By Mike Bohn |
April 14, 2021 11:05 pm
The UFC returns on Saturday with UFC on ESPN 22, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas with a card that airs entirely on ESPN.
A matchup of middleweight contenders is featured in the main event. Former champ Robert Whittaker (22-5 MMA, 13-3 UFC) finally meets Kelvin Gastelum (16-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) in a matchup that was originally scheduled February 2019 and canceled on fight day.
For more on the numbers, check below for 35 pre-event facts about UFC on ESPN 22.
Whittaker is the only New Zealand-born fighter in history to win a UFC championship.
Whittaker is 10-1 since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in November 2014.
Whittaker has earned eight of his 13 UFC victories by decision.
Whittaker and Yoel Romero combined for 239 significant strikes landed at UFC 225, the single-fight record for a five-fight UFC middleweight fight.
Whittaker’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC middleweight bouts are tied for third most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (11) and Romero (eight).
Gastelum is 4-4 (with one no contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December 2016.
Jeremy Stephens (28-18 MMA, 15-17 UFC) competes in his 34th UFC bout, the fourth most appearances in company history behind Jim Miller (37), Donald Cerrone (36) and Andrei Arlovski (35).
Stephens returns to the lightweight division for the first time since December 2012. He went 8-9 with one no contest during his run at featherweight.
Stephens’ 18 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are tied with Anderson Silva for second most in company history behind Cerrone (20).
Stephens’ 11 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. Sam Morgan at UFC Fight Night 6 in 2006.
Stephens’ 17 losses in UFC competition are the most in company history.
Stephens’ 12 decision losses in UFC competition are most in company history.
Stephens earned the first head-kick knockout in UFC featherweight history when he stopped Rony Jason at UFC Fight Night 32 in November 2013.
Stephens vs. Yair Rodriguez at UFC on ESPN+ 17, which ended in 15 seconds, marked the second fastest no contest in UFC history behind the 11-second ending between Antonio Carlos Junior and Kevin Casey at UFC Fight Night 80 in December 2015.
Andrei Arlovski (30-20 MMA, 19-14 UFC) competes in his 35th UFC bout, the most in heavyweight history and the third most appearances in company history behind Miller (37) and Cerrone (36).
Arlovski is 5-10 (with one no contest) in his past 12 UFC appearances dating back to January 2016.
Arlovski is 9-10 (with one no contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.
Arlovski’s 19 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.
Arlovski’s total fight time of 5:09:51 in UFC heavyweight competition is the most in divisional history.
Arlovski’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Frank Mir (13) and Derrick Lewis (12).
Arlovski’s 10 knockdowns landed in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Junior Dos Santos (14).
Arlovski’s eight decision victories in UFC heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.
Arlovski landed 152 significant strikes at UFC on ESPN 4, the single-fight record for a three-round UFC heavyweight bout.
Arlovski’s nine knockout losses in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are second most in combined organizational history behind Alistair Overeem (13).
Ricardo Ramos (14-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is 1-1 since he moved up to the featherweight division in November.
Ramos is one of two fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back elbow. He accomplished the feat at UFC 217. Dong Hyun Kim has also won with the technique.
Jessica Penne (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since April 22, 2017. The 1,456-day layoff is the longest of her more than 14-year career.
Penne’s three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2014.
Gerald Meerschaert (30-14 MMA, 6-6 UFC) has earned 28 of his 30 career victories by stoppage. That includes all six of his UFC wins.
Meerschaert’s five submission victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Demian Maia, Rousimar Palhares, Thales Leites and Antonio Carlos Junior for most in divisional history.
Meerschaert is one of 18 fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 102.