Excluding TUF Finales, UFC on Fox 9 was the first event in UFC history to feature zero fights above 170 pounds. It also came precariously close to matching UFC 161 (9 decisions, 2 finishes) for the most decision fights on a single card, but Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson closed out the event in style. Here are the statistical milestones and footnotes from UFC on Fox 9:
* Sam Stout has shown more longevity than just about anyone among the lower weight classes. Always an active striker, Stout passed Michael Bisping Saturday night for second place in UFC history with 965 significant strikes landed in his UFC career. Georges St-Pierre is first with 1,254 and, with his recent announcement that he’s taking an extended leave of absence from MMA, Stout might be closing in on that record soon.
* Edson Barboza and Danny Castillo earned Fight of the Night honors in a bout that many thought should’ve been declared a draw. Castillo turned in a dominant first round, out-landing Barboza 41 to 5 in significant strikes. Castillo hurt Barboza on his feet before landing a takedown and continuing his barrage of strikes on the ground. It would turn out to be Castillo’s only landed takedown. Barboza went on to defend all seven of Castillo’s takedown attempts in rounds two and three, keeping the fight largely at distance. Barboza has defended 29 of his opponents’ 35 takedown attempts for a takedown defense rate of 82 percent, the fifth highest rate in lightweight history (minimum 5 fights and 20 opponent attempts).
Barboza regained his composure in round two by setting the tone with his excellent leg kicks. He finished the bout with 16 of them, bringing his UFC tally to 118, a number tied for third-most most in lightweight history. Barboza lands an average of 22.1 leg kicks per 15 minutes of fighting, the highest rate in UFC history (minimum 5 fights). He’s the only fighter to earn two stoppages stemming from leg kicks in UFC competition.
* Joe Lauzon earned the first decision victory of his UFC career, earning timely takedowns, effective guard passes, and eagerly searching for submission opportunities. Lauzon collected nine passes on the ground, a new career high. With two serious submission attempts, he passed Joe Stevenson for sole possession of third place in UFC history with 26 career submission attempts. Chris Lytle is first with 31. It was Lauzon’s tenth UFC victory, becoming the seventh fighter to earn 10 or more victories as a UFC lightweight.
* Chad Mendes relied on his wrestling to grind out a tough decision win over Nik Lentz. Mendes landed seven takedowns in ten attempts, padding his UFC/WEC featherweight record to 37 takedowns. Though Mendes has turned into a knockout machine lately, he still averages 4.99 takedowns per 15 minutes, the highest average in UFC/WEC featherweight history (minimum 5 fights). He’s also just as accurate as ever, landing 59.7% of his attempts, also the highest rate in 145-pound history (minimum 5 fights and 20 attempts).
* It seems that Urijah Faber might be getting better with age. Faber earned his fifth submission victory as a UFC/WEC bantamweight, a new 135-pound record. Faber also owns the featherweight record with six submission victories. He passed Nate Diaz for most submission wins in modern UFC/WEC history with 11. Including PRIDE and Strikeforce competition, Faber’s submission tally is tied with Royce Gracie (11) and is bested only by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (13) and Kazushi Sakuraba (12).
Also of interesting note: we often think of Urijah Faber as still a relative newcomer to the bantamweight division after much success in the WEC as a featherweight champion. But, at the 42-second mark of round two against Michael McDonald, Faber officially surpassed his WEC featherweight cage time (1:59:48) with his UFC/WEC bantamweight cage time, which now sits at 2:02:29.
* Finally, Demetrious Johnson put an exclamation point on the event with a powerful knockout of Joseph Benavidez in the first round. Though the division is still young, it’s worth noting that Johnson’s knockout at 2:08 is the quickest in the flyweight division. Johnson has proven to be dangerous both early and late. He now has the earliest stoppage in the flyweight division and the latest, his armbar of John Moraga at 3:43 of round five at UFC on Fox 8. Johnson has earned Knockout-, Submission-, and Fight of the Night honors in three consecutive fights. He’s one of just four fighters to earn all three in three straight fights, joining Donald Cerrone, Chan Sung Jung, and Wilson Gouveia.