The Ultimate Fighter
Take A Deep Dive Into The Key Stats Of Some Of The Biggest Match-Ups At UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler
(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book and Fight Metric as of May 12, 2021, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)
Main Event: Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler
Key Stats: 14 submission wins (1st all-time), 5:54 average fight time (3rd all-time among LW), 57% takedown defense
What It Means: “Do Bronx” is UFC’s submission king, but of late, he’s shown improved and powerful striking that makes the most of the wiry frame accustomed to outclassing his foes on the ground. Oliveira has grown in resilience and patience in his lengthy UFC career, but through it all, jiu-jitsu remains the classiest version of a bread-and-butter in the promotion. His last fight against Tony Ferguson showed he can control a fight from the top while fishing for submissions as well
Fighter Timeline: Charles Oliveira
Fighter Timeline: Charles Oliveira
Key Stats: N/A (One UFC fight)
What It Means: In his first UFC fight, Chandler showed he was as advertised. His explosiveness on the feet was evident as he darted in and out of range against the lanky Dan Hooker, patiently waiting for a window to land a devastating combination to take out the always-tough New Zealander. Chandler’s wrestling pedigree is well-documented, and it’s something that is part of the way he fights even if he doesn’t always utilize those skills.
What to Look For in the Fight: This matchup contains a slew of layered intricacies that add up into an incredibly intriguing fight. Oliveira’s proficiency and craftiness on the ground lends one to thinking he’ll want to take Chandler down, and perhaps the Brazilian shoots early in the fight to test those waters, but he has shown improved and dangerous striking of late as well. Chandler, on the other hand, is a tricky fighter to hunt down because he is so athletic with strong defensive and offensive wrestling. Moreover, he has great power in his hands, and at distance, he likes to utilize push kicks and leg kicks to manage distance and dictate the pace of the fight.
Co-Main Event: Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush
Key Stats: 5.46 strikes landed per minute (7th), +1.5 striking differential (5th), 1.15 submissions per 15 minutes (8th)
What It Means: Ferguson is an all-pressure, in-your-face fighter with an unorthodox approach to nearly every move he makes in the Octagon. He forces opponents to fight at close range and into the fire with rarely a moment left to breathe. On the feet, he’ll string together long, creative combinations and is particularly adept at slicing opponents up with elbows from a variety of angles. He is slick with his submissions and particularly enjoys locking up D’Arce chokes.
Key Stats: 8:56 average fight time (8th), +1.28 striking differential (9th), 8 finishes (tied 6th)
What It Means: While highly skilled in grappling and jiu-jitsu, Dariush is keen on finishing the fight any way he can, and he has the power in his hands to do so. Dariush is a bit of a marauding fighter who throws heavy with each shot, knowing he’ll be just fine if not in a better spot on the ground in a fight. He has shown a good chin and the willingness to throw down in a firefight as well.
MORE UFC 262: Fight By Fight Preview | Din Thomas & Michael Chandler | Bonus Résumé: Tony Ferguson | Top Finishes: Charles Oliveira | Barboza's Time | Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush Preview | Antonina Shevchenko Flying High
What to Look For in the Fight: Most Tony Ferguson fights look similar in that “El Cucuy” presses forward, and his opponent either eventually wilts or the fight develops into a high-paced war. Dariush has the power and grappling skills that should earn Ferguson’s respect, but how Dariush responds to the forward pressure of Ferguson is critical. It’s rare to have Ferguson on the back foot, but if Dariush can land a big shot and take advantage of that window to drag Ferguson down and look for a submission, that could be his best avenue to a win.
Other Fights to Watch (Katlyn Chookagian vs Viviane Araujo, Shane Burgos vs Edson Barboza)
Key Stats: 4.36 strikes landed per minute (5th all-time among WFLW), 62.3% significant strike defense (6th all-time among WFLW), 50% takedown defense (4th all-time among WFLW)
What It Means: “Blonde Fighter” is a technically sound and smart striking-based competitor who utilizes her length and footwork to dictate the pace of the fight. She mixes in leg and body attacks, as well as an educated jab to manage distance, and her right hand is accurate and powerful. On the ground, she has strong top control and a rather active guard off her back.
Key Stats: 4.97 strikes landed per minute, 94% takedown defense, 4.84 strikes absorbed per minute
What It Means: Araujo is an athletic fighter who utilizes that athleticism to fight with an explosive, in-and-out striking style. She often hops into range with a few big strikes before dancing out of range again, creating a frustrating problem for her opponents to hunt down and solve. Her takedown defense is solid, and she uses her strong frame to fend off opponents and return the fight to a striking battle.
What to Look For in the Fight: This fight will likely take place on the feet for the majority of its length and, of the two, Chookagian has shown a better ability to keep her pace over the course of 15 minutes. Araujo is a strong and fast starter, and her style shifts a little bit as the fight develops into a more stationary, albeit still dangerous, striker. How Chookagian manages Araujo at the start is going to be telling for how she chooses to approach this fight as it moves into the later portions of the bout.
Key Stats: 7.31 strikes landed per minute (4th all-time), +1.5 striking differential (8th), 50.5% significant strike accuracy (6th)
What It Means: Burgos is an in-your-face fighter who seems to take real joy in forcing a phonebooth-style fight. More often than not, his chin can withstand the punishment his style brings. His striking is varied and never ending. His boxing is smooth, and he utilizes front kicks from range before walking his opponents down.
Key Stats: 13 knockdowns landed (tied-8th all-time), 3.98 strikes landed per minute, 60% striking defense
What It Means: One of the most devastating kickers on the roster, Edson Barboza is dynamic and explosive on the feet. His leg kicks are powerful, and his switch kick to the body is as fast and strong as they come. His hands are also smooth and perhaps underrated, but when Barboza uncorks a kick, it’s best to get out of the way.
What to Look For in the Fight: Burgos is going to swarm everyone he fights, and it’s particularly important to do so against Barboza to mitigate his kicking game a bit. That said, Burgos can’t mindlessly maraud and walk into one of Barboza’s fast combinations. How Barboza weathers that pressure is key, and he could use an early flurry of leg kicks to slow Burgos’ forward movement down a bit.
*Not enough fights in current weight class to qualify in UFC Record Book