Raphael Assuncao vs Bryan Caraway – UFC Fight Night 54 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick

UFC Fight Night 54 October 4, 2014 Bantamweight Matchup: Raphael Assuncao vs Bryan Caraway By @fightnomics   Big Picture:  In the co-main event from Halifax, two ranked Bantamweight fighters are facing off when #4 ranked Raphael Assuncao meets #10 ranked Bryan Caraway. Each man has built up a win streak and hopes to move up the division’s ranks on their way to a title shot next year. Assuncao opened as the favorite and is currently -270, with the comeback on the underdog Caraway +230. The market is agreeing with the rankings in this one, but it’s worth noting that Caraway has won two fights in a row as a very slight underdog. Let’s look at the numbers to see if he can pull off an even bigger upset for a three straight.   Summary Stats:

Uber Tape FN54 Carraway-Assuncao To see more Uber Tales of the Tape for this UFC fight card, check out MMA Oddsbreaker Premium.

  Tale of Tape Matchup: The traditional Tale of the Tape is a wash here. There are no significant differences in age or reach, and both men will use an orthodox stance. Assuncao is slightly more experienced and has been fighting slightly longer, but there’s nothing here worth differentiating.   Striking Matchup: This will likely play out as a striker-grappler matchup. Despite both men being experienced grapplers and taking most of their victories by submission, Caraway is more of a submission specialist than Assuncao has been. And given Assuncao’s decent striking stats, he’ll probably look to keep it standing and take advantage of Caraway where he is weakest. The striking statline reveals lots of advantages for Assuncao, who is the more accurate and faster-paced striker with more knockout power. Assuncao also has much better striking defense, perhaps the biggest difference between them, although he has also been dropped more times. Caraway has been reluctant to lead exchanges, and has used a very high mix of jabs in his attack. Notably, when he fires his power hand his accuracy has been well below average. And defensively, he has eaten far more strikes than is normal. So overall, Assuncao should not only be initiating the striking exchanges, he will be winning them with much more efficiency. This definitely favors Assuncao to win rounds on his striking ability alone.   Grappling Matchup: Here’s where things get trickier. Caraway’s statline shows he has been both aggressive and successful with his grappling attack. He attempts takedowns at a very high rate, and has gotten the better of opponents on the mat. He advances position often and has spent an extremely high share of mat-time in back control. This helped set up his submissions – which have come frequently – and earned a tap in all four of his UFC wins. In fact, his 80% success rate on submission attempts is the highest in UFC history for fighters with at least four wins by submission. But this will probably be Caraway’s toughest test yet. Assuncao has a black belt in BJJ and has also won most of his fights with submissions. His takedown defense is a stellar 77%, and he’s no slouch when on the mat despite having faced several strong grapplers. And speaking of strength of schedule, Assuncao already has a win over the current reigning champion TJ Dillashaw. That win was just one in his current six fight win streak, making him perfect since dropping to Bantamweight. While it’s hard to say which fighter might get top control first, it will probably be a stalemate between two very seasoned and skilled grapplers once it goes to the mat. All the more reason to believe that the standup exchanges and overall fighter aggression will determine this outcome. And those factors both favor Assuncao.   Reed’s Pick: Assuncao by Decision (click for latest MMA odds)   Reed’s Recommended Play:  Assuncao is supported here as a favorite given his superior striking ability and comparable competence on the mat. If this turns into a wrestling match, Caraway could steal some rounds – although a finish is unlikely. Given the price, use Assuncao in parlays with other justifiable favorites this weekend, like Gunnar Nelson. The Over of 2.5 rounds is -245, the Under +185. In theory, there’s probably more value in the Under, but this fight going to a decision is the most likely outcome given the skills of each fighter. And at the price of the Over, you might as well take Assuncao straight up. Also consider Assuncao by Decision at -145 for a much more reasonable play. “Fightnomics” the book is now available on Amazon! Follow along on Twitter for the latest UFC stats and MMA analysis, or on Facebook, if you prefer.

Written by Reed Kuhn

Leave a Reply

UFC Fight Night 54 in Nova Scotia: Fights to Avoid Betting

UFC Fight Night 53 in Sweden: Fights to Avoid Betting