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TUF 28 Finale pre-event facts: Kamaru Usman seeks rare 9-0 UFC start

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What could be the final season of the UFC’s longest running reality series comes to a conclusion on Friday at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale, which takes place at Pearl Theater in Las Vegas and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In addition to the heavyweight and women’s featherweight tournament finals, a pair of welterweight contenders take center stage in the main event when former UFC champ Rafael dos Anjos (28-10 MMA, 17-8 UFC) takes on Kamaru Usman (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC).

For more on the numbers behind the first of two UFC cards this weekend, check below for 30 pre-event facts about The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.

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Main event

Dos Anjos is the only Brazilian lightweight champion in UFC history.

Dos Anjos is 3-1 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in June 2017.

Dos Anjos’ 17 UFC victories are tied for seventh most in company history. Donald Cerrone holds the all-time record with 21.

Dos Anjos became just the second fighter in history to challenge for a UFC title and win a 50-45 decision on all three judges’ scorecards when he beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 185. Randy Couture also accomplished the feat against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68.

Dos Anjos’ 66-second victory over Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 marked the fastest stoppage in UFC lightweight title-fight history.

Usman enters the event on a 12-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Usman’s eight-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Usman’s eight-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is the second longest streak in divisional history behind ex-champ Georges St-Pierre (12).

Usman is the only welterweight in history to start his UFC career with eight consecutive victories.

Usman has completed 28 takedowns in his eight UFC appearances.

Usman absorbs just 1.46 significant strikes per minute in UFC welterweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Remaining main card

Juan Espino (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 38, is the oldest of the fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Espino, 38, can become the oldest winning of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Bryan Caraway (21-8 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has earned 17 of his 21 career victories by submission. That includes all five of his UFC stoppage victories.

Caraway’s three submission victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Urijah Faber (six) and Rani Yahya (five).

Caraway has completed at least one takedown against nine of his 10 UFC/WEC opponents.

Pedro Munhoz (16-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) three knockdowns landed at UFC 227 are tied for the UFC single-fight bantamweight record along with Hugo Viana (TUF 16 Finale) and Andre Soukhamthath (UFC Fight Night 114).

Caraway’s three submission victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Faber (six) and Yahya (five).

Darren Stewart (9-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is 2-2 since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in November.

Stewart has earned all of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Edmen Shahbazyan (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 21, is the youngest fighter scheduled to compete at the event.

Antonina Shevchenko (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), sister of Valentina Shevchenko, completes the first pair of female siblings to compete under the UFC banner.

Ji Yeon Kim (8-1-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is 2-0 since she dropped to the UFC flyweight division in January.

Kim has earned both of her UFC victories by split decision.

Preliminary card

Joseph Benavidez (25-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC) competes in his 14th UFC flyweight bout, tied with John Moraga for the second most appearances in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (15).

Benavidez’s 10 victories in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Johnson (13).

Benavidez’s four stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Johnson (seven) and Moraga (five).

Benavidez’s two fight-night bonuses for UFC flyweight bouts are tied for third most ind visional history behind Johnson (nine) and Louis Smolka (three).

Alex Perez’s (21-4 MMA, 3-0 UFC) landed 84 significant strikes against Jose Torres in the first round at UFC 227, the second most in an opening round in UFC history behind Tim Sylvia’s 94 against “Cabbage” Correia at UFC 39.

Perez is one of 13 fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 123.

Tim Means (27-10-1 MMA, 9-7 UFC) is 7-5 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2014.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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



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