UFC 216 winner John Moraga has fought top guys for pennies, now wants to get paid

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Filed under: News, UFC

When UFC flyweight John Moraga knocked out Magomed Bibulatov at UFC 216 with a thunderous left hook, he was purging months – and perhaps years – of dissatisfaction.

When the referee pulled him off Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a 6-1 betting favorite, all of those feelings came bubbling to the surface. But rather than scream or cry, Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) just slumped against the fence. He was too overwhelmed to emote.

“I’ve been at this for a while, man, and it just hasn’t seemed like it’s been paying off,” Moraga this week told MMAjunkie Radio. “It has been, but at the same time, it really hasn’t. It hasn’t been what I’ve needed it to be, so it was just a big win for my career.”

Moraga made his UFC debut five years ago, when the promotion’s flyweight division was new. It was years before Demetrious Johnson secured an iron grip on the weight class and became its highest-paid fighter. When Moraga secured a title shot against Johnson just two fights into his UFC career, he was guaranteed $17,000 for the opportunity. Then he was submitted in the fifth round.

The paycheck he earned for that fight dwindled his next time out. Then he lost to one-time title challenger John Dodson. He managed to win his next two fights only to lose three straight, endangering his UFC job.

So when people ask now about when he’d like a title shot, Moraga can’t help but remember what happened after he lost to Johnson, who headlined this past Saturday’s pay-per-view event with a record-breaking win over Ray Borg.

“The only bad thing from a business standpoint: I didn’t have a great experience,” Moraga said. “I fought the guy for $17,000. So after that, and you lose, it’s a rough road back.

“So right now, I’ll just be content getting some more wins and stacking my money a little bit. And if the opportunity should come up quick, I’m never one to turn anything down.”

Moraga recently signed a new UFC deal. He indicated the contract didn’t secure his financial future any better than his previous one. After a trio of losses, he had little leverage.

“I was in no position to re-negotiate for myself a whole lot, so I just kind of took what they gave me,” he said.

So if it’s up to him right now, he would like to fight opponents that bring two things: Wins and steps up that ascending pyramid of paydays.

“If I could choose, yeah, I want the easiest opponents,” Moraga said. “I want to get more money and fight the easier opponents, get some highlights, raise my spots a little bit, and then fight the top guys for more money and make it worth it, because I fought them all for pennies, basically. I just made bad business decisions.”

Before he agreed to fight Bibulatov, Moraga explored the idea of moving up to bantamweight, simply so he could rack up a few more wins in a division with more elbow room. Then he’d have more experience – and a little more money in his pocket – for a rematch with Johnson.

At this point in his career, though, Moraga’s main concern is to “get things going in the right direction.” He is more confident in his skills with more UFC fights and more top-level training under his belt. He won’t hesitate to fight Johnson again.

As impressive as the champ is, Moraga said Johnson’s had some favorable circumstances during his reign.

“First of all, he’s an impressive fighter, and then on top of that … they keep throwing people that are not ready to fight him,” Moraga said. “I think that’s helping him, too.”

Moraga used to be one of those guys – a little over his head on the business side of the sport and a little uncertain of his abilities. He found out what happened when you get rushed too quickly in the sport. And now, he’s trying to make sure that the next time around, he’s as ready as can be.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2539 with guests Tony Ferguson, John Moraga, Bobby Green, Simon Samano

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Tony Ferguson, John Moraga, Bobby Green and Simon Samano.

Ferguson, Moraga and Green all fought this past Saturday at UFC 216 in Las Vegas. Ferguson won the interim lightweight title with a submission of Kevin Lee in the main event. Moraga knocked out previously unbeaten Magomed Bibulatov for a $50,000 bonus. Green fought to a split draw and won “Fight of the Night” against Lando Vannata. MMAjunkie’s Samano was in Las Vegas to cover the event and recapped the big stories that came out of the fight card.

You can stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com or below.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Bobby Green, John Moraga and Simon Samano

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Bobby Green, John Moraga and Simon Samano.

Green fought Lando Vannata to a draw at UFC 216, where Moraga scored a big knockout win over Magomed Bibulatov. MMAjunkie assistant editor Samano was in Las Vegas covering the event.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

John Moraga knew job was on the line, fought back tears after huge KO at UFC 216

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LAS VEGAS – When he had a three-fight skid, former flyweight title challenger John Moraga was starting to have doubts about whether or not he should keep pursuing the UFC dream.

