Bellator 185 Fight Forecast

Fight Forecast is a recurring series at StrikeScoreMMA.com that provides a stats based preview of upcoming events. Since striking stats are not available outside the UFC, we need to get a bit creative. The following uses Fight Matrix rankings, peak rank, Tapology user votes, betting odds and Rankings Momentum.

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 includedTapology scores are as of Oct. 20 at 8:30 a.m. ET. Betting odds are from 5Dimes as of Oct. 20 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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UFC Fight Night 99 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 Nov. 18 at 11:15 a.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of Nov. 18 at 11:15 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 1/1/2015 to 10/1/2016. 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

On Saturday, former Strikeforce and Dream champion Gegard Mousasi returns to action. He will try to avenge his only loss since 2014 against Uriah Hall. The knockout loss against Hall was probably one of the most shocking upsets of 2015. Not only because was it a jumping, spinning back kick, but also because Mousasi is one of the most tactical strikers in middleweight history. His 414 StrikeScore is the highest among ranked middleweights (UFC rankings). His abnormally high score is due mostly to his outlier defense statistics. Sure, Mousasi lands 3.67 sig strikes per minute. That is nothing to sneeze at, but his 1.17 sig strikes absorbed per minute is best in the rankings. He also allows opponents to land only 31 percent of their sig strike attempts. 

The following scatter plot highlight's Mousasi's outlier status in terms of defensive striking.

As previously stated, while Mousasi's defensive numbers are far and away the best, his offensive numbers are also above average. In the following table, best stats are listed in blue, while worst are listed in red.

UFC 204 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 Oct. 7 at 1:15 p.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of Oct. 7 at 1:15 p.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 10/1/2014 to 7/1/2016. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. 

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Bisping vs. Henderson StrikeScore (Last 5 Fights)

For more information on Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson check out Richard Mann's preview on ESPN.com.

Belfort vs. Mousasi StrikeScore (Last 5 Fights)

Gegard Mousasi has one of the highest career StrikeScores at 400. Outside of his last loss against Uriah Hall, he has put up at least 572 in three of his last four bouts. Vitor Belfort has had negative StrikeScores in two of his last three bouts.

Saint Preux vs. Manuwa StrikeScore (Last 5 Fights)

Ovince Saint Preux absorbed more sig strikes against Jon Jones (105) than he did in his previous four fights. Jimi Manuwa started his UFC run with three-straight wins. He has been outstruck in all of his bouts since.

Struve vs. Omielanczuk StrikeScore (Last 5 Fights)

Stefan Struve's 9400 StrikeScore over Antonio Silva was one of the highest scores of the year, but it came against Antonio Silva. Daniel Omielanczuk has outstruck his opponents 118-47 since falling to Anthony Hamilton last year.

Bektic vs. Doane StrikeScore (Last 5 Fights)

In his three-fight UFC career, Mirsad Bektic might not have been very exciting, but he has been dominant defensively. His opponents have landed only 0.79 sig strikes per minute, and he avoids 75 percent of their strikes. Russell Doane has been taken down 10 times in five UFC fights and will likely end up stuck underneath Bektic in this fight.

July UFC Striking Performance of the Month

July had several top striking performance, but Louis Smolka finished with the highest StrikeScore for his continuous onslaught on Ben Nguyen. Despite the high score, he did not come close to unseating Alejandro Perez's top score of the year so far.


RankFighterOpponentEventDateStrikeScore
1Louis SmolkaBen NguyenUFC Fight Night 917/13/20162194
2Tatiana SuarezAmanda CooperTUF 23 Finale7/8/20161836
3Amanda NunesMiesha TateUFC 2007/9/20161648
4Cain VelasquezTravis BrowneUFC 2007/9/20161120
5Anthony HamiltonDamian GrabowskiUFC 2017/30/20161070
6Derrick LewisRoy NelsonUFC Fight Night 907/7/20161063
7Alberto MinaMike PyleUFC Fight Night 907/7/20161031
8Jim MillerTakanori GomiUFC 2007/9/2016950
9Kevin LeeJake MatthewsTUF 23 Finale7/8/2016646
10Gegard MousasiThiago SantosUFC 2007/9/2016581

UFC 200 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 7/9/2016 1:25 PM EST)

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

StrikeScore for Aldo vs. Edgar I