The final event of the UFC’s inaugural “Fight Island” stint goes down Saturday with UFC on ESPN 14, which aires on ESPN and streams on ESPN+ from Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
A high-stakes matchup between middleweight contenders takes center stage in the main event. Former champ Robert Whittaker (20-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) returns for the first time since losing the belt to Israel Adesanya in October when he meets Darren Till (18-2-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC), who looks to go 2-0 since moving to 185 pounds.
For more on the numbers behind the first 15-fight lineup in modern UFC history (and second overall along with UFC 2 in 1993), check below for 55 pre-event facts about UFC on ESPN 14.
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Whittaker is the only New Zealand-born fighter in history to win a UFC championship.
Whittaker is 8-1 since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in November 2014.
Whittaker and Yoel Romero combined for 239 significant strikes landed at UFC 225, the single-fight record for a five-fight UFC middleweight fight.
Whittaker’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC middleweight bouts are tied for third most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (11) and Romero (eight).
Till was successful in his middleweight debut when he beat Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 in November.
Till has outlanded his opponent in all but one of his UFC victories.
Till is one of five fighters in UFC history to land zero significant strikes in a championship bout defeat, as he did against Tyron Woodley at UFC 228. His 9:19 of cage time is the most of any fighter in the group. The previous high was 3:54.
Mauricio Rua (26-11-1 MMA, 10-9-1 UFC) competes in his 21st UFC light heavyweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Jon Jones (22).
Rua’s 22 victories in UFC/PRIDE light-heavyweight competition are the most in combined divisional history.
Rua’s 18 stoppage victories in UFC/PRIDE/WEC/Strikeforce competition are fourth most in combined organizational history behind Mirko Filipovic (21), Wanderlei Silva (20) and Donald Cerrone (20).
Rua’s 17 knockout victories in UFC/PRIDE light-heavyweight competition are the most in combined divisional history.
Rua’s eight knockout victories in modern UFC light-heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Chuck Liddell (nine).
Rua is the only light heavyweight in UFC history to earn his first six victories with the organization by knockout.
Rua’s 14 knockdowns landed in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied with Liddell for most in divisional history.
Rua’s eight fight-night bonuses for UFC light-heavyweight fights are tied with Jones for most in divisional history.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (23-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC), 44, is the oldest active fighter in the UFC light-heavyweight division.
Nogueira, 44, is the oldest of the 30 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.
Remaining main card
Fabricio Werdum (23-9-1 MMA, 11-6 UFC) is 9-4 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.
Werdum and Marcin Tybura combined for 282 significant strikes landed at UFC Fight Night 121, the second most in a UFC heavyweight bout Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier (304) at UFC 241.
Alexander Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) moves up to the UFC heavyweight division for the first time. He made his previous 16 octagon appearances at light heavyweight.
Gustafsson is one of eight fighters UFC history to go at least 0-3 in championship fights. Joseph Benavidez Dan Henderson, Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber, Pedro Rizzo and Chael Sonnen have also come up short in three title fights.
Carla Esparza (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) was the first UFC strawweight champion. She lost the belt to Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185 in March 2015.
Esparza is 6-3 since losing the UFC strawweight title to Jedrzejczyk in March 2015.
Esparza competes in her 12th UFC strawweight bout, tied for the fourth most appearances in divisional history behind Angela Hill (15), Randa Markos (14) and Jedrzejczyk (13).
Esparza’s seven victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Jedrzejczyk (10).
Esparza has earned six of her seven UFC victories by decision.
Esparza has completed at least one takedown against 10 of her 11 UFC opponents.
Esparza’s 34 takedowns landed in UFC strawweight competition are tied with Claudia Gadelha for most in divisional history.
Marina Rodriguez (13-0-2 MMA, 2-0-2 UFC) four-fight UFC unbeaten streak at strawweight is tied for the fourth longest active streak in the division behind Tatiana Suarez (five), Yan Xiaonan (five) and Zhang Weili (five).
Rodriguez is the only female fighter in UFC history to fight to multiple draws.
Paul Craig (12-4-1 MMA, 4-4-1 UFC) has earned all 12 of his career victories by stoppage.
Craig’s victory at 4:59 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night 127 is the latest submission in a three-round UFC fight.
Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned 19 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 17 of those wins in Round 1.
Alex Oliveira (20-8-1 MMA, 10-6 UFC) is 8-5 (with one no contest) over his multiple stints in UFC welterweight competition.
Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros at UFC 218 is the only fight in UFC history to feature two knockdowns for each fighter.
Peter Sobotta (17-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) is 4-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2014.
Khamzat Chimaev (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) makes his second UFC appearance in a 10-day stretch. He won at UFC on ESPN 13 on July 15.
Chimaev can set the record for fastest time between UFC wins with a victory at 11 days.
Chimaev has earned all seven of his career victories by stoppage. He’s finished four of those wins in Round 1.
Rhys McKee (10-2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 24, is the youngest of the 30 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.
Francisco Trinaldo (25-7 MMA, 15-6 UFC) 12 UFC victories in Brazil are the most in company history.
Trinaldo is the only fighter in UFC history to earn two arm-triangle submission victories from half-guard.
Trinaldo’s nine decision victories in UFC lightweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Gleison Tibau (11).
Nicolas Dalby (18-3-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC for a second stint when he won at UFC on ESPN+ 18 in September.
Jesse Ronson (21-10 MMA, 0-3 UFC) returns to the UFC for the first time since July 2014. He went 8-5 between stints with the promotion.
Jake Collier (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Nov. 11, 2017. The 987-day layoff is the longest of his nearly 10-year career.
Collier moves up to the UFC heavyweight division after spending his previous octagon appearances at light heavyweight and middleweight.
Collier can become the 11th fighter in UFC history to win in three weight classes.
Collier has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights. He won his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 120 in November 2017.
Collier is one of five fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back kick to the body. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 88.
Tanner Boser (18-6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) makes his second UFC appearance in a 28-day stretch. He won at UFC on ESPN 12 on June 27.
Bethe Correia (11-4-1 MMA, 5-4-1 UFC) competes in her 11th UFC women’s bantamweight bout, tied for the third most appearances in divisional history behind Raquel Pennington (13) an Amanda Nunes (12).
Correia and Marion Reneau fought to the first draw in women’s UFC history at UFC Fight Night 106.
Nathaniel Wood (16-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned 14 of his 16 career victories by stoppage. That includes all three of his UFC wins.
Wood’s three submission victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied for fifth most in divisional history behind Urijah Faber (six), Rani Yahya (five), Aljamain Sterling (four) and Marlon Vera (four).