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The UFC has been having a blockbuster year so far, with the Pay-Per-View buy rates and TV ratings showing  a marked increase from 2014.  And even the events that didn’t look so hot on paper, like UFC 184, turned out to be entertaining.  Lets see if the trend continues this Saturday, as UFC will broadcast another mediocre-looking Fight Night card from Brazil, live on Fox Sports 1.

Main Event: [#10 WW] Demian Maia vs [#20 WW] Ryan LaFlare

Worth: $5

Why: Most of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Demian Maia’s 19 UFC fights have followed one of two MOs.  Opponents who are willing to grapple with Maia or unable to stop his takedowns, face either a brutal submission or an extended domination on the mat.  Those who are not willing to engage Maia on the ground, and able to keep the fight standing, usually end up winning a decision due to Demian’s serviceable but not elite striking.  Of course there are a couple of exceptions to this rule – e.g. the one-punch KO Maia suffered at the hands of Nate Marquardt, or running into someone like Jake Shields who is able to stifle Maia’s grappling with a strong top game.  But for the most part, we either get to see Maia the grappler or Maia the kickboxer; as he has not been able to smoothly transition between the stand-up and ground phases of a fight.

Which version of Maia we see depends largely on his opponent.   Enter Ryan LaFlare – an undefeated welterweight prospect who came into the UFC at 7-0, with 100% finish rate.  While LaFlare was able to keep his record unblemished in the Octagon, he didn’t have as much luck finishing his opponents, winning all four of his UFC fights by decision.  His wins include solid mid-level names like Court McGee and John Howard, but he is taking a big step up in competition here with Maia as his first top-10 opponent.

How exciting this fight will be depends largely on Ryan’s ability to keep the fight standing.  If he can, then he is likely to win another dull decision and continue his rise in the ranks.  Otherwise, he will fall victim to Maia’s ground game, which usually makes for a fun fight (unless you’re Maia’s opponent).  Based on Demian’s recent performances and LaFlare’s potential, I am leaning towards the first outcome.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC Fight Night 62'

Posted on March 18, 2015 by oleg

Upcoming Events | Comments (8)

Welterweight (170)
[#10] Demian Maia (19-6-0) vs. [#20] Ryan LaFlare (11-0-0)

Last 3 Fights: Demian Maia (1-2-0)
2014-05-31: W vs. [#66WW] Alexander Yakovlev (21-6-1) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2014-02-22: L vs. [#3WW] Rory MacDonald (18-2-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2013-10-09: L vs. [#8WW] Jake Shields (31-7-1) via SD (47-48, 48-47, 47-48)

Last 3 Fights: Ryan LaFlare (3-0-0)
2014-04-11: W vs. [#55WW] John Howard (22-11-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2013-12-14: W vs. [*] Court McGee (16-4-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2013-11-09: W vs. [#36WW] Santiago Ponzinibbio (20-2-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Demian Maia 294, Ryan LaFlare 344
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.

Welterweight (170)
[#25] Erick Silva (17-5-0) vs. [#93] Josh Koscheck (17-9-0)
Josh Koscheck is the All-Time #15 ranked Welterweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Erick Silva (2-1-0)
2014-12-20: W vs. [#207WW] Mike Rhodes (5-4-0) via Technical Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) in 1:15 of round 1
2014-05-10: L vs. [#11WW] Matt Brown (19-13-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:11 of round 3
2014-02-15: W vs. [#223WW] Takenori Sato (17-10-7) via KO (Punches) in 0:52 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Josh Koscheck (0-3-0)
2015-02-28: L vs. [#17WW] Jake Ellenberger (30-9-0) via Submission (North South Choke) in 4:20 of round 2
2013-11-16: L vs. [#4WW] Tyron Woodley (15-3-0) via KO (Punches) in 4:38 of round 1
2013-02-23: L vs. [#1WW/#7DD/#8P4P] Robbie Lawler (25-10-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:57 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Erick Silva 91, Josh Koscheck 21
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.

