Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Beijing
Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Beijing

This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.

In the top two matches of UFC Fight Night 141, two former heavyweight title contenders were seemingly able to get their careers back on track. One of those heavyweights was able to maintain one of the most challenged UFC records of all time. On the undercard, prospect Kevin Holland earned the highest DraftKings score of the night with 155.5 points. 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.

Francis Ngannou returns to form against Curtis Blaydes

With one extremely poor performance against Derrick Lewis, Ngannou went from world beater to middling heavyweight. He came into this fight against Blaydes as an underdog, and many wondered if he would ever return to form. Any questions about his future in the sport were answered in only 45 seconds. He landed only three significant strikes at distance in the fight, but one of those caused a knockdown and signaled the end for Blaydes. Ngannou finished with five significant strikes on the floor to seal the victory.

Despite going into this fight with five previous knockout victories, this was by far his quickest. Prior to this fight, his fastest knockout finish came against Bojan Mihajlovic in 2016 (1:34).

Ngannou was a popular pick in DraftKings. Even though he was an underdog, pretty much everyone knew that he had the ability to finish the fight and put up points. He ended up doing just that. He earned played 106.5 points, which was the fifth-highest score of the night.

Alistair Overeem pounds Sergei Pavlovich out on the floor

Like the main event, the co-main event ended up being another heavyweight redemption story.

Overeem came into this bout against a respected prospect after back-to-back losses. However, he picked up some momentum with a first-round victory. As always, Overeem was extremely accurate. He landed 84 percent of his significant strike attempts, and he still holds the UFC record for significant strike accuracy by a wide margin. In this fight, he did his best work on the ground. Towards the end of the opening frame, he ended up on top and unleashed a series of significant strikes. He landed 12 of his 14 attempts and melted Pavlovich out of the fight. Despite being an accomplished kickboxer, Overeem has always been strong in the clinch and on the ground in MMA. As his career continues and his chin becomes more of a liability, he is likely to depend more and more on these positions.

Overeem earned players 106 points on DraftKings, which was the sixth-highest score of the night. While "The Demolition Man" may seem like a consistent points threat, this was Overeem's highest DraftKings score since he finished Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 in 2011.

Song Yadong pulls out a victory over Vince Morales

Yadong pulled out the victory is what was easily the longest and toughest fight of his UFC run. He controlled the center of the cage and the distance throughout the fight. That control is evident in the final striking numbers. He outlanded Morales on significant strikes 79 to 74 despite attempting 29 fewer significant strikes. In the final round of a close fight, he was able to score a pair of takedowns and passes on the floor to secure the decision. It might not have been the flashiest fight from the prospect, but he showed he could pull out a fight in the end.

Players who selected Yadong for their DraftKings team were left with 85.5 points. While the score is respectable, players were likely hoping for more. In his two previous UFC fights, Yadong had score 113.5 and 104 points respectively.

Li Jingliang relies on persistence against David Zawada

After a strong start from Zawada, Jingliang was able to turn this fight around. In the opening round, Zawada outlanded Jingliang on significant strikes 24 to 13. However, in the third round, Jingliang outlanded Zawada 36 to 18, scored a knockdown and finished the fight. Jingliang does not have the cleanest striking, but he always comes to fights in shape and throws in combination. Against Zawada, he did not always land the first or second strike attempt, but the third often did damage.

Jingliang earned 110.5 DraftKings points, which was the third-highest score of the night and the highest score on the main card. He earned points via 89 significant strikes, two passes, one takedown, a knockdown and the 45-point third-round finish bonus.

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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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