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Tag: MMA stats

UFC 171 Tweet-Sized Stats: 26 Surprising Facts for Hendricks vs. Lawler


(Fan-made poster by Frank G.)

By Reed Kuhn

Note: Reed’s book ‘Fightnomics’ is available now on Amazon (in Kindle and paperback versions), featuring 336 pages of statistical analysis on UFC fighters and the “hidden science” behind their fights. If you’ve been a fan of his Databomb columns on CagePotato, pick up a copy today.

With UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler coming up this Saturday, I decided to put together another batch of interesting facts and stats about the event, all of which fit inside Twitter’s 140-character limit. Feel free to tweet ‘em out yourself during the event, and let us know which ones surprised you the most. (And of course, follow @cagepotatomma and @fightnomics if you’re not doing so already.) Let’s begin…

The Good

7 of the Top 15 ranked @ufc welterweights are competing at #UFC171. That includes numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, & 14. Post GSP-era starts now.

Welterweight sluggers at #UFC171: punch for punch @TWooodley has the highest WW Knockdown Rate-13%. Lawler-10%, Lombard/Hendricks-6%. Ave=4%

Myles Jury has the best head striking defense at #UFC171. He makes opponents miss 93% of the time. Next best is Tyron Woodley at 80%.

Alex Garcia’s UFC debut lasted just 43 seconds. He landed 9 total strikes, dropped his opponent and won by KO. He opens FS2 #UFC171 prelims

Best Takedown Defense at #UFC171 goes to Tyron Woodley-94%, Dennis Bermudez-89%, Hector Lombard-79%

Highest paced striker at #UFC171 is Jake Shields. He averages 17 strikes per minute while standing, and outworks opponents by 75%
[Ed. note: WTF???]

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UFC 168 Tweet-Sized Stats & Facts: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Image via @spideranderson. Click to view full-size.)

By Reed Kuhn

Note: Reed’s book ‘Fightnomics’ is available now on Amazon (in Kindle and paperback versions), featuring 336 pages of statistical analysis on UFC fighters and the “hidden science” behind their fights. If you’ve been a fan of his Databomb columns, pick up a copy today. A full description of the book is at the end of this post.

While cranking through some statistical analysis of fighters competing at next weekend’s UFC 168 event, I came across a few tidbits that fit the character limit for tweetability. Tweet ‘em all you want, I’ll make more.

The Good:
Anderson Silva has the highest Knockdown Rate of any fighter at #UFC168. 16% of his landed power head strikes cause a knockdown.

• In terms of Knockdown Rate, #UFC168 fighters Robert Peralta (14%) and Travis Browne (12%) are also way above average.

• Tibau vs Johnson at #UFC168 will be a rare Southpaw vs Southpaw matchup, or what I call a “Cyclone fight” due to the clockwise spin.

• Mostly likely to attempt takedowns at #UFC168 is Ronda Rousey who attempts 4 TDs per 5 min. round. Not that her rounds ever last that long.

• The most active standup striker at #UFC168 is Dennis Siver, who outworks his opponents by 59% in volume while standing.

• Hardest fighter to hit at #UFC168 is Anderson Silva, who avoids 82% of all head strikes thrown at him. Still, Weidman may only need one.

• Highest takedown defense at #UFC168 are Weidman & Browne, both 100%. Neither have been taken down despite each facing 7 attempts.

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The BANG Effect: A Statistical Look at 2013′s Most Improved MMA Team [DATABOMB]


(Duane Ludwig [right] with one of his star pupils. / Photo via Sherdog)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

An unlikely new coaching star, Duane “Bang” Ludwig has surged to the forefront of the competitive MMA coaching landscape after a fortuitous change of scenery. Ludwig is the obvious candidate for 2013′s “MMA Coach of the Year,” and few would question this, despite little fan awareness of his coaching prowess just one year ago.

Ludwig certainly had a tough 2012 that included three consecutive UFC losses, each one by first-round stoppage, the last of which added a fight-ending and career-threatening knee injury to the insult. But almost immediately after beginning the lengthy rehabilitation process, Ludwig got an unexpected phone call from Urijah Faber, and the creator of the Bang Muay Thai system suddenly migrated from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado to Sacramento, California.

