Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Denver Recap
Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Denver Recap

This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.

The UFC return to FOX with a career from the first city to ever host a UFC event. In the main event, Valentina Shevchenko moved closer to a bantamweight title shot with a second-round submission over Julianna Pena. 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.

Valentina Shevchenko lands surprising submission over Julianna Pena

To say that this result was a bit of a surprise might be an understatement. Shevchenko winning by submission was high as (+1200) on some of the sports books. Prior to this fight, Shevchenko had never earned a submission attempt in the UFC. She had not won via submission since defeating Yulia Nemtsova via Ezekiel choke in 2006. On the other side, Pena has allowed only one submission attempt in her UFC career and seemed rather comfortable from the top position. Despite being mostly considered a kickboxer, Shevchenko is clearly an underrated grappler. In addition to this submission victory, she has also showed off above average wrestling. In her four-fight UFC career, she has landed 10 takedowns and been taken down only four times.

Jorge Masvidal turns up the volume against Donald Cerrone

Masvidal has always been a solid offensive striker. For his UFC/Strikeforce career, he has landed 4.32 significant strikes per minute. In certain instances, however, "Gambred" has failed to really distance himself from his opponent in terms of strike count. This has contributed to him losing some close decisions, like in his fights against Lorenz Larkin and Rustam Khabilov. However, since losing to Larkin, Masvidal has flipped a switch. On a per minute basis, he has landed 8.57 significant strikes while absorbing only 3.71. That differential has carried him to three straight impressive wins. Against Cerrone, Masvidal landed 9.67 significant strikes per minute. Cerrone had not allowed an opponent to land over six since falling to Rafael dos Anjos in 2015.

Francis Ngannou dispatches Andrei Arlovski with power

Sometimes in MMA it is really simple. Ngannou hits with a lot of power, and Arlovski has never really been able to rely on his chin. In his five-fight UFC career, Ngannou has collected four knockouts. He is scoring a knockout for every 19.5 significant strikes landed. Arlovski lost via knockout for the third time in his last four bouts, and the 10th time in his career.

Jason Knight pressures Alex Caceres en route to submission victory

Before the fight, Knight said that he wanted to pressure Caceres, and he ended up doing just that. In the first round, Caceres was able to stay on the outside and avoid a lot of Knight's strikes and takedowns. In that first period, Knight only landed 26 percent of his significant strikes and went 1-for-3 on takedowns. In the second round, he continued to push forward and it wore down Caceres. This time, he landed 45 percent of his significant strikes, scored his only takedown attempt and finished via submission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Mann
Richard is a statistical MMA analyst that has appeared on ESPN MMA via Fightmetric.
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