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Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Auckland Recap

Richard Mann

Richard is a statistical MMA analyst that has appeared on ESPN MMA via Fightmetric. He currently maintains his own, data-driven MMA blog at StrikescoreMMA.com.

Often times a fight card that does not look inspiring on paper turns out to be rather exciting. That was certainly the case on Saturday night, as UFC Fight Night 110 ended up having finishes in five of the six main card bouts. 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 FightMetric.com.

Mark Hunt outlasts Derrick Lewis in the main event

Hunt had the edge in striking technique from the start. Once Lewis faded, it was only a matter of time before Hunt finished him off. Prior to this fight, the former K-1 champion had not won a fight longer than eight minutes since 2013. Lewis appeared to have diversified his striking arsenal. He attacked with a variety of kicks, which was new for him. From a cardio standpoint, this might not have been a wise strategy. He attempted 7.37 significant strikes, which is above average for him, but he landed only 2.71, which is below average for him. Increasing output is always a good idea in MMA, but if punching air kills your gas tank it is not worth the effort.

The “Super Samoan” finished with 69.5 DraftKings points. As a heavyweight with huge power, he will always be attractive to DFS players. However, when he does not score an early finish, the slow pace of his fights can hurt his score.

Derek Brunson makes quick work of Dan Kelly

In his last five wins, Brunson has scored five knockouts and landed only 73 significant strikes. This means that in those bouts, he has registered a knockout for every 14.6 significant strikes landed. Against Kelly he needed only eight such strikes to finish the bout. The Australian came into this bout as the underdog for the eighth-straight time in the UFC. Shockingly, he is 6-2 in those bouts. However, he may have finally run out of upset magic.

Brunson’s power makes him almost a lock for any winning DFS lineup. For this card, he came in with the fourth highest pre-fight price at $9,000, but he delivered with the fifth highest score 104.

Dan Hooker puts up the highest DraftKings score against Ross Pearson

In the first round of this fight, Hooker gave Pearson a lot of trouble with his jab. In the round, he outlanded Pearson 32 to 20 on significant strikes. Pearson came out in the second round determined to avoid the jab, close the distance and land shots. The focus worked for him early, but it also left him open to virtually anything else Hooker threw. The New Zealand native started scoring with a sneaky cross and then finished the fight with a beautiful jumping knee. Pearson has now lost eight of his last 12 bouts in the Octagon and might be on his way out of the promotion.

Despite not having the reputation of a power striker, three of Hooker’s four UFC wins have come via knockout. He might struggle against tougher competition, but he has the ability to put up major DraftKings points in fights like this. For this performance, he netted players 114.5 points, which was the highest score of the night. His pre-fight price was only $8,300, which means he earned 72.49 points per dollar. That was second highest on the card behind only Vinc Pichel.

Ion Cutelaba needs only 22 seconds to finish Henrique da Silva

There really is not much to say about this fight. Cutelaba walked across the cage and landed punches until the referee stopped it. The 22-second finish was the eighth time in his career that he scored a finish within one minute. That type of finishing power certainly benefits DraftKings players. He ended up with 107.5 points, which was the third-best point total of the card.

Ben Nguyen catches Tim Elliott in only 49 seconds

In theory, Elliott’s wild and reckless style leaves him open for submissions, but he had only been caught once before. It was clear in this fight that Nguyen’s early power shots hurt Elliott and threw him off his game. The 49-second tapout was the quick submission of Nguyen’s career, but he does own two quicker knockout finishes. The finish was almost too quick for fantasy sports players. He earned only 99.5 points, which is normally a respectable score, but it was only the sixth best on this night of finishes.

Alexander Volkanovski defeats Mizuto Hirota via one-sided decision

Volkanovski scored an early knockdown in this fight and kept the pressure on Hirota for the rest of the fight. Hirota deserves respect for staying in the fight, but the final striking numbers were not pretty for him. Volkanovski outlanded him 87 to 46 in terms of significant strikes. Hirota is now 1-3-1 over two different stints in the UFC. He might be looking for a job in the near future.

From a DFS perspective, Volkanovski diversified his point total by scoring not only with strikes, but also landed four takedowns, a pass and a knockdown. He finished with 106.5 points despite not scoring a finish bonus.