This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
The UFC's swing of international events continued Saturday. In the main event of the promotion's show in Abu Dhabi, Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defended his title against interim champion Dustin Poirier. The champion imposed his regular dominant gameplan and recorded the finish in the third round. The rest of the main card was an interesting mix of intriguing matches and upsets. The following is a by-the-numbers recap that highlights the stats and milestones that stood out on the main card, with stats courtesy of UFCStats.com.
In order to be successful in this fight, Poirier needed to keep the champion off of him. Unfortunately for him, that is easier said than done against Nurmagomedov. Poirier was able to stop the first takedown attempt against him, but from there, it was all Nurmagomedov with his wrestling. He landed seven of his eight takedown attempts for the fight, earned five passes on the ground, registered two submission attempts and finished one for the victory. Poirier did show some solid defense on the ground, as he only absorbed 11 significant ground strikes. However, he had no answers from the grappling pressure for the champion. It even disrupted his standing striking game. He only outlanded the wrestler 12 to 10 on significant distance strikes and could never control the distance.
Nurmagomedov was a big favorite, and he came through for anyone who picked him on DraftKings. Due to his grappling dominance and the third-round finish, he put up 107 points, which was the third-highest score of the night.
This was a tough decision for the judges. Barboza appeared to do the better work in the first two rounds, and he outlanded Felder 45 to 33 on significant strikes. Felder clearly won the third round, as he outlanded Barboza 23 to 15, but it is tough to see how someone could give him the whole fight.
Usually when there is a dubious decision, it comes across in the DraftKings score. That is certainly the case here. Felder finished with only 58 points, which was the lowest score among winning fighters on the night. In fact, it was only 6.5 points higher than Andrea Lee, who lost a decision on the undercard.
For the most part, Ramos has been able to blend into MMA after spending the majority of his competitive career on the grappling mats. However, his lack of a striking background really showed in this bout. He managed only seven significant strikes in the seven-minute fight.
Makhachev, for his part, took a bit of time to get going, but he really shined on the final 10 minutes of the fight. In the final round in particular, he outlanded Ramos 14 to zero on significant strikes, scored a knockdown and survived in the ADCC champion's guard for the majority of the round.
Despite the impressive victory, Makhachev had a low-volume approach, and that negatively impacted his DraftKings score. He finished with only 61.5 points, which was tied for the second-lowest score among winning fighters on the night.
This was a vintage performance from Blaydes. He had the wrestling edge in this fight and took full advantage. He landed all five of his takedowns, registered three passes and outlanded his opponent 23 to zero in terms of significant ground strikes. Abdurakhimov basically only had a chance on the feet in this fight, and he managed to land only three significant strikes at distance. Blaydes should be able to do this against any heavyweight outside of the top ten. The real question is will he be able to develop a more sophisticated style that will help him break into the title picture.
Blaydes did not score the first-round finish in this fight. However, waiting until the second round to stop the fight allowed him more time to put up points on DraftKings. Thanks to his grappling prowess, he finished with 116.5 points, which was the highest score on the night.
Despite nearly an entire year of the shelf, Taisumov came into this fight as a pretty solid favorite. He got off to a good start in the first round, but then Ferreira took over with his volume. In the opening frame, he outlanded his opponent 19 to 12 on significant strikes. However, the fact that Ferreira threw 20 more significant strikes was a harbinger for the rest of the fight. Over the next two rounds, Ferreira attempted 253 significant strikes and landed 97. During the same span Taisumov could only manage to land 32. This was a very impressive performance from Ferreira, and the fact that he was able to develop into a volume striker after coming to the UFC as a straight grappler is equally impressive.
On the DraftKings front, any player who was bold enough to call the upset was rewarded with 84.5 points. Ferreira scored via only his 109 landed significant strikes and the decision win bonus.