Analyzing UFC 294 by the Numbers

Islam Makhachev undoubtedly stole the show at UFC 294, securing a first-round knockout against Alexander Volkanovski. The fight occurred some eight months after a difficult, five-round fight that had left their rivalry unsettled. The setting was the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, where Makhachev, the Dagestani lightweight champion, sent a head kick to Volkanovski, following up with several punches to secure his victory at the 3:06 mark of Round 1. With his record now boasting two title defenses and 13 consecutive UFC wins, Makhachev has solidified his dominance in the 155-pound category.

The stats behind UFC 294 further highlight Makhachev’s impressive performance. With 13 straight UFC wins, he holds the longest-active winning streak in the promotion, making him one of just eight fighters to achieve such a record within the organization. It places Makhachev in the esteemed company of Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones, Kamaru Usman, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Max Holloway, and Demetrious Johnson. Combined with two successful lightweight title defenses, his stats near that of his mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who managed three defenses before retirement.

Interestingly, Makhachev landed 24 significant strikes throughout the fight, compared to Volkanovski’s four. This marked a drastic shift from their previous match, where Volkanovski had led with a 70-to-57 edge in significant strikes over five rounds. Yet, Makhachev exhibited a significant striking accuracy of 0.820, landing 24 of his 29 attempts against Volkanovski. Among other remarkable stats from UFC 294, Khamzat Chimaev secured his seventh consecutive victory, placing him in third place for the longest active streaks in any weight class in UFC, surpassed only by Makhachev with 13 and Merab Dvalishvili with nine.

In contrast, Chimaev was also notable for his takedown efforts, having attempted 12 against Usman – a fighter who’d only been taken down once in his previous 17 UFC appearances. Chimaev demonstrated his dominance early in Round 1, accounting for two of seven successful takedown attempts and 4:35 of control time. Meanwhile, Usman failed his lone takedown attempt. However, in Rounds 2 and 3, the former welterweight champ managed to gain a significant advantage over Chimaev, landing more strikes in both rounds. Chimaev, despite this, landed 107 total strikes, almost double of Usman’s 58.

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