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CagePotato Databomb #1: How UFC Fights End by Division

(Click chart for full-size version.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

Other than Kenny Florian, who finishes fights? Let’s settle it once and for all. Using data provided by FightMetric, we looked at how every UFC fight ended from 2007 through the first half of 2012 — a total of 1438 total fights, excluding three flyweight contests — and then divvy’d it up by weight class to determine percentages for each method. For the first time ever, all these stats are in one place, in the chart above. Boom — you’ve just been databombed.

The conclusion: Size matters. Stoppages increase steadily by weight class; but while striking finish rates correlate strongly with increasing weight, submissions have a weaker, negative correlation. Keep in mind that bantamweights and featherweights have a short history in the UFC so far, so expect some possible smoothing out of those division trends over the next year.

Do any of these results surprise you? Next time the local Bullshido expert tells the bar that his favorite featherweight will finish the next fight, bet him the next round of drinks that it’ll go to the cards.

For more science and stats of MMA, follow @Fightnomics on Twitter or on Facebook. See MMA analytical research at

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hfghsdsd- September 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm
share a website with you,

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Adamantium- September 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm
Why should TKOs and KOs be considered together in the same category? For example, is it possible that TKOs artifactually alter the KO finish rate in the heavier divisions due to gassing? And how are the submissions in lighter weight classes set up: are they the result of strikes and if so, then how is a submission (e.g., a choke) that occurs after a knock down any less exciting than a TKO or KO? Also, the sample size of divisions lighter than lightweight is still too small to draw meaningful conclusions (in comparison to the heavier weights).
Mr_Misanthropy- September 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm
This is a useful analytical tool. Can you apply it to universal mysteries such as why hot chicks always gravitate to spray tan douchebags?
angry little feet- September 20, 2012 at 11:03 am
@ Anhonestmoose Fight Magazine did an article on this last month I believe it was. That's where I saw it anyway.
Gobbleston- September 20, 2012 at 9:09 am
There is a very very disturbing 1-2% of those fights that apparently HAVE NEVER ENDED. That’s impressive even by UFC 1 standards.
Anhonestmoose- September 20, 2012 at 9:46 am
I'm guessing those are the "no contest/draw" variety.
Anhonestmoose- September 20, 2012 at 8:58 am
Either you guys linked to this article before or I did some research on my own. Now, that doesn't sound like me....
Anhonestmoose- September 20, 2012 at 8:59 am
Still a cool article though, definitely worth a read.
NomadRip- September 20, 2012 at 8:44 am
Nice to see on a chart what we all knew already.
silvaupkick- September 20, 2012 at 8:27 am
This is why bantam and fly weights should be allowed to use knees to grounded opponents.
Fried Taco- September 20, 2012 at 8:17 am
Cool data bro!
DiscoStu- September 20, 2012 at 8:07 am
Nerd alert: This might get printed out and put in my pocket on Saturday. Don't judge...