Snapstats: Who is the Hardest Hitter at UFC 191?

By @fightnomics The final fight of the night at UFC 191 may be in the Flyweight division, not known for knockouts, but before that happens plenty of skilled knockout artists will enter the cage, and that includes the title challenger. The other marquee matchups at Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight promise lots of potential for violence, and there are also some intriguing striking matchups all the way down on the prelims. Striking fans can especially look forward to the Felder-Pearson matchup, as well as Lineker-Rivera. So let’s take a closer look at the power in this weekend’s lineup. Here are how all the fighters on the UFC 191 card stack up in terms of Knockdown Rate. Note that some fighters have an asterisk to denote small sample size.

 Hardest Hitters UFC 191

Biggest Knockout Threats Frank Mir may not be known as much for his power as much as he is for his submissions, but Mir has been knocking people out for a long time. The former Heavyweight champion not only has the highest Knockdown Rate at UFC 191, but also the highest of any active fighter with at least 30 minutes of cage time. The Southpaw’s counter-striking was on point recently against Todd Duffee, leading to a nasty first round upset KO. This will be the seventh fight in a row where Mir is an underdog, and he’s only overcome favored fighters in his two most recent outings. But given the double threat that Mir presents with his submissions and his big left hand, it’s hard to ever count him out of a fight. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson defines himself by his power, and his matchup with another dangerous striker in Jimi Manuwa is one where he should be able to display it. Johnson has recorded 11 knockdowns in the UFC so far, and is already on the top 10 list for that metric among all-time leaders. In fact, he’s tied for 4th among active fighters. And in this matchup, his opponent is someone who also likes to stand and trade. Flyweight challenger John Dodson literally punches above his weight. Dodson has recorded seven knockdowns, including two over current champions Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, proving that he’s dangerous against elite competition, and certainly one of the hardest hitters at Flyweight. But given the well roundedness of Mighty Mouse’s game, Dodson will need to land something big in order to prevail. Another small fighter who hits big is John Lineker. Like Dodson, Lineker has scored seven knockdowns and never been dropped himself. Lineker could be kicking off a title run at Bantamweight if he continues to be so successful with his striking.   Above Average Like John Lineker, Francisco Rivera has been consistently dropping opponents, just not at quite as high a rate. And like Lineker, Rivera’s also hesitant to go to the ground, so we should see them go toe-to-toe and one of the fun prelim matchups. And speaking of potential prelim striking duels, Paul Felder is bouncing back quickly after a decision loss to Edson Barboza six weeks ago, and his opponent Ross Pearson is yet another strong striker who will happily keep the fight with Felder standing. Felder and Pearson each come in above average for their division offensively for power, but Felder is apparently more durable of the two, having yet to suffer a knockdown. We should see plenty of spinning stuff thrown at Pearson, who will have to be careful given the damage he’s taken over the years. Jimi Manuwa has generally preferred to keep fights standing, and that’s usually served him well. But this time, he’s facing one of the most feared strikers in the division, so it will be interesting to see if Manuwa employs a different strategy. Demetrious Johnson is not known for his knockout power, but he’s tallied three knockdowns to date, including a brutal KO in his title fight rematch against Joseph Benavidez. In the matchup with Dodson, Johnson will likely rely on his technical striking rather than swing for the fences.   Middle of the Pack Clay Collard is now 1-2 in the UFC, and needs a win to rebound and maintain his roster spot. To date, he scored one knockdown at about the expected pace. So this fight will see him either boost his Knockdown Rate, or fall below average.   Below Average Veteran Joe Riggs has been there and done it all. But the three knockdowns he’s scored in the UFC have come at a low rate, and he’s taken plenty of damage in between. Riggs will be facing off against fellow Southpaw and relative newcomer Ron Stallings. Jessica Andrade may look low on paper, but she’s actually well ahead of her own division in terms of power. She scored a knockdown once in defeat, but has also delivered several lopsided beatings so far in the UFC. She has a tough rematch this week against the scrappy Raquel Pennington.   Still Looking Plenty of fighters on this list have yet to score a knockdown in UFC competition, but mostly because they haven’t been around very long. That includes three of the four women competing this weekend, and four of the men. Of the candidates to record their first knockdown, consider Ron Stallings a possibility given his big range advantage over Joe Riggs, who happens to have one of the worst Knockdown Defense metrics. The same could be said for Clay Collard, but we don’t yet know how bad Tiago Trator’s durability is until we see him log more cage minutes.   For information on getting the “Fightnomics” the book, go here.

Written by Reed Kuhn

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