Jake Ellenberger vs Josh Koscheck – UFC 184 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick

UFC 184 February 28th, 2015 Welterweight Matchup: Jake Ellenberger vs Josh Koscheck By @fightnomics   Big Picture:  The last men competing in the Octagon at UFC 184 are two Welterweights in desperate need of a win. Jake Ellenberger may still be ranked, and Josh Koscheck was a former title contender, but both men are currently riding three fight losing streaks. For Koscheck at least, this fight could mean the end of his career, but they clearly both have a lot to fight for. The #11th ranked Ellenberger is the -200 favorite over Koscheck at +170. Stylistically the two are similar, wrestlers/power-strikers. They’ve each had moments of brilliance in the UFC Octagon, but have slid into losing streaks against some of the division’s best, including mutual losses to current champion Robbie Lawler. So who has performed better on the stat line?   Summary Stats:

Uber Tape 184 Koscheck-Ellenberger 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 reveals a big discrepancy in age, resulting in a seven year Youth Advantage for Ellenberger thanks to Koscheck having drifted well beyond the danger zone for age in MMA. In fact, when Koscheck last fought he was still 35, because his last fight was a 469 days ago. That long layoff, in addition to the age differential, gives a strong statistical edge to Ellenberger right out of the gate. Otherwise, they will use the same stance with the same reach.   Striking Matchup: Both fighters wrestled in college, but both have looked their best fighting as strikers in the UFC, spending well more than half of their fight time on the feet. And when they meet in the center of the cage, their striking styles may look very similar. Both are somewhat hesitant in their striking, but pack a lot of power. They have roughly average power accuracy, although Ellenberger’s is better, and Ellenberger also has a much better jab. They both operate at a slow striking pace on the feet and have generally been outworked on volume by opponents. As counter-strikers, both men have above average strike defense, as well as high Knockdown Rates for the division, and they both focus primarily on head-hunting their opponents with a below average mix of body and leg kicks. But defensively there is a bigger difference: the chin. Ellenberger’s knockdown resiliency (chin) is right about average for the division, while Koscheck’s is definitely worse than average. At the age of 37 and coming off back-to-back knockout losses Koscheck is very much in danger should he choose to trade leather. He’s dangerous too in his own right, but all the advantages here lean toward Ellenberger on the feet, and we could see the fight play out mostly there.   Grappling Matchup: The wrestling base of each fighter is evident in their grappling stats. Although they don’t try to get the fight to the mat much more often than average, they show good takedown success rates and also takedown defense. But the edge on both variables is again in Ellenberger’s favor, with the biggest divergence being his excellent takedown defense that is actually high enough to land him in the UFC record books ahead of Jose Aldo if he successfully defends two more takedown attempts. However, Koscheck has spent a greater share of his fight time on the ground in control than Ellenberger, driven by more advances per takedown, and more minutes of control per takedown. Once Koscheck gets on top, he’s been more effective than Ellenberger. Both fighters clearly have respectable wrestling, and top control may be Koscheck’s best chance to winning rounds, but he’s still going to have a tough time getting the fight there. Add in the fact that neither man is overly aggressive with their striking, and it’s unlikely that either will overcommit and allow an easy takedown. Koshcheck’s takedown defense is good, but only slightly above average, meaning Ellenberger may be the more likely one to gain top control if it does hit the mat. Overall, it’s a close call in the grappling game, but Ellenberger’s stout defense and tighter standup should lead to him controlling where the fight goes.   Reed’s Pick: Ellenberger to Win (Click for latest MMA odds)    Reed’s Recommended Play:  The stats agree that this is Ellenberger’s fight, and the current price is not unreasonable for a straight play. For limited budgets, it’s also solid parlay fodder to pair with one other higher probability outcome. Ellenberger could get the knockout given the power in his hands and the clear liability of Koscheck’s chin, or he could control the location of the fight and land the more damaging blows en route to a decision. The limit is a very tight 1.5 rounds, with the Over currently -165 and +140 for the Under. The odds suggest a lot of finishing potential on their feet, but you’ll have to lay juice if you think the fight will take time to develop. That makes the total here a pretty tough call. If the line diverges further, a small play on the Under at solid plus money is worth it, but otherwise avoid it.   “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. Want to put your knowledge to the test in Fantasy MMA for cash? Use the code “FIGHTNOMICS” for an immediate 25% deposit bonus at Kountermove.

Written by Reed Kuhn

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