Snapstats: Who is the Hardest Hitter at UFC on FOX 13?

By @fightnomics   When the UFC puts a show on Network Primetime, or “Big FOX” as Dana White calls it, they never hold back on matching up some heavy hitters. And this weekend will be no different when the final FOX card of the year heads to Phoenix, Arizona. With three different Heavyweight matchups on the main card, ridiculous knockout stats should be no surprise. But who gets the highest rating among all these sluggers? Let’s line them up and see.

Snapstats - Hardest Hitter at UFC on FOX 13

The overall UFC average for this metric is 2.7%. For more on the nuances and benchmarks for MMA statistics get the book “Fightnomics” at Amazon.

  Winners: There are a lot of guys who hit hard on this card, but there are three Heavyweights that rank well above average, even for their weight class. At the top of the list is Gabe Gonzaga, the man famous for Cro-Copping Mirko Cro Cop himself with a brutal head kick KO. But that wasn’t the only highlight in his long UFC career where all ten of his wins have come inside the distance. Gonzaga is in a three-way tie with Matt Mitrione and Jamie Varner with seven recorded knockdowns each, but Gonzaga need fewer strikes to accomplish his to outranks them in the Knockdown Rate metric. In second place is Gonzaga’s opponent Matt Mitrione, another fighter who has finished a lot of opponents. In fact, Mitrione has only been to a decision twice in his UFC career, ensuring that this fight is a “don’t blink” kind of contest. Next on the list is another Heavyweight, but arguably the best striker in the division. Although the power of Junior Dos Santos is very good, it’s perhaps is accuracy and technical striking that makes him such a good striker. Jamie Varner is the highest rated fighter this weekend who is not a Heavyweight. Impressively, this Lightweight has recorded seven knockdowns, and even more impressively he has scored them at a higher rate than even Alistair Overeem.   Middle of the Pack: The middle of the graph is loaded with guys who are arguably above average, but with similar Knockdown Rates. Ed Herman and Derek Brunson both pack a good decent punch at Middleweight, but their contest might become more about grappling than trading leather. Ben Suanders and Joe Riggs are both in their second careers in the UFC, but it’s Saunders who will have a slight power advantage. Even more important for Saunders will be his massive reach advantage. Heavyweights Overeem and Struve come in slightly below their division average, but that doesn’t mean their fight will last long as both are finishers but also able to be finished. Dos Anjos is a dangerous power striker at Lightweight, with a high Knockdown Rate and a very high power-to-jab ratio. He presents a stark stylistic contrast to Nate Diaz, who uses the “Stockton slap” to frustrate opponents. And Stipe Miocic is also a little below his division average in power, but he has shown good accuracy and speed on his feet so far. He’ll be a big underdog, so expect him to break out his wrestling background in an attempt to get the fight away from the comfort zone of Junior dos Santos.   Room for Improvement: The only fighter well below average in knockout power may come as a surprise to you given his most recent performance in knocking out Gray Maynard. But power isn’t Diaz’s primary weapon. The majority of his wins have come by submission on the mat, while on his feet it’s really his volume and accuracy that have propelled him past very strong competition. That makes for an interesting contrast in his co-main event matchup against Dos Anjos who is a stronger hitter, but also less accurate and with a lower striking pace.   “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

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