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Francis Ngannou has regained just about all of the hype he lost over the past year.
“The Predator” spoiled the Octagon return of Cain Velasquez in the UFC on ESPN 1 headliner, knocking out the ex-heavyweight champion in just 26 seconds at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sunday night.
After a disappointing two-fight skid to begin his 2018 campaign, Ngannou recaptured his mojo with consecutive quick finishes of Curtis Blaydes and now Velasquez. Meanwhile, the future is uncertain for Velasquez, who had a disappointing showing in his first Octagon appearance in 953 days.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC on ESPN 1, with statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com.
6: Significant strikes landed by Ngannou in the abbreviated bout. By comparison, Velasquez landed just one.
5: UFC triumphs for Ngannou in which he landed less than 10 significant strikes. In addition to besting Velasquez, “The Predator” has also stopped Alistair Overeem (six), Andrei Arlovski (eight), Anthony Hamilton (one) and Bojan Mihajlovic (eight) while landing a minimal amount of significant strikes.
90: Total seconds of Octagon time for Velasquez in losses during the UFC’s network debuts on Fox and ESPN. Before his loss to Ngannou, Velasquez was knocked out by Junior dos Santos in 64 seconds at UFC on Fox 1 on Nov. 12, 2011.
13: Finishes — nine KO/TKOs and four submissions — in 13 professional victories for Ngannou, who is 0-3 in fights that go the distance. All of the Cameroonian-born Frenchman’s triumphs have occurred inside two rounds.
5,000: UFC fights contested in the promotion’s history once Cynthia Calvillo and Cortney Casey stepped into the Octagon on Sunday evening. Calvillo earned a hard-fought unanimous verdict over Casey in the strawweight matchup.
8,829: Days since a member of the Gracie family last won a fight in UFC competition, when Royce Gracie submitted Dan Severn at UFC 4 on Dec. 16, 1994. Kron Gracie ended that drought by choking out Alex Caceres 2:06 into the opening stanza of their featherweight encounter.
8: Finishes for Vicente Luque following his last-minute stoppage of Bryan Barberena in their featured welterweight scrap. That ties him with Josh Koscheck for fourth most in the history of the division. Only Matt Hughes (12), Matt Brown (12) and Thiago Alves (nine) have more finishes at 170 pounds.
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332: Combined significant strikes landed by Luque (163) and Barberena (169), the second most ever in a three-round UFC fight. Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone combined to land 334 significant strikes in their bout at UFC 141 to hold the top spot. It also ranks as the third-most significant strikes landed in any UFC fight, behind Diaz vs. Cerrone and Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega, who combined for 400 significant strikes at UFC 231 in a bout that ended after four rounds.
.670: Significant striking accuracy for Luque, who landed 163 of 241 attempts. Barberena, meanwhile, landed 169 of 355 significant strikes, a 47 percent success rate.
8: Welterweight victories for Luque since 2015, tying him with Leon Edwards, Neil Magny and Santiago Ponzinibbio for second most in the division during that time, only behind Kamaru Usman (nine).
4: Consecutive finishes for Luque, tying him with Max Holloway, Paulo Henrique Costa and Charles Oliveira for second-longest active finishing streak in the UFC. Gregor Gillespie is No. 1 with five straight finishes.
77: Significant strikes by which Aljamain Sterling outlanded Jimmie Rivera in their pivotal bantamweight clash. “Funk Master” outlanded his foe 21 to 7 in round one, 48 to 9 in round two and 32 to 8 in round three.
265: Combined significant strike differential for Sterling in his last five UFC triumphs. In addition to Rivera, that includes victories over Cody Stamann (+21), Brett Johns (+62), Renan Barao (+52) and Augusto Mendes (+53)
3: Consecutive submission victories for Manny Bermudez to begin his UFC tenure, tying him with Antonio Carlos Jr., Davi Ramos and Montana De La Rosa for the second-longest active such streak in the promotion. Charles Oliveira owns the top spot with four straight wins via tap out. Bermudez improved to 14-0 as a professional with a brabo choke submission of Benito Lopez.
111: Significant strikes landed by Andrea Lee in a decision win against Ashlee Evans-Smith at flyweight. By comparison, Evans-Smith landed 66. Lee landed 47 significant strikes to the head, 34 to the body and 30 to the legs of her opponent.
19: Takedowns attempted by Nik Lentz in a unanimous decision triumph over Scott Holtzman at lightweight. While “The Carny” landed just five of those tries — a 26 percent success rate — his wrestling was a key facet of his victory. Lentz landed at least one takedown in every round against Holtzman.
1-6: Record for ex-bantamweight champion Renan Barao in UFC competition since 2015. The Brazilian dropped his fourth bout in a row on Sunday, falling to Luke Sanders via second-round stoppage in a preliminary clash. Barao’s only victory during that time came against Phillipe Nover at UFC Fight Night 95 in Sept. 2016. “The Baron” began his professional tenure with just one defeat in his first 34 appearances.
1:01: Time of Emily Whitmire’s rear-naked choke of Aleksandra Albu, making it the fastest submission in UFC strawweight history. The previous fastest occurred at UFC Fight Night 137 in Sept. 2018, when Livinha Souza tapped Alex Chambers with a guillotine choke at the 1:21 mark of their bout.