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Leon Edwards needs to clear at least one more hurdle to secure the opportunity he covets: a shot at the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight crown.
The Team Renegade representative will risk his position in line at 170 pounds when he squares off with Belal Muhammad in the UFC Fight Night 187 headliner this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Edwards, 29, has rattled off eight straight wins since his unanimous decision defeat to current champion Kamaru Usman more than five years ago. Muhammad, meanwhile, steps in as a short-notice replacement for Khamzat Chimaev. The 32-year-old Chicago native finds himself on a four-fight winning streak.
As UFC Fight Night “Edwards vs. Muhammad” approaches, a look at some of the numbers the fighters on the card have generated to this point:
96: Significant strikes by which Edwards has outlanded the opposition during his eight-fight winning streak. He has connected on 365 such strikes while absorbing only 269 in return.
6: Welterweight titleholders, including Muhammad, in Titan Fighting Championship history. Dhiego Lima, Jason Jackson, Jose Caceres, Uros Jurisic and Michael Graves are the others.
8: Misha Cirkunov wins by submission, accounting for 53% of his career total (15). His methods of choice: two armbars, two arm-triangle chokes, one triangle choke, one neck crank, one guillotine choke and one Peruvian necktie. Cirkunov owns five other victories by knockout and two more by decision. He meets Ryan Spann in the three-round co-main event at 205 pounds.
4: Sub-minute stoppage wins on the Spann resume. The Fortis MMA rep submitted Brandon Atkins with a guillotine choke in 44 seconds on June 21, 2013, punched out Larry Crowe in eight seconds on June 26, 2015, tapped Roman Pizzolato with a guillotine choke in 20 seconds on May 13, 2017 and put away Emiliano Sordi with a guillotine choke on June 19, 2018.
53: Combined wins between the three men—Calvin Kattar, Julio Arce and Taichi Nakajima—who have managed to beat Dan Ige. The Xtreme Couture export confronts the once-beaten Gavin Tucker in a three-round featherweight feature.
37: Seconds needed for Tucker to dispatch Chris Coggins with a head kick at an Extreme Cage Combat show on July 23, 2016. It remains the fastest finish of his 14-fight career.
7: First-round finishes on the Davey Grant ledger, accounting for 58% of his career win total (12). Five of the seven occurred in consecutive appearances during one prolific 15-month span, from July 16, 2011 to Oct. 13, 2012. A finalist on Season 18 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Grant tackles Jonathan Martinez in a three-round bantamweight battle on the main card.
0.86: Knockdowns averaged by Martinez per 15 minutes of UFC competition, placing him sixth on the promotion’s list among active bantamweights. Only Cody Garbrandt (1.58), Anthony Birchak (1.21), Petr Yan (1.20), Cory Sandhagen (0.95) and Rob Font (0.90) boast better rates in the category.
10: Consecutive victories to start Eryk Anders’ mixed martial arts career. The former University of Alabama linebacker has compiled a disappointing 3-5 mark in eight assignments since. Anders confronts Darren Stewart in a featured middleweight clash.
3: Post-fight bonuses banked by Stewart in his 11 appearances under the UFC banner. He has been awarded “Performance of the Night” twice and “Fight of the Night” once, resulting in $150,000 of additional income.
9: Knockout victories to Manel Kape’s credit, accounting for 60% of his career total (15). The former Rizin Fighting Federation champion’s list of victims includes Kai Asakura, Takeya Mizugaki and Erson Yamamoto. Kape sports five other wins by submission and one more by decision. He draws the returning Matheus Nicolau Pereira in a three-round flyweight showcase.
959: Days since Pereira has competed in the UFC. “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” Season 4 semifinalist last appeared inside the Octagon at UFC on Fox 30, where he succumbed to a first-round head kick and follow-up punches from Dustin Ortiz on July 28, 2018. Pereira has since beaten Alan Gabriel dos Santos and Felipe Efrain in back-to-back outings on the regional scene.
36: Years of age for Rani Yaha. The oldest fighter on the card, he was born on Dec. 9, 1984 in Brasilia, Brasil. A onetime Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist, Yaha faces Ray Rodriguez on the undercard.
25: Years of age for Charles Jourdain. The youngest fighter on the card, he was born on Nov. 27, 1995 in Montreal. A former TKO Major League MMA champion, Jourdain meets promotional newcomer Marcelo Rojo in a preliminary featherweight pairing.
.739: Cumulative winning percentage between the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. They own a combined record of 343-118-3. Yaha has more victories (26) and defeats (10) than anyone else on the card.