MMA math rarely yields positive results, but in this week’s deep dive we take a look into what exactly makes the UFC’s debut in Busan, South Korea so exciting!
Stat #1: Frankie Edgar – Total Fight Time – 7:12:33
Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (23-7-1) also goes by another nickname, the “MMA Ironman”, due to his total combined time spent in the Octagon, a record 7:12:33. Since his promotional debut in 2007, six fights into his pro career, Edgar has practically lived in the cage, having spent a full 40:27 longer than his closest competition, Demian Maia (6:32:06), and is also third all-time in longest average fight time at 17:18 per contest. Edgar is one of three all-time featherweights who’ve averaged into the championship rounds with a minimum of five UFC contests, the others include José Aldo and Artem Lobov.
Edgar’s upcoming opponent “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (15-5) has been one of the division’s least active fighters, having competed in seven contests, a total of 1:17:12, since joining the promotion following the UFC/WEC merger in late 2010. Saturday night will mark the pair’s 18th combined main event appearance (6 Jung, 11 Edgar), a feat made no less impressive by the fact that Edgar had been training and is still booked to face Cory Sandhagen (12-1) at 135 lbs in a three-round co-main event slot at UFC on ESPN+ 24 on January 25.
Stat #2: Kyung Ho Kang – Takedown Accuracy – 64.0%
South Korea’s “Mr. Perfect” Kyung Ho Kang (16-8, 1 NC), sits atop the leaderboard concerning takedown accuracy among active bantamweights with a minimum of five Octagon appearances at 64%. Kang’s been able to take the fight to the canvas at will in every appearance but one, a split decision win over Michinori Tanaka (13-3). His upcoming opponent, Pingyuan Liu (15-5), has only featured in three contests with the UFC including wins over Damian Stasiak (11-7), Martin Day (9-3) and most recently Jonathan Martinez (11-2) and features a takedown defense of just 55%.
Stat #3: Aleksandar Rakić – 12 Fight Win Streak
Aleksandar Rakić (12-1) is set to make just his fifth walk to the Octagon on Saturday, having breezed through opponents since joining the promotion in September 2017. An odds on favourite in each appearance, Rakić boasts an impressive 5.25/1.63 strikes landed and absorbed per minute stat line, made even more impactful based on his eight total first-round finishes, the likes of Devin Clark (10-4) and Jimi Manuwa (17-6), heading into his meeting with Volkan Oezdemir (16-4).
Rakić also owns an equally effective grappling skillset, which has a propensity to flare up when chances are made available, made brutally apparent in his decision win over Justin Ledet last July.
Even including fights with point deductions, Aleksandar Rakic’s decision win over Justin Ledet is the most one-sided collection of scorecards in UFC history (total point differential of 17). Previous record was Nurmagomedov vs. Barboza.— MMADecisions.com (@MMADecisions) July 22, 2018
Odd: Biggest Spread – Gane vs. Boser
Six favourites possess 2-1 odds heading into Saturday night’s event, with the biggest discrepancy taking place in the card’s prelim headliner between Ciryl “Bon Gamin” Gane (5-0) and Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser (17-5-1). Gane has run through his first two UFC opponents, finishing Raphael Pessoa (10-1) by arm triangle in his debut and most recently earning a late third-round heel hook over Don’Tale Mayes (7-3) in October. According to BestFightOdds, Gane owns an average -640 line over Boser’s +445, with the line opening at +220 on the Canadian and -280 on France’s Gane.
“I expect it to be a hard fight. I don’t expect either one of us to walk out of there unscathed.” – Tanner @BulldozerBoser predicts his #UFCBusan showdown with Ciryl Gane is going to produce fireworks.— UFC News (@UFCNews) December 19, 2019
Watch the heavyweight battle on ESPN+ @ 5am/2am ETPT: https://t.co/B7QfANMGDP pic.twitter.com/1dS2Sa83Zx