There ain’t no rest for the wicked. Just 24 hours after Friday’s TUF 25 Finale show, we’re back underway for UFC 213- the second, and most anticipated, event of UFC’s international fight week.
In the main event, reigning champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) puts her title on the line against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a rematch of their March 2016 bout.
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two women in Saturday night’s main event:
After defeating Shevchenko at UFC 196, Nunes went on to beat Miesha Tate for the UFC women’s bantamweight title, then defended that strap in a vicious TKO win over Ronda Rousey last December. One more stoppage victory would see Nunes overtake Rousey for the all-time record at women’s bantamweight.
Shevchenko rebounded from the loss to Nunes with two wins of her own, defeating Holly Holm and Julianna Peña, with both victories coming in high-profile UFC on FOX main events. This will be the first UFC women’s bantamweight title fight in history that does not contain either Miesha Tate or Ronda Rousey.
But wait, that’s not all. In the co-main event, Yoel Romero (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) takes on Robert Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) for the interim UFC middleweight title.
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two men in Saturday night’s co-main event:
Both men are coming off the biggest wins of their careers; a KO win over former champ Chris Weidman for Romero and a TKO victory over perennial top-5 middleweight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza for Whittaker.
Romero has undoubtedly fought a higher level of competition than Whittaker has thus far, holding wins over Weidman, Tim Kennedy and Lyoto Machida, to name a few. Whittaker is a perfect 6-0 as a middleweight in the UFC, earning 4 stoppage wins and 5 fight-night bonuses in that stretch.
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 Romero fared against any shared opponents, and on the right, you’ll see Whittaker’s results against the same men.
Both men are a perfect 3-0 when competing against common opponents. Romero notched decision wins over Brad Tavares and Ronaldo Souza (the latter win not without controversy) and a TKO stoppage of Derek Brunson. Whittaker recorded TKO/KO victories over Souza, Tavares and Brunson in less than 2 years.
The Dwyer Score
Each event I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It’s a simple way of giving a numeric value to the momentum of 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. A fighter coming off a No Contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0, and only UFC results are considered. 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 right displays some of the highest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC 213 has a Dwyer Score of +23. This ranks in 4th place of 19 events in 2017 so far and 2nd amongst this year’s 6 PPV events.
This brings to an end a four-event streak of cards failing to post a Dwyer Score above 0.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
This score is significantly above the +11.1 average for all events in the last year, as well as the +19.8 average for strictly PPV events.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to this card is Yoel Romero (+8), followed by his opponent on Saturday, Robert Whittaker (+7) and Amanda Nunes (+5). The lowest individual contributor is Travis Browne (-3), with Daniel Omielańczuk and Jordan Mein (both -2) just behind.
Fabrício Werdum and Alistair Overeem enter their trilogy fight tied at 1 win apiece. A decisive win for either man here could see them granted another shot at Stipe Miocic’s title.
Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis takes on 26-fight UFC veteran Jim Miller. After Saturday, Miller will tie the record for most fights in UFC history, joining Michael Bisping, Frank Mir and Tito Ortiz on 27 bouts.
There are 3 current or former UFC champions competing on Saturday and a total of 9 fighters who have headlined UFC events in the past. It’s a fantastic card with some hugely anticipated match-ups, a perfect way to highlight international fight week.
Just as a quick preview, UFC 214 at the end of the month (as the card stands currently) has a Dwyer Score of +38, the eighth-highest scoring event in UFC history.