MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: UFC history

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 #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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The Eras of MMA (Part 3: The Modern Age, 2003-Present)

If you missed it, check out parts 1 and 2 of this series.

The Fedor Emelianenko Era: 3/03-present

Fedor’s dominance over MMA’s heavyweight division is such that, had he been born a few hundred years ago, they might have burned him for being a witch.  At least they might have tried, though he would certainly have armbarred the entire mob and then calmly collected their pitchforks.  Fedor is the rare fighter with devastating one-punch knockout power on the feet and deft submission skills off his back.  In other words, you are never really winning against Fedor; you’re just temporarily not losing. 

Fedor’s run through Pride’s heavyweight class was like Sherman’s March to the Sea, only much more efficient.  He beat everyone there was to beat and he did it convincingly.  His list of victims includes former UFC champs like Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, as well as Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman, and even Hong Man Choi.  In fact, the only barrier to Fedor’s continued reign of terror is his own refusal to sign with the UFC, where more heavyweights are waiting to be conquered.  Will he ever cave in and do to the UFC’s big men what he did to Pride’s?  It’s doubtful, though until he loses you really can’t begrudge him the title of the world’s best heavyweight.

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