In the main event of UFC 219, Cris Cyborg successfully defended the women’s featherweight title against former bantamweight champion Holly Holm. In the co-main, Khabib Nurmagomedov announced himself as one of the two top contenders for Conor McGregor’s lightweight title. The following is a by-the-numbers recap that highlights the stats and milestones that stood out on the main card, with stats courtesy of FightMetric.com.
Cris Cyborg dominated Holly Holm in the striking game
While this was not a vintage Cyborg thrashing, she did thoroughly dominate this fight. Ignoring the judges, Cyborg should have won all five rounds of this fight. While her offensive output did drop off significantly, it was still more than enough to deal with Holm. Cyborg came into this fight landing 8.86 significant strikes per minute. Against Holm, she landed 4.72. Defensively is where Cyborg really shined. Holm had landed three significant strikes per minute in her previous UFC bouts, but against Cyborg she managed to land only 1.76. Holm is not a very accurate striker, but she landed only 19 percent of her significant attempts after coming in landing 35 percent.
Cyborg earned players 89 DraftKings points based solely on 118 landed significant strikes and the 30-point decision win bonus.
Khabib Nurmagomedov took Edson Barboza out of his game
Nurmagomedov used his relentless pressure to take this fight to the ground. There he was able to dominate with his striking. In the fight, he landed 89 significant strikes and 55 of those came on the ground. For his UFC career, Nurmagomedov has landed 64 percent of his significant strikes on the ground.
Not only does going to the ground allow Nurmagomedov to implement his offense, but the position also allows him to avoid his opponent’s offense. Barboza landed only 1.67 significant strikes per minute on Saturday. Coming into this fight, he had never been held below 2.07 in the UFC. In fact, Nurmagomedov almost never eats a lot of strikes. In his UFC career, only one opponent has landed more than 2.0 significant strikes per minute -- Pat Healy who landed 2.93.
Nurmagomedov picked up 106.5 DraftKings points for players based on 89 significant strikes, four passes, four takedowns and the 30-point decision win bonus.
Dan Hooker pulled out the submission win over Marc Diakiese
After falling behind in the striking, Hooker pulled off a submission and won the fight. He mostly held his own in the striking battle, but Diakiese did have the advantage 24 to 17 on significant strikes at the time of the stoppage.This was only Hooker’s second UFC submission, but five of his 10 victories prior to the UFC came via submission.
Despite picking up one of the few finishes of the night, Hooker did not finish with a very high DraftKings score. He earned players 66.5 points based on 17 significant strikes, one pass, two takedowns and the third-round win bonus. This was the lowest score for a winning fighter on the night.
Carla Esparza won rounds two and three after falling behind against Cynthia Calvillo
Calvillo got out to a big lead in the first round. She scored a takedown and outlanded Esparza 11 to 6. However, over the next two rounds, Esparza pulled away. In rounds two and three, the former champion outlanded Calvillo 42 to 27 on significant strikes. Esparza went only two for nine of her takedown attempts, but the continual attempts kept Calvillo off balance and allowed her to land strikes.
Esparza finished with only 69 points on DraftKings. Despite consistently picking up wins, she is not a very active fighter and that makes her a less than viable option in DFS.
Neil Magny controlled the fight against Carlos Condit with wrestling
Despite winning the striking battle, Condit could not deal with the takedowns from Magny. This has always been a problem for Condit. In his seven UFC losses, he has been taken down 34 times. Magny managed to land six takedowns and spent a large portion of the fight initiating clinches along the cage.
Thanks in part to those six takedowns, Magny earned player 79 points in DraftKings.