The Octagon is heading to Phoenix, Arizona for the first time in company history as UFC on FOX: Dos Santos vs. Miocic takes over the U.S. Airways Center on December 13th.
Tickets for the momentous event go on sale today with three star-studded fights anchoring the highly-anticipated card, including a heavyweight headliner between rising star Stipe Miocic and former champion Junior Dos Santos. To whet UFC fans’ appetite, here are the three numbers that matter most for each of the six top 15 fighters.
#2 JUNIOR DOS SANTOS VS. #5 STIPE MIOCIC
Months on the sideline for dos Santos as “Cigano” hasn’t stepped foot inside the Octagon since the famed UFC 166 event in Houston. It is the longest layoff of Cigano’s career, but dos Santos did come back looking strong in a unanimous decision win against Shane Carwin at UFC 131 following his 10 months on the sideline, which included a stint as The Ultimate Fighter 13 coach.
Fight win streak inside the Octagon by dos Santos from his debut to making his first successful title defense against former champ Frank Mir is the longest win streak in UFC heavyweight history. In the UFC, no one besides current champ Velasquez has been able to defeat Cigano thus far.
KO/TKO stoppages by dos Santos in UFC competition including the one-punch knockout of Velasquez in the inaugural UFC on FOX event, which won Cigano the heavyweight strap. The Brazilian bomber owns the most knockdowns in UFC heavyweight history with 11. From his debut uppercut finish of #1 contender Fabricio Werdum to his mystifying spinning hook kick stoppage of Mark Hunt, dos Santos is easily one of the most dangerous strikers the Octagon has ever known.
Significant strikes landed per minute by Stipe Miocic, which is 3rd best in UFC heavyweight history and one spot better on the all-time list than his opponent dos Santos’. An agile, mobile and hostile heavyweight, Miocic sticks and moves with his stand-up to the point that he has the 5th best strike differential in UFC heavyweight history of 2.07.
Significant strike defense percentage by Miocic is the 4th best in UFC heavyweight history could be the difference maker in this slugfest between prodigious strikers. While dos Santos produces almost as much offense as Miocic, Cigano’s defense is not nearly as calculated as the Ohio native’s.
Career stoppages via strikes by Miocic including two KO/TKOs in less 60 seconds inside the Octagon, so Miocic throws a lot, avoids a lot and has the power to finish a lot.
Time it took for Rafael dos Anjos to stop former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson with strikes in August. This made dos Anjos the first fighter to stop Henderson with strikes in his 25-fight career and was the first fighter not named Anthony Pettis to defeat Henderson under the Zuffa banner. Also, it was the second KO/TKO win for dos Anjos in a row.
Percentage of dos Anjos’ 487 significant strikes landed inside the Octagon that were leg kicks. Among active UFC lightweights, dos Anjos has the fourth largest proportion of sig. strikes attacking his opponents’ legs, which could pose serious problems for Nate Diaz who had a lot of trouble with Donald Cerrone’s leg kicks at UFC 141
Takedown attempts by dos Anjos in UFC competition with the attempts split nearly in even parts from the clinch and from distance. With Diaz’s takedown defense percentage below 50%, dos Anjos may take this melee to the mat to put their BJJ black belts to the test.
Days since Nate Diaz last fought at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale where the Stockton, California native scored a first round TKO against rival Gray Maynard, which earned Diaz a Performance of the Night bonus.
Significant strikes scored by Diaz inside the Octagon give him the sixth most in UFC lightweight history. Diaz has landed an additional 437 total strikes making him the sixth most in UFC lightweight history for total strikes as well. Needless to say, Diaz throws and connects with a lot of strikes.
Submission wins by Diaz inside the Octagon ties him with Kenny Florian and Mir for 2nd most submission wins in UFC history. Of those eight wins that have earned Diaz six Submission of the Night bonuses, arguably the best one was Diaz’s most recent tapping victory against Jim Miller in May 2012, which earned Diaz a shot at the UFC lightweight title.
KO/TKOs from knees or kicks by Alistair Overeem over his career including his first round UFC debut finish of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar by body kick at UFC 141. While he did eventually lose to Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell, Overeem nearly finished the former with knees to the chest and he broke the latter’s arm with a kick, so Overeem is still lethal with his lower extremities.
Submissions by Overeem in his pro career with eight of those tap outs coming by way of guillotine choke. Opponents are not safe anywhere with Overeem as he owns a 92% finishing rate across his impressive career with about just as many stoppages on the feet as he does on the ground.
Percentage of Overeem’s significant strikes landed against Mir at UFC 169 that were on the ground. More often than not, Overeem has tried to win the fight standing, but he did show relentless ground and pound against famed BJJ blackbelt Mir in January that led to his unanimous decision win. It could be the key to victory for Overeem to take his lengthier opponent to the mat.
Inches tall is the “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve with an 84.5 inch reach, which makes Struve the tallest fighter in the UFC and ties him with UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones for longest reach. Skyscraper has a clear size advantage on the feet using his long limbs to keep his opponents at distance, but Struve uses those lengthy appendages to stay active on the ground as well.
Submission attempts per 15 minutes of fighting by Struve is the highest average of its kind in UFC heavyweight history. Struve has netted four tap outs and three Submission of the Night bonuses inside the Octagon. If this fight hits the floor, watch for Struve’s legs to shoot up hunting for triangles.
Finishing percentage by Struve inside the Octagon. The Skyscraper hasn’t fought in 19 months and fight fans may have forgotten how exciting Struve is in UFC competition. Prior to his most recent loss to Hunt in March 2013, Skyscraper was on a four-fight win streak with equal parts submission and KO wins.