Zach Makovsky vs Jussier Formiga – UFC Fight Night 47 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick

UFC Fight Night 47 August 12, 2014 Flyweight Matchup: Zach Makovsky vs Jussier (Da Silva) Formiga By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics   Big Picture:  After the lengthy hiatus following the cancellation of UFC 176, the UFC is returning with a talent-stacked card in Bangor, Maine this weekend. The event has former title contenders (Sara McMann, Gray Maynard) as well as potential future contenders. And capping off the prelims will be two ranked Flyweights each attempting to make a case for a title shot in a division in need of viable new challengers. The #9-ranked former Bellator champ Zack Makovsky opened as a clear favorite and has risen to -320 since then. The comeback on the higher ranked underdog #6 Flyweight Formiga is now +260. The market is clearly taking a position favoring Makovsky to make a big move up in the rankings, so let’s see if the numbers agree.   Summary Stats:

Uber Tape FN 47 Da Silva-Makovsky To see more Uber Tales of the Tape for this UFC fight card, check out MMA Oddsbreaker Premium.

  Tale of Tape Matchup: Both men are in their prime and have a wingspan that is just above average for their division. So the most important factor on the traditional Tale of the Tape will be the stance of Makovsky. Fighting as a Southpaw tends to make things tougher for opponents, and that will be a more important boost than the slight age or reach differentials. Interestingly, the Southpaw advantage also affects grappling, not just striking, which could also be relevant here.   Striking Matchup: Formiga has been on the receiving end of some tough knockouts against Benavidez and Dodson. Those were worthy adversaries, but the damage can also take a toll. His cumulative striking stats are below average in terms of pace, cage control and power. Makovsky may have a wrestling background, but the stats suggest he has also spent plenty of time working on his hands. He has the second highest power head strike accuracy on the entire card, and has landed with 32% accuracy by that metric in a division notorious for being fast and elusive. Formiga’s head strike defense is very good, so there’s an interesting battleground in the standup game between Makovsky’s precision and Formiga’s defense. Either way, Makovsky should be the one controlling the cage and maintaining pursuit.   Grappling Matchup: Formiga boasts the better submission credentials with his black belt in BJJ, but Makovsky’s Division I college wrestling experience may be the antidote that is critical in this matchup. It should be Makovsky who decides where the fight goes, as Formiga’s poor takedown success rate doesn’t stack up well with Makovsky’s above average takedown defense. Offensively, Makovsky could use his wrestling to put an exclamation point on some of the rounds, as he has done in the past against Jorgensen and Sampo. He recorded 24 takedown attempts in his first two UFC appearances, and added a slam to 18% of those (nearly twice the UFC average). Round-to-round, his wrestling will also benefit him on the scorecards, although he’ll need to be conservative in his ground game to prevent Formiga from catching any surprise submissions.   Reed’s Pick: Makovsky by Decision (click for latest MMA odds)   Reed’s Recommended Play:  Makovsky has advantages across the board in key areas that support him on the scorecards. Formiga is still dangerous, especially with submissions, but Makovsky has had years to work on his submission defense since the early days when he got caught in a few. The line is steep, but the numbers support Makovsky as the likely winner. Look for plenty of people to use Makovsky in parlays with another big favorite, Sara McMann. Assuming he wins, also look for new talk about setting him up in a title eliminator fight given that current champ Demetrious Johnson has already faced and defeated everyone ranked in the top five. The Over of 2.5 rounds is -240, and potentially a better value for your money at this point if the line on Makovsky continues to rise. But Formiga’s recent knockouts are also one path to an early victory for Makovsky should his precise hands find a target early. However, keep in mind that Flyweight T/KOs only happen about a quarter of the time, so the most likely scenario is Makovsky by decision. The current prop on that play is a very reasonable -117. “Fightnomics” the book is now available on Amazon!  Follow along on Twitter for the latest UFC stats and MMA analysis.

Written by Reed Kuhn

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