UFC Fight Night 31, 32 milestones and footnotes

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With a busy UFC week finally in the books, it's time to look back at who made history on Wednesday night in Fort Campbell, KY, and Saturday night in Goiania, Brazil. As always, all stats and info courtesy of our friends at FightMetric.

* Derek Brunson wasted no time getting things started Wednesday night with a head kick followed up quickly with a rear-naked choke submission. The tapout came at just 48 seconds in, ranking as the fourth-fastest submission in middleweight history. It was just four seconds past the fastest middleweight tapout, Rory Singer’s 44-second sub of Ross Pointon at the TUF 3 Finale. Only six middleweight submissions have occurred in under a minute and three of those have happened in 2013: Cezar Ferreira in 47 seconds (UFC 163), Magnus Cedenblad in 57 seconds (UFC 164), and Brunson in 48 seconds.

* In defeat, Chris Camozzi reached a middleweight milestone of sorts: more career leg kicks. Going into his matchup with Lorenz Larkin, Camozzi’s 100 leg kicks were just 10 behind Chris Leben’s middleweight record of 110. Camozzi had no problem easily passing Leben’s mark as he added 34 more Wednesday night setting the new middleweight record at 134 and counting. Camozzi is one of the most dedicated leg strikers in UFC history. He lands 16.95 leg kicks per 15 minutes of fighting, the sixth-highest average among active fighters and the tenth-highest average ever (min. 5 fights). Camozzi has been extremely devoted to his kickboxing. He still hasn’t recorded a single significant strike while on the ground and, among fighters with at least 350 attempts, he’s just one of two fighters to refrain from doing so (the other is Henry Martinez).

* Though the division is still in its infancy as far as the UFC goes, the women’s bantamweight division is compiling some interesting numbers. Amanda Nunes won her second consecutive fight with elbow strikes from top position. She’s recorded the two fastest stoppages in her division, finishing Sheila Gaff at 2:08 of round 1 at UFC 163 and Germaine de Randamie at 3:56 of round 1 at Fight Night 31. She’s just one of four fighters in UFC history to earn two KO/TKO victories stemming from elbow strikes (the others: Evan Tanner, Tito Ortiz, Jon Jones).

* Dennis Bermudez and Steven Siler put on an entertaining clash that featured takedowns, scrambles, and guillotine attempts. Bermudez landed six takedowns, which most certainly helped him earn a unanimous decision victory. His 20 takedowns are the fifth-most in UFC/WEC featherweight history. Steven Siler was often active with submission attempts in trying to counter Bermudez’s takedowns. Siler tallied three serious submission attempts, making it 10 for his UFC career and tying Urijah Faber and Darren Elkins for the most in UFC/WEC featherweight history.

* Since the UFC implemented the bantamweight division, Francisco Rivera has been one of the division’s premiere power strikers. Rivera earned his fourth knockdown in the UFC Wednesday night, leading to a second-round knockout of George Roop. Rivera has knocked four consecutive opponents down. Only Michael McDonald has knocked his opponents down more in the UFC’s 135-pound division, earning five knockdowns in the Octagon.

* Michael Chiesa earned his third rear-naked choke submission victory inside the Octagon, becoming one of just 11 UFC fighters to earn three or more rear-naked choke wins. Kenny Florian has earned the most UFC victories via rear-naked choke, earning seven tapouts with that technique.

* There were many quick finishes Saturday night in Brazil at UFC Fight Night 32. Total cage time for the event was 1:04:24, the shortest amount of time for a UFC event with exactly 11 bouts. The event featured nine combined knockouts and submissions, just one finish behind tying the modern era event record of 10 finishes set at Fight Night 13 and UFC on FUEL TV 10.

* Jeremy Stephens had the quickest finish of the night, knocking Rony Jason out with a head kick just 40 seconds in. The quick finish became the fifth-fastest knockout in UFC/WEC featherweight history. Ranked ahead: 1) Chan Sung Jung – 0:06.2 at UFC 140, 2) Jose Aldo – 0:08 at WEC 41, 3) Robert Peralta – 0:23 at FUEL 5, 4) Chad Mendes – 0:31 at UFC 148, and 5) Stephens.

* Brandon Thatch has quickly dispatched two consecutive UFC opponents and made a little history Saturday night. He earned a submission victory due to strikes, landing a knee strike to the body of his opponent Paulo Thiago that quickly earned a tapout from the hurt Brazilian. It was just the second submission due to body strikes in UFC history, joining Cheick Kongo’s submission of Paul Buentello by elbow strikes at UFC on Versus 1.

* In just the very next bout on the card Saturday night, Rafael Cavalcante earned a first-round submission due to strikes against Igor Pokrajac. UFC Fight Night 32 became the first modern era event to feature two submissions due to strikes. To find the previous UFC event to feature two subs to strikes, you’ll have to go back to UFC Ultimate Ultimate ’96. That card featured David "Tank" Abbott punching Cal Worsham into submission and Tai Bowden headbutting Jack Nilson until he earned a tapout.

* Finally, Vitor Belfort gave all of us plenty to talk about with his 77-second finish of Dan Henderson. Belfort became the first fighter in Henderson’s legendary 40-fight career to finish him with strikes. It was Henderson’s 11th loss and the fastest of his career. Belfort, once again, finished an opponent in style, earning his third consecutive knockout stemming from a head kick. Belfort became the first fighter in UFC history to earn three knockouts stemming from head kicks. It was also Belfort’s 13th UFC finish, tying Matt Hughes for second most in the promotion’s history and ranking behind only Anderson Silva’s 14 combined knockouts and submissions. Belfort earned his fifth Knockout of the Night bonus, passing Chris Leben, Roy Nelson, and Lyoto Machida for sole possession of second place in UFC history, once again ranking only behind Anderson Silva and his seven Knockout of the Night bonuses.

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