Tarec Saffiedine's UFC debut was memorable. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
After spending nearly a year on the sidelines, Tarec Saffiedine made his first UFC appearance one to remember.
The last welterweight champion in Strikeforce history relied on punishing leg kicks, punching combinations and a patient ground game to survive an entertaining battle with Hyun Gyu Lim in the UFC Fight Night 34 main event at Marina Bay in Singapore on Saturday.
Lim started strong and finished with a flourish, but in between he was hobbled by the precise Saffiedine, who has now won five consecutive fights -- all via decision. Saffiedine might not have had the most anticipated Octagon debut on the card, however. That honor likely belonged to Tatsuya Kawajiri, who showed what hardcore fans have been raving about for years by submitting Sean Soriano with a rear-naked choke in the co-headliner. It was the first of what the promotion hopes are many international cards on UFC Fight Pass, the promotion’s new digital network. As for the rest of the bill’s facts and figures, here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC Fight Night 34.
1,324: Days since Tarec Saffiedine’s last stoppage victory, a second-round knockout of Nate Moore at Strikeforce Challengers 8. Since then, the Belgian’s last seven fights -- six wins, one loss -- have all gone the distance. “Sponge” began his professional career with submission triumphs in five of his first seven outings, although all of those occurred on the regional circuit.
4: Knockdowns landed by Saffiedine, according to the unofficial live stats on UFC.com. The Strikeforce veteran sent Lim to the canvas on multiple occasions thanks to a steady diet of vicious leg kicks.
180: Total strikes landed by Saffiedine in 277 attempts, according to the live stats on UFC.com. By comparison Lim landed 111 of 281 total strikes. (Note: live stats usually differ from the final stats posted on FightMetric.com, which are compiled after fights are reviewed in slow motion).
5: Consecutive victories at featherweight for Tatsuya Kawajiri after the Japanese fighter submitted Sean Soriano with a rear-naked choke in the second round of the evening’s co-main event. Since dropping from light weight to 145 pounds, “Crusher” has also defeated Joachim Hansen, Kazuyuki Miyata, Donald Sanchez and Michihiro Omigawa.
10: Career submission wins for Kawajiri, who used a rear-naked choke to put away the previously unbeaten Soriano. Four of Kawajiri’s tapouts have come since his move to featherweight; he had six submissions in his first 36 professional appearances.
2: Points deducted by referee Steve Perceval after Kyung Ho Kang landed what Perceval determined to be illegal 12-to-6 elbows against Shunichi Shimizu in the opening round of their bantamweight clash. Despite the harsh penalty, Kang went on to submit Shimizu with an arm-triangle choke in the third round.
3: Fights, according to MMADecisions.com’s database, that featured a two-point deduction for one foul and have gone to a decision: Edwin Figueroa-Alex Caceres (UFC 143), Christian Uflacker-Jonatas Novaes (Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Rogers”) and Josh Appelt-Manny Lara (Bellator 92).
3-0: Record for Hawaiian fighter’s at UFC Fight Night 34, as Max Holloway, Dustin Kimura and Russell Doane all took home victories on Saturday.
6.25: Average fights per year for Will Chope, who made his professional debut on Aug. 1, 2010. The 23 year old known as “The Kill” was most active in 2012, when he fought 12 times. Chope lost to Holloway via second-round TKO in his first bout of 2014, ending his 14-fight winning streak.
9.5: Reach advantage, in inches, for Quinn Mulhern in his lightweight matchup with Katsunori Kikuno. Despite having such a significant edge, the Jackson’s MMA product elected to pull guard repeatedly en route to dropping a unanimous decision.
0-3: Combined record of Royston Wee’s two previous opponents prior to his Octagon foray against Dave Galera. A Singapore native, Wee had not competed in more than two years before taking a unanimous decision over Galera.
15: Fighters on Saturday’s 10-bout card who were making their Octagon debuts. Of the 20 competitors at UFC Fight Night 34, only Hyun Gyu Lim, Kyung Ho Kang, Max Holloway, Quinn Mulhern and Dustin Kimura had prior UFC experience.
5,216: Paid attendance for UFC Fight Night 34, the first UFC event to be held in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands was sold out for the card, which began at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT in the United States.
1: Decision among 21 career wins for Mairbek Taisumov, who went the distance in victory for the first time against Tae Hyun Bang. The 25-year-old Austrian had gone to the judges twice previously in a 24-bout pro tenure, losing both bouts.
10: Finishes, in 11 professional victories, for Kimura, who submitted Jon delos Reyes with an armbar 2:13 into the opening frame of their 135-pound clash. “The Diamond” has only gone the distance once in his professional career, a three-round verdict over Sadhu Bolt at X-1 “Island Pride” in November 2010.
4: Championships won by Hawaiian Russell Doane, who has held titles in the Destiny MMA, Tachi Palace Fights, X-1 World Events and King of the Cage promotions. Doane submitted Leandro Issa with a triangle choke 4:59 into the second round of their bantamweight bout.