Lightweight (155)
[#45] Leonardo Santos (13-3-1) vs. [#107] Tony Martin (9-2-0)

Last 3 Fights: Leonardo Santos (2-0-1)
2014-09-13: W vs. [#83LW] Efrain Escudero (23-9-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2014-03-23: D vs. [#53LW] Norman Parke (20-3-1) via Draw (Majority) in 5:00 of round 3
2013-06-08: W vs. [#189WW] William Macario (7-3-0) via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) in 4:43 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Tony Martin (1-2-0)
2014-10-25: W vs. [#413LW] Fabricio Camoes (14-9-1) via Submission (Kimura) in 4:16 of round 1
2014-08-23: L vs. [#20LW] Beneil Dariush (10-1-0) via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) in 3:38 of round 2
2014-02-01: L vs. [#18LW] Rashid Magomedov (18-1-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Leonardo Santos 189, Tony Martin 147
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
Continue reading 'UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlaire (03-21-2013)'

Posted on March 18, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

Notable Info

  • Minor modification which slightly increases penalty in select cases for fighters who move into a new division and lose.

Posted on March 15, 2015 by jcs

MMA Ranks | Comments (0)

With two title fights topping the Pay-Per-View card, UFC 185 is off to a strong start. Add a fairly solid undercard, and you get an event that might actually be worth the asking price. This is what all PPV cards should look like. Unfortunately, I have very little interest in the women’s strawweight title bout – in fact it may be the least interest I have in a UFC title fight since Andrei Arlovski vs late Justin Eilers back at UFC 53.  Nonetheless, this is a very good card, at least on paper.


Main Event: (C) [#1 LW] Anthony Pettis vs [#3 LW] Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC Lightweight Title

Worth: $22.50

Why: After submitting Ben Henderson to win the LW title, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis suffered an injury and was forced to take a long layoff.  Meanwhile, the division came to a rolling boil,  with no shortage of contenders lined up for a crack at the champion.  Pettis made a triumphant return and defended his title with another submission win against Gilbert Melendez.   His next defense should have been against the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov, however Khabib’s own injuries and inactivity allowed a man he defeated – Rafael dos Anjos – to jump in front of the line.

For a guy with 17 fights in UFC, dos Anjos has flew under the radar for a while, stuck in the middle of the pack and losing fights to gatekeepers like Clay Guida and Gleison Tibau.  In the past few years, Rafael evolved into an elite fighter.  He is 8-1 since 2011, his sole loss a decision to Nurmagomedov.  And in his last two fights, dos Anjos has shown just how dangerous he has become, stopping former champ Henderson and brutally dominating Nate Diaz.  He is not as flashy as ‘Showtime’, but probably just as well rounded.  With two top fighters in their prime, who both have all the tools of MMA in their arsenal, this should be a great fight. It’s not quite a Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier, long awaited #1 vs #2  type of fight, but this is almost as good as it gets.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC 185'

Posted on March 12, 2015 by oleg

Event Previews | Comments (5)

Lightweight Championship (155)
[#1/#5DD/#5P4P] Anthony Pettis (18-2-0, -433) vs. [#3] Rafael dos Anjos (23-7-0, +331)
Anthony Pettis is the All-Time #6 ranked Lightweight fighter.
Rafael dos Anjos is the All-Time #20 ranked Lightweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Anthony Pettis (3-0-0)
2014-12-06: W vs. [#6LW] Gilbert Melendez (22-4-0) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in 1:53 of round 2
2013-08-31: W vs. [#7WW] Ben Henderson (22-5-0) via Submission (Armbar) in 4:31 of round 1
2013-01-26: W vs. [#2LW/#9DD/#9P4P] Donald Cerrone (27-6-0) via KO (Kick to the Body) in 2:35 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Rafael dos Anjos (3-0-0)
2014-12-13: W vs. [#13LW] Nate Diaz (17-10-0) via UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
2014-08-23: W vs. [#7WW] Ben Henderson (22-5-0) via KO (Punch) in 2:31 of round 1
2014-06-07: W vs. [#79LW] Jason High (18-5-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:36 of round 2

