UFC Fight Night 116 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 Sept. 15 at 8:50 a.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of Sept. 15 at 8:50 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. 

*Fewer than three fights in the FightMetric database

*Fewer than three fights in the FightMetric database

Michael Bisping's shocking knockout and other notes from UFC 199

Michael Bisping’s title claiming upset over Luke Rockhold was one of the biggest upsets in UFC title fight history. However, the way that the fight ending is perhaps even more surprising. Over the course of his 26-fight UFC career, Bisping has scored 10 knockouts. That is not a terrible knockout rate. With that being said, a lot of the finishes were the result of an accumulation of strikes. Going into Saturday night, Bisping was landing a knockout for every 133 sig strikes landed.

Against Rockhold, Bisping needed only 21 strikes to turn the lights out and take the belt. That is the fewest sig strikes Bisping has landed in a knockout victory since he bested Eric Schafer in 2006. The Rockhold finish is also the fastest Bisping knockout in his UFC career. Finally, Rockhold had the highest Fight Matrix peak ranking of any of Bisping’s knockout victims.

To come close to Dominick Cruz, you need to throw… a lot
Only one opponent in the UFC has landed over 30 percent of their sig strikes against Cruz, Demetrious Johnson (35). While Cruz’s constant motion forces opponents to constantly miss strikes, he still lands at a relatively solid percentage for an outside striker. If fighters want to match him in the standup, they are forced to throw an excessive number of strikes. On Saturday, Faber was outlanded by 53 strikes. Not only was he landing at a lower rate, he also attempted 101 fewer strikes. In the UFC, the fighter who has come the closest to matching Cruz in terms of landed strikes is T.J. Dillashaw. In their January meeting, Dillashaw landed 109 sig strikes compared to Cruz’s 112. To get that close, Dillashaw had to attempt 430 strikes, which is 118 more than Cruz on that night.

StrikeScore Boxscore
StrikeScore is a proprietary stat that measures striking efficiency. You can read more about it here. At UFC 199, Beneil Dariush took home the highest score of the night for his knockout over James Vick. None of the performances were strong enough to crack the top ten of 2016.

UFC 199 Fight Forecast

In the main event of UFC 199, Luke Rockhold will look to defend his middleweight title against Michael Bisping. The two faced off for the first time at UFC Fight Night 55. On that night, Rockhold scored a second-round guillotine choke submission. In addition to the submission finish, Rockhold had the edge in the striking game. He finished with a 225 SS+, while Bisping had only a 30.

Not only did Rockhold out-perform Bisping in the striking game, he was also not at his best. His 225 SS+ performance is actually below his average (302) over his last 10 fights.

Bisping also performed below his average. While Rockhold was 77 points under, Bisping was 109 points below his average score.

With news breaking that Rockhold might not be a 100 percent due to a knee injury, Bisping might become a more attractive underdog. However, from a striking perspective at least, Rockhold has already proven that he can win without being at his best.

Dominick Cruz is a favorite across the board
If we look at the new StrikeScore Composite Prediction, Cruz is a huge favorite over his rival Urijah Faber. The Composite prediction is an average of the scaled metrics including StrikeScore, UFC Fantasy, Tapology, betting odds, DraftKings and Fight Matrix. Cruz is the favorite 73 to 27 percent.

Scaled Cruz vs. Faber III Predicitions

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 6/3/2016 3:00 PM EST)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of 6/3/2016 3:00 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.

*Fighter with less than 3 fights in FightMetric database **Ranking at welterweight ^Ranking at bantamweight ^^Ranking at light heavyweight

*Fighter with less than 3 fights in FightMetric database
**Ranking at welterweight
^Ranking at bantamweight
^^Ranking at light heavyweight

Conor McGregor makes history and other stat notes from the UFC's three-fight weekend

By now pretty much everyone has heard that the Irish champion finished former champion Jose Aldo in only 13 seconds. The victory is the fastest finish in a UFC title fight. His career StrikeScore improved from 286 to 289. The improvement, combined with Aldo’s decline in score, leaves McGregor as the fighter with the highest StrikeScore among UFC ranked featherweights. That sounds about right. StrikeScore is a proprietary stat that measures striking efficiency, read about it here.

