The UFC has put together an interesting stats package on the two title fights at UFC 112 this Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
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UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
ANDERSON SILVA vs. DEMIAN MAIA
Most accurate striker in UFC history – 75% total striking accuracy
Outstruck opponents nearly 4-1
Has not had a submission attempted against him in over five years
Silva is far and away the most accurate striker in UFC history (minimum 300 strike attempts). Over his 10 UFC fights, Silva has landed 302 of 405 strike attempts. That means Silva’s striking accuracy is an unheard-of 75%. The next closest fighter is Cain Velasquez at 63%. Compare that to the average fighter who lands only 35% of his total strikes. In his 27 career fights, he has never had a fight in which he landed less than 50% of his strikes.
Over his career, Silva has hit hard and proven hard to hit. In 28 fights, he outlands opponents by more than 350% (or 3.5 times. In his last four fights, opponents have landed just 29 of 148 strikes, an accuracy rate of less than 20%.
Maia’s best chance will probably be a submission, and though Silva has lost two fights by submission, he hasn’t been put in any danger recently. The last serious submission attempt against Silva was more than five years ago, the heel hook from Ryo Chonan that tapped him out.
Has won 75% of fights by submission
Highest submission conversion rate in UFC history (min. five submission attempts)
Ground striking accuracy of 63%
Submissions are Maia’s game and he is one of the best in UFC history. Five of Maia’s six UFC victories and eight of his 12 career wins have come by submission.
One thing that sets Maia’s submissions apart from other submission experts is that once he locks on a hold, it usually elicits a tapout. For his UFC career, Maia has locked on nine serious submission attempts, producing five tapouts, for a 56% success rate. That is the highest submission conversion rate in UFC history for fighters with at least five submission attempts..
Despite showing a greater penchant for standup in the fight against Dan Miller, Maia’s striking has still primarily been done on the ground. In his seven UFC fights, more than half of the strikes that Maia has landed have come on the ground. He has also shown a high rate of efficiency with his ground strikes, landing 44 of 71 attempts, or 63%.
UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
BJ PENN vs. FRANKIE EDGAR
Has not been taken down at lightweight in over six years
Fourth-most accurate striker in UFC history (min. 300 attempts)
Holds UFC record for most standing strikes absorbed without being knocked down
Here’s a trivia question: Who was the last man to land a takedown against Penn while fighting at 155 pounds? The answer is Takanori Gomi in a fight that happened more than six years ago. In the intervening time, lightweight opponents are 0 for their last 39 takedown attempts against Penn. For his career, Penn has defended 83% of takedown attempts by lightweight opponents. When fighting above 155 pounds, Penn has defended 67%.
BJ Penn came up as a jiu-jitsu prodigy, but it’s his striking that puts him near the top of the all-time accuracy list. For his UFC career, Penn has landed 61% of his total strikes, fourth best among fighters with at least 300 strike attempts. Only Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez, and Cheick Kongo have a higher hit rate.
On his feet, Penn’s greatest advantage may not be something he does, but rather something he has: an iron chin. Penn has never been knocked down in any of his 21 career fights. As it stands, Penn holds the UFC record for most standing strikes absorbed without ever being knocked down.
Averages four successful takedowns per fight
Has outstruck all of his UFC opponents
Average UFC fight time: 12 minutes, 28 seconds
Edgar shocked a lot of people when he defeated Tyson Griffin in his UFC debut. What was more surprising was how effective Edgar’s wrestling was against a top-flight grappler like Griffin. In total, Edgar has landed 28 takedowns in his seven UFC fights, an average of exactly four takedowns per fight.
Yet another surprise from Edgar came in his fight against Sean Sherk, in which he displayed vastly improved boxing. Edgar outlanded Sherk 74-27 in that fight and has landed more strikes than his opponent in all seven of his UFC fights. In all, Edgar has outstruck his UFC competition by a tally of 322-121.
When a fighter competes in his first championship match, conditioning is usually a concern should the fight go to the fourth and fifth rounds. This is especially true against Penn, whose last three fights have all gone to the championship rounds. With Edgar, this shouldn’t be an issue. Five of his seven UFC fights have gone to a decision and Edgar has not demonstrated a significant drop-off in performance in the latter rounds of those fights. His average time per fight is 12 minutes, 28 seconds. That puts him in the top 15 all-time for longest average UFC fight (for fighters with more than five fights).