Those losses were to some pretty tough cats, though: Joseph Benavidez, Matheus Nicolau and Sergio Pettis. In July, he got his first win in two and half years when he outpointed Ashkan Mokhtarian. But this past Saturday, he got arguably the most important win of his career.

Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was a big underdog against 6-1 favorite Magomed Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who was unbeaten going into the fight. Moraga knocked him out with a vicious left hand, giving him two wins in a row, and leaving him a bit emotional.

“There’s a lot of relief,” Moraga told MMAjunkie after the fight. “I’m just glad I was able to go out there and perform. I don’t really even pay attention (to the odds). I knew I was fighting a tough Russian, and I was just ready for a war. At this level, we’ve got to just expect to go in there and fight our heart out for 15 minutes and be hurt and still keep fighting. That’s what I was preparing for.”

But Moraga isn’t that far removed from thinking about the chance that, heck, he may have walked away from the sport had he suffered a fourth straight loss when he beat Mokhtarian.

“I’ve got a lot of stuff going on in my personal life leading up to this fight,” he said. “I was on a three-fight losing (skid) not long ago. And something hit me in there and it was a big relief off my shoulders.”

Moraga said thinking about needing to fight outside the UFC and try to earn his way back would mean he’d probably walk away from fighting. The UFC is his job, he said, because it’s his way to help provide for his children’s future.

“At this point, it’s a rough sport,” he said. “If I’m not going to be able to do it at the highest level anymore, if I was to get cut, I don’t see why I’d put myself through that. I’ve got kids. I’m focused on my kids. I do this for my kids. I’m trying to buy a house and put them through college. That’s my only purpose for doing this. I don’t really care about anything else. I’m not really good on the microphone. I don’t really care about taking pictures or being around people. At that point, that was what was going through my head.

“I do (enjoy the sport). It’s fun. What else would I be doing? This is me. But at the same time, you want to make it worth it, too. There’s no backup plan.”

For more from Moraga, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 post-event facts: Demetrious Johnson's resume must be seen to be believed

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Despite going through four fight changes in the final two weeks, UFC 216 delivered an action-packed card on Saturdayat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Both championship fights at the top of the pay-per-view lineup, which followed prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, ended with a submission. Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) claimed the interim UFC lightweight title with a third-round triangle choke of Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the headliner, while flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) made history for most consecutive title defenses with a dazzling fifth-round armbar victory over Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC).

Both Ferguson and Johnson landed a prominent place in the UFC record books with their crafty finishes, but they weren’t the only UFC 216 fighters with noteworthy results. For more on the numbers to come out of the event, check below for 60 post-event facts from UFC 216.

* * * *

General

UFC 216 joined UFC 22 in September 2001 as the only events in UFC history with two draws.

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $242,500.

Johnson, John Moraga, Lando Vannata and Bobby Green earned $50,000 UFC 216 fight-night bonuses.

Debuting fighters went 2-0 on the card.

UFC 216 drew an announced attendance of 10,638 for a live gate of $677,999.50.

Betting favorites went 6-3 on the card. Two fights ended in a draw.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:12:54.

Main card

Ferguson improved to 16-1 in his past 17 fights. The lone defeat in that stretch came to Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 3 in May 2012.

Ferguson’s 13-1 record after 14 UFC appearances is the best of any fighter to come from “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Ferguson’s 10-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest in active streak in the division.

Ferguson’s 10-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest in divisional history.

Ferguson’s 10-fight winning streak in UFC competition is the fourth longest active streak in the company behind D. Johnson (13), Georges St-Pierre (12) and Max Holloway (11).

Ferguson has earned 19 of his 23 career victories by stoppage. That includes nine of his 13 UFC wins.

Ferguson became the second fight in UFC history to win a title fight by triangle choke. Anderson Silva also accomplished the feat against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117.

Kevin Lee

Lee suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Lee has completed at least one takedown against 11 of his 12 UFC opponents.

Lee’s 28 takedowns since 2014 in UFC lightweight competition are most in the division.

Johnson’s 11 consecutive UFC title defenses are most among current titleholders.

Johnson’s 11 consecutive title defenses are the most in UFC history.

Johnson’s 12 victories in UFC title fights are tied with St-Pierre for most in company history.

