On Friday night, Rafael Carvalho successfully defended his Bellator middleweight title over veteran kickboxer Melvin Manhoef. All media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com had Manhoef as the winner, so it is safe to say the final decision was questionable. It is never good to see judging injustice. However, that is not really the story. Over the course of the 25-minute fight, neither fighter seemed willing to engage. They finished with a combined 69 landed strikes per CompuStrike.
So far this year, there have been seven fights to go the full 25-minute distance in the UFC and Bellator. Carvalho and Manhoef’s combined 69 landed strikes is by far the lowest total. The next lowest total is more than double that amount. (For comparison purposes, the UFC strike numbers are the total strikes counted by FightMetric since CompuStrike does not count by significant strikes.)
Combined Strikes Landed in 25-minute fights in 2016
If we look at it from an individual perspective, Carvalho has the lowest number of landed strikes and Manhoef comes in second to last.
Strikes Landed in 25-minute fights in 2016
Let’s get back to the decision for a second. Carvalho scored a paltry 60 StrikeScore in the fight against Manhoef. Of the fighters to win a 25-minute decision in 2016, you guessed it, Carvalho ranked dead last in terms of StrikeScore.
StrikeScore for Fighters to win 25-minute Decision in 2016
All in all, it was a dreadful decision and perhaps an even worse fight from an action perspective.