UFC on Fox 26 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. 15 at 11:45 a.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of Dec. 15 at 11:45 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 on Fox 26 StrikeScore.png

Final StrikeScores for UFC 214

At UFC 214, Ricardo Lamas made quick work of Jason Knight. He landed 42 significant strikes at a 67 percent clip while only absorbing eight. For his efforts, he had the highest StrikeScore of the night at 830. To find out more about stat, which measures striking efficiency, click here.

UFC 214 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 July 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of July 27 at 3:30 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 10/1/2015 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

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

Decision Diego: Analyzing Diego Sanchez's Uncanny Ability to Sway Judges

This weekend Diego Sanchez returns to action against Ricardo Lamas. The featherweight fight will be part of UFC Fight Night 78, which takes place in Monterrey, Mexico. Sanchez has developed the reputation of someone who has unusual sway over the MMA judges. Over the course of his UFC career, he has fought to a decision 15 times. Of those 15 fights, Sanchez has earned the judges’ nod nine times. The following chart shows the StrikeScore  breakdown for bouts the “Dream” has won via decision (All source data Fight Metric). StrikeScore is a proprietary stat that measures striking efficiency, read about it here.

As you can see, Sanchez has actually been outstruck in four of his nine decision victories. This does happen with limited regularity. It mostly only occurs in fights that end via submission or have prolonged periods of ground control. Obviously striking is not the only criteria for judging an MMA contest under the unified rules. However, the rules do state, “if the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round standing, then effective striking is weighed first.” Plus, all four of these fights were almost entirely contested on the feet.

All four of these fights were three round fights. It is possible that Sanchez did enough to take two out of three rounds on the judges’ cards while still losing the overall striking battle from a StrikeScore perspective, but that is clearly not the case. The following chart is a breakdown of Sanchez’s StrikeScore performance by round for all four bouts. As you can see, he was outstruck in 11 out of the possible 12 rounds. His only superior performance came with a minuscule four point margin.

StrikeScore by Round

StrikeScore by Round

Unfortunately, the MMADecisions database does not have individual round scoring for each of these contests. The following table shows the judges’ scorecards for each fight.

Considering the contemporary state of MMA judging, an undeserving fighter winning a decision is not that rare. However, when a fighter is awarded an unearned win not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times it seems likely that there would be some underlying reason. After brainstorming, StrikeScore MMA has come up with the following possible determining issues.

Persistent Output
Anyone who has sat cage side will tell you that it is not that easy to tell whether a strike lands or not. Is it possible that Sanchez is simply throwing inaccurate punches in the direction of his opponents and judges are missing the result? The following chart shows the number of significant strikes attempted per round by Sanchez and his opponents. As you can see, he was the busier fighter for a majority of rounds in three out of the four bouts. It is possible that output helped him earn the favor of the judges, but it is not consistent in all of the examples.

Significant Strike Attempts by Round

Significant Strike Attempts by Round

Failed Takedown Attempts
Despite not being a great wrestler, Sanchez has never been shy about trying to get the fight to the floor. Over the course of these four fights, he attempted 37 takedowns and landed only 4. That is 11 percent. That is not good. The following chart shows Sanchez’s takedown attempts per round of the four fights in questions. With the exception of the Pearson fight, he was determined to get the fight on the floor.

Takedown Attempts by Round

Takedown Attempts by Round

It is impossible to pinpoint exactly what influenced the judges to side with Sanchez in these four fights. It is likely some combination of these factors as well as intangibles such as the fighter’s ability to sell the fight with grunts and abrasive frowns. It is certainly a unique factor whenever Sanchez fights, and it makes things that much harder for opponents such as Lamas.

The good news for Lamas is that he is 5-1 in fights that have gone to decision with his only decision loss coming against featherweight champion Jose Aldo. The stats show that Lamas utilizes a similar volume approach to Sanchez. In these fights, Lamas holds the edge in significant strike attempts 548 to 446 and in takedown attempts 34 to 23. Sanchez might have to work a little bit harder if he hopes to steal another decision against this weekend.