In the main event of UFC 226, Daniel Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic to become a two-division champion. While the replacement co-main event did not live up to expectations, the card overall was a strong offering from the UFC. On the undercard, Dan Hooker finished with the highest DraftKings score of the night. He earned 121 points for his first-round knockout of Gilbert Burns. 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.
Daniel Cormier takes second title from Stipe Miocic
In his first bout at heavyweight in nearly five years, Cormier stopped Miocic in the first round to become a two-division champion. He was much less active early in the fight, and Miocic attempted 51 significant strikes, while Cormier attempted only 37. However, towards the end of the first round, Cormier landed on a knockdown in the clinch and finished the fight. This was only the fifth knockdown of Cormier’s UFC/Strikeforce career, and his first since defeated Patrick Cummins in 2014. Prior to this fight, Miocic had only been stopped once in his career, as he fell against Stefan Struve in 2012.
There were only three first-round finishes on UFC 226, and Cormier picked up one of those. He finished with 112.5 points, which was the third highest score of the night and the highest on the main card. It seems likely that his next fight will be against Brock Lesnar, which will be a huge point scoring opportunity for DFS players who select Cormier.
Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou make history for all the wrong reasons
There is not really much positive to say about this fight. The stats do a great job of illustrating the inactivity of both fighters. The two combined to land 31 significant strikes. Ngannou attempted only 46 significant strikes, while Lewis only attempted 54. Ngannou has never been a volume striker, but he landed more significant strikes in the first round against Miocic (16) than he landed in this entire fight (11).
Both fighters have big knockout power and were thus popular DFS targets. Unfortunately, a lot of players were left disappointed. Outside of the 20-point decision-win bonus, the two combined to earn 15.5 points.
Mike Perry wins a battle of attrition against Paul Felder
Perry came out as the winner in this late-notice fight on the back on 62 significant strikes and a pair of high-amplitude takedowns. Perry did a lot of his best work in the clinch where he outlanded Felder 17 to seven on significant strikes. Perry made it a point to be more patient and accurate in this fight. He landed 56 percent of his significant attempts, which is well above his career mark of 45 percent. In his previous two fights, both losses, he had landed only 40 and 37 percent respectively.
Perry if often a knockout threat. However, Felder is nothing if not durable. Since Felder stayed in the fight, Perry was kept from a top DraftKings score. Despite the decision, he still finished with 71 points, which was the seventh-highest score of the night.
Anthony Pettis hurts Michael Chiesa and finishes via submission
Pettis’ new strategy, which involves focusing on his striking and submission game instead of wrestling, seemed to pay off for at least one fight. He hurt Chiesa to the body with a kick and finished the fight on the ground with a triangle choke. Pettis won five of his first 12 fights in the UFC/WEC via submission. However, since defeating Gilbert Melendez in 2014, he had finished only one of seven fights with submissions before this victory.
Chiesa was the betting favorite in this fight, so many players stay away from Pettis. However, he is still a dynamic finisher. This iteration of the former lightweight champion is a threat to put up points with either his striking or his submission game. For this fight, he earned 74.5 points, which was the sixth-highest score of the night.
Khalil Rountree makes quick work of Gokhan Saki
Rountree does not have the pure striking credentials of Saki, but he certainly had the punch to put him out on Saturday. He needed only nine significant strikes and 1:36 to finish the veteran kickboxer. Through 96 kickboxing fights and three MMA fights, Saki had never been finished so quickly. For Rountree, he basically wins by knockout in the first round or loses. In his UFC career, all three of his victories have come via knockout at this point.
The quick knockout finish, a knockdown and nine significant strikes led to a 104.5 point score for Rountree. The score was the fourth highest of the night. However, many players had stayed away -- Saki was the favored fighter.