Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Mexico City
Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Mexico City

This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.

The UFC returned to Mexico City on Saturday. The featherweight main event was expected to be a fan-friendly battle between exciting fighters. Instead, the fans were pelting the ring with bottles and trash. The card was only the third event to feature both a draw and a no contest. However, the rest of the main card provided plenty of excitement and intrigue. The following is a by-the-numbers recap that highlights the stats and milestones that stood out on the main card, with stats courtesy of UFCStats.com. 

Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens ends early due to an eye poke 

The outcome of this fight is one of the worst possible results in MMA. Both fighters came out looking to throw strikes, but Rodriguez accidentally caught Stephens in the eye with a shove. After the allotted five minutes of recovery time, Stephens could still not open his eye. Referee Herb Dean called the fight. It was the second-shortest no-contest in UFC history, behind only the Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Kevin Casey fight from 2015. Hopefully Stephens can recover, and the UFC can get this fight back on the schedule. 

The result was certainly not what the fans wanted, and any player who picked either fighter on DraftKings had to have been livid. Rodriguez finished with only one point, while Stephens did not even register a point.  

Carla Esparza holds on against Alexa Grasso

After failing to stop the takedowns in rounds one and two, Grasso made some noise in the final round of this fight. She appeared to hurt Esparza with some punches, and the former champion literally ran away from her opponent. However, Grasso made a monumental mistake of initiating a scramble and ended up on bottom when she should have continued to strike. 

Esparza finished with four takedowns, one pass and one reversal. Going into the third round, she had scored four of her seven takedown attempts, but she failed on all four in the final round. At distance – which is defined as standing and not in the clinch – Grasso was the better fighter. She outlanded Esparza 34 to 28 in the position, but she could not keep the fight upright.  

The former flyweight champion finished with 80 points on DraftKings. While her striking volume was relatively low (44 significant strikes), she put up enough points via grappling for a respectable score.  

Brandon Moreno fights to a draw against Askar Askarov

12 of the 13 media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com had this fight for Moreno. However, one judge thought it was a draw and the other two were split. 

Askarov had success in the first two rounds with his wrestling. He landed four of his 11 takedown attempts, registered four passes and landed 12 significant ground strikes. When the fight was on the feet, Moreno was landing the better and hard strikes. He finished with an 18-to-9 advantage on distance strikes, and he scored a knockdown at the end of the second round. It will be interesting to see if the UFC books the rematch since Askarov could have possibly been dealing with the altitude.  

This was one of the two fights on the main card that did not declare a winner. The lack of a winner can wreak havoc on a DraftKings lineup. Neither fighter put up a strong score due to the lack of win bonus. Askarov finished with 52 points partially due to his early grappling success, while Moreno earned players 40 points. 

Irene Aldana styles on Vanessa Melo in the striking game 

While Aldana has never had problems landing with volume, there are still two pretty clear deficiencies in her striking game. First, she does not land with a lot of power. Second, she eats a lot of shots from her opponent. Fortunately for her in this fight, Melo was not really a striking threat. Aldana landed 125 significant strikes in the 15-minute fight while absorbing only 68. With the prolific striking performance, her significant strikes landed per minute rate increased from 5.84 to 6.20. However, she still needs to find a way to increase her power. She was landing hard and clean shots in the third round, but Melo was never really close to being stopped.  

A finish could have helped push Aldana's DraftKings score over the top. However, she still finished with 92.5 points, which was the fourth-highest mark on a night with some low scores.  

Steven Peterson puts Martin Bravo on the highlight reel 

The finish to this fight will be played as part of highlight reels for years to come. Peterson landed the perfect spinning back fist to finish the bout in the second round. Coming into this fight, Peterson showed almost zero finishing ability, as he went to four-straight decisions in his first four UFC fights. He also lost three of those fights. Things did not get off to a good start either against Bravo. In the opening round, Bravo outlanded him 69 to 35 on significant strikes and appeared to be in control. None of that mattered in the end.  

Peterson was one of only four fighters to score finishes on this card, and he put up the second-highest score on DraftKings. He earned players 104.5 points after coming in as an underdog.  
 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Mann
Richard is a statistical MMA analyst who regularly appears on ESPN MMA and InterMatWrestle.
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