According to FightMetric Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler combined for 348 strikes landed in their five round war at UFC 171. More impressively, 308 of those strikes were "significant strikes". No positionally weak arm punches, no calf kicks in the clinch, just two fighters slugging it out, round after round after round. And now, MMAJunkie is reporting that those 308 significant strikes are the most ever in a UFC title fight, blowing the previous high water mark of 256 set by Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz back at UFC 143, out of the water.
It's a nice record for the UFC to build on in a year that has thus far been on the books for all the wrong reasons. Both UFC 169 and then UFC Fight Night 36 (which followed shortly thereafter) set records for the longest UFC event of all time. It's been a largely decision plagued year for Zuffa fight cards in general, holding well above normal with only 36% of all fights ending before the final bell. Hendricks vs. Lawler may have gone all five rounds, but they were glorious rounds, and the statistical significance only goes to back that up.
There's no word on who's next for Johny Hendricks now that he's finally got the belt around his waist. But, Bloody elbow's staff has turned their collective brainpower to the problem to try and figure out which of the current top ten welterweights deserves a crack at the title. So, check it out, and in the meantime, which of the current champs do you think has a shot at breaking this significant strike record?