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Fight Stat Wrap: UFC 216 Recap

Richard Mann

Richard is a statistical MMA analyst that has appeared on ESPN MMA via Fightmetric. He currently maintains his own, data-driven MMA blog at

UFC 216 turned out to be an exciting event, which crowned a new interim lightweight champion and hosted one of the best submissions of all time. However, it was a tough night for DraftKings players. Not only did the event have two draws, but also several late changes to the card tanked many DFS lineups. In the end, the highest scoring lineup featured Brad Tavares, John Moraga, Lando Vannata, Mara Romero Borella, Fabricio Werdum and Demetrious Johnson and scored 639.5 points.

Despite the last-minute changes, the event was indeed a memorable occasion. 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

Tony Ferguson outlasted and finished Kevin Lee via submission

Despite struggling to make weight and having a visible staph infection, Lee got out to an early lead in this fight. However, his striking output faded over the fight. In the first round, he attempted 11.6 significant strikes per minute; that rate fell to 9.8 in the second round and finally 2.98 in the third round. Leeís exhaustion most likely played a role in his submission as well, considering he had never been submitted before.

However, that should not take anything away from Ferguson. He now has six submission finishes in 131:06 of fight time, which means that he averages 0.69 successful submissions per 15 minutes. Despite a persistent willingness to enter brawls, Ferguson has proven he is one of the most dangerous submission threats in the lightweight division.

With the victory, Ferguson is now riding a 10-fight winning streak, which is the longest active streak in the lightweight division. However, he has absorbed a lot of punishment over his last four fights. Since defeating Josh Thomson in 2015, he has absorbed 257 significant strikes. That amount of punishment can have a lasting effect on a fighter.

Ferguson finished with 72 DraftKings points. He scored points via significant strikes (54 landed) and the 45-point third-round finish bonus.

Demetrious Johnson broke the title defense record against Ray Borg

Of course, everyone is talking about the sensational submission that finished this fight. It should not be forgotten that Johnson thoroughly dominated the fight until that point. In terms of total strikes, Johnson outlanded Borg by 150 strikes. Per FightMetricís Michael Carroll, that is the seventh largest differential in UFC title fight history. Johnson now holds the record for most fifth-round finishes with three.

As amazing as Johnson has been from an offensive perspective, his defense has probably been even more impressive. Over his last four fights, he has absorbed only 59 significant strikes, which equates to 0.89 significant strikes per minute.

Johnsonís amazing work on the ground contributed to the highest DraftKings score of the night. He finished with a whopping 169 points with 57 poinds coming on 19 passes.

Fabricio Werdum didnít need a single strike to finish Walt Harris

Werdum won this fight without landing a single strike. The ground master is no stranger to winning fights via submission without a lot of striking. During his career (as tracked by FightMetric), he has won five bouts while landing fewer than five significant strikes. The list of victims includes Harris, Roman Zentsov, Mike Kyle, Alexander Emelianenko and Fedor Emelianenko.

Werdum certainly had the quickest win of the night, but it did not turn out to be the highest DraftKings score of the night. He earned players 101 points with the score mostly coming from the 90-point first-round finish bonus.

Mara Romero Borella shocked Kalindra Faria with a first-round finish

There really is not much to say about this fight. Borella took Faria down almost immediately and quickly worked for the submission. The only good thing you could say for Faria is that she made it 40 seconds longer than "CM Punk." Going into this fight, Faria had not been submitted since 2011. Borella has now scored five submissions in 16 fights.

Borella had not face as tough of competition as Faria, so she came into this fight as the underdog. On DraftKings, her value was only $7,300, which means that anyone that picked her paid only $69.19 per point as she finished with the second-highest score of the night, 105.5.

Beneil Dariush nearly finished Evan Dunham early, ended up with a draw

The first round of this fight was a one-sided beatdown. Dariush outland Dunham 36 to 5 and nearly finished the fight. Dunham got back in the fight in the next two rounds to earn a draw, but he was still outlanded 45 to 31 in rounds two and three.

Coming into this fight, Dunham had the best striking differential (significant strikes landed per minute minus significant strikes absorbed per minute) of any ranked lightweight. In his UFC career, he had never been outlanded by more than 15 significant strikes. Dariush outlanded him by 45.

This bout was one of two draws at UFC 216. For DFS players, draws are deadly. Neither fighter earns a finish bonus, which account for the majority of points. Dariush earned 56.5 for players, while Dunham took home only 23.