UFC Fight Night 124 pre-event facts: Vitor Belfort can take sole possession of UFC stoppage record

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC kicks of a new year with a solid fight card on Sunday. UFC Fight Night 124 takes place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The lineup features a featherweight main event with longtime UFC slugger Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) clashing with highly touted prospect Dooho Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

For more on the numbers behind the event, check out 65 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 124.

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Main event

Jeremy Stephens

Stephens makes his 27th UFC appearance, tied for third most in company history behind Michael Bisping (29) and Jim Miller (28).

Stephens is 6-5 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in May 2013.

Stephens’ 16 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are second most in company history behind Anderson Silva (18).

Stephens’ nine knockdowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Stephens’ five knockdowns landed at UFC 215 are tied for the single-fight UFC record set by Forrest Petz vs. Sammy Morgan at UFC Fight Night 6 in 2006.

Stephens is one of three fighters in UFC featherweight history to earn a knockout victory stemming from a head kick. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 32.

Stephens’ 13 losses in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Stephens’ 10 decision losses in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Dooho Choi

Choi returns to competition for the first time since Dec. 10, 2016. The 400-day layoff is the longest of his more than eight-year career.

Choi has earned 12 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Choi has earned all three of his UFC victories by first-round knockout in a total fight time of four minutes and 33 seconds.

Choi’s 18-second knockout of Juan Puig at UFC Fight Night 57 stands as the second-fastest debut in UFC featherweight history behind Makwan Amirkhani’s eight-second win at UFC on FOX 14.

Co-main event

Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-9 UFC), 40, is the oldest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Belfort becomes the 10th fighter in UFC history to make 26 or more octagon appearances.

Belfort is the only fighter in UFC history with five or more appearances in three separate weight classes.

Belfort is 9-4 (with one no-contest) since he dropped to the middleweight division in September 2007.

Belfort has suffered losses only to fighters who have won a tournament championship or held an undisputed title in the UFC, PRIDE or Strikeforce.

Vitor Belfort

Belfort’s 14 stoppage victories in UFC competition are tied with Silva for most in company history.

Belfort’s 13 first-round stoppage victories in UFC competition are the most in history.

Belfort’s 12 knockout victories in UFC competition are the most in history.

Belfort’s four UFC knockout victories stemming from a head kick are tied for second most in company history behind Donald Cerrone (six).

Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his six UFC victories.

Hall is one of two fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back kick to the head. Former bantamweight champ Renan Barao also accomplished the feat.

Remaining main card

Paige VanZant

Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), 23, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

VanZant moves up to the UFC women’s flyweight division after making her previous six octagon appearances at strawweight.

VanZant’s three stoppage victories in UFC strawweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Rose Namajunas (four).

VanZant earned the first stoppage victory in UFC strawweight history with her knockout of Kailin Curran at UFC Fight Night 57.

Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) makes her second UFC appearance in a 57-day stretch. She defeated Bec Rawlings at UFC Fight Night 121 in November.

Clark 3-3 (with one no-contest) in her past seven fights.

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) enters the event on a nine-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Usman’s six-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied with Santiago Ponzinibbio for the longest active streak in the division.

Usman has completed 20 takedowns in his six UFC appearances.

Usman out-lands his opponents by +2.59 significant strikes per minute in UFC welterweight competition, the best rate in divisional history.

Usman absorbs just 1.48 significant strikes per minute in UFC welterweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Emil Meek (9-2-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Dec. 10, 2016. The 400-day layoff is the longest of his nearly seven-year career.

Preliminary card

Darren Elkins

Darren Elkins (23-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) competes in his 16th UFC featherweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (17).

Elkins is 12-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Elkins’ 12 UFC featherweight victories are second most in divisional history behind Holloway (14).

Elkins’ five-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is tied with Brian Ortega for the second longest active streak in the division behind Holloway (11).

Elkins has earned 10 of his 13 UFC victories by decision.

Elkins has landed 1,511 total strikes in UFC featherweight competition, the most in divisional history.

Elkins’ 35 takedowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Dennis Bermudez (39).

Elkins’ 20 submission attempts in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Elkins was victorious against Mirsad Bektic at UFC 209 despite a -91 total strike differential (146 to 72), the third-largest deficit for a winner by stoppage in UFC history.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) drops to the UFC featherweight division after spending his previous 17 octagon appearances at lightweight.

Johnson is 1-4 in his past five fights dating back to August 2015.

Johnson’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Edson Barboza for second most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (13).

James Krause

James Krause (24-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) returns to the UFC lightweight division after a one-fight stint at welterweight.

Krause’s submission of Sam Stout at the 4:47 mark of Round 3 at UFC 161 stands as the third latest submission victory in a three-round UFC fight.

Alex White (12-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is 1-1 since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in January 2017.

White has earned 10 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Thiago Alves (22-11 MMA, 14-8 UFC) competes in his 22nd UFC welterweight bout, the fourth most appearances in divisional history behind Josh Koscheck (24), Matt Brown (24) and Matt Hughes (23).

Alves’ 14 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Koscheck for third most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19) and Hughes (16).

Alves’ 13 knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Thiago Alves

Alves’ 13 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are tied for fifth most in company history behind A. Silva (18), Stephens (16), Cerrone (14) and Chuck Liddell (14).

Alves’ eight knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Brown (10).

Alves’ four knockout victories stemming from knee strikes in UFC competition are most in company history.

Alves has landed 280 leg kicks in UFC competition, the second most in company history behind Cerrone (314).

Alves’ 52 leg kicks landed against Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11 are the second most landed in a three-round UFC fight. Benson Henderson, who landed 53 kicks against Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 59, holds the single-fight record.

Zak Cummings (21-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is 5-2 since he dropped to the welterweight division in August 2013.

Jessica Eye

Jessica Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) drops to the UFC women’s flyweight division after making her previous seven octagon appearances at bantamweight.

Eye enters the event on a four-fight losing skid and with five losses in her past six fights overall. She hasn’t earned a victory since November 2014.

Eye’s five losses in UFC competition are second most of any female in company history behind Kailin Curran (six).

Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) becomes the first fighter in UFC history to compete in two women’s flyweight bouts. She lost to Mara Romero Borella at UFC 216 in October.

Kyung Ho Kang (13-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Sept. 20, 2014. The 1,212-day layoff is the longest of his nearly 11-year career.

Guido Cannetti (7-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Aug. 1, 2015. The 897-day layoff is the longest of his more than 10-year career.

Cannetti has earned six of his seven career victories by first-round stoppage.

Danielle Taylor’s (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) two-fight UFC winning streak in strawweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Felice Herrig (four) and Tecia Torres (three).

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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