Johnson’s seven stoppage victories in UFC title fights are third most in company history behind Silva (nine) and Matt Hughes (eight).

Johnson’s 13-fight UFC winning streak in flyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Johnson’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is the longest active streak in the company.

Johnson’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is tied with Jon Jones for the second longest streak in company history behind Silva (16).

Johnson’s 13 victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s seven stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s five submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s three fifth-round stoppage victories are most in UFC history.

Johnson’s 57 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are most in divisional history.

Johnson’s 73 takedowns landed overall in UFC competition are third most in company history behind St-Pierre (87) and Gleison Tibau (84).

Johnson has been awarded eight fight-night bonuses for UFC flyweight bouts, the most in divisional history.

Borg suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

Borg’s 22 total strikes landed are the fifth fewest in a UFC title fight to reach the fifth round.

Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) improved to 8-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Werdum has earned seven of his 10 UFC victories by stoppage.

Werdum’s 65-second victory was the fastest of his career.

Werdum’s five submission victories in UFC/Strikeforce heavyweight competition are tied for second most in combined divisional history behind Frank Mir (eight).

Walt Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC) fell to 3-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in April 2016.

Harris suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Mara Romero Borella

Mara Romero Borella (12-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC extended her unbeaten streak to seven fights. She hasn’t suffered a defeat since October 2015.

Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered four of her six career losses by stoppage.

Faria suffered her first submission loss since March 31, 2011 – a span of 2,384 days (more than six years) and 17 fights.

Evan Dunham’s (18-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) five-fight UFC unbeaten streak in lightweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Ferguson (10) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (seven).

Preliminary card

Cody Stamann (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned both of his UFC victories by decision.

Tom Duquesnoy (15-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 12-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since February 2013.

Duquesnoy suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Green (23-8-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) extended the longest winless skid of his career to four fights. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2014.

Poliana Botelho (6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Pearl Gonzalez (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered two of her three career losses by decision.

Matt Schnell

Matt Schnell (10-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) earned his first decision victory since his MMA debut on Sept. 14, 2012 – a span of 1,850 days (more than five years) and 13 fights.

Marco Beltran (8-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) fell to 0-2 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in June 2017.

Beltran suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Moraga’s (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) seven victories in UFC flyweight competition are third most in divisional history behind D. Johnson (13) and Joseph Benavidez (10).

Moraga has earned five of his seven UFC victories by stoppage.

Moraga’s five stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Johnson (seven).

Magomed Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 14-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Brad Tavares

Brad Tavares (16-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) has earned his past nine UFC victories by decision. His most recent stoppage win was a first-round knockout of Phil Baroni at UFC 125 in January 2011.

Thales Leites (27-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC) fell to 7-4 since he returned to the UFC in August 2013.

Leites fell to 2-4 in his past six UFC appearances.

Leites has suffered seven of his eight career losses by decision.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 Athlete Outfitting pay: Payout total 2nd highest of any 2017 event

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Filed under: News, UFC

LAS VEGAS – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 216 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $242,500.

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC), who earned a maximum payout of $40,000 for a reigning titleholder. “Mighty Mouse” defeated Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the event co-headliner.

The full UFC 216 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Tony Ferguson: $30,000
def. Kevin Lee: $30,000

Demetrious Johnson: $40,000
def. Ray Borg: $30,000

Fabricio Werdum: $10,000
def. Walt Harris: $5,000

Mara Romero Borella: $2,500
def. Kalindra Faria: $2,500

Beneil Dariush: $10,000
vs. Evan Dunham: $15,000

Cody Stamann: $2,500
def. Tom Duquesnoy: $2,500

Lando Vannata: $2,500
vs. Bobby Green: $10,000

Poliana Botelho: $2,500
def. Pearl Gonzalez: $2,500

Matt Schnell: $2,500
def. Marco Beltran: $5,000

John Moraga: $10,000
def. Magomed Bibulatov: $2,500

Brad Tavares: $10,000
def. Thales Leites: $15,000

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $4,492,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $14,815,500

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 bonuses: Demetrious Johnson's late finish became his eighth UFC fight-night bonus

LAS VEGAS – Demetrious Johnson, John Moraga, Bobby Green and Lando Vannata each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Saturday’s UFC 216 event.

Johnson and Moraga earned “Performance of the Night” awards, and Green and Vannata took home “Fight of the Night” honors.