McGregor has finished five of his six bouts inside the Octagon. Per Fightmetric, he has scored five knockouts by throwing only 216 significant strikes, which means he scores a knockout about every 43 significant strikes. To put that number into perspective, 12 different fighters landed more than 43 significant strikes at UFC 194 and only one of those fighters won via knockout. Plus, McGregor has registered a knockdown is all of his knockout victories, so he finishes are coming via power strikes and not an accumulation of shots over time.

Over the course of his WEC/UFC career, Aldo had absorbed 408 significant strikes. He had never been knocked out or knocked down. McGregor changed all that with only 5 landed strikes.

Luke Rockhold was already in control before Chris Weidman’s poorly conceived spinning back fist
A lot has been made about Weidman’s spinning back fist being the turning point in the middleweight title bout. It is an easy talking point, and it will certainly be talked about more. However, Weidman’s striking production completely fell off a cliff after the first round. It is impossible to know whether or not things would have gone the same without the back fist. However, according to StrikeScore, Rockhold had already taken control of the fight.

Rockhold vs. Weidman StrikeScore by Round

Grappling Masters Demian Maia and Ryan Hall nullified their opponent’s striking offense
Despite McGregor’s historic performance, it was not all good news for his team SBG. On Friday, Ryan Hall used his attacking grappling game to totally stifle Artem Lobov. For the fight, Lobov attempted only 11 significant strikes and landed only two. Despite never seeming close to finishing the fight via strikes, Hall earned a whopping 1361 StrikeScore in the performance.

On Saturday, Lobov’s teammate Gunnar Nelson faced off against grappling ace Demian Maia. Nelson managed to attempt only four significant strikes and, like his teammate, only land two. Maia was a little bit more threatening with strikes than Hall, which shows in his StrikeScore of 2412. In his last two fights, Maia has only absorbed two significant strikes. 

StrikeScore per round scoring in controversial decisions
First, let’s preface this. StrikeScore only take into account striking, so it can’t and shouldn’t be used as the only criteria to pick a winner. However, striking is a large part of MMA, so it is interesting to look at controversial decisions compared to the judges’ cards. Check out the invaluable MMADecisions.com for judges and media cards for all events.

Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Official Winner: Romero (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)
Media Winner: Souza (11), Romero (2), Draw (3)

Romero vs. Jacare StrikeScore by Round

Yancy Medeiros vs. John Makdessi
Official Winner: Medeiros (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Media Winner: Makdessi (11), Medeiros (3)

Medeiros vs. Makdessi StrikeScore by Round

Ryan LaFlare vs. Mike Pierce
Official Winner: LaFlare (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Media Winner: LaFlare (7), Pierce (2)

LaFlare vs. Pierce StrikeScore by Round

Rose Namajunas prevents Paige VanZant's volume onslaught
Before last Thursday, VanZant had relied on her volume offensive striking to carry her to victories. Namajunas put a stop to that with better footwork and damaging blows. Coming into UFC Fight Night 80, VanZant had attempted 19 strikes per minute. Against Namajunas, she managed only 4 striking attempts per minute.

Referees need to stop encouraging stalling on the bottom
After the UFC’s resident bonus baby, Sage Northcutt was taken down by Cody Pfister, he had not interest in fighting or trying to get back to his feet. He simply latched onto Pfister and tried to prevent him from striking. Despite the stall tactic, Pfister was still able to land 30 of 33 strikes from the top position. The referee, Mark Smith still awarded the standup. After the stand up, Northcutt took down Pfister who immediately tried to start stalling as well.

Aljamain Sterling controls distance en route to another dominant win
Sterling’s wacky kicking offense did not appear to be doing very much. However, it allowed him to control the distance against a much more experienced striker in Johnny Eduardo. On the ground, Sterling had the clear advantage and finished the fight. He scored a 706 StrikeScore in the fight. In his UFC career, Sterling is absorbing less than 1 significant strike per minute. Unfortunately he is still one fight away from qualifying for Fightmetric records. Otherwise, he would take the crown as the fighter with the least strikes absorbed per minute in history of the promotion.