UFC Fight Night 123 Fight Forecast

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.

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.

UFC Fantasy and Tapology numbers are the percent of players who have picked each fighter to win. (Numbers are current as of Dec. 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of Dec. 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET)

DraftKings prices listed below are the dollar value used for the fantasy game. Also listed are the average points scored by the fighter in the fantasy game. For a breakdown of DraftKings scoring click here.

Fight Matrix column represents the fighter's current unbiased and objective ranking.

In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 1/1/2016 to 10/1/2017. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. 

UFC Fight Night 123 Screener.png

UFC Fight Night 114 Fight Forecast

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.

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.

UFC Fantasy and Tapology numbers are the percent of players who have picked each fighter to win. (Numbers are current as of Aug. 3 at 9:00 a.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of Aug. 3 at 9:00 a.m. ET)

DraftKings prices listed below are the dollar value used for the fantasy game. Also listed are the average points scored by the fighter in the fantasy game. For a breakdown of DraftKings scoring click here.

Fight Matrix column represents the fighter's current unbiased and objective ranking.

In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 10/1/2015 to 7/1/2017. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. 

UFC Fight Night 94 Fight Forecast

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.

UFC Fantasy and Tapology numbers are the percent of players who have picked each fighter to win. (Numbers are current as of 9/16/2016 11:30 AM EST)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of 9/16/2016 11:30 AM EST)

DraftKings prices listed below are the dollar value used for the fantasy game. Also listed are the average points scored by the fighter in the fantasy game. For a breakdown of DraftKings scoring click here.

Fight Matrix column represents the fighter's current unbiased and objective ranking.

In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 10/1/2014 to 7/1/2016. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. 

*Fighter with less than three fights in FightMetric database

*Fighter with less than three fights in FightMetric database

Since falling to Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier has outlanded his opponents 159 to 79.

Michael Johnson does not really differentiate himself from his opponents. His opponents land nearly as many sig strikes per minute as he does (3.46-3.89). His opponents land 40 percent of their sig strikes, while Johnson only lands 35.

Uriah Hall is 1-4 in UFC fights that go to decision. Hall’s ranking jumped up significantly following upset over Gegard Mousasi, which explains his 45.65 Rankings Momentum.

In his last three fights, Derek Brunson has outlanded his opponents 61 to 4 and scored three knockouts.

Evan Dunham throws a ton of volume. He lands a respectable number of sig strikes per minute, 5.37, while only landing 38 percent.

Rick Glenn’s ranking peaked at #17 after he defeated Georgi Karakhanyan for the WSOF title. It has since leveled off.

Since returning from an over six-year layoff in 2015, “Jucao” has landed one sig strikes in two UFC bouts.

Chris Wade had scored 11 takedowns without being taken down himself prior to his last fight. Against Rustam Khabilov, he failed to land a takedown for the first time in his UFC career and allow Khabilov to land 6 of 9 takedown attempts.

Islam Makhachev’s UFC career has been a tale of two fights. In his debut, he thoroughly outstruck Leo Kuntz 32 to 7. However, in his last fight, he was knocked out on only three punches by Adriano Martins.

Chas Skelly has never really been much of a striker, but his last fight really hurt him from a numbers perspective. Against Darren Elkins, he was outstruck 104 to 27, which dropped his UFC per minute striking differential to -1.51.

Maximo Blanco and Skelly should be an interesting freestyle vs. folkstyle wrestling battle. Blanco has landed 11 takedowns in his UFC/Strikeforce career. However, against the best wrestler he has faced, Pat Healy, he allowed five takedowns and fell via submission.

So far in his UFC career, Gabriel Benitez has avoided 71 percent of his opponent’s strikes. However, Andre Fili only needed to landed 16 sig strikes to finish him at UFC Fight Night 78.

Like most fighters with a StrikeScore under 100, Sam Sicilia lands fewer sig strikes than his opponents (2.74 slpm vs 3.33) and at a worse rate (37 percent to 43)

Augusto Montano has been takedown and had his guard passed in both of his UFC fights and Chris Heatherly and Cathal Pendred.

In his UFC debut, Belal Muhammad landed over five sig strikes per minute and absorbed over five sig strikes per minute. Against Alan Jouban, defense was optional.

Antonio Carlos Junior is returning to action after suffering his first career knockout loss against Daniel Kelly.

In his UFC debut, Leonardo Leleco was outstruck 64 to 57 by Anthony Smith. However, he got into a groove in the third round. In the final frame, he outlanded Smith 39 to 6.

Jose Quinonez picked up his first career submission victory over Leonardo Morales in his last outing.

In his UFC debut, Joey Gomez struggled. Rob Font landed 52 sig strikes and finished him late in the second round.

Erick Montano landed two takedowns in his UFC debut against Enrique Marin, but he landed zero sig strikes on the ground.

Randy Brown’s striking game was shut down in his last fight by the wrestling of Michael Graves. However, Brown successfully defended five of seven takedown attempts and absorbed only 11 sig strikes.

