The comeback is now complete.
More than four years since he last held bantamweight gold and after multiple knee surgeries kept him on the sideline, Dominick Cruz recaptured the 135-pound belt with a narrow split decision over T.J. Dillashaw in the UFC Fight Night headliner at TD Garden in Boston on Sunday night.
It was a back-and-forth battle between the division’s top two fighters, and the final figures reflect the close nature of the matchup. Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC Fight Night “Dillashaw vs. Cruz,” with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
112: Significant strikes landed by Cruz, three more than his opponent. “The Dominator” outlanded Dillashaw 21 to 19 in round one, 17 to 16 in round two and 25 to 22 in round four. Dillashaw held a 33-to-30 edge in round five, while both bantamweights landed 19 significant strikes in round three.
130: Total strikes landed by Dillashaw. By comparison, Cruz landed 122.
.370: Significant striking accuracy for Cruz, who landed 112 of 302 attempts. Meanwhile, Dillashaw landed 109 of 408 strikes, a 26 percent rate.
97: Significant strikes to the head landed by Cruz; Dillashaw landed 64.
22: Significant strikes to the body landed by Dillashaw; Cruz landed nine.
23: Significant leg strikes for Dillashaw. Cruz, meanwhile, had six.
4: Takedowns landed, in 11 attempts, by Cruz. In 10 prior UFC appearances, Dillashaw’s opponents failed to land a single takedown against him in 19 attempts. Cruz landed two takedowns in round two and one apiece in round one and three. Dillashaw landed one of eight takedown attempts.
1,569: Days since Cruz’s last title bout, a five-round verdict over current flyweight king Demetrious Johnson at UFC Live 6 on Oct. 1, 2011. It has been 477 days since Cruz’s last Octagon appearance, a first-round finish of Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178.
6: Takedowns landed, in 15 attempts, by Eddie Alvarez in his split-decision triumph over Anthony Pettis in the co-main event. Pettis has now been taken down a combined 15 times in back-to-back losses to Alvarez and current lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos.
109: Total strikes landed by Pettis. By comparison, Alvarez landed 74. Pettis outlanded his adversary in total strikes 35 to 18 in round one, 32 to 18 in round two and 42 to 38 in round three. The Roufusport product also held a 56-to-42 advantage in significant strikes.
25: Significant ground strikes landed by Travis Browne during his third-round stoppage of Matt Mitrione. All of Browne’s ground offense came in the deciding stanza. Mitrione didn’t land any significant strikes on the ground.
5: Consecutive triumphs for Francisco Trinaldo, the third-longest active streak in the lightweight division behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (six) and Tony Ferguson (seven). Trinaldo earned a unanimous verdict over Ross Pearson in a featured 155-pound tilt.
23: Significant strikes by which Trinaldo outlanded Pearson. The Brazilian outlanded his foe 9 to 8 in round one, 24 to 7 in round two and 18 to 13 in round three. Trinaldo held a 34-to-9 edge in head strikes and a 16-to-2 advantage in clinch strikes.
5: UFC bouts where both fighters entered the matchup with least 17 promotional appearances after Ed Herman and Tim Boetsch squared off on Sunday, according to MMADecisions.com. The others: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone (UFC on Fox 17); Andrei Arlovski vs. Frank Mir (UFC 191); Josh Koscheck vs. Matt Hughes (UFC 135); and B.J. Penn vs. Hughes (UFC 123). Herman defeated Boetsch via second-round knockout in their light heavyweight showdown.
11: Takedowns landed in four UFC appearances for lightweight Chris Wade, who went 2-for-2 on takedowns en route to submitting Mehdi Baghdad 4:30 into the initial stanza of their encounter on Sunday night. Wade also outlanded his foe 40 to 2 in total strikes.
3: Consecutive rear-naked choke defeats in UFC competition for Daron Cruickshank, who succumbed to the maneuver 3:56 into round three against Paul Felder. Previously, “The Detroit Superstar” tapped to rear-naked chokes against James Krause at UFC on Fox 16 and against Beneil Dariush at UFC 185.
1: Light heavyweight to earn two stoppages in less than a minute in UFC competition after Ilir Latifi scored a 30-second knockout of Sean O’Connell in a preliminary 205-pound duel. In his last outing, Latifi, knocked out Hans String in 56 seconds at UFC Fight Night “Bisping vs. Leites" this past July.
4: Days’ notice in which Kyle Bochniak accepted a featherweight bout against Charles Rosa. Bochniak was game but ultimately lost a unanimous decision to his opponent at UFC Fight Night Boston.
92: Significant strikes landed by Rosa, who held a 40-strike advantage over his opponent. Rosa landed 92 of 232 significant strikes; Bochniak went 52 for 129.
31: Significant strikes by which Rob Font outlanded Joey Gomez in the second round of their preliminary bantamweight clash. Font earned a stoppage at the 4:13 mark of the period due to a barrage of blows.
1-4: Record for fighters making their UFC debuts on Sunday’s card. Only Luke Sanders, who defeated Maximo Blanco, was able to win his rookie osuting. Meanwhile, Mehdi Baghdad, Kyle Bochniak, Joey Gomez and Elvis Mutapcic all came up short in their initial Octagon forays.