This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
In the main event of UFC 224, women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes successfully defended her title with a fifth-round stoppage over Raquel Pennington. In the co-main event, former welterweight Kelvin Gastelum took another step closer to a middleweight title shot with a win over former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. 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 FightMetric.com.
Amanda Nunes makes it a long day for Raquel Pennington
This fight was about as one sided as a fight can be. Pennington's best round was the second, and she was still outlanded 27 to 18 on significant strikes. Normally, Nunes is not much of a leg kicker, but she set the tone in the first round with 11 significant strikes to the legs. She got away from this attack, likely due to an injury, after the opening round, but she continued to dominate. The champion ended up taking the significant strike edge 124 to 64. Pennington's best position is the clinch, and Nunes controlled that position well. She landed 15 significant strikes while only absorbing seven. The champion also stopped seven of Pennington's eight takedown attempts while landing three takedowns of her own and following up with 13 significant ground strikes.
A prolonged beating that ends in a finish is the formula for a high DraftKings score. Nunes finished with 123 points, which was the highest score of the night. She also ties Sam Alvey for the 15th highest score of the year. Nunes came into this fight as a huge betting favorite, and players need to decide if the virtual lock is worth the money in DFS.
Ronaldo Souza fades after a strong first round against Kelvin Gastelum
Souza appeared to get out to a lead in this fight and then run out of gas. In the first round, he outlanded Gastelum 21 to seven on significant strikes, passed guard three times on the ground and nearly finished the fight via submission. Gastelum got back into the fight in the second round with a knockdown and 24 significant strikes. For the fight, "Jacare" ended up outlanding Gastelum 64 to 53, but a lot of that was due to first round dominance. Plus, Gastelum seemed to take Souza's power shots much better. Many of Gastelum punches appeared to be hurting the former Strikeforce champion during the second and third rounds.
Gastelum finished with only 66.5 DraftKings points. He landed 53 significant strikes and a knockdown. On a night with a ton of finishes, this was only 12th highest score of the night.
Mackenzie Dern makes quick work Amanda Cooper
After missing weight by over seven pounds, Dern needed an impressive performance to change the narrative. She ended up doing just that against Cooper. At the opening bell, it was obvious that Cooper was going to struggle with Dern's range. The BJJ ace was willing to wade into range to land strikes. On the feet, she outlanded Cooper 9 to 6 on significant strikes and scored a knockdown. Once the fight hit the ground, it was basically over. She threw 6 significant ground strikes to open up the submission and get the finish.
Dern opened as a huge betting favorite in this fight, but the line shifted after she missed weight by more than seven pounds. However, fighters who have missed weight so far this year have won all six fights so far. She finished with the second highest score of the night, 116.5, after dropping Cooper and finishing via submission in the first round.
John Lineker tracks down and finishes Brian Kelleher in the third round
It was clear from the start that Lineker had the power to finish the fight. In the first round, he outlanded Kelleher 32 to 11 on significant strikes and scored a knockdown. Lineker continued to land the better strikes, but Kelleher did a good job of fighting back just enough and running away. However, in the third round, the Brazilian turned up the pace and finished the fight with a second knockdown and some follow-strikes. In the end, Lineker ended up outlanding his opponent 102 to 50 on sig strikes, and he stopped five of Kelleher's six takedown attempts.
Lineker's finish came later in the fight, but he made up the DraftKings point differential with a pair of knockdowns and 102 significant strikes. He earned player 116 points, which was the third-highest score of the night.
Lyoto Machida ends Vitor Belfort's career with a front kick to the face
In a battle between two future hall-of-fame members, Machida ended up finishing Belfort in the second round. At this point in his career, Belfort only has the chance to rush an opponent and land hard shots. However, Machida's crafty style pretty much prevented that. The "Dragon" came in at a heavy price, but he forced Belfort into only landing two significant strikes before finishing the fight in the second round. This was the former champion's first finish since he stopped C.B. Dollaway in 2014.
After an uneventful first round, it looked like neither Machida nor Belfort were going to put up many points. However, for the second-round finish, Machida earned players 85.5 points. It is hard to ask for more than a highlight-reel finish, but at this stage of Belfort's career, he could have given up more points.