Snapstats: Who’s the Most Effective Fighter at UFC 182?

By @fightnomics   The UFC is leading off 2015 with one of the most anticipated matchups of the new season, a chance to settle the bitter feud between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. But the card at UFC 182 is also scattered with other intriguing matchups that could affect the title pictures of several divisions. Let’s take a closer look at the talent stacking this pay-per-view card to see which fighters have succeeded in being the most efficient and effective, and which ones haven’t. Here are all the UFC 182 competitors with sufficient sample size measured by Significant Strikes Landed per Minute relative to their respective opponents. The more positive the score, the more they’ve gotten the better of their opponents. Fighters with near-breakeven scores tend to match their opponents strike-for-strike, while those with negative scores have taken more damage than they’ve been able to dish out. It’s a great measure of how a fighter controls a fight round-toround, since ultimately judges are rewarding a fighter’s effectiveness in fighting their opponent.

Total Effectiveness Chart UFC 182

Fighters with positive scores tend to do more damage on opponents than they absorb. Fighters who remain in the UFC tend to score above breakeven. For more on benchmarks for MMA statistics get the book “Fightnomics” at Amazon.

  Winners: There are a lot of names in the positive here, and that reflects the fact that guys who are able to hang around in the UFC long enough to be analyzed are generally good fighters. But still, some are able to rise above the rest, and the name at the top of the list here adds another element of intrigue to the evening’s main event. Daniel Cormier’s fighting career to date has been dominant: he’s never lost, never been knocked down, and never even been taken down! And despite being undersized at Heavyweight and even still at Light Heavyweight, he has quite simply imposed his will on one opponent after another. It’s not a finesse game with Cormier full of submissions or exotic kicks, but he has controlled the position of his fights and closed range on larger fighters to consistently outwork, and outland them. Fittingly, the betting odds for this matchup are the closest ever for Jon Jones defending his title. Cormier’s opponent Jon Jones also excels in effectiveness, but probably for a different reason. Jones’s long reach is often on display when he stands and trades with opponents. His striking is accurate from long range, and he utilizes a diverse kicking attack, all while being extremely hard to hit. The main event at UFC 182 will pit two highly effective and efficient fighters against one another in a very compelling battle of who can impose their will on the other. Another name towards the upper end of the list is important to note, as he is a significant favorite in his matchup. In fact, Kyoji Horiguchi is the biggest betting favorite on the entire card, perhaps because he has been highly effective and happens to be facing the fighter who has been least effective among this group. Middle of the Pack: Holding the middle of the graph are a bunch of fighters who have performed above average. Most notable here is Myles Jury, who is a solid underdog to the less effective, but arguably much more dangerous Donald Cerrone. This matchup dynamic will make for a chess match between efficiency and aggression. Another potential mismatch pits the effective Evan Dunham against the ineffective Rodrigo Damm. Once again, the more effective fighter is a massive betting favorite. One of the main card matchups that has been most even according to the betting public is between Brad Tavares and Nate Marquardt, and their relatively close positions on the chart support that sentiment. And the last of the big betting mismatches is supported by Hector Lombard’s much higher position compared to the less than effective Josh Burkman. We’ll have to wait and see how much Burkman improved his fight game in his time outside the UFC, and if he hasn’t it could be a rough night for his UFC return.   Room for Improvement: Only three fighters have lasted this far into their UFC careers while having been out-landed by opponents, reflected by a negative effectiveness score. In all three cases for Burkman, Damm, and Gaudinot, they will be big underdogs in their respective matchups. This is one more indicator that the fighter effectiveness score is a simple, but insightful metric for understanding a fighter’s overall performance efficiency.    “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

MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Johnson vs. Barboza Set As UFC FN 61 Co-Main

UFC 182 Play: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (-190) vs Myles ‘Fury’ Jury (+165)