Five Things to Watch for at UFC 207 According to Graphs

1. UFC 207 Will Have a Lot of Close Matchups The betting odds for UFC 207 are tight across the board, much more so than usual. Here are the implied win probabilities five days prior to fight time…


Only former champion TJ Dillashaw is much more than a two-to-one favorite after accounting for the house take currently baked into the odds. Usually, there are at least a few runaway favorites, but not here. That means MMA gamblers will be seeing a lot of matchups throughout that card with favorites in the -120 to -200 range. It also means that both matchmakers and betting markets are likely to be torn on predicting outcomes, which should add some additional intrigue to calling this night of fights. 2. Ronda Rousey Should Really Avoid a Striking Duel When it comes to the stand-up game, the old boxing adage is that it all boils down to a simple rule: “hit, and don’t be hit.” But when assessing the women’s bantamweight division, there’s a huge divide between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Ronda Rousey.


Nunes takes very little damage, and she is also one of the most accurate power strikers in the UFC. Meanwhile, Rousey’s head strike defense has been abysmal, and that was even before her loss to Holly Holm. Should these two stand in the pocket, Nunes will have a big advantage. As if Rousey needed more of a reason to get a fight to the ground, this trend certainly clinches it. 3. The Men’s Bantamweight Title Eliminator Could be a Barnburner Two of the fastest-paced standup fighters at UFC 207 will be paired against each other when TJ Dillashaw takes on John Lineker.


These two combine for over 30 strike attempts per minute while standing, and both tend to outwork opponents by roughly 40 percent on volume. Lineker has rarely attempted takedowns, and he will likely invite a standup war. But Dillashaw will have the advantage of evasive movement against Lineker’s poor defense. Given Lineker’s history of knockout power, the striking duel will be an interesting tradeoff, and Dillashaw could flinch first by falling back on his wrestling. Regardless, whenever two people who are accustomed to dictating pace and being aggressive face off, we’re usually in for a fun fight. 4. Ray Borg Won’t Stand and Trade with Smolka Borg’s standup striking stats are among the worst in the UFC, but his wrestling has been stifling and dominant.


Borg will be looking to get this fight down to the ground as soon as possible, and it’s worth noting that Smolka’s takedown defense to date has been below average. That gives Borg a clear path, despite his striking deficiencies. And yet, if we see Smolka stuff the first few attempts, that will immediately signify a swing in how this fight will go. 5. Two Underdogs with a Puncher’s Chance Underdog bantamweights Cody Gardbrandt and John Lineker are both facing elite opponents, who are more well-rounded and technical in their stand-up. But that won’t mean these guys don’t have a chance.


Ranking as the third and fourth hardest hitters at UFC 207, Lineker and Garbrandt both punch above their weight. Still, both men are roughly two-to-one underdogs for a reason, and that’s because champion-caliber opponents are usually much harder to hit. Both Cruz and Dillashaw have better defense than their opponents, so the puncher’s chance will still truly be chancy. Both Lineker and Garbrandt better hope they can catch their opponents and make the most of it. For more information on these metrics, Get “Fightnomics”.

Written by Reed Kuhn

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