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Talk about a bounce-back performance.
One bout removed from a first-round submission loss at the hands of Aljamain Sterling, Cory Sandhagen was masterful in the UFC Fight Night 179 headliner, finishing fellow bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes with a spinning wheel kick 1:03 into the second round of their clash at Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night. Sandhagen’s victory likely puts Sterling in the driver’s seat for a title shot, and it also sets up the Elevation Fight Team product, who is now 6-1 in UFC bouts, for another marquee matchup in his next Octagon appearance.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC Fight Night 179, with statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com.
9: Spinning wheel kick knockouts in UFC history. Sandhagen joins the likes of Vitor Belfort, Junior dos Santos, Edson Barboza, Stephen Thompson, Daron Cruickshank, Thiago Santos, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, and Lando Vannata as the only fighters to accomplish that feat.
24: Significant strikes by which Sandhagen outlanded Moraes in their abbreviated clash. Sandhagen distributed his 38 significant strikes well, landing 16 to the head, nine to the body and 13 to the legs.
.280: Significant striking accuracy for Moraes, who landed just 14 of 50 attempts against the rangy Sandhagen. Sandhagen, meanwhile, landed 38 of 88 tries for a 43 percent success rate.
2: Knockdowns landed by Edson Barboza in the second round of a three-round verdict against Makwan Amirkhani in the featherweight co-main event. It’s the first time he’s landed more than one knockdown in a bout since his Octagon debut against Mike Lullo at UFC 123 on Nov. 20, 2010.
13: Career knockdowns for Barboza, tying him with Conor McGregor, Anthony Johnson, Thiago Alves and Melvin Guillard for eighth most in UFC history.
3: Consecutive victories for Marcin Tybura following a unanimous decision triumph over Ben Rothwell in a featured heavyweight tilt. That ties him with Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis for the third-longest active winning streak in the division. Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes are tied for the longest winning streak with four. In addition to Rothwell, Tybura has bested Maxim Grishin and Sergey Spivak during his current run.
155: Total strikes landed by Tybura. By comparison, Rothwell landed 95. Tybura got stronger as the fight progressed, outlanding his foe by an 80-to-14 count in Round 3.
.510: Significant striking accuracy for Tybura, who landed 94 of 183 significant strikes. Rothwell set a high pace but faded over time, landing 89 of 276 significant strikes for a 32 percent success rate.
2:20: Combined time of Tom Aspinall’s first two Octagon appearances, first-round TKO victories against Alan Baudot (1:35) and Jake Collier (0:45).
9: First-round finishes for Aspinall, who has yet to see a third round in any of his 11 professional bouts.
5: Number of takedowns landed and submissions attempted for Ilia Topuria, who logged 8:02 of control time en route to outpointing Youssef Zalal in his Octagon debut at featherweight.
13: Significant strikes landed by Topuria. That is the third-lowest total for a victorious fighter in a decision this year behind Michael Chiesa (nine vs. Rafael dos Anjos) and Brett Johns (11 vs. Montel Jackson).
4: Knockdowns landed by Chris Daukaus in his first two UFC appearances, first-round KO wins against Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira and Parker Porter. He is the only fighter thus far in 2020 to score multiple knockdowns in more than one fight.
32: Combined significant strike advantage for Daukaus in those wins. He outlanded Nascimento 13-to-1 in a 45-second stoppage on Saturday and held a 37-to-17 edge against Porter at UFC 252 in a victory that came 4:28 into Round 1.
4: Knockouts in UFC history stemming from spinning back kicks to the head after Joaquin Buckley authored a “KO of the Year” contender against Impa Kasanganay 2:03 into the second round of their middleweight encounter. Buckley joins Renan Barao, Uriah Hall and Magomed Mustafaev as the only UFC athletes to have such a knockout on their resume.
10: Takedowns successfully defended by Tony Kelley in a three-round verdict against Ali AlQaisi at bantamweight. AlQaisi landed just five of 15 attempts in the bout, while Kelley threatened his foe with four submission attempts over the course of the 15-minute affair.
4: Consecutive UFC triumphs for Giga Chikadze, tying him for the fifth-longest active winning streak in the featherweight division. Chikadze outpointed Omar Morales in a preliminary contest for his third win of 2020, tying him with multiple fighters for the most victories this year.
9:58: Total control time for Tracy Cortez in a clear-cut unanimous decision triumph over Stephanie Egger in a preliminary bantamweight bout. Cortez landed three of five takedown attempts and held a 66-to-27 edge in total strikes landed.