The sequel was an instant classic.
While Robert Whittaker outlasted Yoel Romero over five brutal rounds in the UFC 225 headliner on Saturday night, there were no losers in Chicago. Both combatants battled through adversity at various times to put on a memorable show, but it was reigning 185-pound king Whittaker who emerged with a contentious split-decision triumph. While “The Reaper” improved to 2-0 against his Cuban rival, nobody would complain if the middleweights squared off for a third time down the road. That, however, is a topic for another day.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 225, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
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9: Consecutive victories in the Octagon for Whittaker, the sixth-longest active winning streak in the UFC behind Demetrious Johnson (13), Georges St. Pierre (13), Max Holloway (12), Khabib Nurmagomedov (10) and Tony Ferguson (10).
239: Combined significant strikes landed by Whittaker (128) and Romero (111), a middleweight record for a five-round bout in the UFC.
2: Knockdowns landed by Romero, who floored his opponent in the third and fifth frames.
48: Significant leg strikes landed by Whittaker. Romero landed 19 significant leg strikes.
45: Combined significant strikes landed in the clinch and on the ground for Romero. By comparison, Whittaker landed nine from those positions.
76: Significant head strikes for Romero. Whittaker, meanwhile, landed 57.
119: Total significant strikes from distance for Whittaker; Romero landed 66 strikes at range.
7: Takedowns landed in 18 attempts by Colby Covington in a unanimous decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos that gave “Chaos” the interim welterweight crown. Dos Anjos, meanwhile, went 3 for 6 on takedowns, landing all of his attempts in the fourth stanza.
105: Significant strikes landed by dos Anjos. Covington meanwhile, landed 99 significant strikes. Dos Anjos outlanded his opponent 27 to 17 in round one and 19 to 12 in round four. Covington outlanded his adversary 21 to 20 in round two, 29 to 22 in round three and 20 to 17 in round five.
6: Consecutive triumphs for Covington, which ties him with Santiago Ponzinibbio for the second-longest active winning streak in the UFC’s welterweight division. Kamaru Usman owns the longest current streak with eight straight triumphs.
3: Fighters in promotion history to win an interim welterweight title after Covington accomplished the feat. The American Top Team member joined Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit as interim 170-pound titlists with his win over dos Anjos at UFC 225.
4: Takedowns landed in eight attempts by Holly Holm in a unanimous decision triumph over Megan Anderson in a featured featherweight scrap. That figure represents a career high for the former boxing champion, who had landed a combined two takedowns in her previous eight UFC appearances. Holm also executed nine guard passes against Anderson.
143: Total strikes landed by Holm. By comparison, Anderson landed 48 total strikes. Holm also outlanded her foe 47 to 26 in significant strikes.
73: Total strikes by which Mike Jackson outlanded Phil Brooks, better known as CM Punk,” in their welterweight bout. Jackson held a 129-to-56 edge in the lopsided bout and outlanded his foe 29 to 16 in round one, 48 to 29 in round two and 52 to 11 in round three en route to a unanimous decision victory.
1: Takedown landed in nine attempts for Punk.
4: Consecutive triumphs for Curtis Blaydes, tying him with Alexander Volkov for the second-longest active winning streak in the heavyweight division. Reigning champion Stipe Miocic has the longest current streak with six wins in a row. Blaydes defeated Alistair Overeem via third-round technical knockout on Saturday night.
22: Significant ground strikes landed by Blaydes, who landed 37 overall, in victory. Overeem, meanwhile, landed just one.
33: Takedowns landed by Blaydes in seven UFC bouts. The Chicago native went 4-for-4 on takedowns in victory against Overeem.
5: UFC strawweight victories for Claudia Gadelha following her split verdict over Carla Esparza. That ties her with three others for the most victories in the history of the division. Only Joanna Jedrzejczyk (eight), Rose Namajunas (six) and Tecia Torres (six) have more wins.
205: Total strikes landed by Esparza in defeat. By comparison, Gadelha landed 78 total strikes. Esparza also held a 43-to-26 edge in significant strikes landed.
2-7: Record for Rashad Evans in his last nine bouts following a 53-second knockout defeat against Anthony Smith in his return to light heavyweight. Evans has lost five consecutive fights and hasn’t won since Nov. 16, 2013.
15: Significant strikes by which Sergio Pettis outlanded Joseph Benavidez in their flyweight tilt. After both fighters landed 25 significant strikes in round one, Pettis outlanded his foe 22 to 14 in round two and 27 to 20 in round three to take a split-decision win for the biggest triumph of his career so far.
12: Takedowns successfully defended, among 14 Benavidez attempts, by Pettis.
10: Submission triumphs in UFC competition for Charles Oliveira, who tapped out Clay Guida with a guillotine 2:18 into round one of their preliminary featherweight encounter. That ties him with Royce Gracie for first all-time in promotion history. Nate Diaz and Demian Maia are tied for third with nine such victories.
4: Wins via guillotine choke for Oliveira, tying him with Nate Diaz for the most in UFC history. In addition to Guida, “Do Bronx” has used the maneuver to finish Myles Jury, Nik Lentz and Jonathan Brookins in the Octagon.
26: Career submission attempts for Oliveira, who moved past Nate Diaz and into sole possession of fourth place all-time in UFC history in this category on Saturday. Only Jim Miller (39), Chris Lytle (31) and Joe Lauzon (29) have attempted more submissions in the Octagon.
25: Significant strikes landed by Dan Ige in his 50-second technical knockout victory over Mike Santiago in the evening’s opening contest. Santiago, meanwhile landed just one significant strike in the lopsided featherweight affair.