Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to network television for the seventh time this Saturday night (April 20, 2013) with UFC on Fox 7: "Henderson vs. Melendez," which goes down from "The Shark Tank" in San Jose, California.
A Lightweight mixed martial arts (MMA) championship match up will assume the lead role at the event as reigning champion Benson Henderson puts his title on the line for the third time against the final 155-pound champion in the history of the now-defunct Strikeforce organization, Gilbert Melendez, in a "Champion vs. Champion" affair.
Also on the televised main card, Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier makes his Octagon debut against Frank Mir, Josh Thomson returns to the UFC for the first time in nearly one decade to face Nate Diaz, and Jordan Mein makes a quick turnaround to take on the gritty Matt Brown in Welterweight action.
With the event just days away, let's take a few minutes to review some event-related facts about UFC on FOX 7. Check them out:
- Henderson can tie Jim Miller and George Sotiropoulos for the second longest win-streak in UFC lightweight history at seven. Gray Maynard holds the record with eight-straight lightweight wins.
- Melendez is the fourth fighter in modern UFC history to challenge for a title in his or her debut with the organization. The previous challengers (Hayoto Sakurai at UFC 36, Frank Trigg at UFC 45 and Liz Carmouche at UFC 157) are winless (0-3).
- Mir will fight in the UFC for the 21st time, the most of any heavyweight in the organization's history. His 21st UFC bout will move him into sixth place all-time behind Tito Ortiz, Matt Hughes, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell,Josh Koscheck and B.J. Penn.
- Cormier has never been taken down in his 12-fight MMA career.
- With a win over Thomson, Diaz can tie Rashad Evans for the second most UFC wins by a winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show at 12. Diego Sanchez and Michael Bisping lead the category with 13 wins.
- Thomson fights in the UFC for the first time since Jan. 2004 -- a span of 3,397 days (more than eight years).
- Brown is on the first four-fight win-streak of his career. He was also the only UFC fighter to register four wins in 2012.
- Mein has finished his opponent in 22 of his 27 victories, 15 by (technical) knockout and seven by submission.
- Darren Elkins can take sole possession of the record for most Featherweight wins of any fighter in UFC history at six. He can also set the record for longest 145-pound win-streak in UFC history at six. The 28-year-old is undefeated (5-0) in the UFC featherweight division and 6-1 overall under the UFC banner.
- Chad Mendes faces an injury replacement for the third fight in a row.
- Joseph Benavidez will tie Demetrious Johnson for the most Flyweight fights in UFC history at four.
- Seven fighters (Melendez, Cormier, Thomson, Lorenz Larkin, Jorge Masvidal, Roger Bowling and Yoel Romero) who fought their last bout under the Strikeforce banner will compete at the event.
- Francis Carmont can tie Chris Weidman and Constantinos Philippou for the second longest active Middleweightwin-streak in the UFC behind champion Anderson Silva (11 wins).
- According to FightMetric, Henderson has the longest average fight time of any fighter in UFC history with at least five bouts in the organization at 20:00 minutes.
- Melendez will become just the seventh man in modern UFC history to compete for the UFC and Strikeforce titles at some point in his career (Paul Buentello, Renato Sobral, Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, Nate Marquardt, Nick Diaz).
- A T.J. Dillashaw victory would tie him with Michael McDonald for the second longest win-streak in UFC bantamweight history behind Renan Barao (five-straight 135-pound wins).
- According to FightMetric, Brown has the highest significant strike accuracy of any welterweight in UFC history at 57.72%. He also has the fourth most submission attempts in UFC welterweight history at 17.
- Mir and Diaz are tied with Kenny Florian for the most submission victories in modern UFC history at eight. A submission win for either would give them sole possession of the record.
- Melendez can become the first man in the modern UFC history to hold the Strikeforce and UFC championship belts at some point in his career.
- Mein, Elkins and Dillashaw will compete for the second time in a 35-day span after registering victories at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013.
- Six of the last seven UFC lightweight championship fights have gone to a decision.
- Henderson can tie Penn and Frankie Edgar for the most consecutive lightweight title defenses in UFC history at three.
- Melendez's 336-day layoff is the second longest of his MMA career. His longest layoff ever was 357 days between April 2010 and April 2011.
- Mir owns the most wins of any fighter in UFC heavyweight history at 14.
- Elkins nor Mendes has ever lost a decision in a combined 32 professional fights.
- Henderson has the longest active win-streak in the UFC lightweight division at six.
- Mir's three technical submission victories in the UFC are the most by any fighter in the organization's history.
- Diaz owns 10 post-fight bonuses (five FoTN, five SoTN), tied for the third most in UFC history.
- Anthony Njokuani has alternated losses and wins in his past seven UFC/World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) bouts.
- Henderson has gone to a decision in seven consecutive bouts. "Smooth" has fought 145 consecutive minutes without finishing an opponent.
- All six of Diaz's UFC losses are by way of decision.
- Dillashaw has won three fights in a row since losing to John Dodson in the Bantamweight TUF 14 finals.
- All six of Mir's professional defeats are by (technical) knockout.
- According to FightMetric, Elkins has landed the second most strikes in UFC featherweight history at 491. Nam Phan leads the category with 540 total strikes landed.
- Henderson will compete in his fourth UFC championship bout in a 419-day span. The only fighter in modern UFC history who has competed in as many UFC title bouts in that time period is Jon Jones.
That's a wrap for this set of UFC facts.
Did you learn anything new/interesting? Do any of the facts change your perspective on Saturday night's fights?
Let us know below!