UFC on ESPN 12 pre-event facts: Dustin Poirier boasts strong striking stats

The UFC’s run of events continues Saturday with UFC on ESPN 12, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and airs on ESPN/ESPN+.

A key lightweight matchup serves as the main event. Former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier (25-6 MMA, 17-5 UFC) makes his return after a failed bid to unify titles with Khabib Nurmagomedov when he takes on surging contender Dan Hooker (20-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC).

For more on the numbers behind the upcoming card, check below for nearly 30 pre-event facts about UFC on ESPN 12.

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Main event

Dustin Poirier

Dustin Poirier

Poirier won a UFC title in his 22nd octagon appearance, the second most of any champion in company history behind Michael Bisping (26).

Poirier is one of 15 fighters in UFC history to earn 17 or more wins with the promotion.

Poirier competes in his eighth UFC main event. He’s 4-3 in previous headliners.

Poirier is 9-2 (with one no contest) since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier’s six knockout victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (seven) and Edson Barboza (seven).

Poirier lands 6.51 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the third best rate in divisional history behind Justin Gaethje (7.74) and T.J. Grant (6.83).

Poirier is one of two lightweights in UFC history to land 150 or more significant strikes in two separate fights. Nate Diaz also accomplished the feat.

Poirier and Max Holloway combined for 359 significant strikes landed at UFC 236, the second most for a single fight in UFC history behind Holloway vs. Brian Ortega at UFC 231 (400).

Poirier is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn two or more submission victories by D’Arce choke. Tony Ferguson and Vicente Luque also accomplished the feat.

Poirier is one of 12 fighters in UFC history to earn 10 fight-night bonuses.

Dan Hooker

Hooker is 7-1 since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in June 2017.

Hooker has earned 17 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes 8 of his 10 UFC wins.

Hooker has earned UFC knockouts stemming from a punch, kick, knee and elbows.

Hooker lands 1.14 knockdowns per 15 minutes in UFC lightweight competition, the second best rate among active fighters in the division behind Nasrat Haqparast (1.16).

Hooker lands 5.75 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the fifth best rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Gaethje (7.74), Poirier (6.51), Jared Gordon (6.08) and Ferguson (5.81).

Co-main event

Mike Perry

Mike Perry (13-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC) is 2-5 in his past seven fights dating back to December 2017.

Mickey Gall (6-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights. He was victorious in his most recent bout at UFC on ESPN 5 in August.

Remaining main card

Brendan Allen

Brendan Allen (14-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned 13 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. That includes both of his UFC wins.

Gian Villante (17-11 MMA, 7-8 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Feb. 23, 2019. The 490-day layoff is the longest of his more than 11-year career.

Villante returns to the heavyweight division for the first time since February 2011. He’s 6-1 when competing in the weight class.

Villante is 2-4 in his past six UFC appearances dating back to May 2017.

Villante is the only fighter in UFC history to fight to four consecutive split decisions.

Villante is the only light heavyweight fighter in UFC history to absorb 100 or more significant strikes in three consecutive fights.

Villante and Sean O’Connell combined for 202 significant strikes landed at UFC Fight Night 43, a three-round light-heavyweight record.

Villante’s finish of Corey Anderson at the 4:18 mark of Round 3 at UFC on FOX 15 is the second latest knockout in a three-round UFC light heavyweight contest. Mauricio Rua’s victory over Mark Coleman at UFC 93 holds the record.

Villante defends 85.4 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC light heavyweight competition, the third highest rate in divisional history behind Jon Jones (95 percent) and Ryan Jimmo (87.5 percent).

Maurice Greene (8-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is one of two heavyweights in UFC history to earn a submission by triangle choke. Stefan Struve owns two wins with the technique.

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

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