UFC Vegas 9: Four Interesting Things I Found During Research

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I am a Full-Time, Professional MMA Bettor and I always look for ways to provide information to as many people intrigued by MMA as I can. In this content piece, I am providing free evidence that helped contribute to my overall research and analysis for UFC on ESPN+ 34: Overeem versus Sakai card. By no means was the information contained in this content piece compelling enough for me to draw a strong conclusion on the respective matchup nor place a bet. However, I found
this data interesting and I hope you will too. Enjoy!

1. Karol Rosa lands 9.70 significant strikes per minute according to ufcstats.com. (her fight has since been cancelled).

  • Karol has shown she can fight at a very high pace for 15 minutes more than once in the UFC career similar to her teammate, Jessica Andrade.
  • Karol will throw strikes in combination excessively (mainly the 1-2 followed by a low kick; she also incorporated a front kick in her most recent bout against Vanessa Melo) and is willing to trade punches in the center of the octagon. Both reasons contribute to her significant strikes per minute being very high.
  • Karol is taking this bout against Sijara Eubanks on less than two weeks’ notice (notified August 26th according to https://globoesporte.globo.com/combate/noticia/com-menos-deduas-semanas-para-a-luta-karol-rosa-ganha-vaga-e-enfrenta-sijaraeubanks-no-ufc.ghtml ) but I would be surprised to see her significantly slowdown in this bout. Furthermore, Rosa will very likely be the fighter controlling the tempo assuming she does not get hurt in a striking exchange by Sijara.

2. Brian Kelleher absorbs 6.00 significant strikes per minute according to ufcstats.com.

  • Kelleher has historically shown to be durable though he has absorbed many strikes throughout the duration of his UFC career as he’s susceptible to getting countered while not being as sharp as some of the other Bantamweight’s he’s been matched up against in the past (i.e. John Lineker and Cody Stamann). As a result, it is difficult for him to clearly win rounds (though he’s shown to be a finisher both in the striking and on the ground).

3. Marcos Rogerio de Lima’s takedown defense is 36% according to ufcstats.com.

  • Marcos is very physical and mainly relies on his strength & power to win fights rather than technical proficiencies. He has heavy hands and is aggressive early on (basically has a brawling style) in the fight so he’s a threat to earn a TKO/KO in any matchup he’s in for these reasons (even against durable opponents). However, historically, he’s shown to slow down, yield takedowns, and yield grappling advances if unsuccessful at getting the early finish (i.e. the fights against Stefan Struve and Ovince Saint Preux). De Lima’s takedown defense has  shown to be a liability even against opposition that do not have a high wrestling pedigree.

4. Jalin Turner will hold a 7-inch reach advantage over Thiago Moises.

  • Jalin Turner has shown to be a threatening, varied, and technical striker on the feet while also holding a reach advantage over the vast majority of the opposition at Lightweight.
  • Though Jalin has a very long arm reach, his ability to manage distance can be improved as he often lets fighters’ close distance on him and have success boxing wise.

5. Augusto Sakai has not been finished in all 17 professional MMA bouts he’s competed in.

  • At Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight, combatants typically hold enough power to threaten their opposition and win by knockout even against historically durable fighters (i.e. Jiri Prochazka getting the knockout victory against Volkan Oezdemir who hadn’t been finished via strikes in 21 professional bouts prior to facing Jiri). That said, the that fact Sakai has not been knocked out in 17 professional MMA bouts is remarkable.
  • I believe Alistair Overeem is a better technical striker and is more threatening than any fighter Sakai has fought in the UFC thus far so Sakai’s durability can get tested in an unfamiliar way but assuming  Sakai’s durability holds up, it will give him a much better chance to win this bout against Overeem.

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