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UFC July 2021 Recap: Fight Stats + Takeaways

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While the month of July did not host any UFC title fights, there was plenty of fantastic fights leaving fans ready each week to see someone make a statement. Join us as we take a deep dive into each July fight card, take a look at some of the stats and give our biggest takeaways from this past action-packed month!

UFC July 2021 Recap: The “Nitty Gritty”

UFC 264: Poirier vs McGregor 3 (7/10)

  • 12 Fights
    • 5 Decisions
      • 4 Unanimous
      • 1 Split
    • 7 Finishes
      • 6 KO/TKOs
        • 4 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Two
        • 1 in Round Three
      • 1 Submission
        • 1 in Round One
  • Bonus Winners ($75,000 per winner)
    • Fight of the Night: Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho
    • Performance: Tai Tuivasa (TKO) and Dricus Du Plessis (TKO)

UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs Moises (7/17)

  • 10 Fights
    • 2 Decisions
      • 2 Unanimous
    • 8 Finishes
      • 5 KO/TKOs
        • 2 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Two
        • 2 in Round Three
      • 3 Submissions
        • 1 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Three
        • 1 in Round Four
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Billy Quarantillo vs. Gabriel Benitez
    • Performance: Miesha Tate (TKO), Mateusz Gamrot (Submission), Rodolfo Vieira (Submission), and Rodrigo Nascimento (TKO)

UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs Dillashaw (7/24)

  • 11 Fights
    • 5 Decisions
      • 2 Unanimous
      • 2 Split
      • 1 Majority
    • 6 Finishes
      • 5 KO/TKOs
        • 1 in Round One
        • 4 in Round Two
      • 1 Submission
        • 1 in Round One
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Raulian Paiva vs. Kyler Phillips
    • Performance: Darren Elkins (TKO) and Adrian Yanez (TKO)

UFC Vegas 33: Hall vs Strickland (7/31)

  • 10 Fights
    • 5 Decisions
      • 4 Unanimous
      • 1 Majority
    • 4 Finishes
      • 4 KO/TKOs
        • 2 in Round One
        • 2 in Round Two
    • 1 Draw
      • 1 Majority
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Jason Witt vs. Bryan Barberena
    • Performance: Cheyanne Buys (TKO) and Melsik Baghdasaryan (TKO)

July 2021 Totals

  • 43 Fights
    • 17 Decisions
      • 12 Unanimous
      • 3 Split
      • 2 Majority
    • 25 Finishes
      • 20 KO/TKOs (0 in Rounds Four or Five)
        • 9 in Round One
        • 8 in Round Two
        • 3 in Round Three
      • 5 Submissions (0 in Rounds Two or Five)
        • 3 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Three
        • 1 in Round Four
    • 1 Draw
      • 1 Majority
  • Total Bonus Money Awarded = $1,000,000
    • 4 Fight of the Nights
    • 10 Performance Awards

UFC July 2021 Recap: Biggest Takeaways

Poirier vs. McGregor Rivalry is Over… For Now

UFC 264
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 10: (R-L) Dustin Poirier punches Conor McGregor of Ireland during the UFC 264 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

In the main event of UFC 264, we saw the third installment of Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor. After being tied 1-1 heading into this massive trilogy bout, there was a special ora in the air at T-Mobile Arena. However, the fight would end in a way that no one saw coming. That is because with just around ten seconds remaining in the first round, Conor McGregor would take a misstep and break his leg. Thus forcing the fight to end after round one via TKO (Doctor’s stoppage).

There are still however takeaways to be had on Poirier’s side of things after he seemingly dominated McGregor during the only round of the fight. So much so that two of the three judges scored the round as a 10-8 in “The Diamond’s” favor. Poirier also looked great on the feet, more so than in their second bout, and mauled McGregor while on the ground with heavy ground and pound, after escaping an early submission attempt.

It seems that the only fight that can be next for Dustin Poirier is a lightweight title matchup with the current champion, Charles Oliveira. These two men have scratched and clawed their way to the top of this stacked division, so to see this all come full circle in a championship bout between them feels very special. Hopefully, fight fans will get to see this fight come to fruition before 2021 comes to a close.