UFC officials announced the winners after the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) broke Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive UFC title defenses when he submitted Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) with a fifth-round armbar. Johnson was cruising to an easy unanimous decision to defend his flyweight belt for the 11th straight time. But almost out of nowhere, he threw Borg in the air, then deftly grabbed his left arm at the same time before finishing on the ground.

Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was a huge underdog against the previously unbeaten Magomed Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). But the formery flyweight title challenger planted a head kick on Bibulatov, then drilled him with a left hand that left him unconscious on the canvas. Bibulatov was a 6-1 favorite.

Green (23-8-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) and Vannata (9-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) battled back and forth for 15 minutes in their lightweight fight, but ultimately had to settle for a split draw. At the end, both appeared to be thrilled to not be walking away with a loss. Vannata had a huge first round and a pair of 10-8 scores meant Green winning the next two rounds left him with two 28-28 draw scores, and a third for Vannata. But the bloody battle was worth an extra $50,000 for each of them.

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

John Moraga's UFC 216 KO of Magomed Bibulatov is even more glorious in super slow motion

LAS VEGAS – Wow, wow, wow.

Magomed Bibulatov entered his UFC 216 fight with John Moraga as a 6-1 favorite. Very few people believed Moraga could get the job done vs. Bibulatov, one of the hottest prospects in MMA who was undefeated.

Not anymore he isn’t after.

Moraga sent Bibulatov crashing to the canvas with a devastating left hook Saturday night to come away with an impressive first-round knockout win in a UFC Fight Pass prelim at T-Mobile Arena. It was glorious to watch from cageside.

In super slow motion, though, it’s even better (via Twitter):

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you bring a hype train to screeching halt.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 results: John Moraga KOs 6-1 favorite Magomed Bibulatov with vicious left hand

Against an unbeaten flyweight prospect who was a 6-1 favorite, former title challenger John Moraga didn’t have many people picking him to beat Magomed Bibulatov.

But Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) took Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) out with a massive first-round knockout, then dealt with the emotions of what was a crucial win for his career. Moraga got the stoppage at the 1:38 mark of the first round thanks to a vicious left hand and bounced Bibulatov from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FX and a main card on pay-per-view.

Moraga kicked low early, then followed with another one. Bibulatov tried to answer with a kick to the body, then went high. When Moraga threw a third low kick, Bibulatov caught it and rollwed him over. Seconds later, Bibulatov just missed with a high left kick, but stayed in the middle to land a right hand.

But Moraga stayed calm and patient, and moments later he found his opening. He landed a right hand over the top and hurt Bibulatov. He followed it up with a high kick that just missed. But when Bibulatov tried an uppercut, Moraga landed a left hand that may have been the best of his career.

The left was right on the button, and Bibulatov was on the canvas in a hurry. Moraga dropped down with him and it took only a couple punches to finish the previously unbeaten prospect.

Moraga now has back-to-back wins following a three-fight skid. Bibulatov suffered the first loss of his professional career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 pre-event facts: Tony Ferguson looks to extend longest win-streak in lightweight history

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The final string of UFC pay-per-view events in 2017 kicks off Saturday with UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

A championship doubleheader tops the card, which follows prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, with Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) clashing for the interim UFC lightweight title in the headliner while flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) goes for a record-breaking 11th consecutive title defense when he meets Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the co-feature.

The card also features a number of other bouts of importance with some well-known names.

For more on the numbers behind the UFC 216 lineup, check below for 55 pre-event facts.

* * * *

Main event

Tony Ferguson

Ferguson is 15-1 in his past 16 fights. The lone defeat in that stretch came to Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 3 in May 2012.

Ferguson’s 12-1 record after 13 UFC appearances is the best of any fighter to come from “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Ferguson’s nine-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Ferguson’s nine-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest in divisional history.

Ferguson’s nine-fight winning streak in UFC competition is the fourth longest active streak in the company behind flyweight champion D. Johnson (12), former champ Georges St-Pierre (12) and interim titleholder Max Holloway (11).

Ferguson has earned 17 of his 22 career victories by stoppage. That includes eight of his 12 UFC wins.

Ferguson’s three D’arce-choke victories in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Ferguson has been awarded a fight-night bonus in each of his past five UFC appearances.

Kevin Lee

Lee’s five-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Ferguson (nine) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (seven)

Lee’s nine UFC victories since 2012 in lightweight competition are most in the division.

