This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
In the main event of UFC 218, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway turned back a challenge of former champion Jose Aldo and finished him in the third round. Also in the co-main event, a new heavyweight contender emerged with an incredible highlight-reel knockout. 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.
For DraftKings, the highest possible score was 686.5 for a team composed of Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway, Amanda Cooper, Abdul Razak Alhassan, Yancy Medeiros and Michelle Waterson. Alvarez finished with the highest score of the night at 137.5.
Max Holloway overwhelmed Jose Aldo with volume
Just like in their first fight, Holloway's number of significant strikes per minute grew in each round. He landed 5 significant strikes per minute in the first round. That rate increased to 8.2 in the second and finally 22.27 in the third round. His volume is simply too much for opponents to handle. Over the course of the fight, he attempted 22.27 significant strikes minute. Aldo was solid defensively early in the fight. He forced Holloway to miss 68 percent of his attempts in the first round, but Holloway's volume won out in the end. In the third round, Holloway landed 43 percent of his significant strike attempts.
Once again Holloway's activity gave Aldo a lot of problems, and it also helped him finish with the second highest DraftKings score. He earned players 135 points based on 174 significant strikes and one pass.
Francis Ngannou has incredible power and showed it against Alistair Overeem
Ngannou's power was once again on display on Saturday. In the UFC, he has scored a knockout for every 16.8 significant strikes landed. Over the course of his last three fights, he has been even better. In those fights, he has landed a knockout for every 7.67 significant strikes.
Ngannou's quick finish did not give him time to score very many points. He finished with 103 DraftKings points, which was the eighth highest score on the night.
Henry Cejudo turned back the clock against Sergio Pettis
In his previous fight, Cejudo showed off his improved striking and stopped Wilson Reis. In this fight, he went back to his wrestling and took a decision over Pettis. He landed three of his five takedown attempts and spent the majority of this fight on top. This was the first time that Cejudo had landed more than two takedowns since he scored six against Chris Cariaso at UFC 185 in 2015. Cejudo also did solid striking work on the ground, as 17 of his 36 significant strikes came on the ground, and he absorbed none in the position.
Since Cejudo went back to his wrestling roots, he spent a large portion of this fight riding in the top position and not scoring points. He earned players 72 DraftKings points based on 36 significant strikes, three passes and three takedowns.
Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje put on a memorable show
As expected, this was an incredible fight. Alvarez landed 11.08 significant strikes per minute, while Gaethje managed to land 8.72. The two combined to land 227 significant strikes, which is tied for the fourth most ever in a lightweight fight. In the second round, Alvarez began to pull away. He outlanded Gaethje 73 to 51 in that frame, which was the widest margin of the fight.
While Alvarez had the advantage in each round, the difference in head strikes grew dramatically after the first round. In the second and third rounds, Alvarez outlanded Gaethje on significant strikes to the head 85 to 47.
Alvarez was part of one of the most exciting fights of the night and also ended up with the highest DraftKings score. For landing 155 significant strikes, one takedown and one knockdown, Alvarez finished with 137.5 points.
Tecia Torres was dominant versus Michelle Waterson
Torres nearly set a new personal best for significant strikes landed in a fight. She landed 95 against Waterson, which was the most she landed since she put up 96 against Angela Magana in her UFC debut. Torres dominated this fight with her striking in every position. She landed 55 significant strikes at distance, 23 in the clinch and 17 on the ground.
From a DFS perspective, Torres finished with 85.5 DraftKings points. She landed 95 significnat strikes and also scored with a pass and a takedown.