UFC 106 is coming up, so here's a quick breakdown that might interest the stat-geek in you.
• No opponent has gotten past half-guard
• Holds the record for most leg kicks landed in UFC history
• Gets stronger as fight progresses
Forrest Griffin, as shown by that statement above, has very underrated jiujitsu, as he his guard has yet to be passed by anyone he has ever competed against. Stylistically though, this doesn't have much bearing as Tito Ortiz is known to be content on sitting on his opponents guards and just start raining elbows from there. The more important question is, if Tito lands a takedown, will he be able to get up?
Forrest Griffin, holds the highest total for leg kicks landed. The fighter with the second highest? -- Keith Jardine. According to UFC.com, he averages 16 leg kicks per fight. He throws hard leg kicks, and he throws them often, but will he want to get loose and throw them as much against a wrestler who would be looking to take him down?
This guy is known for his heart, and his tremendous work-ethic. He has such good cardio that while most people start slowing down as fights go longer, Forrest does the exact opposite. UFC.com says that on his fights that lasted more than 14 mins, he has averaged 53 strikes in the first round, 62 on the second, and 67 in the third.
• Had longest title reign in UFC history
• Tied for second most takedowns landed in UFC history
• Lands 61% ground strikes
As marketed heavily by the UFC 106 promos, Tito Ortiz has the longest reign as champion in UFC history. According to UFC.com he held the UFC light heavyweight championship for exactly 3 years, 6 months, and 13 days. During his reign, he defended the belt five consecutive times, which ties him with future hall-of-famers Matt Hughes, and Anderson Silva for the most consecutive defenses in UFC history.
'The Huntington Beach Bad Boy' has the second highest number of takedowns landed in the UFC, a distinction he shares with current welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. With those takedowns, Tito Ortiz has landed 61% of his power shots on the ground and is currently ranked third with the total number of ground strikes landed. The top two, as earlier referenced in the UFC 105 stats breakdown, is headed by Randy Couture, and Georges St. Pierre respectively. Tito can very well reach the top spot if he gets Forrest down and lands at least 16 ground shots.
Forrest is the more dynamic striker of the two, and as said above, he throws a lot of leg kicks, and even more so in recent fights. Will he throw as much against a guy who's obviously looking for the takedown though? Maybe not. On their first meeting, Forrest only landed 4 leg kicks. One of them actually hurt Ortiz's leg, but he didn't throw them as much as usual. He still managed to win the stand-up exchanges though.
Cardio is also a huge issue in this fight. Both guys are known for their cardio, but with Ortiz's back injury, he hasn't shown it in his last few fights. If you look at their first fight, a fresh Ortiz completed 2 out of 2 takedowns in the first, threw his trademark GnP, and almost finished Forrest. But then he slowly faded and missed his next 9 takedown attempts, until the final takedown in the third, which ultimately won him the controversial decision. Ortiz says it was all because of his back injury, and that he's back to being the cardio-machine he once was. How true this is, has yet to be seen.
Will we see a much more evolved Forrest pick up where they left off, and win the exchanges while stopping the takedowns? Or will a rejuvenated Tito Ortiz deliver a sustained version of his first round performance?
Bonus Stats and Analysis:
If you would compare the stats of Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture, you'd see that while tito has the most number of UFC fights, with 22, and second in total rounds fought, his stats doesn't go far from Couture's. Randy has landed 16 more ground shots than Tito, and is more accurate with his strikes, both standing and on the ground. Sure, Tito holds the highest total of takedowns landed, but he's also got the most fights and takedown attempts in UFC history. They have similar styles, but I guess those stats sort of explains why Tito lost against Randy.
Georges St. Pierre though, will most probably overtake both guys in the future. With a significantly shorter UFC career compared to those two legends of the sport, he could very well overtake those two guys in Total takedowns landed, and total number of strikes landed, on his next fight alone, and While both Randy and Tito has relied on their wrestling roots their entire career, GSP started out as more of a striker.
If Anderson Silva successfully defends his belt one more time, he overtakes Tito Ortiz, and Matt Hughes for the most title defenses in UFC history.