However, at the end of the trilogy bout between Poirier and McGregor, with the “Notorious” frustrated and in pain whilst watching Poirier get his hand raised, he made it clear that this rivalry is far from over. While many feel there is no need to have this fight run back a fourth time, when Conor McGregor has a say in things with the UFC, you can never rule it out as a possibility.

Islam Makhachev: The New Boogeyman of the Lightweight Division

UFC Vegas 31
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 17: Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts after teammate Islam Makhachev’s victory against Thiago Moises in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

At UFC Vegas 31, fans took witness to the protege of the former lightweight titleholder, Khabib Nurmagomedov. This being, Islam Makhachev. It is clear his skills are a near copy and paste from “The Eagle” by all accounts. His pressure, pacing, grapple-heavy approach, all of the tools that he has learned since being a young child in Dagestan learning the sambo style wrestling techniques are very present and in full effect in each fight.

Makhachev put his full arsenal on display in his first UFC main event when he defeated Thiago Moises via fourth-round submission. He even looked solid in the standup realm, not afraid to get into the pocket and exchange shots. Now, of course, we are not saying that Makhachev is some elite-level boxer, however, it does seem that he is more comfortable with staying on the feet longer if need be, and can still present a threat. 

Islam Makhachev had already struggled enough getting opponents coming into this fight and it doesn’t look like the road will get any easier. With that said, he is now the number five ranked lightweight on the UFC roster, so he is now in a place where people can earn a title shot by defeating him. Of course, that also means that Makhachev very well could just be one win away from earning a shot at a gold belt. The biggest question is, who is going to be the one to step in his way?

Miesha Tate’s Triumphant Return

UFC Vegas 31
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 17: Miesha Tate reacts after her victory over Marion Reneau in their bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Also making a huge statement at UFC Vegas 31 was former Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Miesha “Cupcake” Tate. After a nearly five-year hiatus, Tate came back like she never left. She was able to pick apart Marion Reneau for three rounds until getting the TKO finish late into the final round of their co-main event bout.

Miesha Tate looked to be in the best physical shape of her life, showed a much-improved standup game, and her all so coveted grappling skills were as polished as ever. This was everything fight fans could have wanted to see from Tate in her return, if not more. This performance, matched with her newly found motivation to regain her title creates quite the storyline as fans await her next matchup.

Should Tate come out and win once more, she is closer to a rematch with the woman that took her gold, Amanda Nunes, than some may realize. With the name power, accolades, and fan base behind her, Miesha Tate could be setting herself up for one of the greatest career comebacks in UFC history. 

TJ Dillashaw: Back Like he Never Left

UFC Vegas 32
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 24: T.J. Dillashaw reacts after his split-decision victory over Corey Sandhagen in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 24, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Another former UFC champion returned from a hiatus during July, and his name is TJ Dillashaw. After serving a two-year USADA suspension, the two-time bantamweight king was welcomed back to the octagon by top-ranked title contender, Cory Sandhagen.

These two 135ers went to war, giving fight fans one of the best fights of the year so far with Dillashaw ultimately getting the nod via split decision. Not before getting cut up badly with Sandhagen’s sharp elbows, weathering the storm and firing back with plenty of his weapons. This truly was the fight that everyone had expected from these two elite fighters, if not overdelivering, so much so that even in a losing effort, Sandhagen’s stock still got higher.

However, for the winner, TJ Dillashaw, it seems that a title fight should and will be next. Of course, he must await the winner of the title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, looking like it will take place in October. However, this looks to be a pretty solid timeline for Dillashaw after injuring his knee in his UFC Vegas 32 headlining effort. When the dust settles at the top of this division, and Dillashaw gets his crack at becoming a three-time bantamweight champion, it should be interesting to see who welcomes this opportunity, and how he shall respond.

Give us your thoughts on our UFC July 2021 Recap and what you felt were the biggest takeaways of the month in the comments below!


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Dominic Sallee is a Combat Sports writer. He focuses primarily on the UFC, with plans to venture out with pieces from other MMA organizations in the future. Along with writing, Dominic is also the Co-Host of the Below Average Joe's MMA Podcast, which produces 2-3 new episodes per week about all things in the MMA community!