Since Ludwig’s arrival at Team Alpha Male in December of 2012, his team’s fighters have been posting wins and highlight reel finishes at an unlikely pace. It’s even more unlikely, literally, when you consider the low share of TKO finishes that normally occur in the smaller weight classes where most Alpha Male fighters compete. The MMA media have been quick to point to the undeniable results of Team Alpha Male’s performance in the UFC as evidence that Ludwig was the missing ingredient to a team with championship potential. To be fair, the team already included former champions and contenders under Zuffa banners, but none that currently held a UFC belt. Now heading into this weekend’s UFC on FOX 9 card, Team Alpha Male has a chance to rack up not just four more wins, but capture its first UFC title of the Bang Era, and hold leading contender status in several divisions.

With all this hype around a team that is making a lot of noise, it’s a legitimate question to ask: Are they really better, or is this just a nice run of luck? The sudden emergence of Duane Ludwig as the MMA Coach of the Year is an extraordinary claim, and if Carl Sagan were still around (and an MMA fan), he would suggest that we demand extraordinary evidence before reaching such a bold conclusion. So I’m going to run the numbers in excruciating detail just to make sure.

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CagePotato Databomb #16: The Rise of Striking Pace in the UFC


(Click on the chart for the full-size version. For previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

During the controversial formative years of the UFC, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts looked a lot different. One could argue it wasn’t even MMA just yet. But somewhere between John McCain branding it “human cockfighting” and the modern MMA that shows up live on network TV in primetime, many aspects of the sport evolved.

So let’s take a very simple look at the activity pace of UFC fighters over time. The graph above shows the average annual total strike attempts per fighter per minute. The trend is pretty obvious.

The average total strikes thrown per minute has been climbing steadily over the years. Fully telling the story of why will take some more analysis and a few more charts, but two big reasons contributing to the trend are smaller weight classes and evolving time in position.

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MMA Stats: The Top 10 Latest Finishes in UFC History


(Photo via MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

To me, the most impressive thing about Demetrious Johnson’s performance against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8 last weekend was the fact that Johnson won the fight via fifth-round stoppage — only the fourth time in the history of the UFC that a match has ended in the fifth stanza.

The win also got me thinking: What are some of the other latest finishes in UFC history? Luckily, I did the work so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of the top 10 latest stoppages in UFC history since UFC 21, the first event to utilize the now-standard five-round, five-minute format for title fights.

(Note that since UFC 138 in 2011, many non-title fight main events have also been scheduled for five rounds, but only one such bout made this list.)

1. UFC on FOX 8: Demetrious Johnson def. John Moraga via submission (armbar), 3:43 of round five

Believe it or not, you were all witnessing history on Saturday when Johnson submitted Moraga, as “Mighty Mouse” now holds the record for the latest stoppage victory in the history of the UFC. That’s an amazing feat considering that the UFC has staged thousands of bouts over the years, and it’s even more amazing when you consider that the flyweights aren’t known for finishing their opponents. The fight was a testament to Johnson’s will and determination to look for the finish for the full 25 minutes, the mark of a true champion.

2. UFC 117: Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via submission (triangle armbar), 3:10 of round five

(Photo via MMAWeekly)

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CagePotato Databomb #15: For UFC Bonuses, It Pays to Fight Last


(Click on the chart for the full-size version. For previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

A hot topic in the news lately has been UFC Fight Night Bonuses. This includes the end of event bonuses awarded to the Fight of the Night (FOTN), Knockout of the Night (KOTN), and Submission of the Night (SOTN). Officially, UFC president Dana White says those bonuses are here to stay, which is great news for perpetually exciting fighters like Joe Lauzon, Donald Cerrone, and Frankie Edgar. Bonuses incentivize performance, spread the wealth, and give guys who give their all an official metric for justifying their place on the Zuffa roster.

I’ve already covered the timeline of awarded bonuses, so the natural next question concerns who actually receives them. Now that the standardized Fight Night bonus is fixed at $50,000, regardless of what channel a UFC event is broadcast on, let’s examine a different layer of detail.

What I’ve graphed above is the percentage likelihood of winning a Fight Night bonus based solely on card placement. This particular DataBomb will surely make the heads of some prelim fighters feel like they want to explode.

Indeed, it pays to fight last. It turns out that the fighters competing in the highest profile spots on the fight card are also the most likely to win Fight Night Bonuses. Is that fair? That (presumably) the highest-paid fighters also get more than their share of bonus money? If you’re fighting in a Main Event you have more than a one-in-three chance of winning a bonus of some kind, with most of those bonuses not requiring a finish, or even a win. Whereas towards the bottom of the preliminary cards, fighters average only a one-in-ten chance of taking home a bonus, and more likely require a win inside the distance to do so.

But not so fast…

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CagePotato Databomb #13: How Often Are UFC Fights Finished?


