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It only took eight consecutive wins to get there, but Leon Edwards has officially announced his presence as a serious welterweight contender.
The 27-year-old Englishman authored the most complete performance of his career to date at UFC on ESPN 4 headliner, as he scored a clear-cut unanimous decision over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in San Antonio on Saturday night. In a crowded division, Edwards is hardly guaranteed a title shot, but he also has interest in a grudge match with fellow top contender Jorge Masvidal. Those who remember UFC London know there’s plenty of heat there.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC on ESPN 4, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
8: Consecutive victories for Edwards, currently the second-longest active winning streak in the welterweight division behind only reigning champion Kamaru Usman (10).
92: Significant strikes landed by Edwards. By comparison, dos Anjos landed 81. Edwards outlanded his foe 24 to 23 in round two, 25 to 11 in round three and 24 to 22 in round four. Meanwhile, dos Anjos held an 8-to-6 edge in round one and a 17-to-13 advantage in round five.
72: Significant head strikes for Edwards. Dos Anjos landed 41 shots to the head.
23: Significant leg strikes for dos Anjos. By comparison, Edwards landed just six.
3: Takedowns landed in 10 attempts by Edwards. Dos Anjos failed on all five of his tries.
1-3: Record for dos Anjos in his last four welterweight appearances, a stretch that has also included losses against Usman and Colby Covington. The Brazilian kicked off his welterweight tenure with three consecutive victories.
28: Takedowns landed by dos Anjos’ opponents during that four-bout stretch.
0:12: Time of Walt Harris’ stoppage of Alexey Oleynik in the co-main event, making it the third-fastest finish in UFC heavyweight history. Todd Duffee’s seven-second KO of Tim Hague at UFC 102 is No. 1, while Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s nine-second KO of Allen Crowder at UFC Fight Night 154 is second.
36: Significant strikes landed by Greg Hardy in a 45-second blowout of Juan Adams at heavyweight. The former NFL Pro Bowler landed 31 significant strikes on the ground, as he pounded away on the side of his opponent’s head after stuffing a takedown to force the stoppage. Hardy landed 94 percent of his significant strikes in victory. Adams managed to land just three significant strikes in defeat.
0:45: Time of Hardy’s win, the second-fastest of his professional career to date. Hardy stopped Tebaris Gordon in 17 seconds on Season 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2018. All told, he owns four victories in less than a minute.
8: Finishes in UFC competition for Dan Hooker, who authored the first stoppage of the night in San Antonio with a first-round knockout of James Vick in a lightweight contest. “The Hangman” is 0-3 in fights that go the distance in the Las Vegas-based promotion.
9: Consecutive decisions to begin UFC on ESPN 4, tying it for the most consecutive decisions to begin a UFC card.
10: Total decisions on the card overall, tying a UFC record held by six other events.
50: Combined significant strikes landed by Alexander Hernandez (25) and Francisco Trinaldo (25) in a lackluster lightweight bout. Both fighters landed single-digit totals in the first and second rounds before picking things up slightly in the third stanza (Trinaldo held a 12-to-11 edge in the final frame). Ultimately, it was Hernandez who emerged with a unanimous decision triumph.
4,018: Days since the first meeting between Ben Rothwell and Andrei Arlovski, a bout Arlovski won via first-round knockout at Affliction “Banned’ on July 19, 2008. Arlovski also came out on top in the rematch, outpointing Rothwell in a featured heavyweight affair.
17: Victories for Arlovski in UFC competition. “The Pit Bull” passed Frank Mir on Saturday for the most wins in the history of the promotion’s heavyweight division.
152: Significant strikes landed by Arlovski, the most of his 30-bout UFC tenure, and more importantly, a three-round heavyweight record. It’s also the third-largest total in any heavyweight fight, regardless of length. By comparison, Rothwell landed just 45 significant strikes.
21: UFC appearances for Alex Caceres, who gained entry into the Las Vegas-based promotion on Season 12 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Caceres improved to 10-10 with one no contest following a decision victory over Steven Peterson in a preliminary featherweight tilt.
7: Bantamweight victories for Raquel Pennington, the second-most in the history of the division behind only reigning champion Amanda Nunes (10). Pennington earned a hard-fought split-decision victory against Irene Aldana in a preliminary 135-pound clash.
54: Significant strikes by which Jennifer Maia outlanded Roxanne Modafferi in a rematch of an Invicta FC title bout. Maia also stuffed all nine of Modafferi’s takedown attempts to capture a unanimous verdict.
861: Days since Ray Borg’s last Octagon triumph, a three-round verdict over Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11, 2017. “The Tazmexican Devil” returned to the win column with a decision over Gabriel Silva on Saturday.
6: Takedowns landed in nine attempts for Borg. That included four takedowns in the final stanza for the former flyweight title challenger. Borg also passed guard seven times and registered one submission attempt in the bout.
224: Combined significant strikes landed by Mario Bautista (129) and Jin Soo Son (95) in a preliminary bantamweight affair. Bautista picked up the pace over the final 10 minutes, outlanding his foe 42 to 24 in round two and 60 to 42 in round three en route to a unanimous decision triumph.