This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
The UFC headed to Utica, N.Y. for a rare Friday night show. In the main event, Marlon Moraes established himself as a legitimate title contender at 135 pounds with a first-round knockout over Jimmie Rivera. The card featured only two first-round finishes, but there were plenty of meaningful results. 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.
Marlon Moraes makes it a quick night for Jimmie Rivera
It does not get much cleaner than Moraes' performance against Rivera. He absorbed zero strikes from his opponent and finished the fight with seven of his own. He now has back-to-back head kick knockouts with seven significant strikes in both. Rivera had never lost via knockout before and this was only his second professional loss. Moraes now has ten knockouts in 21 career victories.
Moraes had one of the two first-round finishes on this show. He finished with 103.5 DraftKings points, which was the third highest score of the night behind only Gregor Gillespie and Ben Saunders.
Gregor Gillespie wears out Vinc Pichel with takedowns
A lot of wrestlers seem to get takedowns and wear down their opponents from the top. Gillespie seems to use his actual wrestling to wear out his opponents. Pichel got back to his feet multiple times, but Gillespie kept taking him down. After his seventh takedown, Gillespie was able to secure the arm-triangle choke and finish the fight. In his five-fight UFC career, Gillespie has landed 17 takedowns. Since his debut, he has absorbed only 40 significant significant strikes in four fights.
Gillespie's fighting style is a factory for points. For this fight, he earned 132.5 points, which was the highest score of the night and the 11th highest score of the year. He earned points via 13 significant strikes, seven passes, seven takedowns and the second-round finish bonus.
Walt Harris catches up to Daniel Spitz and finishes
As Spitz bounced around on the outside, there was a sense that once Harris caught up to him the fight would be over. That is what ended up happening. In the second round, Harris outlanded Spitz 18 to 10 on significant strikes scored a knockdown. He finished up with some hard strikes on the ground, and the fight was over.
Harris had the fourth highest DraftKings score of the night. He earned players 94.5 points based on 29 significant strikes, a knockdown and the second-round finish bonus.
Ben Saunders owns Jake Ellenberger in the clinch
Ellenberger seemed intent on closing the distance and clinching with Saunders. Once he reached that position, Saunders outlanded him seven to four and finished him with a hard knee to the body. This fight is the first time Saunders has outlanded an opponent on significant strikes since 2015. On the other hand, Ellenberger has been outlanded 80 to 33 and been knocked out three times in his last three fights.
Saunders had one of the two first-round finishes on this card, and he finished with the second highest DraftKings score. He earned players 105 points based on 10 significant strikes, a knockdown and the 90-point first-round finish bonus.
Julio Arce dominates standing and on the ground Daniel Teymur
Arce established himself as the better striker and then finished the fight via submission in the third round. In the opening frame, he outlanded Teymur 21 to 18 on significant strikes. Arce was more dominant in the second round where he outlanded his opponent 30 to 12 and defended a pair of takedowns. In the final round, Teymur lost his balance and ended up on bottom. Arce took advantage on the position and finished the fight. Overall, this was an impressive performance for the prospect.
Arce earned players 79.5 DraftKings points based on 63 significant strikes, a pass and the third-round finish bonus. On a night with rather low scores, that was good enough for the eighth highest score.
Gian Villante plays into Sam Alvey's game
It is hard to discern exactly what Villante's game plan was in this fight. Alvey is a low volume striker who waits for big shots. Villante seemed willing to stalk Alvey around the cage and eat punches. Alvey clearly landed the better strikes and ended up outlanded Villante 53 to 50 on significant strikes. This is the most significant strikes landed by Alvey in a 15-minute fight since 2016.
Alvey finished with 66.5 DraftKings points. It was the tenth highest score of the night, and the score had to be disappointing for DFS players. Alvey has knockout power and Villante is not normally a practitioner of head movement.