This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
The UFC kicked off its new television deal with a main event between champions Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw. Also on the main card, former NFL player Greg Hardy made his official UFC debut, but lost via disqualification. 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.
Henry Cejudo shockingly dispatches TJ Dillashaw
In the main event of the first show on ESPN+, the UFC flyweight champion stopped the UFC bantamweight champion. The victory is not that surprising, but the finish certainly was at least somewhat shocking. Going into the fight, Cejudo had never won a UFC fight in the first round, and he had not won a fight without a takedown since his UFC debut in 2014. Against Dillashaw, he landed 18 significant strikes, absorbed only one and stopped the fight in only 32 seconds. Per FightMetric, it was the fifth-fastest knockout in a championship fight in UFC history. With the flyweight division in limbo, Cejudo made a strong case for keeping the 125-pound fighters around.
Cejudo came in as an underdog, but he still managed to come away with a solid score of DraftKings. He finished with 109 points for the first-round finish. On a night full of finishes, it was only the sixth-highest score of the night.
Greg Hardy lands an illegal knee against Allen Crowder
Hardy looked like a fighter who had won all of his fights quickly. He came out looking for the stoppage and slowed down considerably. He outlanded Crowder 21 to 7 on significant strikes in the first round, but he also allowed a takedown and struggled on the floor. In the end, the fight did not reach a conclusion. Hardy landed an illegal knee to the head of a grounded opponent and therefore earned his first professional loss via disqualification.
Crowder earned 87 DraftKings points for the disqualification victory. Hardy was a huge betting favorite, but he managed to come through with only 14.5 points.
Gregor Gillespie relies of his trademark style against Yancy Medeiros
The name of the game is always takedowns for Gillespie. In this fight, he landed six of his 11 takedown attempts. Not only did this allow him to dictate where the fight takes place, it also prevented basically any striking offense from Medeiros. He went one for 12 on his significant strike attempts. On the other hand, Gillespie unleashed a bevy of significant strikes on the ground. Of his 51 significant strikes, 44 came on the ground. One of the hardest aspects of MMA is generating power on the ground, and Gillespie certainly got it done here.
Gillespie finished with by far the highest score of the night. His takedowns and passes helped him put up a 151.5 score. Being able to land punches while dominating the grappling game will lead to some very high scores.
Joseph Benavidez grapples his way to a victory over Dustin Ortiz
During his UFC/WEC career, Benavidez has done pretty much everything besides win a title. That veteran skill and experience was on display here. He used his grappling skill to dominate Ortiz over the course of three rounds. He landed seven of his 12 takedown attempts, passed guard twice and scored a pair of reversals. Ortiz is a skill scrambler, so the level of grappling domination was rather impressive.
Benavidez finished with 101.5 DraftKings points. While he was able to put up points with his grappling, he only landed 21 significant strikes. That kept him from a top score.
Paige VanZant finishes via submission against Rachael Ostovich
Ostovich came out and won the first round of this fight. She scored three takedowns and four passes. Even though she only managed to land two significant strikes, she still managed to win the round with her position dominance. The second round was a different story. VanZant was able to land 12 significant ground strikes and finish the fight with an armbar. As impressive as the finish was, VanZant still clearly has to work on a variety of aspects of the MMA game.
VanZant finished with 81.5 points on DraftKings. On a night with high scores, that was actually the lowest score for a winning fighter on the night. It illustrates how she struggled to get back on track early in this fight before turning it around.
Glover Teixeira digs deep against Karl Roberson
Teixeira had to pull out this victory. Roberson came out strong and landed a knockdown early in the fight. After the drop, he continued to pour it on with 17 significant strikes from the top position. Teixeira somehow survived the position and worked his way back to his feet. From there, he landed a takedown, passed to mount and finished via submission. The Brazilian does seem to be slowing down as he nears 40 years of age, but he showed in this contest that he is still a dangerous fighter.
Outside of the 90-point first-round finish bonus, Teixeira only scored 17 points. That wa enough for 107 points, which was the seventh highest score of the night. Roberson was a pick, and he seemed to go from a high score to losing in a matter of seconds.