This Saturday, in Prague, Jan Błachowicz (23-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) takes on Thiago Santos (20-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC) in the main event of the UFC’s first visit to the Czech Republic.
Santos was tied for the most UFC victories in 2017 (3), as well as the most TKO/KO stoppages (3). In 2018, Santos was again tied for the most UFC wins (4) and held the sole record for the most TKO/KO stoppages (3), as well as total fights (5).
No one has a longer winning streak than Błachowicz (4) in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division (although Dominick Reyes and Jordan Johnson have also won four straight).
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Between December 2017 and March 2018, Błachowicz posted back-to-back unanimous decision victories over Jared Cannonier and Jimi Manuwa. The bout against Manuwa (a rematch of their April 2015 fight) was a back-and-forth affair that saw the pair win that event’s Fight of the Night award.
Błachowicz’s most recent fight came in September, securing a second-round submission victory over Nikita Krylov that earned Błachowicz his second performance bonus in as many fights.
Santos, who went 4-1 in 2018, moved from the middleweight division up to the light-heavyweight division after a three-round unanimous decision win over Kevin Holland in August.
Just 48 days after the Holland win, Santos stopped Eryk Anders via TKO at the end of the third round, before stopping Jimi Manuwa via second-round KO in a wild fight that was mentioned in many Fight of the Year lists.
Like Błachowicz, Santos’ last two fights have earned him a Fight of the Night and a Performance of the Night bonus, in that order.
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 Błachowicz fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Santos’ results against the same men.
The two men share just one common opponent; the aforementioned Jimi Manuwa.
Błachowicz has fought Manuwa twice, losing via unanimous decision in April 2015 and winning via unanimous decision in March 2018. Santos stopped Manuwa in December with a second-round KO.
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 Fight Night events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC Fight Night 145: Jan Błachowicz vs. Thiago Santos posts a strong score of +21.
This score ranks joint-5th out of 202 Fight Nights (including The Ultimate Fighter Finales) in UFC history.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score far exceeds the +6.4 average for Fight Night events in the last year, as well as the +20.3 average for Pay-Per-View events in the same period.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is Michel Prazeres (+8), followed by Rustam Khabilov (+6). Prazeres, fighting in the third prelim fight on the card, will be looking to record his ninth consecutive UFC win. Only Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Max Holloway, George St-Pierre, Demetrious Johnson, Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Royce Gracie have ever won more than 9 in a row.
The lowest individual scorer is Stefan Struve (-3), with Daniel Teymur and Veronica Macedo (both -2) close behind.
Enjoy the fights!