With his first victory since December 2015, Luke Rockhold re-established himself as a serious contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division.
The former 185-pound titlist put on a grappling and ground-and-pound clinic against David Branch in the UFC Fight Night 116 headliner in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. After a slow start in round one, Rockhold forced Branch to tap to punches on the ground 4:05 into the second stanza. Next, Rockhold is focused on getting back the middleweight belt he lost last year, and he’s willing to crash Georges St. Pierre’s comeback party to do it.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC Fight Night 116, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
13: Finishes in UFC/Strikeforce competition for Rockhold, the most of anyone in the combined history of the two promotions. Anderson Silva is No. 2 with 11 finishes. Rockhold’s eight submission victories are also the most in UFC/Strikeforce history.
37: Significant strikes by which Rockhold outlanded Branch in the decisive second stanza, when he mounted and then eventually forced the Renzo Gracie protege to tap to strikes.
17: Total strikes by which Branch outlanded (36 to 19) Rockhold in round one, when he pressured the ex-Strikeforce champion with his jab and forced the clinch against the fence.
1,940: Days since Branch’s last defeat, a decision loss against Anthony Johnson at Titan FC 22 on May 25, 2012. The former World Series of Fighting two-division champion won 11 straight bouts before falling to Rockhold.
11: KO/TKO victories among 11 professional victories for Mike Perry, who knocked out short-notice foe Alex Reyes with a knee 1:19 into the opening round of their co-main event clash. “Platinum” has also stopped Jake Ellenberger, Danny Roberts and Hyun Gyu Lim in UFC competition.
2.58: Knockdowns per 15 minutes for Perry, the third-highest rate in UFC history of anyone with a minimum of five Octagon appearances.
30: Significant strikes by which Hector Lombard outlanded (65 to 35) Anthony Smith before Smith knocked out the former Bellator MMA champion at the 2:33 mark of round three.
32: Significant leg strikes landed by Lombard on his taller foe. Smith, by comparison, landed just two significant strikes to the legs.
6: Consecutive triumphs for Kamaru Usman following his first-round knockout of Sergio Moraes in a featured welterweight bout. That is the longest active winning streak in the division.
3: Consecutive triumphs for Justin Ledet, tying him with three others for the third-longest active winning streak in the heavyweight division. Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou are tied for No. 1 with five straight wins. Ledet took a split-decision triumph over Zu Anyanwu at UFC Fight Night 116.
35: Significant head strikes, of the 36 significant strikes overall, landed by Ledet.
3: Consecutive losses inside the first round for Anthony Hamilton, who was stopped by Daniel Spitz punches 24 seconds into their heavyweight encounter. Hamilton has been stopped five times in the first round overall during his nine-bout UFC tenure.
5: Knockouts since 2013 for Uriah Hall, tying him with Derek Brunson, Gegard Mousasi and Yoel Romero for the second most in the UFC middleweight division during that time. Thiago Santos is first with six such victories. Hall knocked out Krzysztof Jotko 2:25 into the opening round on Saturday night.
45: Total strikes by which Jotko outlanded Hall in a dominant opening stanza that likely earned him some 10-8 scorecards. Jotko rocked and dropped his opponent with an uppercut on the feet before eventually taking him down and landing ground-and-pound from the mat. Hall ultimately survived the round and mounted a comeback in the second frame.