Casey O’Neill secures the most important strikes

Casey O’Neill made history on Saturday night by landing the third-most shot by anyone in the history of a three-round UFC fight.

Heading into UFC 271, many expected Casey O’Neill to be able to get the job done and defeat Roxanne Modafferi in the latter’s retirement bout. In the end, that’s exactly what she did with a split decision victory.

The 24-year-old had a breakout year in 2021 by going 3-0 in the promotion. With a scalp like Modafferi now on her record, the sky really is the limit for what she can do in the division.

It turns out the only fighters who have been statistically more impressive than her in a three-round UFC contest are both fan favorites.

The most significant strikes have landed in a 3-round UFC fight: 1. Nate Diaz (239 vs. Cerrone)2. Sean O’Malley (230 v Moutinho)3. @kingcaseymma (229 v Modafferi)#UFC271

Nate Diaz landed 239 significant strikes on Donald Cerrone, Sean O’Malley hit Kris Moutinho with 230, and O’Neill just about made his way to the podium with 229.

What’s next for Casey O’Neill?

The first objective of the Scottish-Australian fighter’s mission must be to take some time off. While she may have been the big winner on Modafferi, she definitely took a few shots that will require some time away from the gym.

In her post-fight interview, boos from the Houston crowd prompted her to say she was more than happy to play the bad guy. This was the stance many had for her even before the fight started.

In terms of rankings, she was able to climb to 12th place with very few other fighters in the division having the kind of momentum she possesses. Her next octagon appearance is unlikely to be against Valentina Shevchenko. However, the fact that she has already beaten her sister Antonina definitely adds fuel to the fire.

If she plays her cards right and continues to improve with every fight, we could be talking about her as a legitimate contender before the end of the year.

Edited by John Cunningham

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