Fight Forecast previews the event by providing the fighter's career StrikeScore as well as UFC Fantasy predictions, betting odds, DraftKings prices and Fight Matrix rankings. In the following table, predicted winners are in blue and predicted losers are in red.
StrikeScore is a proprietary stat that measures striking efficiency. The formula uses Fightmetric data, so fighters without fights in the database are not included. Also, a fighter must have at least three fights in the database before the formula can considered at all predictive.
Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of 7/9/2016 1:25 PM EST)
DraftKings prices listed below are the dollar value used for the fantasy game.
Fight Matrix column represents the fighter's current unbiased and objective ranking.
In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 7/1/2014 to 4/1/2016. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included.
Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes
Tate has come a long way as a fighter, but statistically she is not much of a striker. A 59 StrikeScore is well below replacement level. In two of her last three fights against Holly Holm and Sara McMann, Tate was able to pull out the victory despite struggling on the feet. She will need to do the same here. Nunes’ issue on the feet is defense as she allows opponents to land 53 percent of their strikes against her. However, on the offensive side of the striking game, she is very effective. She lands 3.67 sig strikes per minute at a 50 percent clip, and she has finished half of her UFC fights via knockout.
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt
If you jumped into a time machine and headed towards 2009, you might be incredibly shocked to find that Hunt is a betting favorite over Lesnar. At the time, the gargantuan heavyweight champion had defeated Heath Herring, Randy Couture and Frank Mir and showed only a slight weakness, undeveloped submission defense. However, after UFC 100, Lesnar finished his initial UFC run with a 1-2 record and gave birth to the “he does not like to get hit narrative.”
When Lesnar was not able to get fights to the ground he struggled. As you can see below, his number of ground strikes fell off a cliff over his last three fights.
With that being said, Lesnar’s biggest strength as a fighter has always been his knowledge of his own limitations. He knows that striking on the feet is not his game. Against Herring, he did not even try to throw the hooks in when the scrambler gave up his back. Lesnar knows his path to victory is to avoid huge shots on the feet, get takedowns and throw power shots from the top. That is why his career striking accuracy (73 percent) is so high and why he lands 3.57 sig strikes per minute.
The question in this fight will be whether the former University of Minnesota wrestler can get those takedowns. Next week he turns 39 years old, and he is 16 years removed from his amateur wrestling career. On the other hand, Hunt seems to become a more well rounded fighter the longer his career goes. With the exception of his fight against Stipe Miocic, the former kickboxer has looked actually hard to take down. However, that is a big exception.
Daniel Cormier vs. Anderson Silva
With Silva coming into this fight on very late notice, very few people are expecting him to pull off the upset. Considering Cormier’s wrestling prowess, his best path to victory would likely be landing a huge power strike and scoring a knockout finish. The adage is that power is the last thing to leave a fighter. However, Silva seems to be in the midsts of a power drain. Of the 38 fights tracked by FightMetric, “The Spider” has been to decision only 10 times. Against Nick Diaz (108) and Michael Bisping (75) Silva landed over 70 strikes without scoring a knockout for only the second and third time in his career.
Anderson Silva Most Sig Strikes Landed in Decision
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
Flashback to the striking battle in their first encounter at UFC 156