Derek Brunson vs Ed Herman – UFC on Fox 13 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick

UFC on FOX December 13, 2014 Middleweight Matchup: Derek Brunson vs Ed Herman By @fightnomics   Big Picture:  Whenever a UFC main card looks stacked, you can bet the undercard is solid as well. This weekend’s thirteenth event on “Big FOX” is no exception, with blockbuster matchups on the main card, and sneaky good matchups on the undercard. Such is the case with the pairing of longtime UFC veterans Ed Herman and Derek Brunson. Both appeared in Strikeforce long enough to be defeated by Ronaldo Jacare Souza, but now they meet in a battle for relevance in the UFC’s Middleweight division. Brunson opened as a solid but not egregious favorite at -230, but has since risen to an even stronger price of -330. The comeback on the underdog is currently -270. With initial assessments and continued support coming in for Brunson, it’s important to check the statline to see if he’s justified as the favorite.   Summary Stats:

Uber Tale of the Tape UFC on FOX14 - Herman-Brunson To see more Uber Tales of the Tape for this UFC fight card, check out MMA Oddsbreaker Premium.

  Tale of Tape Matchup: The traditional metrics on the tale of the tape are the first clue as to why Brunson may have advantages in this fight. In fact, Brunson gets the rare clean sweep of anthropometrics by being the younger, longer Southpaw. While Herman may have twice the professional bouts as Brunson, experience is not always a good thing when it comes at a price, and arguable Herman’s cage time and out of the cage lifestyle makes him older than his years. The tale of the tape offer solid support for the favorite.   Striking Matchup: While both men tend to fight aggressively, there’s a stark difference in the technicality of their offense and defense. Brunson is accurate with his power strikes, but also avoids strikes well, while Herman is the opposite. The combination of Herman’s poor power accuracy with his extremely low head strike avoidance supports his reputation as a brawler, and means he will eat a lot of punches in order to deliver one. That’s not a good thing in the long run in MMA, and as Herman approaches the home stretch of his career, the damage he’s taken in the past will catch up with him soon. He’s now taken a strike to the head 443 times in UFC action alone, with 123 of those absorbed while standing and trading. Each man has decent power for his division and they operate at nearly identical striking paces, but the better accuracy and avoidance of Brunson will begin to have an effect as the fight wears on, both on the scorecards and on Herman’s durability. While the metric for “chin” favors Herman, that’s career score, and in this matchup I don’t give him an advantage there. Overall the striking statline also supports Brunson.   Grappling Matchup: Historically, both fighters have shown a very high rate of takedowns, meaning we should definitely see a battle for ground control right out of the gates. Herman’s takedown success rate is better than Brunson’s, but Brunson’s takedown defense has been better – albeit on far fewer attempts. Overall, Herman has spent a slight majority of his fight time on the mat, which is rare today in MMA. He’s clearly an experienced grappler, and he was won much more by submission than by any other method. Brunson is no stranger to ground control, and has collegiate wrestling experience that fuels a style that is more about control than submissions. He has submission wins, but his only successes have come from the more traditional wrestler-centric rear naked chokes than the more diverse arsenal that Herman employs. The ground game will be interesting in terms of who gets control. We should see Brunson with the more effective wrestling, but never count out Herman’s submissions. To date, Brunson has never been caught be a submission, so while there is still risk on the ground, Brunson still gets an edge.   Reed’s Pick: Brunson by Win (Click for latest MMA odds)   Reed’s Recommended Play:  While trying to predict an outcome involving Ed Herman can be tricky due to his volatile nature, there are enough advantages throughout this analysis to support Brunson as a clear favorite. One way or the other, Brunson should come out on top. Given the line movement however, Brunson is now parlay material at best, and with any more movement could see all line value depleted, if not already. The Over of 2.5 rounds is currently -165, with the Under at +135, meaning that more people are expecting to see this go to the cards than finish early. Given that Middleweights finish more fights than most divisions, and both the susceptibility and finishing prowess of Herman, plus money on the Under presents some value, but not a lot. There’s more uncertainty than usual here, so overall I recommend not going in too heavy on this matchup. “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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