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Body Shots Don’t Win Fights: Fabio Maldonado Outstrikes Igor Pokrajac 166-64, Still Loses


(Brazilian boy can’t get no love? / Props: enlapelea.com)

Fabio Maldonado should have learned his lesson in his fight against Kyle Kingsbury last June — if the judges refuse to count body punches as “effective damage,” you might as well just start head-hunting and grunting and hope for the best. Once again, the Brazilian light-heavyweight put on a body-shot clinic in his bout against Igor Pokrajac at last night’s UFC event, and once again he wound up with a unanimous decision loss, with one judge inexplicably handing all three rounds to the Croatian. Many observers called this one a robbery, and you can understand why if you look a little closer at the striking totals. According to FightMetric

- Round 1: Maldonado out-landed Pokrajac 36-6 in significant strikes, 47-16 overall.

- Round 2: Maldonado out-landed Pokrajac 26-13 in significant strikes, 60-18 overall.

- Round 3: Maldonado out-landed Pokrajac 36-17 in significant strikes, 59-30 overall.

- Overall: Maldonado’s success-rate for significant strikes was 72% (98 of 137), compared to 45% for Pokrajac (36 of 80). The final overall striking total was 166-64 in Maldonado’s favor.

Of course, some of Pokrajac’s shots ranked among the most effective of the match, and he did score a takedown in round 1, but was Pokrajac’s strike-quality really enough to overcome Maldonado’s overwhelming advantage in quantity? And are body-shots the new leg-kicks, in terms of MMA judges not giving them enough credit?

Sketchy decision aside, Maldonado vs. Pokrajac was a highly entertaining scrap that was a clear front-runner for UFC on FUEL 3‘s Fight of the Night award — until Zombie vs. Poirier came along and snatched the bonuses away at the buzzer. Tough break(s), Fabio…

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Get Off Me- May 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm
Unlike the article I wrote about the Dunham vs Sherk decision...This stat that you pull is quantitative, but on the qualitative side Igor was controlling Maldonado against the cage and in the clinch, do body shots from Maldonado in those positions warrant him winning the fight? Numbers should never be looked at alone in MMA when criticizing judging, they should be coupled with other aspects of the fight such as agression, octagon control etc... If Igor did not push forward, control Maldonado in the clinch, randy couture maldonado on the fence and take maldonado down, then we can fall back on a number analysis, but clearly Igor is being sold short.
AceCondor- May 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm
We need more fighters turned judges... and then ditch the 10 point must system for something that works better for a 3 round fight.
holeeball- May 16, 2012 at 9:19 am
Somebody has to figure a head/body golden ratio. Maybe someone should figure out how many punches and or kicks to the face it takes to generate a KO and then see out many it takes to the body to generate the same effect.

If numbers decide fights then why have judges at all. Why have fights at all! Just put the fighters going at it in SF vs Tekken and be done with it.
Great fight BTW. I gave that to Pokrajac but I just watch MMA to kill time and be entertained.
realdeal75- May 16, 2012 at 9:00 am
MMA scoring is terrible and a joke! Atleast in boxing you know and realize the fight was fixed when you hear absurd scoring. What is MMA's excuse??
bgoldstein- May 16, 2012 at 8:51 am
@amsterdamheavy: I take no comfort from that.
amsterdamheavy- May 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm
me neither brother, me neither
amsterdamheavy- May 16, 2012 at 8:09 am
sometimes these things happen in MMA
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