Alejandro Perez scored the highest StrikeScore of the year (11800) against Ian Entwistle. In the fight, he landed 48 sig strikes while absorbing none. 

After making his professional debut in 2015, Albert Morales broke into the Fight Matrix rankings at #444 featherweight after defeating Anthony Paredes at World Series of Fighting 28.

Junior dos Santos gets back on track and other notes from UFC Fight Night 86 and the U.S. Olympic Trials

Heading into UFC Fight Night 86, one of the biggest stories was the decline of former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. However, on Sunday, he turned things around with a dominating five-round victory over the streaking Ben Rothwell. Per FightMetric, Dos Santos broke the records for most sig strikes landed in a heavyweight fight, most sig strikes landed to the body and most sig strikes landed over the course of a career for a heavyweight. For the fight, he finished with a 279 StrikeScore, which is his highest score since knocking out Mark Hunt in 2013.

That is the good news. The bad news is that prior to his second fight with Cain Velasquez, Dos Santos’ average StrikeScore was 1231. Even with the victory, his Rankings Momentum only improved two points and still stands at -24.7. Dos Santos needs to continue to turn out impressive performances in order to get back into the legitimate title picture.

Alejandro Perez scores highest StrikeScore of 2016
Despite closing as a +110 underdog, Perez put up one of the most ridiculous stat lines in recent MMA history. He landed 87 total strikes and 48 sig strikes while absorbing absolutely zero. He finished the fight via submission due to strikes in the first round. For the performance, Perez has supplanted Anthony Johnson and Chris Camozzi for the most efficient striking performance of the year. The Mexican fighters is now in the driver’s seat to take home the best striker of the month and year awards.

RankFighterOpponentEventDateStrikeScore
1Alejandro PerezIan EntwistleUFC Fight Night 864/10/201611800
2Anthony JohnsonRyan BaderUFC on Fox 181/30/20169500
2Chris CamozziJoe RiggsUFC Fight Night 832/21/20169500
4Derek BrunsonRoan CarneiroUFC Fight Night 832/21/20166800
5Damian StasiakFilip PejicUFC Fight Night 864/10/20166700
6Teemu PackalenThibault GoutiUFC Fight Night 842/27/20165900
7Oluwale BamgboseDaniel SarafianUFC Fight Night 832/21/20164800
8Sheldon WestcottEdgar GarciaUFC 1951/2/20163424
9Jason SaggoJustin SalasUFC 1963/5/20162173
10Derrick LewisDamian GrabowskiUFC Fight Night 822/6/20161539

Another interesting addition to the top-ten is Damian Stasiak’s first-round submission over Filip Pejic. Despite only attempting three strikes and landing two, Stasiak scored a whopping 6700. No statistical measure is perfect, and StrikeScore greatly rewards fighters who do not absorb punishment (Pejic landed zero strikes). In a way, taking your opponent down and working for a submission is the best striking defense you can employ.

Bojan Velickovic vs. Alessio Di Chirico Decision
Velickovic took home a unanimous decision victory over Di Chirico in the opening bout of the night. The judges scored it 29-28 (twice) and 30-27. However, of the 15 media scores tracked by MMADecisions, only four scored it for Velickovic. StrikeScore gives the striking advantage to Di Chirico in all three rounds.

The Bellator Three (Aaron Pico, Ed Ruth and Tyrell Fortune) Olympic Trials Recap
This past weekend at the U.S. Olympic Trials, three Bellator signings were in action. Aaron Pico, Ed Ruth and Tyrell Fortune all previously signed with the promotion with the intention of converting to MMA following their wrestling career. While none of the three ended up making the team, Pico, at only 19 years of age, made a lot of noise en route to coming up one match short of Rio 2016.

In his first match, Pico fell behind former Hodge Trophy winner (wrestling’s Heisman Trophy) Jayson Ness 9-0. If he had given up another point, Pico would have lost via technical fall. Instead, he rattled off 20 unanswered points to instead win with a technical fall. In the next round, he defeated two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver 11-9. In the semifinals, he scored a 12-1 technical fall over Reece Humphrey. The finals of the Olympic Trials is a best of three series. Pico defeated Frank Molinaro 4-2 in the first match before dropping the next two and finishing second.

Ruth scored a quick 10-0 tech fall over Deron Winn in the opening round. However, he then fell to Keith Gavin 15-8 and was eliminated from championship contention. Ruth then dropped out of the consolation bracket via injury default.

Fortune lost his first match to Dom Bradley. He then forfeited his way out of the competition.

Aaron Pico vs. Jayson Ness

Most Dominant Champions at the Freestyle U.S. Olympic Trials
The following wrestlers were the most dominant at their weight. The measure is Wrestler’s Pythagorean Expectation (WPE) you can read about it here.

WeightWrestlerWPE
57 kgDan Dennis96.68
65 kgFrank Molinaro71.91
74 kgJordan Burroughs97.57
86 kgJ'den Cox78.11
97 kgKyle Snyder88.69
125 kgTervel Dlagnev95.49