CagePotato Databomb #2: Breaking Down Submission Success Rates in UFC Fights

CagePotato Databomb


(Click chart for full-size versionAnd if you missed our first Databomb, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

There’s lots of talk about what submissions work better than others in MMA. But we should at least agree that all submissions are not created equal. Some are easier to attempt, and some are easier to finish. But which ones are which?

Examining both the attempt and success rates for each submission type in the UFC since 2007 reveals that some of the most common submissions attempted are actually the hardest to finish. Notably, guillotine chokes and shoulder locks (like kimuras) have very low success rates — 14% and 6%, respectively — despite being attempted fairly frequently. And really, who taps to ankle locks these days? No one still holding a UFC roster spot, that’s who. Meanwhile, no submission is nearly as successful as the rear-naked choke, which results in a tap (or nap) 41% of the time.

So the next time a UFC fighter goes for a guillotine or ankle lock, and the overeager fan at the bar thinks it’s all over — quick! — bet him the next round that there’s an escape…and cheers.

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