UFC Champions by the Numbers

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2014

UFC Champions by the Numbers

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    With legendary mainstays Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva sidelined for the foreseeable future, the current handful of UFC champions have more responsibility than ever.

    As some of the most skilled fighters on the planet, who possess unparalleled determination, resolve and natural grit, they are destined for prolonged greatness in 2014.

    What they share is a common goal to remain successful and effective divisional emperors. The question is, where do they differ? How does one title king compare to another?

    Here is an in-depth look at the nine current UFC champions by the numbers, with compliments to Sherdog's sensational infograph.

     

    *List includes champions Ronda Rousey, Demetrious Johnson, Renan Barao, Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, Anthony Pettis, Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez 

Career Wins Finished

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    1. Rousey - 100% (8 fights)

    2. Pettis - 84% (19 fights)

    ~ Velasquez - 84% (14 fights)

    3. Jones - 79% (20 fights)

    4. Aldo - 73% (23 fights)

    ~ Weidman - 73% (11 fights)

    5. Barao - 68% (32 fights)

    6. Johnson - 58% (21 fights)

    7. Cruz - 37% (20 fights)

     

    Rousey's armbars are absolutely dominant, but it is Pettis who commands the most respect from this rundown.

    He has finished 14 of his 17 victories, including his own first-round armbar to capture the UFC lightweight title from rival Benson Henderson. 

Duration of Title Reign

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    1. Aldo - 1141 days (five title defenses)

    2. Cruz - 1115 days (two title defenses)

    3. Jones - 1022 days (six title defenses)

    4. Barao - 532 days (two title defenses)

    5. Johnson - 462 days (three title defenses)

    6. Rousey - 395 days (two title defenses)

    7. Velasquez - 378 days (two title defenses)

    8. Weidman - 182 days (one title defense)

    9. Pettis - 126 days (zero title defenses)

     *All dates and numbers based on 12/31/2013

     

    As a 27-year-old phenom hailing from the WEC, it sometimes eludes universal thinking that Aldo commands the longest title reign.

    That of course was made possible after St-Pierre and Silva lost their divisional strongholds. 

Longest Career Winning Streak

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    1. Barao - 21 (32 fights)

    2. Aldo - 16 (23 fights)

    3. Weidman - 11 (11 fights)

    4. Johnson - 10 (21 fights)

    ~ Cruz - 10 (20 fights)

    ~ Jones - 10 (20 fights)

    5. Pettis - 9 (19 fights)

    ~ Velasquez - 9 (14 fights)

    6. Rousey - 8 (8 fights)

     

    Somehow, Jones, Cruz and Pettis have all found a way to ruin lengthy career win streaks.

    That's not to say their respective runs aren't impressive, but none of them compare to Barao's internationally clad resume. 

Opponents Winning Percentage

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    1. Cruz - .845

    2. Johnson - .800

    3. Velasquez - .762

    4. Weidman - .761

    5. Pettis - .759

    6. Jones - .743

    7. Aldo - .738

    8. Barao - .732

    9. Rousey - .710

     

    Often overlooked when discussing the best fighters in the world, the pedigree of opposing divisional threats plays a huge role in a champion's perennial success. 

    While Cruz stands alone at No. 1, his numbers come from only two Octagon appearances opposite Urijah Faber and Johnson. That leaves Johnson as the true overlord of defeating proven winners.

Strikes Landed Per Minute

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    1. Velasquez - 6.1

    2. Jones - 4.15

    3. Barao - 3.66

    4. Johnson - 3.32

    5. Aldo - 3.29

    6. Cruz - 3.26

    7. Weidman - 3.15

    8. Rousey - 2.66

    9. Pettis - 2.02

     

    It's astonishing that Velasquez nearly doubles every champion on this list except Jones.

    As a high-motor heavyweight capable of outlasting even the most game welterweights in the gym, his penetrating persistence leaves him second to none. 

Striking Efficiency

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    MMAFighting.com

    1. Jones - 59.5% (54% landed / 65% defended)

    ~ Velasquez - 59.5 % (58% landed / 61% defended)

    2. Aldo - 59% (44% landed / 74% defended)

    3. Rousey - 58.5% (61% landed / 56% defended)

    4. Johnson - 58% (51% landed / 65% defended)

    5. Pettis - 54% (44% landed / 64% defended)

    6. Weidman - 53.5% (42% landed / 65% defended)

    7. Cruz - 53% (30% landed / 76% defended)

    8. Barao - 51.5% (36% landed / 67% defended)

     

    Calculated by yours truly, Jones and Velasquez have displayed the most efficient striking among all UFC champions.

    Even though Cruz has defended the best and Rousey has landed the best, they haven't shown the consistency to combine both worlds. 

'Of the Night' Awards

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    Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

    1. Jones - 6 (3x FOTN; 2x SOTN; KOTN)

    2. Johnson - 4 (2x FOTN; KOTN; SOTN)

    3. Barao - 3 (FOTN; KOTN; SOTN)

    ~ Pettis - 3 (2x KOTN; SOTN)

    ~ Weidman - 3 (2x KOTN; SOTN)

    ~ Velasquez - 3 (3x KOTN)

    4. Rousey - 2 (FOTN; SOTN)

    ~ Aldo - 2 (2x FOTN)

    5. Cruz - 1 (FOTN)

     

    Jones is by far the best finisher in the UFC currently holding a belt.

    He has dominated top contenders throughout the years by combining elite striking with sensational grappling skills.

    He owns the record for most submission victories in light heavyweight history with five. 

UFC Wins

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    1. Jones - 13 (Debuted 8/9/08)

    2. Velasquez - 11 (Debuted 4/19/08)

    3. Johnson - 7 (Debuted 2/5/11)

    ~ Weidman - 7 (Debuted 3/3/11)

    4. Barao - 6 (Debuted 5/28/11)

    5. Aldo - 5 (Debuted 7/3/11)

    6. Pettis - 4 (Debuted 6/4/11)

    7. Cruz - 2 (Debuted 7/2/11)

    ~ Rousey - 2 (Debuted 2/23/13)

     

    With seven of the nine current UFC champions making their promotional debuts in the past three years, it's evident that MMA is a young man's game.

    Evolving ever so greatly, fighters are starting to acquire complete skill sets with little experience.

    That means more opportunities earlier in careers, which results in younger titleholders. Weidman is the perfect example.

     

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