UFC on ESPN 39 pre-event facts: Rafael dos Anjos on cusp of history

·4 min read

The UFC continues its busy July schedule Saturday with UFC on ESPN 39, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and airs on ESPN/streams on ESPN+.

A high-stakes lightweight clash serves as the main event of the card. Former 155-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos (32-13 MMA, 20-11 UFC) continued his pursuit of gold when he takes on the surging Rafael Fiziev (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in a five-round contest.

For more on the numbers behind the headliner, check below for MMA Junkie’s pre-event facts about UFC on ESPN 39.

Rafael dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos

Dos Anjos is one of 10 fighters in history to reach 20 UFC wins.

Dos Anjos’ 20 UFC victories are tied for sixth-most in company history behind Jim Miller (24), Donald Cerrone (23), Andrei Arlovski (23), Demian Maia (22) and Charles Oliveira (21).

Dos Anjos’ total fight time of 7:33:11 in UFC competition is second-most in company history behind Frankie Edgar (7:55:09).

Dos Anjos’ 15 victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for third-most in divisional history behind Miller (21), Cerrone (17) and Gleison Tibau (16).

Rafael Fiziev

Rafael Fiziev

Fiziev’s five-fight UFC winning streak at lightweight is tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the division behind Oliveira (11), Islam Makhachev (nine) and Beneil Dariush (seven).

Fiziev is one of 13 fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a wheel kick. He accomplished the feat at UFC on ESPN 31.

Fiziev has earned eight of his 11 career victories by stoppage.

Fiziev defend 95.5 percent of opponent takedown attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the best rate in divisional history.

Jared Vanderaa vs. Chase Sherman

Jared Vanderaa

[autotag]Jared Vanderaa[/autotag]’s (12-8 MMA, 1-4 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since May 2021.

Vanderaa is 1-4 in his past five fights dating back to February 2021.

[autotag]Chase Sherman[/autotag] (13-10 MMA, 3-9 UFC) fell to 1-4 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2020.

Michael Johnson vs. Jamie Mullarkey

Michael Johnson

[autotag]Michael Johnson[/autotag] (20-17 MMA, 12-13 UFC) is 1-3 since he returned to the lightweight division in October 2019. He earned his first victory in the weight class since September 2016.

Johnson is 4-9 in his past 13 fights dating back to August 2015.

Johnson has earned all five of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Johnson’s 10 knockdowns landed in UFC lightweight competition are tied for third-most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (13) and Cerrone (11).

Cynthia Calvillo vs. Nina Nunes

Cynthia Calvillo

[autotag]Cynthia Calvillo[/autotag]’s (9-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since June 2020.

Calvillo is 1-3 since she moved up to the women’s flyweight division in June 2020.

Calvillo has completed at least one takedown against nine of her 11 UFC opponents.

[autotag]Nina Nunes[/autotag] (10-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) moves up to the UFC women’s flyweight division after spending her previous eight promotional appearances at strawweight.

Antonina Shevchenko vs. Cortney Casey

Antonina Shevchenko

[autotag]Antonina Shevchenko[/autotag] (9-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) enters the event on the first losing skid of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since November 2020.

[autotag]Cortney Casey[/autotag] (10-9 MMA, 5-8 UFC) is 2-2 since she moved up to the UFC women’s flyweight division in May 2020.

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Karl Roberson

Kennedy Nzechuwku

[autotag]Kennedy Nzechukwu[/autotag] (9-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) earned a knockout at UFC 259 despite a -64 deficit in significant strikes landed, the biggest statistical comeback for a light heavyweight bout and third overall in UFC history.

[autotag]Karl Roberson[/autotag]’s (9-5 MMA, 4-5 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2019.

Ronnie Lawrence vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov

Ronnie Lawrence

[autotag]Ronnie Lawrence[/autotag] (8-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Mana Martinez at UFC 271 is one of two fights in UFC history to feature two knockdowns landed for each fighter. Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros at UFC 218 was the other.

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

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