(Click on the chart for the full-size version. For previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

How many UFC fights end inside the distance? The overall percentage is 60%, which includes fights all the way back to 1993. But at the halfway point of 2013, that number is only 50%, year to date. I’d say “roughly 50%” but it’s not — it’s precisely 50%. Out of 176 fights so far in 2013, 88 have been finished by (T)KO or submission. That’s exactly half. How does that stack up with prior years in the UFC? Well, here’s the annual finish rate for UFC fights by year, with 2013 recorded through UFC 161.

The bad news for fans of highlight reel finishes is that the overall trend is down. But the good news is that the recent trend is completely flat, which is a level of stability never before seen in the UFC. As in troubled economies, after a steep decline “flat” starts looking like the new “up.” But there are other patterns underlying the movement of this line.

A closer look at the historical finish rate reveals how this metric is impacted by various drivers. First, notice that all fights ended in the first two years of the UFC. That’s because there was no other option; fighters fought until one of them won. There were no time limits, and no judges. When time limits were introduced in 1995, we see that immediately some fights went the distance, though they were all “draws” at first. Judges were brought in at the end of that year to declare winners of fights that went the distance, and the overall parity of competition improved throughout the decade forcing their involvement more frequently.

But it was the institution of weight classes that give us the best insight into the trends during the modern Zuffa era…

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CagePotato Databomb #12: Have UFC PPVs Really Become More Watered Down?


(Click graph for full-size version.)

By Matt Saccaro

Lambasting the UFC over the perceived lack of card quality has become posh over the last few years. Go to the UG or any other Internet MMA destination and you’ll see people chiding the UFC as the “Bud Light of MMA” due to the supposedly “watered down” cards.

These same people recall the Good ol’ Days™ when title fights were plentiful, guys like Elvis Sinosic and Wesley “Cabbage” Correira were in the cage and out of the unemployment line, and each match on the card was ten times more exciting than Griffin-Bonnar I.

We at CagePotato wanted to find out if these sentiments were true — if the cards meant more in the old days and weren’t loaded with filler — or if such thoughts were just the result of nostalgia-goggles that ultimately did nothing.

What we decided to do was this: Look at the amount of UFC pay-per-view events per year since Zuffa purchased the company in 2001. Of those PPVs, we counted up how many had title fights — and were therefore, in theory, worth paying for — and how many didn’t have title fights.

At the top of this post you’ll see a handy-dandy double bar graph to illustrate our findings. The blue bars represent the number of pay-per-view events with title fights, the red bars represent the PPVs without title fights.

Let’s break down the numbers…

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12 Weird Facts About Point-Deductions in the UFC [MMA STATS]

The tireless researchers at MMADecisions.com have just released a chart detailing every referee point-deduction in UFC history, for fights that went to decision. It’s a surprisingly short list, but it reveals some very interesting facts. We’ve screen-capped the chart above; click it to enlarge, and visit the “History of Point Deductions” page on MMADecisions to learn more about each individual fight.

Now, what does this chart tell us? Well…

1. In over 11 years of UFC events since 2001, only 22 points have been deducted during fights that went to the judges.

2. None of those point-deductions happened in 2003-2005, for some reason.

3. Herb Dean is the leading point-docker on the list with five points total. John McCarthy, Mario Yamasaki, and Steve Mazzagatti all trail him with four apiece.

4. Kicks to the groin lead the list of most-frequently penalized infractions (five deducted points total), with illegal upkicks to a downed opponent coming in second place (four deducted points). Eye pokes show up only once on the list. Still no love for the balls of the face.

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CagePotato Databomb #10: Breaking Down the UFC Heavyweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

We’ve saved the biggest fighters for last in the striking assessment series. Heavyweights end 57% of fights by (T)KO, far more than any other weight class. They also have the highest average power head striking accuracy, possibly because defense is harder when you’re that big.

So let’s see how the whole division stacks up against each other, then look at the winners and losers in each category. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

THE WINNERS

Sniper Award: Relative newcomer Shawn Jordan has been a highly accurate striker to date, though he has lacked knockdown power. So let’s focus on the trio of Pat Barry, Dave Herman, and Mark Hunt, who each have four or more UFC appearances and have maintained power head striking accuracy of 38% or more. These are big guys who can also hit their target.

Energizer Bunny Award: Monstrous southpaw Todd Duffee has almost quadrupled the striking output of his opponents with three fights to date in the Octagon, none of which have gone the distance. But with far greater Octagon experience, veterans Cheick Kongo and former champion Junior Dos Santos have managed to almost double the volume of opponents, all while maintain accuracy well above the division average.

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