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Don’t look now, but Jose Aldo is marching toward another title shot at 135 pounds.
The former featherweight kingpin blended superior punching power with timely grappling to capture a five-round verdict against Rob Font in the UFC on ESPN 31 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. After coming up short in his first two bantamweight appearances — including a loss to Petr Yan in a title bout — the Nova Uniao standout has won his last three outings. Meanwhile, Font sees a four-bout winning streak come to an end.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC on ESPN 31, with statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com.
149: Significant strikes landed by Font. By comparison, Aldo landed 86. Although Font held a significant striking edge in every round but the fourth, Aldo landed the more damaging blows throughout the contest, which was key to him getting the nod on the final scorecards.
305: Significant strikes attempted by Font, nearly twice as many as Aldo. The Brazilian was the more accurate striker, however, landing 86 of 161 attempts for a 53 percent success rate. Font landed 149 of 305 tries — a 48 percent clip.
2: Knockdowns landed by Aldo, who floored his opponent in the first and fourth frames.
9:06: Total control time for Aldo, who utilized opportunistic grappling to help control the later rounds of the bout despite not landing a single takedown. Font logged just 2:08 of control time in the fight.
13: Wheel kick knockouts in UFC history after Rafael Fiziev used the move to dispatch Brad Riddell 2:20 into Round 3 of their lightweight co-main event.
5: Consecutive triumphs for Fiziev, the fourth-longest active winning streak in the UFC at 155 pounds behind Charles Oliveira (nine), Islam Makhachev (nine) and Beneil Dariush (seven).
0:48: Time of Jamahal Hill’s first-round KO of Jimmy Crute, the fastest finish of Hill’s professional career. Meanwhile, Crute suffered the third first-round stoppage loss of his UFC tenure.
1,484: Days since Clay Guida’s last finish in the Octagon, a first-round TKO of Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 120 on Nov. 11, 2017. “The Carpenter” secured another finish on Saturday when he rallied to submit Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Leonardo Santos with a rear-naked choke 1:21 into the second round of their lightweight tilt.
31: Significant strikes by which Santos outlanded Guida in Round 1, when he had his American opponent reeling following a kick to the body. That ensuing salvo ultimately led to Santos’ demise, as the Brazilian faded quickly when he was unable to get the stoppage.
23: Significant strike deficit for Guida overall, making it the sixth largest statistical comeback in UFC lightweight history. The largest rally remains when Claudio Puelles overcame a 54 significant strike deficit to submit Felipe Silva with a knee bar in the third round at UFC Fight Night 129.
6:11:35: Total Octagon time for Guida, who moved past Michael Bisping into eighth place on the UFC’s all-time list.
Related » UFC on ESPN 31 Round-by-Round Scoring
6: Professional victories in 2021 for Chris Curtis, who earned his second UFC triumph during that span with a second-round stoppage of Brendan Allen at middleweight. That streak began with a third-round stoppage of ex-UFC talent Kyle Stewart on Jan. 30 and also included notable wins over Kenny Robertson and Phil Hawes.
1-5: UFC record for Maki Pitolo since earning a contract with the promotion on Season 3 of Dana White’s Contender Series. Pitolo lost his fourth straight bout on Saturday, falling to Dusko Todorovic via first-round TKO in a preliminary middleweight bout.
21: Significant ground strikes, out of 30 significant strikes total, landed by Todorovic. Pitolo landed 0 significant ground strikes and 13 total in defeat.
53: Significant strikes landed by Manel Kape in a technical knockout victory against Zhalgas Zhumagulov that came at the 4:02 mark of Round 1. That included 39 significant strikes to the head and a pair of knockdowns. By comparison, Zhumagulov landed 31 significant strikes.
134: Significant strikes landed by Cheyanne Vlismas in a unanimous decision triumph against Mallory Martin at strawweight. That’s a career high in UFC competition for the 26-year-old Fortis MMA product, who landed at a 49 percent clip and outlanded her adversary by 54 significant strikes.
12: Unofficial media scorecards, of the 12 tracked by MMADecisions.com, that awarded the light heavyweight clash between Alonzo Menifield and William Knight to Menifield. Judges Derek Cleary, Junichiro Kamijo and Tony Weeks saw things differently, however, submitting a trio of 29-28 tallies in favor of Knight.
2: Kneebar submissions in UFC competition for Claudio Puelles, who tapped Chris Gruetzemacher with the maneuver 3:25 into Round 3 of their lightweight bout. The Molina, Peru, native also submitted Felipe Silva with a kneebar at UFC Fight Night 129.
1: KO/TKO defeat in 25 professional appearances for Louis Smolka, who suffered his first career knockout loss at the hands of Vince Morales on Saturday.
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