This Saturday, for the first time in UFC history, a double-champion will enter the cage.
Heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) puts his newest title on the line, defending the UFC heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis (21-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC).
Lewis tied the record for the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history in his last outing, just 25 days ago.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Cormier faced long-time rival Jon Jones in a highly-anticipated rematch last July. The fight originally went down as a third-round TKO loss for Cormier, before Jones’ subsequent drug test failure saw that result overturned to a No Contest and Cormier’s status as UFC light-heavyweight champion reinstated.
‘DC’ returned to the win column with a second-round TKO over Volkan Oezdemir before beating the most successful heavyweight champion in UFC history, Stipe Miocic, via first-round KO.
Lewis scored a third-round TKO win over Marcin Tybura in February before notching an uneventful decision win over Francis Ngannou. Earlier this month, Lewis came from behind on the scorecards to defeat Alexander Volkov via third-round KO.
According to FightMetric, Lewis’ knockout victory over Volkov despite a -82 significant strike differential was the greatest statistical striking comeback in UFC history. To make it even more impressive, Volkov had been coming off a fourth-round KO over former UFC heavyweight champion Fabrício Werdum earlier this year.
Here’s a look at how these two fighters fared when competing against common opponents shared throughout their careers. On the left of the graphic, you’ll see how Cormier fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Lewis’ results against the same men.
Cormier and Lewis share two common opponents; Roy Nelson and Tony Johnson.
Both men recorded decision victories over Nelson, a unanimous verdict for Cormier and a split-decision for Lewis. Against Johnson, Cormier scored a first-round submission back in 2010 to become the King of the Cage heavyweight champion, whilst Lewis lost via unanimous decision at Bellator 46 the following year.
The Dwyer Score
Each event, I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It essentially gives a numeric value to the momentum of fighters competing at any one event. I do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak; a fighter on a five-fight winning streak contributes +5 to an event’s score, whilst a fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. Only UFC results are considered and a fighter coming off a no-contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0. When you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card, you get a total for the event- the ‘Dwyer Score.’ This score does not claim to predict or measure the quality or excitement of any one card, but it does give you an idea of the general momentum of fighters heading into a specific event. The graphic to the above-right displays some of the highest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC 230: Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis posts a weak score of -2.
This score ranks joint-28th out of 31 events in 2018 and 11th out of 11 Pay-Per-View events this year.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score falls well short of the +24.2 average for PPV events in the last year, as well as the +10.7 average for all events and the +2.9 average for Fight Nights.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributors to the score are Derrick Lewis and Israel Adesanya (both +3), with Daniel Cormier, Julio Arce and Adam Wieczorek (all +2) close behind.
The lowest scorer is Jason Knight (-3), just ahead of Jared Cannonier (-2). No fighters are making their promotional debuts this Saturday.
Enjoy the fights!