'Wonderboy' posts highest score against Hendricks and other notes from UFC Fight Night 82

Stephen Thompson upset former champion Johny Hendricks. In the process, he registered a 464 StrikeScore. That is the highest number ever put up against Hendricks over the course of his WEC/UFC career. The 464 StrikeScore is nearly double the previous high score against Hendricks, Alex Serdyukov who put up 238 in 2009.

In a little over three minutes, Thompson landed 24 strikes at a 52 percent rate. Probably more impressively, he was able to stuff two takedown attempts from the multiple-time NCAA wrestler. It was a big night for the Wonderboy.

Roy Nelson starts slow, but turns the tide against Jared Rosholt
In the opening frame, Nelson managed to only land six significant strikes. However, in the next two rounds, he was able to settle down and pick apart Rosholt on the feet. After a -8 StrikeScore in round one, Nelson scored 187 and 227 for the final two rounds. 

Nelson vs. Rosholt StrikeScore by Round 1

OSP is boom or bust
Ovince Saint Preux utterly dominated former Strikeforce champion Rafael Feijao. Despite rolling his ankle early in the fight, he was able to earn a whopping 521 StrikeScore. Over the course of his last three fights, OSP has managed to score 200 or over in all of his victories. However, he has been forced under 100 in all of his defeats.

St. Preux Recent Career StrikeScore

Derrick Lewis is not going to decision
Lewis is 4-2 in his six-fight UFC career. All six of those fights have ended via knockout. His run is a microcosm of heavyweight MMA outside of the top-ten in 2016.

In a lot of ways, people are overlooking Lewis’ most recent victory. Grabowski is the best fighter that he has beaten to date. Damian Grabowski has a Fight Matrix Highest Quarterly Ranking (HQR) of 12. In his only other fight against a competitor with a HQR in the top 20, Matt Mitrione (13), Lewis was on the wrong side of a devastating knockout. 

Output issues for Ray Borg
On Saturday, Borg suffered his second UFC loss. For most of his career, Borg has relied on his superior grappling to control his opponents. However, Scoggins showed up better footwork and picked apart Borg on the outside. For Borg to be successful against better competition, he will need to devise a new strategy to land strikes. Over the course of his UFC career, he has struggle with output. 

On Saturday, he only landed 20 sig strikes over the course of the three-round fight. That is not a very impressive number, but it is actually close to his career high. In his previous fight against Geane Herrera, he landed 26 sig strikes.

1.31 sig strikes per minute is an extremely low rate. If he can’t get his opponents down, he should try clinching along the fence and landed from there, also known as the Randy Couture strategy. 

Updated Top Ten Striking Performances
Four performances from last weekend’s card entered the StrikeScore MMA Top Ten Striking Performances rankings. Lewis had the best score with a 1539 for his destruction of Grabowski.

1Anthony JohnsonRyan BaderUFC on Fox 181/30/20169500
2Sheldon WestcottEdgar GarciaUFC 1951/2/20163424
3Derrick LewisDamian GrabowskiUFC Fight Night 822/6/20161539
4Chris WadeMehdi BaghdadUFC Fight Night 811/17/2016590
5Rob FontJoey GomezUFC Fight Night 811/17/2016570
6Patrick CoteBen SaundersUFC Fight Night 811/17/2016547
7Rafael NatalKevin CaseyUFC on Fox 181/30/2016531
8Ovince Saint PreuxRafael FeijaoUFC Fight Night 822/6/2016521
9Stephen ThompsonJohny HendricksUFC Fight Night 822/6/2016464
10Alex WhiteArtem LobovUFC Fight Night 822/6/2016453

UFC 193: Stefan Struve's best striking performances have come against lesser opposition

Most MMA fans would assume that a seven-foot-tall Dutch fighter would excel in the stand-up game. However, Stefan Struve has proven to be the exception to this rule. Since his UFC debut, which saw him fall to Junior Dos Santos in only 54 seconds, Struve has never managed to show the striking acumen of his fellow countrymen, such as Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Alistair Overeem, etc. It's been his above average ground game and the dearth of talent in the heavyweight divison that has allowed "Skyscraper" to build himself a respectable UFC career.

In his last outing, Struve managed to pick apart whatever was left of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. "Big Nog" is clearly not the fighter that he was during his heyday. However, at the time, he was still a top-40 hevyweight. Prior to the Nogueira fight, Struve previously had only two striking performances against top-40 competition rate positive (as in above zero) on the StrikeScore scale (Fight Metric significant strikes were used as source data).

For the purpose of the following chart, rankings data was compiled from Fight Matrix. The contemporary ranking is the most recent "Generated Historical Ranking" of Struve's oppoent prior to their fight. The opponents are listed in order of contemporary ranking (highest to lowest). Contemporary ranking is where that fighter was ranked at fight time, not where they rank historically. The chart below shows that Struve's StrikeScore results greatly depend on the talent level of his opposition. This weekend at UFC 193, he takes on Jared Rosholt, a fighter known much more for his wrestling. But with a ranking of 27th, Struve may still struggle to score points on the feet.

StrikeScore for Stefan Struve vs. Fighter Ranked Above/Below 40

Rosholt holds a 5-1 record in the UFC. He is coming off a decision victory over Timothy Johnson at UFC Fight Night 73. However, that fight highlights a potential issue for Rosholt, and that is fading in the third round. Both his offensive striking output and accuracy dropped dramatically in the last round as compared to round 2. His number of total strike attempts went from 31 to 14, and his accuracy fell from 74 percent to 57 percent. Perhaps Rosholt was just having an off night, since his output and stirking actually increased in the final round in his three other decision victories.