“Where I come from, people who lose close fights retire.” Props: UFC.com
While watching UFC 143 from the comfort of my favorite dive bar last night, I knew that MMA fans would be waging war on the internet over the fights that went the distance. Between the two point deduction that cost “Bruce Leroy” his fight against Edwin Figueroa and Josh Koscheck’s close fight with the “undeserving” Mike Pierce, I knew that I could expect a long-winded, philosophical debate over what constitutes a fight and what doesn’t- whether abstract concepts like “control” and “aggression” mean more than punches thrown, and whether takedowns earned and stuffed negate an inferior striking display. Naturally, this debate would include a lot of ad hominems and off topic ranting, because that’s just par for the course online.
And that was before the main event of the evening, which saw Carlos Condit earn a close decision over Nick Diaz. Carlos Condit used backward and lateral footwork while outstriking Nick Diaz, yet many fans felt that Nick Diaz should have won the fight. Before the fight even ended, the debate already began on whether “Octagon control” necessarily means “the guy moving forward”, and whether counter-punchers should automatically be considered less aggressive than their opponents. Judging from the comments sections of today’s articles, that debate won’t be ending any time soon.
Benjamin Disraeli once said that there are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics. For the time being, let’s move our arguments about last night’s fights past the first two. Let’s now turn our focus towards the statistics from last night’s close decisions. FightMetric’s breakdowns of Riddle vs. Martinez, Figueroa vs. Caceres, Koscheck vs. Pierce and, of course, Diaz vs. Condit have been published, and are available after the jump.
Click on images for full size versions.
And one more from Diaz vs Condit, for good measure.
Keep in mind that according to FightMetric, Werdum should have won his fight against Overeem. Statistics don’t always tell the whole story, but they at least deserve some consideration. Have they supported your argument that the right/wrong people won last night, or do they just demonstrate the flaws in MMA judging? Let the battle continue.
Just try not to hurt anyone’s feelings, okay?