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Israel Adesanya was as close to perfect as one could be.
As he predicted, “The Last Stylebender” made it look easy at UFC 253, dispatching the previously undefeated Paulo Costa via technical knockout 3:59 into the second round of their middleweight title bout in Saturday’s headliner on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Now 20-0 as a professional and 9-0 in the Octagon, Adesanya remains the unquestioned king of the 185-pound division as well as one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best talents.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 253, with statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com.
9: Consecutive victories for Adesanya, tying him with Chris Weidman for the second-longest winning streak in the history of the UFC’s middleweight division. Anderson Silva holds the longest streak with 13 straight wins at 185 pounds.
4: Victories in title fights for Adesanya, tying him with Weidman for the second most at middleweight behind only Silva (13).
55: Significant strikes landed by Adesanya. By comparison, Costa landed just 12.
.650: Significant striking accuracy for Adesanya, who landed 55 of 84 attempts. Costa landed 12 of 26 significant strikes — a 46 percent success rate.
26: Significant leg strikes for Adesanya. Costa, meanwhile, landed just three. In Round 1 alone, Adesanya landed more leg kicks (15) than Costa’s total output of significant strikes attempted (seven).
2: Men’s title fights in UFC history between two undefeated athletes. Adesanya vs. Costa joins the UFC 98 matchup between Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans as the only two men’s championship matchups to feature fighters with unblemished records.
13: Undisputed UFC light heavyweight champions. Jan Blachowicz became the 13th man to wear 205-pound gold following a second-round technical knockout of Dominick Reyes in the UFC 253 co-main event.
2-4: Record for Blachowicz to begin his UFC tenure. The newly-crowned light heavyweight champion has since recovered to win eight of his last nine promotional appearances.
26: Significant strikes landed by Blachowicz during the decisive second round, when he floored Reyes and landed several standing-to-ground strikes for the stoppage at the 4:36 mark of the period. By comparison, Reyes landed 11 significant strikes in the round.
4: Consecutive submission triumphs for Brandon Royval — two in the UFC and two in Legacy Fighting Alliance. “Raw Dawg” scored the most significant victory of his career to date, tapping out Kai Kara-France 48 seconds into the second frame of their flyweight bout. Eight of Royval’s 12 career wins have come via submission.
3: Combined knockdowns for Royval (two) and Kara-France in a wild opening stanza. Royval held a 31-to-13 edge in significant strikes and a 43-to-13 edge in total strikes landed in the period.
5: Consecutive victories for Hakeem Dawodu, the fourth-longest active winning streak in the UFC’s featherweight division. Dawodu took a split-decision triumph over Zubaira Tukhugov in a featured contest at UFC 253. Only Alexander Volkanovski (seven), Arnold Allen (seven) and Zabit Magomedsharipov (six) have longer winning streaks at 145 pounds.
69: Significant strikes landed by Dawodu. “Mean” Hakeem distributed his offense quite well in victory, landing 31 significant strikes to the head, 14 to the body and 24 to the legs.
13: Unofficial media scorecards, of the 23 tracked by MMADecisions.com, that awarded the fight to Tukhugov. Seven saw in favor of Dawodu while three others scored the bout a draw.
0: Takedowns landed in six attempts by Alex da Silva Coelho over Rounds 2 and 3 against Brad Riddell. Riddell, who was taken down three times in the opening stanza, outlanded his opponent 60 to 41 in significant strikes over the final 10 minutes to claim a unanimous verdict in a lightweight clash.
47: Significant strikes by which Jake Matthews outlanded Diego Sanchez en route to a clear-cut three-round verdict in a preliminary middleweight bout. Matthews was especially dominant in Round 3, outlanding his foe by a 27-to-2 count and scoring the fight’s only knockdown.
6:37:07: Total fight time for Sanchez, who spent 15 minutes in the Octagon with Matthews. Saturday’s effort moved Sanchez past Jeremy Stephens (6:28:27) and Demian Maia (6:34:40) and into third place among all fighters in UFC history. Only Rafael dos Anjos (6:43:11) and Frankie Edgar (7:40:51) have spent more time in the cage.
32: UFC appearances for Sanchez, tying him with Andrei Arlovski and Maia for fourth most in the history of the Las Vegas-based promotion.
21: Bouts that have gone to decision for Sanchez, the most in UFC history. “The Nightmare” is 12-9 when going to the judges.
16: Finishes among 17 career victories for Ludovit Klein, the first Slovakian competitor in UFC history. Klein added to his 94 percent finishing rate with a first-round knockout of Shane Young on Saturday night.
9: Guard passes executed by two-time Contender Series alum William Knight in a unanimous decision triumph against Aleksa Camur in a light heavyweight tilt. Knight outmuscled his foe throughout the bout, landing four of five takedowns while holding a 38-to-17 advantage in significant strikes.
4: Takedowns landed in 16 attempts by Danilo Marques in a unanimous decision triumph over Khadis Ibragimov at light heavyweight. Marques landed at least one takedown in each frame, and that was more than enough to get the job in a bout in which both fighters combined to land just 35 significant strikes over the 15-minute affair.
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