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Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Japan 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.

The UFC returned with a rare Friday night show. Despite the main event falling apart with less than a week before the scheduled showdown, the main card ended up delivering with some exciting fights. There wasn’t much to the main event, but it still had a semi-historic finish. 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.

Ovince Saint Preux made quick work of Yushin Okami

There really is not much to say about this fight. Okami took the fight on extremely short notice. Plus, he bounced up to light heavyweight after spending nearly three years at welterweight. On the ground, Saint Preux appeared to bait Okami into a submission From there, he looked on the Von Flue choke counter to the guillotine and finished the fight. Per FightMetric, this was only the second fight in UFC history with zero significant strike attempts. Previously, the only other fight without an attempted significant strike was Cyrille Diabate against Ilir Latifi.

From a DraftKings perspective, Saint Preux might have finished the fight too quickly. He did not get a chance to perform any point-scoring moves other than three passes. Thanks to the first-round finish, he ended up with a respectable 99 points.

Jessica Andrade wore out Claudia Gadelha over three rounds

It is not a secret that Gadelha has a lot of trouble cutting weight. Her team openly kept her out of the TUF tournament that crowned the first UFC strawweight champion, because they were not sure she could make weight for each fight on the reality show. Her issues cutting weight also have negative effects on her cardio. In the first round against Andrade, Gadelha landed 28 significant strikes. That number fell to 16 in the second round and all the way to three in the final round. She is a prime candidate to move up when the 125-pound division is added.

Unlike Gadleha, Andrade appears to have found her home at 115 pounds. She outworked her opponent throughout the fight. She landed four takedowns and poured it on with 141 significant strikes. The strawweight division is still somewhat shallow, but with performances like this one, Andrade could easily win her way back to another title fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Despite not scoring the finish, Andrade finished with the highest DraftKings score of the night, 130.5. She was extremely active in all aspects of the game and scored with 141 significant strikes, five passes and four takedowns.

Dong Hyun Kim needed only 13 strikes to finish Takanori Gomi

In a lot of ways, this fight was a foregone conclusion. Gomi has been mostly inert, and Kim’s problem has never been his offense. The South Korean fighter needed only 13 significant strikes to put away the former Pride FC champion. The is actually the first fight in the UFC where Kim outlanded his opponent, and it is also his first knockout victory.

Since defeating Isaac Vallie-Flagg in 2014, Gomi has landed only 11 significant strikes in his last five fights. The longest of those fights were only 2:37. It is hard to see how he keeps his job after five straight losses.

Kim was one of four fighters to earn at least 100 DraftKings points. He finished with 106.5 points based on the first-round finish, 13 significant strikes landed and a knockdown.

Gokhan Saki returned to MMA with a huge knockout over Henrique da Silva

Coming into this fight, Saki had not fought MMA since making his debut in 2004. Kickboxing rounds are usually three minutes, and he appeared to tire as soon as the first round hit the three minute mark. However, he persevered and finished via knockout. Obviously, he was going to have the striking advantage, and he outlanded Da Silva 40 to 20 on significant strikes. Saki also clearly worked on his overall MMA game. He stopped Da Silva’s only takedown attempt and escaped the clinch on several occasions. The kickboxer might struggle against higher level light heavyweights, but he certainly has at least a punchers chance against anyone.

Saki finished with 130 DraftKings points, which was the second highest score of the night behind only Jessica Andrade.

Teruto Ishihara escaped with decision win over Rolando Dy

It looked like Ishihara was going to finish the fight in the first round. He outlanded Dy 25 to 4 and scored a knockdown. However, Dy stayed in the fight and really took over in the next two rounds. After three low blows, the referee finally took a point from Dy, which basically locked up the fight for Ishihara. Since scoring finishes in two of his first three UFC fights, Ishihara has now landed 106 significant strikes without a finish.

Teruto finished with a solid 81 DraftKings points. He scored with 50 significant strikes, two takedowns, two passes and a knockdown.

Jussier Formiga dominated Ulka Sasaki on the ground

Formiga once again showed that he is one of the best submission grapplers at 125 pounds. He scored an early takedown, passes guard four times on the ground and finished via submission. Sasaki is a dynamic grappler in his own right, but he had no answers for Formiga on the ground. In his UFC career, the Brazilian fighter has earned 27 passes, which comes out to 3.67 passes per 15 minutes of fight time.

Formiga earned players 111.5 DraftKings points. Outside of the takedown and four passes, he also earned points for nine significant strikes and the first-round finish bonus.