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Will Any of These UFC Records be Broken?
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

 

Will Any of These UFC Records be Broken?

Over the past few years, UFC has become more of a mainstream sport. It's truly been a growth to behold.

And that growth continues now. Their marquee pay-per-view events draw more eyeballs than ever. Their interest level in non-marquee fights is up. The number of UFC experts covering the sport has skyrocketed. Even the revenue generated from people placing UFC bets is on the rise. 

With this uptick in present interest, there comes a heightened curiosity about the history of the sport. And make no mistake, the UFC officially has a rich history. 

Once considered the new sport on the block, UFC has now been around nearly three decades after opening their doors in 1993. That's more than enough time to build an extensive portfolio of records. 

"Dana White" by Andrius Petrucenia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Of course, given the increased sample, we have to ask: Is it now harder to break certain UFC records, or is it more likely they stand over a longer period of time?

To get a feel for the answer, we're going to pillage through some of the most interesting UFC records and their holders and gauge how difficult each career touchstone will be to break.

Most Career Matches: Jim Miller (38)

This was once a statistical category people believed would struggle to grow. UFC is an incredibly dangerous sport, like any other hand-to-hand combat events, and it takes a serious toll on fighters' bodies.

Still, as the sport has strived to get safer, we are seeing certain participants get into the octagon more often and later into their careers. 

Jim Miller, in fact, continues adding to his total-fight tally. He last won a match in October 2021. The fighter closest to him, Donald Cerrone, remains active himself. So, as of now, this seems like one record that will keep changing hands the longer UFC hangs around.

Most Career Wins: Donald Cerrone (23)

Unlike boxing, where plenty of fighters tend to cobble together ridiculously long undefeated streaks, UFC career wins are mostly amassed through admirable longevity. Given all the parity from a fight-to-fight basis, you're more likely to crack this list by partaking in a bunch of matches as opposed to aiming for perfection or near-perfection.

Donald Cerrone, the all-time leader in official UFC wins, is living proof of this. His record 23 victories comes while appearing in the second-most fights in the sport's history. 

He is also a shining example of how some names are able to remain active as they get older. He is 38 years old and still lining up opposite rivals in the Octagon. 

He may not be fighting at his peak anymore, but the fact he's fighting at all is impressive.

Most Career KOs/TKOs: Matt Brown and Derrick Lewis (12)

Now, here's a UFC record you don't necessarily need longevity to break.

Securing knockout victories is more about blending the right combination of power and precision than it is about racking up appearances. In fact, the longer you fight, the harder it'll get to bag KOs and TKOs. Even the most talented tacticians will see a drop-off in their physical tools as they age. You'll have an easier time stringing together these end-all victories when you're younger and in your prime. 

Heck, a lot of the time, it isn't even about consistent precision, just power. The more explosion you can generate per strike and on combinations, the more cracks you'll get at nabbing a knockout win.

Both Matt Brown and Derrick Lewis somewhat follow this mold. Neither was a bad overall fighter; they each have winning records for their careers. But their strike accuracies hover around 50 to 54 percent, a rather mediocre mark. They have been more effective because of their power rather than their mechanics.

Most Career Fight Finishes: Charles Oliveira (14)  

"Charles Oliveira" by Diego is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Collecting full-fight finishes is incredibly difficult during UFC fights. That means lasting the full length of three five-minute rounds. 

It doesn't seem like much, but it's actually quite a lot when you're withstanding multiple blows and kicks to different parts of your body. As a result, this record is more about longevity than others. 

Take the all-time leader in fights that go to a decision in Charles Oliveira. His 14 finishes lead all UFC members ever by a three-fight margin, yet those 14 matches represent barely one-third of his career battles inside the octagon.

It comes as no surprise, then, that many UFC fighters train to maximize their knockout blows. Striving to last all three rounds each time merely amounts to more opportunities to get injured or just generally peter out. 

All of which makes Oliveira a true anomaly. Someone who has needed to labor through so many decisions probably shouldn't 

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