Lee has earned eight of his nine career stoppage victories by submission.

Lee’s three-fight submission streak in UFC competition is the longest among active fighters.

Lee has completed at least one takedown against 10 of his 11 UFC opponents.

Lee’s 25 takedowns since 2014 in UFC lightweight competition are second most in the division behind Rustam Khabilov (27).

Co-main event

Johnson owns or is on the verge of owning several flyweight and overall UFC records, all of which can be viewed on his complete UFC career stat sheet. It includes the aforementioned 11th consecutive title defense.

Ray Borg

Borg, 24, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Borg’s 11 submission attempts in UFC flyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Louis Smolka (18).

Borg’s victory over Shane Howell at the 2:17 mark of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night 44 stands as the third fastest submission finish in UFC flyweight history.

Borg hasn’t suffered a stoppage loss in his career.

Remaining main card

Fabricio Werdum

Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), 40, is the oldest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Werdum is 8-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Werdum’s only defeats in the past 10 years are to fighters who once held the UFC, PRIDE or Strikeforce heavyweight belt.

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) makes his 13th UFC heavyweight appearance since 2014, the most in the division and tied for third among all UFC fighters behind Donald Cerrone (14) and Neil Magny (14).

Lewis has earned 16 of his 18 career victories by knockout. That includes eight of his nine UFC wins.

Lewis’ eight knockout victories in UFC competition since 2014 are the most among active fighters in the organization. Conor McGregor is second with six.

Lewis’ eight knockout victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for the third most in divisional history behind former champs Cain Velasquez (10) and Andrei Arlovski (nine).

Lewis is the only fighter in history to have his first eight UFC appearances end in a knockout.

Lewis absorbs 1.58 significant strikes per minute in UFC heavyweight competition, the second-best rate among active fighters in the division behind Francis Ngannou (1.53).

Evan Dunham

Evan Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Sept. 17, 2016. The 385-day layoff is the longest of his more than 10-year career.

Dunham’s four-fight winning streak is his longest since 2010 and tied for the longest of his nearly seven-year UFC career.

Dunham became the fifth fighter in UFC history to land 100 or more significant strikes in four separate bouts. St-Pierre, Nam Phan, T.J. Dillashaw and Chris Lytle also accomplished the feat.

Dunham’s 1,160 significant strikes landed and 1,489 total strikes landed in UFC lightweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dunham lands 5.68 significant strikes landed per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the third highest output rate in divisional history behind T.J. Grant (6.83) and Dustin Poirier (6.72).

Preliminary card

Tom Duquesnoy

Tom Duquesnoy (15-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a 12-fight unbeaten streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since February 2013.

Duquesnoy has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Will Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is on the first losing skid of his career.

Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) is 2-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2015.

Lentz has landed two or more takedowns against 14 of his 18 UFC opponents.

Lentz’s 17 guillotine choke submission attempts in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Bobby Green

Bobby Green’s (23-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2014.

Green competes in just his second UFC bout since November 2014.

Lando Vannata (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has earned a fight-night bonus in all three of his UFC appearances.

Walt Harris

Walt Harris (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is 3-1 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in April 2016.

Harris has earned all 10 of his career victories by knockout.

Harris defends 62.9 percent of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

John Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) competes in his 12th UFC flyweight bout, tied with Joseph Benavidez for second most appearances in divisional history behind D. Johnson (13).

Moraga’s six victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind D. Johnson (12) and Benavidez (10).

Moraga’s four stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for the second most in divisional history behind Johnson (six).

John Moraga

Moraga’s three submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Johnson (four).

Moraga was the first fighter in UFC flyweight history to be stopped between rounds when John Dodson defeated him by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at UFC Fight Night 42.

Thales Leites (27-7 MMA, 12-6 UFC) is 7-3 since he returned to the UFC in August 2013.

Leites’ seven stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (11), Chris Leben (nine) and Nate Marquardt (nine).

Thales Leites

Leites’ five submission victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Rousimar Palhares and Demian Maia for most in divisional history.

Leites has attempted 17 submissions in UFC middleweight competition, tied with Kendall Grove for most in divisional history.

Brad Tavares (15-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has earned his past eight UFC victories by decision. His last stoppage win was a first-round knockout of Phil Baroni at UFC 125 in January 2011.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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