Jose Aldo cemented his status as the top featherweight in MMA. | Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
In the first superfight since Georges St. Pierre took down B.J. Penn at UFC 94 in 2009, Jose Aldo solidified his status as one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best. The reigning featherweight king built up an early advantage against former 155-pound titlist Frankie Edgar, then survived a late charge from the tenacious New Jersey native in the championship rounds to retain his title in the UFC 156 headliner on Saturday night.
Crisp jabs and wicked leg kicks set the tone for Aldo, who had just enough left in the tank to survive the inevitable final salvo from his gritty opponent. The Brazilian’s win restored some semblance of order to an evening that saw heavy favorites -- and title contenders -- Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem go down in surprising fashion. Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 156, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
65: Head strikes landed by Aldo, who consistently found a home for his jab in the featherweight affair. By comparison, Edgar landed 24 head strikes.
25: Leg strikes landed by Edgar, who outlanded Aldo 21 to 1 in this category in rounds three through five and 25 to 9 overall. Heading into the bout, it was expected that Aldo would hold a significant advantage with his leg kicks.
21: Significant strikes by which Aldo outlanded Edgar in the five-round contest. “Scarface” outlanded “The Answer” 40 to 12 in rounds one and two, but Edgar held a 43 to 36 edge over rounds three through five.
9: Takedowns successfully defended by Aldo in 11 attempts. Edgar landed one takedown apiece in rounds two and four.
0: Ground strikes landed by Edgar and Aldo combined. Although Edgar was able to score two takedowns, he wasn’t able to keep his foe down for any significant period of time.
822: Significant strikes landed by Frankie Edgar during his UFC career, No. 5 all-time in the promotion. Edgar landed 55 significant strikes against Aldo, allowing him to surpass Sam Stout, Forrest Griffin and Chris Lytle on the promotion’s all-time list.
4:16:09: Total fight time for Edgar, No. 5 all-time in promotion history. His featherweight title clash with Aldo was the sixth time “The Answer” had gone the distance in a five-round fight; Edgar is 2-3-1 in those contests.
.266: Combined significant striking accuracy for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Rashad Evans in their light heavyweight tilt. “Minotauro” was the busier fighter, throwing nearly twice as many strikes (152 to 81) as his opponent in a largely lackluster bout.
42: Significant strikes by which Alistair Overeem outlanded Antonio Silva in rounds one and two combined in their heavyweight bout. “Bigfoot” landed seven significant strikes during that same time frame.
2: Significant strikes landed by Overeem in the third period before being knockout out by his Brazilian opponent, who landed 14 significant strikes in round three.
1,965: Days since Overeem’s last defeat, a first-round knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov at a K-1 Hero’s event on Sept. 17, 2007.
7: Takedowns landed, in 17 attempts by Demian Maia in his dominant decision triumph over Jon Fitch. That ties Maia with Georges St. Pierre for the most takedowns landed against the American Kickboxing Academy product in his UFC tenure.
10 years, 6 months, 20 days: Time since Fitch’s lone career submission defeat, a rear-naked choke loss to Mike Pyle in his professional debut. The former welterweight title challenger was able to successfully defend three submission attempts from Maia on Saturday night.
.851: Striking accuracy for Maia against Fitch. The Brazilian landed 63 of 74 strikes over the course of three rounds while controlling the former Purdue University wrestling standout with his grappling.
9: Takedowns successfully defended, in nine attempts, by Gleison Tibau in his split-decision loss to Evan Dunham. Tibau’s 93 percent defense rate throughout his career is tops among fighters with at least five UFC fights and 20 takedown attempts by opponents.
245: Total strikes attempted by Dunham, who increased his output in each round against a tiring Tibau. Dunham threw 54 strikes in round one, 71 in round two and 120 in round three. By comparison, Tibau threw 169 total strikes -- 40 in round one, 57 in round two and 72 in round three. All told, Dunham landed 98 strikes in a split decision triumph.
4: Fighters among the UFC’s all-time Top 10 in takedowns landed -- Edgar, Evans, Fitch and Tibau -- who competed at UFC 156. That group combined to land five of 25 takedown attempts while going 0-4 for the evening.
3-0: Record for Strikeforce crossovers making their UFC debuts on Saturday night, as Tyron Woodley, Bobby Green and Isaac Vallie-Flagg all achieved victory at UFC 156. The combined Octagon experience of their opponents, Jay Hieron, Jacob Volkmann and Yves Edwards, was 28 bouts.
48: Significant strike advantage for Bobby Green in the final two rounds of his victorious encounter with Jacob Volkmann. “King” outlanded Volkmann 20 to 1 in round two and 31 to 2 in round three.
18: Significant strikes by which Isaac Vallie-Flagg outlanded Yves Edwards in the third round of their 155-pound matchup. The two fighters landed 35 significant strikes apiece through the bout’s first 10 minutes, with Vallie-Flagg holding the edge in round one (29 to 24) and Edwards landing more in round two (11 to 6).
3: Consecutive split decision victories for Vallie-Flagg under the Zuffa banner. Prior to his win over Edwards, the Jackson’s MMA product earned split nods against Gesias Cavalcante and Brian Melancon in Strikeforce.
0: Professional victories by way of kimura for Dustin Kimura, who submitted Chico Camus with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their bantamweight tussle. The Hawaiian has finished seven of his 10 victims by way of submission.