One result seemed practically inevitable. The other was a little more difficult to see coming.
As expected, Cristiane Justino retained her women’s featherweight title in typically dominant fashion in the UFC 2222 headliner, scoring a first-round technical knockout victory over former Invicta Fighting Championships bantamweight queen Yana Kunitskaya. “Cyborg” has now successfully defended her crown twice, this time on approximately three week’s notice.
Meanwhile, Brian Ortega announced himself as the featherweight division’s new No. 1 contender in resounding fashion in the evening’s co-main event, knocking out Frankie Edgar with an uppercut 4:44 into the opening frame. A showdown with reigning champion Max Holloway is undoubtedly in Ortega’s future.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 222, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
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28: Significant strikes by which Justino outlanded Kunitskaya in the abbreviated title bout, which ended 3:25 into round one. “Cyborg” landed 33 of her 43 attempts, a 73 percent success rate. Meanwhile, Kunitskaya landed just 5 of 11 significant strikes before bowing out of the fight.
238: Total significant strikes by which “Cyborg” has outlanded her five UFC opponents. That includes title bouts against Kunitskaya, Holly Holm and Tonya Evinger as well as catchweight affairs with Lina Lansberg and Leslie Smith. Of those five, only Holm made it to the judges’ scorecards against the heavy-handed Brazilian.
6: Consecutive UFC victories for Ortega following his win over Edgar. That ties him with Darren Elkins for the second-longest active winning streak in the featherweight division behind only Holloway (11).
28: Professional fights for Edgar without a loss with knockout, technical knockout or submission. That streak ended in bout No. 29, as “The Answer” was finished for the first time in his career courtesy of an Ortega elbow and uppercut.
6: Consecutive finishes in the Octagon for Ortega, who moved passed Mairbek Taisumov and into sole possession of first place for the promotion’s longest active finishing streak on Saturday night.
38: Significant strikes by which Sean O’Malley outlanded Andre Soukhamthath in their featured bantamweight clash. That included a 28-to-4 edge in round one and a 23-to-5 advantage in round two, as “Sugar” held on to win a unanimous decision despite being severely hindered by a leg injury in the third round.
16: UFC victories for former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski following his decision win over Stefan Struve on Saturday night. That ties him with Frank Mir for the most in the history of the division. With Mir now in Bellator, the Belarusian will have a chance to take sole possession of that mark in his next Octagon appearance.
4: Takedowns landed in nine attempts by Arlovski. In his previous 24 UFC appearances, “The Pit Bull” landed a combined total of three takedowns.
5: Split decisions at UFC 222, tying it with UFC Fight Night 79 in November 2015 as the cards with the most split verdicts in promotion history.
4: Consecutive triumphs for Ketlen Vieira following a split-decision win over former title challenger Cat Zingano in featured women’s bantamweight tilt. That ties her with Raquel Pennington for the second-longest active winning streak in the division. Reigning champion Amanda Nunes is first with six straight victories.
70: Significant strikes landed by highly-touted Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern in her Octagon debut, a split decision win over Ashley Yoder. By comparison, Yoder landed 52 significant strikes.
1: Takedown landed in six attempts for Dern. The MMA Lab product finally got her opponent to the canvas in round three, but she was unable to lock in a rear-naked choke before the frame ended.
1-4: Record in contests that end via split decision for John Dodson, who earned the first such triumph of his 29-fight professional career against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 222. “The Magician” had previously dropped split verdicts to Marlon Moraes, John Lineker, Pat Runez and Mike Easton.
5: Consecutive losses in the Octagon for Hector Lombard after he was disqualified for landing a punch against C.B. Dolloway after the first round bell in their preliminary middleweight scrap. “Lightning’s” overall winless streak stands at six when including his UFC 183 bout vs. Josh Burkman, which was overturned from a win to a no contest due to a failed drug test. Lombard entered the UFC on a 25-fight unbeaten streak but has had mixed results throughout his tenure with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
7: Welterweight finishes for Mike Pyle during his UFC career, which ranks fifth in the history of the division. Pyle’s retirement fight didn’t go as planned on Saturday night, however, as he ended up on the wrong end of a first-round technical knockout loss against Zak Ottow.
36: Significant strikes by which Cody Stamann outlanded Bryan Caraway in their bantamweight scrap. That included a 48-to-25 advantage in the final frame, as the Michigan native held on for a split decision win. Total strikes were much closer, however, as Caraway outlanded his foe 116 to 115.
22: Takedowns successfully defended by Stamann in the bout. Caraway landed his only takedown of the contest in the opening stanza.
11: Unofficial media scorecards, of the 15 tracked by MMADecisions.com, that awarded the bout to Caraway.
3: Consecutive triumphs for Jordan Johnson following a split-decision verdict over Adam Milstead. That ties him with Mauricio Rua for the second-longest active winning streak in the light heavyweight division behind only Daniel Cormier (five).