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Francis Ngannou reclaimed the title of scariest power puncher in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division in emphatic fashion.
“The Predator” made short work of ex-champ Junior dos Santos in the UFC on ESPN 3 headliner, stopping the Brazilian with a barrage of powerful blows at the 1:11 mark of the first round in Minneapolis on Saturday night. Ngannou’s third consecutive first-round finish has all but erased the memory of his lackluster two-bout skid from the first half of 2018, so much so that a heavyweight title shot could be on the horizon.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC on ESPN 3, with statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com.
9: Finishes in UFC competition for Ngannou since 2015. That ties him with Vicente Luque for the second-most in the promotion during that time. Only light heavyweight No. 1 contender Thiago Santos (10) has more.
9: Significant strikes needed by Ngannou to dispatch dos Santos.
28: Combined significant strikes landed by Ngannou during his current three-bout winning streak, a stretch that also includes first-round stoppages of Cain Velasquez and Curtis Blaydes.
2:22: Total fight time for Ngannou during the wins over dos Santos, Velasquez and Blaydes.
13: Flyweight triumphs in UFC competition for Joseph Benavidez following his second-round technical knockout of Jussier da Silva in the evening’s co-main event. That ties him with ex-champ Demetrious Johnson for the most victories in the history of the division.
6: Finishes at 125 pounds for Benavidez, which puts him second in the history of the division behind Johnson (seven) and one ahead of John Moraga (five).
35: Significant strikes by which Benavidez outlanded Formiga (50 to 15). He also held a 72-to-15 edge in total strikes landed.
6:18:12: Total Octagon time for Demian Maia after spending 15 minutes in the cage with Anthony Rocco Martin in a unanimous decision victory. The grappling ace was able to move past Jeremy Stephens (6:05:23) and Michael Bisping (6:05:33) into second place all-time, behind only Frankie Edgar (6:47:33).
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21: Career UFC triumphs for Maia, second in promotion history behind only Donald Cerrone (23).
3: Takedowns landed in nine attempts by Maia.
65: Career takedowns landed by Maia, who surpassed Clay Guida (64) and moved to No. 6 all-time in UFC history behind Edgar (67).
22: Significant strikes landed by Martin. Maia, meanwhile, landed just three.
74: Total strikes landed by Maia. Martin landed 36.
4: Fighters in UFC history with at least 30 appearances. Maia joined Cerrone (32), Jim Miller (32) and Stephens (30) in that group after his bout with Martin gave him 30 trips to the Octagon.
5-1: Record for Vinc Pichel in UFC bouts since 2014. The 36-year-old known as “From Hell” improved to 11-2 in his professional career with a three-round verdict against Roosevelt Roberts in a featured lightweight tilt.
60: Significant strikes landed by Pichel. By comparison, Roberts landed 31. Pichel got stronger as the fight progressed, outlanding his opponent 18 to 17 in round one, 21 to 10 in round two and 21 to 4 in round three.
9: Finishes in nine professional appearances for Alonzo Menifield. The light heavyweight prospect scored his third consecutive first-round TKO on Saturday, as he put away Paul Craig via ground-and-pound at the 3:19 mark of the opening frame.
171: Total strikes landed by Jared Gordon in a unanimous decision victory over Dan Moret at lightweight. Moret, meanwhile, landed 37 strikes in defeat.
.740: Significant striking accuracy for Dalcha Lungiambula, who landed 32 of 43 attempts in his Octagon debut, a third-round TKO stoppage of Dequan Townsend. By comparison, Townsend landed 13 of 30 significant strikes, a 43 percent clip.
1,134: Days since Amanda Ribas’ last professional mixed martial arts bout, a second-round TKO of Jennifer Gonzalez Araneda at Max Fight 18 on May 21, 2016. The Brazilian made a successful return to action at UFC Minneapolis, as she submitted Emily Whitmire with a rear-naked choke in the second stanza of their strawweight clash.
3: Consecutive victories for Maurice Greene, which ties him for the second-longest active winning streak in the heavyweight division. “The Crochet Boss” defeated Junior Albini via technical knockout 3:38 into the first round of their bout.