Our buddies over at Fightnomics continue to crank out the finest in UFC-related empirical data. They’ve given us a breakdown of everything from how fights end by division to submission success rates by technique, and now they’ve released a statistical compilation of every single significant strike thrown in UFC history. And in even better news, it appears that the average pace at which significant strikes are thrown has nearly tripled since the promotion’s inception, even with Jon Fitch’s seventeen fights taken into account:
Since 2007, UFC fighters average 6.8 significant strikes per minute (SSpM) of fight time. Again, this is not just while standing, but also from dominant clinch and ground positions. Significant strikes do damage, score knockdowns, set up submissions, or cause referees to jump in for the save. Significant strikes generally define the action in a fight, and as the analysis shows, fighter output by this metric has changed drastically since the early years of the UFC.
Through the 1990’s, UFC fighters attempted an average of only 2.8 significant strikes per minute. Averages for UFC fighters then more than doubled to 6.9 SSpM after the sport matured under Fertitta’s Zuffa umbrella. Modern UFC fighters also score more knockdowns and throw a slightly higher percentage of power strikes than the old guard, further suggesting greater endurance. In terms of accuracy, about 42% of these significant strikes land on target.
My main question, of course, is whether or not those girly leg kicks Carlos Condit used to outpoint Nick Diaz at UFC 143 were factored into these figures. If so, this graph is therefore invalidated by the gold standard for significant strike measurement: The Unified Rules of Stockton. Obvious trolling attempts aside, this data should at least hinder the notion that lay-n-pray is the fastest rising trend in MMA, despite that scared bitch Georges St. Pierre’s endless attempts to prove otherwise.
And now, the reason you came here: Listed below is a breakdown of the 10 most active and the 6 least active strikers using the data made available through mid 2012.
Let’s start with the highest.
Surprisingly Present: Jared Hamman, Chris Cope (?!)
And now, the least active. This list is much closer to what you’d expect, minus Jon Fitch, of course.
So what have we learned? If you throw less punches, chances are your ass is getting fired. With the exception of Volkmann and Zhang — the latter of which has somehow kept his job despite dropping his last three fights — none of the gentlemen on this list are still employed by the UFC. Guess they should have balled up some fists a little more often. That last sentiment goes double for Jon Fitch, who I’m not ready to accept back into my good graces after one decent fight and neither should you be.