This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
From a viewer perspective, UFC 241 was a home run. In the main event, Stipe Miocic recaptured the heavyweight title from rival Daniel Cormier. Also on the card, Nate Diaz returned to action with his usual panache. As always there were plenty interesting statistical occurrences. 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 UFCStats.com.
For starters Daniel Cormier and Yoel Romero had standout statistical performances even in defeat. Cormier scored the highest DraftKings score for a losing fighter since at least Jan. 1, 2018. Romero actually has two of the top-10 scores. He scored 77.50 against Paulo Costa on Saturday, as well as 90.5 against Robert Whittaker at UFC 225.
Both Cormier and Romero racked up the landed significant strikes as well. Cormier landed the most significant strikes in a losing effort during the same time frame. Romero had the eighth-most.
Cormier set the tone early in this fight. In the opening round, he outlanded Miocic 37 to seven on significant strikes while landing 80 percent of his attempts. The former Olympian scored a takedown and delivered 21 significant strikes from the top position. For the next two rounds, he continued to distance himself from Miocic without going to the ground. Heading into the fourth round, Cormier had outlanded his opponent 150 to 87. However, the fourth round was a different story. Miocic landed 14 body strikes that clearly turned the tide of the fight. In the round, he landed 36 significant strikes, scored a knockdown and finished the fight. In the end, the two fighters combined to land 304 significant strikes, which is the most ever landed in a heavyweight fight.
For the comeback, Miocic scored 116.5 points on DraftKings. He landed 123 significant strikes, one takedown and a knockdown. It was the third-highest score on the night and one of only three finishes on the night. Despite the loss, Cormier was able to put up 101.5 points, which was the sixth-highest score of the night and higher than seven winning fighters. Considering their last fight was quick, very few players probably stacked both fighters here. However, the strategy certainly would have paid off.
Diaz made his long-awaited return with a vintage performance. Pettis has struggled with volume strikers, and Diaz is one of the quintessential volume strikers in the sport. The first round was relatively close in terms of significant strikes, as Diaz outlanded Pettis 22 to 14. However, his advantage grew throughout the fight. The final tally was 114 significant strikes for Diaz and only 69 for Pettis. This was an impressive performance from Diaz, but he will likely struggle with some of the wrestlers at this weight.
Diaz filled out the stat sheet and that results in a high score on DraftKings. He scored via all tracked statistical categories, including 114 significant strikes, four passes, one takedown, one reversal, one knockdown and the 30-point decision bonus.
As expected, this was a close fight between top fighters. While Costa took the decision on all three scorecards, Romero outlanded the Brazilian 125 to 118 on significant strikes. The media cards tracked by MMADecisions.com were split down the middle, with both fighters convincing 11 journalists. Normally in close decisions, the judges side with the more active fighter. That was not the case here, as Romero attempted 284 significant strikes, compared to only 213 for Costa.
Costa finished with the seventh-highest score of the night on DraftKings. His 99-point mark was the third-highest among fighters who won via decision on the night. In the loss, Romero put up 77.5 points, which means he now has two of the top-10 highest DraftKings scores in losses since the start of 2018.
Yusuff has the offensive volume and the power to make noise in the UFC featherweight division. After three UFC fights, he is landing 6.61 significant strikes per minute and 1.39 knockdowns per 15 minutes. Against Benitez, he landed 34 significant strikes and a knockdown all in less than five minutes.
The featherweight prospect finished with the second-highest DraftKings score on the night. His 117-point performance was behind only Nate Diaz.
This was a mild upset. Brunson closed around (+140) on most books, but he still pulled out the decision. Early in his career, he was basically lost when he was unable to score takedowns. In this fight, he landed only two of his 10 takedown attempts, and he landed on five significant ground strikes. Despite this, he was still able to outland Heinisch 81 to 58 in terms of significant strikes and sway the judges. He did not stay too far from his roots. He failed on all his takedown attempts in the first two rounds before finally breaking through in the final round.
Brunson finished with 83.5 points on DraftKings, which was the third-lowest score for a winning fighter on the night. Players who selected him on DFS were likely hoping for a more diverse performance, but he was mainly a striker in this fight.