UFC Fight Night 130 pre-event facts: Multiple fighters return from career-long layoffs

The UFC makes its return to England on Sunday with UFC Fight Night 130, which takes place at Echo Arena in Liverpool and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, former UFC title challenger Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) continues his quest toward another crack at welterweight gold when he takes on rising star and Liverpool native Darren Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC).

For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s 20th event in England, check out 40 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 130.

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Main event

Thompson competes in his fifth UFC headliner. He’s 3-1 in previous main events.

Thompson is 1-1-1 in his past three fights dating back to November 2016.

Thompson’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Thiago Alves (13) and Jake Ellenberger (11).

Thompson’s five knockout victories since 2012 in UFC welterweight competition are second most in the division behind Matt Brown (seven).

Thompson’s five fight-night bonuses since 2012 for UFC welterweight bouts are tied for third most in the division behind Erick Silva (seven) and Brown (six).

Till, 25, is more than 10 years younger than his 35-year-old opponent Thompson.

Till’s 17-fight undefeated streak in MMA competition is fourth longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (26), Cris Cyborg (21) and Jimmie Rivera (20).

Till has earned 12 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.

Till has earned both of his stoppage UFC victories by knockout.

Co-main event

Neil Magny’s (20-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) 13 UFC victories since 2013 are second most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (14).

Magny is the only fighter in modern UFC history to make five or more octagon appearances in consecutive years. He went 4-1 in 2015 after going 5-0 in 2014.

Magny’s five UFC victories in 2014 tied Roger Huerta’s record for most octagon wins in a calendar year. Huerta accomplished the feat in 2007.

Magny’s 100 significant ground strikes landed against Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 85 stand as the single-fight UFC record.

Magny’s 142 total strikes landed in the second round of his victory against Lombard stand as the third most in a single UFC round.

Magny has earned eight of his 13 UFC victories by decision.

Craig White (14-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has had all but one of his career fights end in a stoppage.

Remaining main card

Arnold Allen

Arnold Allen (12-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) fights for the first time this year. He hasn’t fought more than once in a calendar year since 2014.

Allen returns to competition for the first time since Mar. 18, 2017. The 435-day layoff is the longest of his more than six-year career.

Makwan Amirkhani (13-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Mar. 18, 2017. The 435-day layoff is the longest of his more than six-year career.

Amirkhani’s eight-second knockout of Andy Ogle at UFC on FOX 14 is tied for the fifth-fastest knockout in UFC history.

Amirkhani’s eight-second finish of Ogle stands as the fastest debut win UFC/WEC featherweight history. It’s also tied for the second fastest knockout in combined divisional history.

Amirkhani became the first featherweight fighter in UFC history to earn a victory without throwing or landing a single strike when he submitted Masio Fullen at UFC Fight Night 69.

Davey Grant (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) competes for just the third time since 2013.

Manny Bermudez (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned nine of his 11 career victories by stoppage. Eight of those wins have come by submission.

Eric Spicely

Eric Spicely (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has earned both of his UFC victories by first-round submission in a total fight time of five minutes and 12 seconds.

Spicely’s average fight time of 4:48 in UFC middleweight competition is shortest among active fighters in the weight class.

Darren Stewart (7-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC) is winless in his past four fights after starting his career with seven-straight wins.

Stewart is 0-2 since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in November.

Preliminary card

Nordine Taleb

Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) lands 53.5 percent of all significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the third highest rate in divisional history behind Alex Oliveira (55.3 percent) and Brown (54 percent).

Taleb defends 68.3 percent of all opponent significant strikes in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Claudio Henrique da Silva (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Nov. 8, 2014. The 1,296-day layoff is the longest of his more than 10-year career.

Daniel Kelly (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), 40, is the oldest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Kelly has won as the underdog in five of his six UFC victories.

Tom Breese

Tom Breese (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since June 4, 2016. The 722-day layoff is the longest of his nearly eight-year career.

Breese moves up to the UFC middleweight division after spending his first four octagon appearances at welterweight.

Brad Scott (11-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) returns to the welterweight division for the first time since December 2012.

Scott has alternated wins and losses over his past eight fights. He dropped his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 114 in August.

Carlo Pedersoli Jr. (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes a quick turnaround from his victory over Nicolas Dalby under the Cage Warriors banner on April 28.

Gillian Robertson (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), 22, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Elias Theodorou

Elias Theodorou’s (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) average fight time of 13:36 in UFC middleweight competition is the longest among active fighters in the weight class.

Trevor Smith (15-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has earned all five of his UFC victories by decision. He hasn’t earned a stoppage victory since June 2012.

Smith lands 59.1 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (61.4 percent).

For more on UFC Fight Night 130, 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.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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