Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Belem Recap
Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Belem Recap

This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.

For the first time the UFC's Octagon traveled to Belem, Brazil. In the main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida turned back a challenge from a top prospect in a middleweight fight. In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko put up the highest DraftKings score of the year and stopped a debutting opponent. 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.

Eryk Anders let Lyoto Machida escape with a decision victory

Machida was far from the perplexing persona who confounded some of the top light heavyweights in the sport, but he was sharp enough to get the win. Many seemed to think that Anders did enough to win. While Machida outlanded the former football player 62 to 32, Anders did seem to be landing the harder strikes in the fight. However, his output was simply not high enough to win a decision. He failed to land ten significant strikes in any of the five rounds. Anders was clearly using a more conservative gameplan, because he did not want to play into Machida's strengths. It was a smart strategy, but in the end, he became too passive and lost a winnable fight.

The following chart shows just hard far Anders' activity fell off against Machida. He not only landed far fewer strikes per minute, he also attempted fewer strikes per minute.

Neither fighters did very much from a DFS perspective. Machida finished with 61 points, which was the lowest score for a winner on the night. Anders, who had scored 122.5 and 88.5 in his two previous UFC fights, ended up with only 31 points.

Valentina Shevchenko absolutely dominated Priscila Cachoeira

Striking stats do not always do a good job of encapsulating a fight. In this case, the stats paint a very accurate picture. Shevchenko outlanded Cachoeira 203 to three on total strikes and 95 to two on significant strikes. The two biggest takeaways from the fight are that Cachoeira did not belong in that cage on Saturday night, and the referee should have stopped the fight earlier. Cachoeira came in with an 8-0 record, but half of her opponents had a sub .500 record when she fought them.

Shevchenko had not only the highest DraftKings score of the night, but also the year. She finished with 139.5 points. This is the second event in a row where one of the biggest favorites on the card came through with a very high score. Playing favorites can be an expensive proposition in DFS, but it can also payoff.

Against Desmond Green, Michel Prazeres controlled the fight with his grappling

Green comes from a wrestling background, so his path to victory in this fight was pretty clear. All he had to do was stop Prazeres' takedown attempts. In the first round, he stuffed four of Prazeres' attempts. However, in the second and third rounds, Prazeres landed two of his three attempts and controlled the fight. The Brazilian outlanded Green on the ground 13 to zero on significant strikes. That was the story of the fight.

After Prazeres badly missed weight, Green became a popular upset pick. Unfortunately for players who picked him up, he failed to take the decision. Prazeres finished with 72 points, which was the third lowest score for a winner on the night. He is expected to move up to welterweight. At the new weight, his lack of height will make him a less-than-appealing choice for DFS players.

Timothy Johnson nullified Marcelo Golm along the cage

The majority of this fight was spent in the clinch along the cage. Johnson attempted six takedowns and landed none of them. He is now seven for 28 on takedown attempts in his seven-fight UFC career. However, the takedown attempts allowed him to hold the clinch along the cage. He outlanded Golm 54 to 32 along the cage. Johnson remains a gatekeeper to the higher levels of the heavyweight division. Golm, who was seen as a potential prospect in the division, did not pass the test.

Johnson had the second lowest DraftKings score for a winner behind Machida. He earned players 68.5 points based on his 77 significant strikes and the decision win bonus.

Douglas Andrade pressured Marlon Vera over three rounds

Throughout this fight, Andrade was more aggressive and threw more strikes. He attempted 42 more significant strikes than Vera and ended up outlanding him 97 to 72. Andrade averaged 6.47 significant strikes per minute, which is his highest effective output in the UFC to date. His previous high came when he landed 5.74 against Henry Briones in 2016.

Andrade earned players 83.5 points in DraftKings, which was also his highest score since the Briones fight.

Thiago Santos used his power to stop Anthony Smith

Santos' power was once again on display against Smith. After 13 UFC fights, Santos now has nine knockdowns. He is averaging 1.91 knockdowns per 15 minutes. Smith is normally very good at avoid big damage after he is hurt, but Santos was too much for him on Saturday. In addition to the two knockdowns, Santos also landed 58 significant strikes at an accuracy rate of 70 percent.

On most nights, Santos' 124 points would have been the highest DraftKings score. It is the fourth highest score of the year so far.

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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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