This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
The top two fights of UFC 236 really stood out on paper, and they certainly delivered on Saturday. In the main event, Dustin Poirier turned back a resurgence from Max Holloway to claim the interim lightweight title. In the co-main event, Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum had a classic battle with the interim middleweight title on the line. Across the main card, there were several top statistical performances. 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 UFCStats.com.
Coming into this fight, it seemed like Poirier would have the power advantage and Holloway would have the stronger striking volume. However, in the first round, Poirier set the tone with a devastating mix of output and power. In the opening round alone, he landed 54 significant strikes and appeared to rock the featherweight champion multiple times. In the third and fourth rounds, Holloway seemed to be getting back on track. In those two rounds, he out-landed Poirier 95 to 67 on significant strikes. In the waning seconds of the fourth round, Poirier landed a hard knee that opened a huge cut and turned the tide back in his favor.
Poirier and Holloway combined to land 359 significant strikes, which is the second highest total in UFC history behind only Holloway's fight against Brian Ortega. Poirier finished with 178 significant strikes, while Holloway landed 181. Those totals represent the second and third highest totals in a lightweight fight.
On most nights, anyone with that kind of output would take the highest score on DraftKings. However, there were some wild fights on this one. Poirier finished with 124 points, which was the second-highest score of the night. Holloway finished with 90.5 points thanks to his volume. Even though he lost, he finished with a higher score than five winning fighters.
Gastelum had a lot more success in the striking game than many thought he would. He only landed one takedown, but the fight was even heading into the final round on all three of the official scorecards. Despite all of that, Adesanya turned it on in the final round to take the decision and the title. With the fight on the line, Adesanya outlanded his opponent 37 to 15, including three knockdowns in the final frame. For the fight, the new interim champion landed 109 significant strikes with 45 percent accuracy and four knockdowns.
Thanks in large part to the four knockdowns, Adesanya finished with the highest DraftKings score of the night. He edged out Poirier with 124.5 points.
Rountree beat Anders for basically every minute of this fight, but the second round should be remember for generations. Rountree landed 25 significant strikes and four knockdowns, while Anders only managed to land two significant strikes. In the process, Rountree tied the record for the most knockdowns ever landed in a round. A big part of his overall success was his ability to land hard leg kicks. For the fight, Rountree landed 38 significant strikes to the legs while absorbing none.
On a night with some very high scores, Rountree finished with the fourth highest. His 109.5 DraftKings point total was padded by his four knockdowns and 79 significant strikes.
Jouban was visibly upset with this decision, but it is hard to see what had him so steamed. Grant got the better of most of the exchanges. He out-landed Jouban 38 to 24 overall, as well as in each of three rounds. Jouban's best success came in the third round when he landed a takedown, a pass and four significant ground strikes. However, it really was too little, too late.
While Grant did enough to stay ahead of Jouban, he was not overly active. Even though he won, Grant finished with the lowest score among winners on the night. His 49 points on DraftKings was even lower than two fighters who lost on Saturday.
Clearly Saint Preux came into this fight looking to wrestle. He did land three takedowns and two passes, but he only landed four significant strikes in the entire fight. Krylov out-landed Saint Preux 17 to two at distance and six to one in the clinch. Once he took the fight to the ground, he was able to lock on the fight ending rear-naked choke. With the loss, Saint Preux's career significant strikes landed per minute rate falls to 2.62. To be competitive, he will need to increase his striking volume.
By getting it done in the second round, Krylov put up 94.5 points on DraftKings, which was the seventh highest score of the night. He was one of only two fighters to score a second round finish on the show.