UFC 166 milestones and footnotes

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With UFC 166, a card some have called the greatest in the promotion's history, in the books, it's time to look at who made history Saturday night in Houston. All information and stats courtesy of FightMetric.

* Tony Ferguson became the 12th fighter in UFC history to earn a D’Arce choke submission. The submission came at 1:52 of round one, the fastest of its kind. He’s the fourth lightweight with a UFC D’Arce choke submission. Dustin Poirier is the only fighter in UFC history to earn two such submissions.

* Jessica Eye and Sarah Kaufman fought for three full rounds and tallied 152 significant strikes, the most in a UFC women’s bantamweight bout. They nearly doubled the previous high of 78, set by Alexis Davis/Rosi Sexton at UFC 161 and Germaine De Randamie/Julie Kedzie at UFC on Fox 8. Kaufman’s 87 significant strikes are the most by a female bantamweight so far, with Jessica Eye’s 65 significant strikes second-most.

* Despite a loss, CB Dollaway landed a higher number of significant strikes than his opponent Tim Boetsch (57 to 41) and stuck with his bread and butter: wrestling. Dollaway landed three takedowns against Boetsch and, in doing so, passed Demian Maia and Aaron Simpson for fourth-most takedowns in middleweight history with 26. Chael Sonnen still leads all middleweights with 35 takedowns.

* Gabriel Gonzaga continues to impress in his return to the UFC. With his knockout of Shawn Jordan at the 1:33 mark of round one, Gonzaga tied Frank Mir for most finishes in UFC heavyweight history with 11. All 11 of Gonzaga’s UFC wins are by either knockout or submission. He’s just one of three fighters in UFC history with 10 or more wins and a finish in each one (the others: Vitor Belfort and Royce Gracie). Another quick finish for Gonzaga lowered his average fight time to 5:08, the second-shortest in heavyweight history (min. five fights). Shane Carwin’s average fight time of 4:55 is still the shortest among heavyweights. It was Gonzaga’s 7th KO/TKO victory inside the Octagon, tying Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski for second-most in heavyweight history.

* Heart, toughness, and tenacity are difficult things to measure with numbers, but a few things Diego Sanchez accomplished Saturday night might help illustrate these strengths. Always relentless with his strike and takedown attempts, Sanchez attempted another six takedowns against Gilbert Melendez, tying Clay Guida for most takedown attempts in UFC history with 133. Sanchez also lasted another hard-fought 15 minutes inside the Octagon and passed Rashad Evans, Gleison Tibau, and Jon Fitch with a total fight time of 4:07:57, the fifth-most fight time in UFC history.

* And speaking of "The Dream," he earned his sixth Fight of the Night bonus, tying Sam Stout and Chris Lytle for second-most in UFC history. He's behind only Frankie Edgar with seven.

* Roy Nelson has officially been hit more than any UFC heavyweight. He’s absorbed 511 significant strikes, passing Frank Mir for the most in heavyweight history. Remarkably, Nelson has never been finished in his UFC career. Nelson has absorbed the second- and fifth-highest striking outputs in heavyweight history, absorbing 130 significant strikes against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 117 and 106 significant strikes against Stipe Miocic at UFC 161.

* Daniel Cormier is mastering the ability to land effective strikes without letting his opponents retaliate in kind. Cormier landed 74 significant strikes to just 17 for Roy Nelson. He’s landed a higher number of significant strikes than all ten of his UFC and Strikeforce opponents. In his UFC/SF career, he lands an average of 4.02 significant strikes a minute but absorbs just 1.36. That strike differential of +266 is the fourth-best in UFC/SF heavyweight history (min. five fights).

* Finally, Cain Velasquez continues to re-write the record books. His 274 total strikes landed against Junior Dos Santos set a new record for heavyweights and are the fourth-most ever landed by a single fighter in a UFC bout. Velasquez now owns the three highest striking totals in heavyweight history. He’s just the second fighter in UFC history to land 200+ total strikes in a fight three times, joining Georges St-Pierre. Velasquez’s 1,257 total strikes landed are the most in heavyweight history, as are his nine KO/TKO victories. In fact, he tied Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort for third-most knockouts in UFC history Saturday night. The only fighters with more knockouts in the UFC are Anderson Silva (11) and Chuck Liddell (10). Velasquez’s finish of Junior Dos Santos at 3:09 of Round 5 became the latest knockout in UFC history.

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