It was a career-defining moment for Rafael dos Anjos.
Underrated and often overlooked as he won eight of nine fights in the Octagon to rise to No. 1 contender, the Brazilian overwhelmed Anthony Pettis to earn a unanimous decision and capture the lightweight crown in the UFC 185 headliner at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night. After an inauspicious beginning to his promotional tenure, dos Anjos has peaked in one of the sport’s most challenging divisions.
In the evening’s co-main event, another star was born at strawweight, as Joanna Jedrzejczyk authored a dominant effort in finishing Carla Esparza 4:17 into the second round of their championship showdown. Jedrzejczyk tagged “The Ultimate Fighter 20” winner repeatedly with crisp punches in a showing that put the rest of her weight class on notice.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 185, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
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90: Significant strikes landed by dos Anjos, the most ever against Pettis in UFC/WEC competition. Benson Henderson previously held the high mark, landing 38 significant strikes against the Roufusport standout at WEC 53. Dos Anjos outlanded Pettis 24 to 19 in round one, 21 to seven in round two, 21 to eight in round three, 10 to nine in round four and 14 to 11 in round five.
27: Significant strikes to the body landed by dos Anjos. By comparison, Pettis landed 11.
19: Significant strikes to the legs landed by dos Anjos. Pettis landed five.
11: Significant clinch strikes landed by dos Anjos. Pettis , meanwhile, landed just one strike in the clinch.
9: Takedowns landed, in 10 attempts by dos Anjos, a career high in UFC competition for the 30-year-old Brazilian. His previous career best of six takedowns came against Anthony Njokuani in July 2012.
21: Significant ground strikes landed by dos Anjos. Pettis failed to land a single significant strike on the mat.
14: Number of times Pettis has been taken down in his two UFC defeats. In addition to the nine takedowns landed by dos Anjos, Clay Guida landed five takedowns in a triumph over “Showtime” at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” finale. In his five UFC victories, Pettis was taken down a combined four times.
18: UFC appearances for dos Anjos, the longest promotional stint for a fighter before capturing a title. Robbie Lawler previously held the record after capturing the welterweight strap in his 14th Octagon outing at UFC 181.
3: Brazilian champions in the UFC with dos Anjos’ win. Jose Aldo (featherweight) and Fabricio Werdum (interim heavyweight) are the other two. Vitor Belfort (middleweight) and Renan Barao (bantamweight) have title shots upcoming.
16: Takedowns successfully defended by Jedrzejczyk in 9:17 of Octagon time against Esparza. “The Cookie Monster” landed one takedown in nine attempts in round one before failing on all eight tries in the second stanza. In her second Octagon appearance, Jedrzejczyk was taken down seven times in a split-decision triumph over Claudia Gadelha at UFC on Fox 13.
49: Significant strikes by which Jedrzejczyk outlanded Esparza in their abbreviated strawweight title clash. The Polish fighter landed 53 of 105 significant strikes, a 50 percent success rate. Esparza landed just four of 22 significant strikes, an 18 percent clip.
50: Significant strikes to the head landed by Jedrzejczyk, who often snapped her opponent’s dome back with wicked straight shots.
9: Takedowns landed, in 10 attempts, by Johny Hendricks in his unanimous decision victory over Matt Brown. The former Oklahoma State University standout throttled Brown with his wrestling, landing three takedowns in round one, four in round two and two in round three.
54: Career takedowns landed for Hendricks, which ties him with Clay Guida for fifth place in UFC history. Frankie Edgar is No. 4 with 56; Jon Fitch is No. 3 with 57.
46: Total strikes by which Hendricks outlanded Brown. His greatest edge came in the second stanza, when he outlanded “The Immortal” by a 42-to-9 count.
.730: Significant striking accuracy for Alistair Overeem in his three-round verdict over Roy Nelson at heavyweight, the seventh most accurate performance in UFC history for a fighter throwing at least 50 significant strikes on the feet. Overeem landed 62 of 84 significant strikes overall. Nelson, meanwhile, landed 23 of 77 attempts, a 29 percent clip.
44: Significant strikes to the body (24) and legs (20) landed by Overeem. By comparison, Nelson landed just four strikes to the body and one to the legs.
1-7: Record in UFC bouts that go past the first round for Nelson, who has lost four of his last five fights in the Octagon. Conversely, “Big Country” is 6-0 in contests that end inside of a round within the Las Vegas-based promotion.
6: Takedowns landed, in seven attempts by Henry Cejudo in his dominant unanimous decision triumph over Chris Cariaso in a flyweight tilt. Cejudo also passed guard seven times during the three-round bout.
111: Total strikes landed by Cejudo in 162 attempts. By comparison, Cariaso landed 41 total strikes in 92 attempts. The Olympic gold medalist also held a 50-to-22 edge in significant strikes landed.
5: KO/TKO victories at lightweight for Ross Pearson, tying him with Edson Barboza and Yves Edwards for third-most in division history. Only B.J. Penn (six) and Melvin Guillard (7) have more.
3:57:28: Total fight time for Stout, No. 8 among active UFC competitors. “Hands of Stone” spent 6:33 in the Octagon in his loss to Pearson to pass Lyoto Machida (3:53:06) and Josh Koscheck (3:54:35). Rashad Evans is No. 7 at 4:00:55.
110: Significant strikes by which Elias Theodorou has outlanded his first three UFC opponents. “The Spartan” held a 39-to-16 advantage in significant strikes against Roger Narvaez in their middleweight bout, which Theodorou won via TKO 4:07 into round two.
8: Number of Narvaez’s nine professional bouts that have taken place in Texas following his loss against Theodorou in Dallas on Saturday. “The Silverback” is 7-1 in the Lone Star State overall.
0: Takedowns landed, in five attempts for Daron Cruickshank, in his submission loss to Beneil Dariush. The striking specialist elected to try and take Dariush, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, to the canvas after absorbing several hard kicks to the body. His efforts proved fruitless, however, and Dariush was able to secure a rear-naked choke 2:48 into round two.
1,568: Days since Joseph Duffy defeated Conor McGregor via arm-triangle choke in 38 seconds at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 39. The last man to defeat the featherweight division’s No. 1 contender made his Octagon debut at UFC 185, where he dispatched Jake Lindsey with a punch to the body 1:47 into the opening frame.