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The Ultimate Fighting Championship could not have packed the plate any fuller for UFC 261, which features another title tripleheader on Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Grab the popcorn.
A rematch between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal takes the lead in the main event. The two men met once previously, as Usman walked away with a unanimous decision at UFC 251 in July. He has since successfully defended his title against former Sanford MMA stablemate Gilbert Burns. The Usman-Masvidal sequel draws its support from two other championship pairings, as Weili Zhang puts her women’s strawweight crown on the line against Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko risks her women’s flyweight belt against Brazilian powerhouse Jessica Andrade.
As UFC 261 “Usman vs. Masvidal 2” approaches, a look at some of the numbers the fighters on the card have generated to this point:
1,020: Significant strikes landed by Usman as a UFC welterweight, placing him fifth on the promotion’s all-time list at 170 pounds. Only Georges St. Pierre (1,254), Neil Magny (1,119), Robbie Lawler (1,111) and Thiago Alves (1,070) have connected with more.
8: First-round finishes on the Masvidal resume. Two of them were of the sub-minute variety, as he punched out Brant Rose in 56 seconds at a Crazy Horse Fights show on Dec. 11, 2007 and cut down Ben Askren with a knee strikes in five seconds at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019.
2,723: Days since Zhang last tasted defeat. The Black Tiger Fight Club representative has rattled off 21 consecutive victories since she lost a unanimous decision to Meng Bo in her professional debut on Nov. 9, 2013.
16: Takedowns completed by Namajunas across her 10 appearances inside the Octagon. She executed eight of them in one bout, as she submitted Paige VanZant with a rear-naked choke 2:25 into the fifth round of their UFC Fight Night 80 main event six-plus years ago.
9: Countries in which Shevchenko has competed as a mixed martial artist. She has gone 7-2 in the United States, 3-0 in South Korea, 2-0 in Kyrgyzstan, 2-0 Kazakhstan, 2-0 in Peru, 1-1 in Canada, 1-0 in Russia, 1-0 in Brazil and 1-0 in Uruguay.
7: Andrade victories by submission, accounting for 33% of her career total (21). Her methods of choice: six guillotine chokes and one rear-naked choke. Andrade owns eight other wins by knockout or technical knockout and six more by decision.
36: Years of age for former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The oldest fighter on the card, he was born on June 17, 1984 in Baldwin, New York. Weidman meets Uriah Hall—a man he defeated under the Ring of Combat banner in 2010—in a three-round rematch at 185 pounds.
198: Combined victories between the nine men—Weidman, Paulo Costa, Gegard Mousasi, Derek Brunson, Robert Whittaker, Rafael Natal, John Howard, Kelvin Gastelum and Costas Philippou—who have beaten Hall. Four of his nine losses have resulted from majority or split decisions.
3: Promotions in which Jimmy Crute has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. He has gone 7-0 in Hex Fight Series, 4-1 in the UFC and 1-0 in Dana White’s Contender Series. Crute collides with Anthony Smith in a three-round light heavyweight feature.
2: Smith wins over former UFC champions, and he recorded them inside a 43-day window. “Lionheart” cut down Rashad Evans with a knee strike just 53 seconds into their UFC 225 pairing on June 9, 2018 and put away Mauricio Rua with an elbow strike a mere 89 seconds into their UFC Fight Night 134 headliner on July 22, 2018.
21: Years of age for Zhu Rong. The youngest fighter on the card, he was born in Tibet on March 7, 2000. Rong confronts Rodrigo Vargas in a three-round lightweight scrap on the undercard.
.768: Cumulative winning percentage between the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. They own a combined record of 404-122-1. Masvidal boasts the most wins (35) of any fighter on the card, while Smith has been saddled with the most losses (16).