Junior Dos Santos is set to make his Octagon return this weekend against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 166. The fight will take place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
This is the first time, the city of Raleigh is hosting a UFC event.
Santos is coming off of a first-round TKO loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 3. He was scheduled to fight Alexander Volkov on 9 November 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 21. However, he was forced to pull out from the event due to a bacterial infection in his leg.
On the other hand, Curtis Blaydes is coming two back to back wins against Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC 242 and Justin Willis at UFC Fight Night 148.
Here’s a complete breakdown of both the fighters who are scheduled to lock horns this weekend.
Curtis Blaydes (#3 HW) (12-2-0)
• Highest Takedown Rate in UFC History
Curtis Blaydes has quickly become the heavyweight division’s premiere takedown artist. He’s secured 45 takedowns so far
in his UFC career, a heavyweight record. Blaydes has landed 60% of his takedown attempts, the 2nd highest accuracy in
heavyweight history (Kongo, 63.2%). Blaydes went 5-for-5 in his most recent victory, a 2nd round finish of Shamil
Abdurakhimov. Blaydes lands an average of 7.05 takedowns per 15 minutes of fighting, the highest rate in UFC history (min.
Third Most Significant Ground Strikes in UFC Heavyweight History
Blaydes is a punishing ground striker. He’s connected with 178 significant ground
strikes, 3rd most in heavyweight history. Blaydes has earned three finishes with elbow
strikes, tying Paul Felder for most elbow KO/TKO’s in UFC history. Overall, Blaydes
connects with 51.7% of his significant strike attempts, tied for 5th highest among
active heavyweights (min. 5 fights and 350 sig. att.).
Fourth Highest Strike Differential Among Active UFC Heavyweights
Blaydes absorbs just 1.9 significant strikes per minute, the best absorption rate among active UFC heavyweights (min. 5 fights). Blaydes often lands more than he receives. His strike differential of +1.79 per minute is the 4th largest among active heavyweights (min. 5 fights).
Junior Dos Santos (#4 HW) (21-6-0)
Most Knockouts in UFC Heavyweight History
Junior Dos Santos has earned ten KO/TKO victories, tying Derrick Lewis and Cain Velasquez for most in UFC heavyweight
history. Dos Santos generally earns his finishes from standing strikes. He’s knocked down his UFC opponents a total of 14
times, the most in heavyweight history and tied for 4th most in UFC history. Overall, Dos Santos has earned 15 victories in
the UFC, 3rd most in heavyweight history.
Greatest Number of Significant Strikes Landed in UFC Heavyweight History
Dos Santos connects with 4.76 significant strikes per minute, the 5th highest rate
among active heavyweights (min. 5 fights). For his UFC career, Dos Santos has
connected with 1,068 significant strikes, a heavyweight record.
Fourth Highest Takedown Defense in UFC Heavyweight History
Dos Santos has done a remarkable job of avoiding his opponents’ takedowns. He’s
successfully defended 80.5% of his UFC opponents’ attempts, the 4th highest defence in
heavyweight history (min. 5 fights and 20 opp. att.).