Evan Dunham vs Rodrigo Damm – UFC 182 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick

UFC 182 January 3, 2015 Lightweight Matchup: Evan Dunham vs Rodrigo Damm By @fightnomics   Big Picture:  Leading of the Fox Sports prelim card are two fighters who are a combined 0-5 in their most recent appearances.  This could be a loser goes home fight, but at least for Evan Dunham, his record is fairly misleading. Already competing in arguably the most competitive UFC weight class, Evan Dunham has had to face three of the division’s best in his last three fights, resulting in three straight losses. But look closer and you’ll see that he took current #1 contender and likely next title challenger Rafael Dos Anjos the distance, and Dunham even took one round from RDA on all three cards. Tough matchmaking yes, but a fighter not worthy of the UFC – definitely not. Damm on the other hand, has failed to distinguish himself in the UFC, with his only wins over lower tier-talent. Hence, Dunham opened as a sizable favorite at -350, but quickly rose to an even steeper -550 over Damm at +425. Does the numbers justify Dunham as such a strong favorite? Let’s find out.   Summary Stats:

Uber Tape UFC182 Dunham-Damm 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 very close on age and size, and both fighters are entering the danger zone for age related problems. But Dunham will have a Southpaw advantage, and given the striking stats that we’ll see, it could boost his advantages here. Dunham gets a slight edge.   Striking Matchup: Overall, Dunham is a fairly efficient and effective fighter, while Damm is not. While some of the striking metrics are close, it’s the pace and cage control of Dunham that is the biggest mismatch here. Dunham averages over 20 strike attempts per minute, more than anyone fighting at UFC 182, and nearly double the pace of his opponent. That means Dunham will be setting the pace of action, and he’ll be doing it at a high pace. He’s not the most diverse striker, but his high pace of activity helps him win rounds, and he’s more of a finishing threat than Damm. Aside from very different pace and target selection, these two are very similar in their accuracy, and neither is especially powerful. Both are susceptible to knockdowns, but defensively, Dunham gets an edge by having better strike avoidance. It looks close on paper, but the big difference in pace means Dunham should be owning the rounds and is likely the more resilient fighter overall after adjusting for his strength of competition. Being a headhunter who throws a lot of volume, Dunham could hurt Damm at some point to set up a finish.   Grappling Matchup: Damm may have excellent grappling credentials, but he hasn’t been very successful translating them to MMA. Dunham on the other hand, won a decision over one of the better wrestlers in the division, Gleison Tibau. Dunham is more likely to attempt takedowns, and while his success rate isn’t great, it’s still better than Damm’s. Both men have stout takedown defense, but overall Dunham has been much better at controlling ground position than Damm, who has spent much more time on his back – perhaps by choice given his BJJ base. In theory, Damm wants this on the mat, but he could have trouble getting it there, and Dunham is experienced enough to stay out of trouble. Assuming Dunham doesn’t get caught with a submission – and he only has one loss by submission plus a black belt of his own – he should get the better of the ground game.   Reed’s Pick: Dunham to Win (Click for latest MMA odds)    Reed’s Recommended Play:  While the opening line for Dunham was favorable, the price has escalated to parlay-only zone for most bettors. The numbers do support Dunham as a clear favorite. The risk is low, but so is the payout. Use Dunham in parlays to bring it down to a reasonable level. The limit of 2.5 rounds is strongly leaning towards the Over at -205, with the Under at +165. Lightweights finishing a fight is roughly a 50/50 proposition, but neither of these two have finished that often in their wins. That said, they are both older and susceptible in different ways. Damm is dangerous with submissions, but he’s also prone to TKO losses – so Dunham could get a striking finish. While I would guess a slight lean towards the Over, at these prices the Under presents better value.   “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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