This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
For the second straight week, the UFC's lightweight division was in the spotlight. Justin Gaethje was able to take the torch and run with it as he stopped Donald Cerrone in the main event. The rest of the main card was a mix of shocking upsets and vintage 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.
Everyone knows that Gaethje is going to strike with volume and throw a ton of leg kicks. Both of those things were certainly true in the main event. He landed 40 significant strikes in a little over four minutes, which equates to 9.30 significant strikes per minute. Gaethje came into this fight landing 8.50 per minute, which was already the highest rate in UFC history. He also outlanded Cerrone 13 to one in terms of significant leg strikes. It was a vintage performance from Gaethje, and Cerrone is certainly a game opponent to say the least. If his next fight is for the belt nobody will be surprised, but there are still plenty of fights in the UFC's lightweight division.
Gaethje tied for the second highest DraftKings score of the night with 120 points. His volume and ability to finish fights almost makes him a lock for a successful DFS lineup.
Teixeira has publicly said that he wants to mix in more grappling as he gets older. He did have a lot of success on the ground against Kyrlov, but he still got it done with his striking. Krylov outlanded Teixeira overall on significant strikes, but that does not tell the entire story. Krylov spent a lot of his time striking at distance and landing with kicks. When it came to head strikes, Teixeira was the one with the advantage. He outlanded Krylovin terms of significant head strikes 39 to 20.
Teixeira's victory earned players 78.5 points on DraftKings. It was not one of the highest scores of the night, but it was a solid score in a fight that he very realistically could have lost.
Duffee had an extensive layoff prior to this fight, and he had his moments early in the bout. However, the fight was stopped after he received an eye poke. In terms of significant strikes, he outlanded Hughes 30 to 16, and he scored a knockdown along the cage in the only round. The heavyweight division is always looking for new contenders, but Duffee has never really been able to settle down and hold a spot due to injuries, illness and other factors.
After the eye poke, the bout was ruled a "no contest." Without a winner, neither fighter put up a very high score on DraftKings. Duffee finished with 30 points, and Hughes finished with only eight points. Duffee was a slight underdog and popular pick for DFS lineups, but 30 points probably did not help too many players.
Connelly took this fight on short notice, moved up a weight class and came in as the biggest underdog on the card. In the end, none of that mattered. Pereira came out with his usual flash and frivolity, but Connelly stayed calm and stuck to his gameplan. In the first round, Pereira outlanded Connelly 17 to 15, but the underdog took over in the later rounds. In the second, Connelly upped his output to 18 while Pereira fell to 13. Then in the final round, the wheels really came off for the Brazilian. Connelly outlanded him 31 to two on significant strikes and sealed the upset victory. Striking with power on the ground was a key element of Connelly's victory. For the fight, he outlanded Pereira 27 to zero in terms of significant ground strikes.
Connelly finished with 71 points on DraftKings. While that might not seem like a very high score, considering he came in as high as a (+400) underdog, he was probably a part of many money-winning lineups.
Hall had the striking advantage in this fight, and he was able to hang on for the victory. He gave up his back early in the third round and allowed 4:26 of control time, but he survived to make the final bell. At distance, he outlanded Junior 22 to 18, but he did his best work on headshots, where he outlanded his opponent 31 to 16. Hall fights seem to always turn into some sort of adventure, but he appears to be becoming much more resilient as he advances in his career.
Despite the victory, Hall landed only two significant strikes in the final round. That lack of volume kept him from having a high score on DraftKings. He earned players only 60 points, which was the third-lowest score among winning fighters on the night.
Prior to this fight, Cirkunov talked about getting back to his grappling roots, and he did just that on Saturday night. While Crute outlanded him 21 to six in terms of significant strikes, Cirkunov piled up the grappling numbers before finishing via submission in the first round. He registered a takedown, two reversals, four passes and the fight ending Peruvian necktie submission attempt. This was only the second time Cirkunov has won while being outlanded in his UFC career.
Cirkunov was tied for the second-highest score of the night with the main event winner. This fight was basically even on the betting odds, so players who made the right decision very heavily rewarded.