Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez
StrikeScore gives Dos Anjos the advantage in the striking battle. However, the career numbers do not tell the whole story. Over the course of his last four fights against Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone, Dos Anjos has put up 342, 1026, 224 and 754 respectively.
The FightMetric database does not include stats from Alvarez’s Bellator career, so the number is composed of fights in Dream, Elite XC and the UFC. In the Octagon, he has been outstruck in all of his fights and overall 121 to 171.
Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis
Nelson’s StrikeScore is even lower when you take out the knockout adjustment. It falls all the way to 13. Remember that a fighter with a score of 100 is even with his/her opponents. A large contributor to his low StrikeScore is the fact that opposition lands 53 percent of their sig strikes against him.
All of Lewis’ fights in the UFC have ended via knockout. He is extremely accurate (59 percent striking accuracy) but he also eats a lot of shots (36 percent striking defense). This fight will likely be decided by who can land the big power strikes early.
Alan Jouban vs. Belal Muhammad
From an offensive perspective, Jouban is a gifted striker. He landed 5.16 sig strikes per minute and had ended half of his UFC fights via knockout.
Muhammad is a Titan FC veteran who is making his UFC debut. He is the higher ranked fighter per Fight Matrix (53 to 79) and has respectable Rankings Momentum (6.21).
Joe Duffy vs. Mitch Clarke
Both of these fighters’ low StrikeScores stand out. Duffy’s score has not recovered from his fight against Dustin Poirier. The American Top Team product landed 72 sig strikes while Duffy only managed 37. On the other hand, Clarke has struggled in the striking department. On top of that, he has been taken down 12 times in five UFC fights.
Mike Pyle vs. Alberto Mina
Pyle is clearly the more advanced and varied striker. His StrikeScore has taken a hit as he had been knocked out in four of his last five losses. Mina has less than three fights in the UFC, so we are working with too small of a sample. He has only fought a fighter not on the UFC level and a broken down Yoshihiro Akiyama.
John Makdessi vs. Mehdi Baghdad
Over the course of his UFC career, Makdessi has proven hard to hit. Opponent’s land only 28 percent of sig strikes against him. That should make things tough for Baghdad. He managed to land only one sig strike in his UFC debut before falling via submission.
Anthony Birchak vs. Dileno Lopes
Birchak does not land at a very high percentage, but he makes up for it with volume. The end result is that he lands an impressive 6.64 sig strikes per minute.
Russell Doane vs. Pedro Munhoz
Doane is an aggressive fighter who is not afraid to come forward. That might be an issue for Munhoz. He allows 6.10 sig strikes against per minute. In his two losses to Jimmie Rivera and Raphael Assuncao, opponents landed 96 and 100 sig strikes against respectively.
Felipe Arantes vs. Jerrod Sanders.
Arantes is the rightful favorite. Sanders comes from a wrestling background and has struggled to incorporate an overall MMA game. In order to have a chance here, he will need to throw more strikes. Sanders lands 66 percent of his sig strikes, but his volume is incredible low. He lands only 0.87 sig strikes per minute.