mexico on Saturday, as she took a clear-cut unanimous verdict over Vanessa Melo in a featured bantamweight contest.
125: Significant strikes landed by Aldana, who landed 79 to the head, 21 to the body and 25 to the legs of her opponent. Melo, meanwhile, landed 68 significant strikes in defeat.
7: Spinning backfist knockouts in UFC history. With his spectacular finish of Martin Bravo, Steven Peterson joined Shonie Carter, John Makdessi, Paul Felder, Douglas Silva de Andrade, Aleksandar Rakic and Johnny Walker as the only fighters to win via KO/TKO using that maneuver.
37: Significant strikes by which Bravo outlanded Peterson in defeat.
3: Consecutive TKO defeats in UFC competition for Marco Polo Reyes, who was stopped by Kyle Nelson 1:36 into the first round of their featherweight encounter in Mexico City.
96: Significant strikes landed by Sergio Pettis in a unanimous decision win over Tyson Nam at flyweight. That’s the most the Roufusport product has landed in 14 UFC appearances. By comparison, Nam landed just 40 significant strikes.
11: Submission victories among 12 career triumphs for Scotland’s Paul Craig, a figure that includes all four of his UFC victories. On Saturday, “Bearjew” tapped Vinicius Moreira Castro with a rear-naked choke at the 3:19 mark of round one.
96: Total strikes by which Claudio Pelles outlanded Marcos Mariano in their preliminary lightweight bout. Puelles, who also held a 22-to-2 edge in significant strikes, landed four of six takedown attempts and passed guard on seven occasions in a lopsided victory where he earned a trio of 30-25 scorecards from the cageside judges.