This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
The UFC likely wanted last Saturday's UFC 207 card to be former champion Ronda Rousey's triumphant return. While she did return, it was hardly triumphant. Amanda Nunes quickly dispatched Rousey and defended her belt. The card also included a huge upset, a head-scratching decision and other memorable performances. 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.
Amanda Nunes made quick work of Ronda Rousey
This fight was over in a hurry. Nunes landed 27 significant strikes and finished the fight in 48 seconds. The champion previously had five first-round finishes in the UFC, but none were as fast as this. Her 33.75 significant strikes landed per minute is by far the best output of her UFC career. Since falling to Cat Zingano at UFC 178, Nunes has outlanded her opponents 148 to 41.
Rousey managed to only seven significant strikes and none of her shots had much sting. In her UFC/Strikeforce career, Rousey has absorbed 129 total significant strikes. 65 of those strikes have come in her last two fights against Nunes and Holm. Prior to those fight, Rousey was averaging only 6.4 significant strikes absorbed per fight.
Cody Garbrandt picked his shots against and scored the upset over Dominick Cruz
While stats say a lot of fights, there is much more to MMA than simple bean counting. Cruz ended up outlanding Garbrandt in terms of significant strikes 88 to 68. However, the challenger did more than enough to win and pulled off one of the most impressive upsets to date.
While Cruz is not a particularly accurate striker, he makes up for that shortcoming by forcing his opponents to miss over and over again. Garbrandt used feints extremely well to set up his strikes and ended up landing 34 percent of his significant strikes. Prior to this fight, only one of fighter had landed more than 30 percent against Cruz, and he happens to be one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the sport, Demetrious Johnson (35 percent).
Although a large part of Cruz's reputation is built around his elusive footwork, he is an underrated wrestler. He wrestles a lot more than most people realize, and he relies on takedowns to seal close rounds. Garbrandt did not allow this to happen. He stopped all seven of Cruz's takedown attempts. Prior to this fight, Cruz averaged 4 takedowns per fight in the UFC/WEC and had not gone without a takedown in a fight since he faced Ian McCall at WEC 38 in 2009.
T.J. Dillashaw went back to his roots to defeat John Lineker
Early on in his career, Dillashaw was much more dependant on his wrestling game. To avoid the powershots of Lineker, he returned to his roots here. He finished five of six on takedown attempts. He had never landed more than three takedowns in a UFC fight. The unexpected wrestling severely affected Lineker as he managed to only land 2.53 significant strikes per minute. That is his worst offensive output since falling to Ali Bagautinov at UFC 169 in 2014.
Dong Hyun Kim somehow managed to sway two judges against Tarec Saffiedine
It is hard to see how Kim won this fight. Saffiedine landed more significant strikes (52 to 36) at a better rate (49 percent to 33 percent) and the takedown battle was nearly even (three to two in favor of Kim). Of the 20 media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com, 16 had it for Saffiedine, two had it a draw and two had it for Kim.
Ray Borg dominated on the ground against Louis Smolka
If a fighter is going to be inactive in terms of striking, they need to dominate on the ground like Borg. "The Tazmexican Devil" is 4-2 in the UFC, and he has never landed more than 26 significant strikes in a fight. Against Smolka, he landed only 21. However, he went four for eight on his takedowns and passed guard a whopping 12 times. While his grappling game is clearly top notch, he might be more successful if he mixed in more ground and pound. In the smaller divisions, most high level fighters are good enough to avoid submissions if they do not have to worry about taking damage.