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Anthony Pettis 98, Rafael dos Anjos 91
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Anthony Pettis leads 4-2

Women Strawweight Championship (115)
[#2/#9DD/#5P4P] Carla Esparza (10-2-0, -163) vs. [#3] Joanna Jedrzejczyk (8-0-0, +136)

Last 3 Fights: Carla Esparza (3-0-0)
2014-12-12: W vs. [#12SW] Rose Namajunas (2-2-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 1:26 of round 3
2013-01-05: W vs. [#94SW] Bec Rawlings (5-4-0) via UD (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
2012-10-06: W vs. [#34SW] Lynn Alvarez (6-3-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:53 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (3-0-0)
2014-12-13: W vs. [#5SW] Claudia Gadelha (12-1-0) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
2014-07-26: W vs. [#25SW] Juliana de Lima Carneiro (7-2-0) via UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
2014-06-07: W vs. [*] Rosi Sexton (13-5-0) via KO (Punch) in 2:36 of round 2

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Carla Esparza 92, Joanna Jedrzejczyk 91
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.

Welterweight (170)
[#3] Johny Hendricks (16-3-0, -345) vs. [#11] Matt Brown (19-12-0, +267)
Johny Hendricks is the All-Time #3 ranked Welterweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Johny Hendricks (1-2-0)
2014-12-06: L vs. [#1WW/#7DD/#8P4P] Robbie Lawler (25-10-0) via SD (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
2014-03-15: W vs. [#1WW/#7DD/#8P4P] Robbie Lawler (25-10-0) via UD (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
2013-11-16: L vs. [*] Georges St. Pierre (25-2-0) via SD (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

Last 3 Fights: Matt Brown (2-1-0)
2014-07-26: L vs. [#1WW/#7DD/#8P4P] Robbie Lawler (25-10-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
2014-05-10: W vs. [#25WW] Erick Silva (17-5-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:11 of round 3
2013-08-17: W vs. [#33WW] Mike Pyle (26-10-1) via KO (Punches) in 0:29 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Johny Hendricks 98, Matt Brown 231
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Johny Hendricks leads 1-0
Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program: UFC 185 (03-14-2015)'

Posted on March 12, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, MMA Ranks | Comments (7)

 Sherdog   FM P4P   FM DD     Diff   
Ronda Rousey 1 1 1 =
Cris Cyborg 2 2 3 -0.5
Jessica Aguilar 3 3 4 -0.5
Cat Zingano 4  11  13 -8.0
Miesha Tate 5 8 7 -2.5
Barb Honchak 6 4 2 +3.0
Carla Esparza 7 5 9 =
Joanna Jedrzejczyk 8 13 14 -5.5
Claudia Gadelha 9 14 19 -7.5
Herica Tiburcio 10 7 5 +4.0

The “FM P4P” column reflects our “Pound-for-Pound” list, which is a relatively new system that works side-by-side the standard system, with the P4P thought in mind.  The “FM DD” reflects our “Divisional Dominance” list and is a post-ranking equation that is based solely on the current rankings.  The “Diff” is the Sherdog rank subtracted by the average of the two Fight Matrix rankings.  Essentially, a positive “Diff” suggests Sherdog is overrating, while a negative “Diff” suggests the latter.

You expect to see a larger absolute “Diff” as you travel downward, but in this case, there is heavy consensus with the exception of 3: Zingano, Jedrzejcyk and Gadelha.  In these 3 cases, the absolute “Diff” value surpasses one-half of the Sherdog ranking, which I deem as fairly substantial.

Certainly, you could argue we are being hard on Zingano, but it seems there are better options than Jedrzejcyk and Gadelha, both of whom were hardly noticed before they fought each other to a stalemate.

If you’re a fan of our WMMA rankings, you’ll notice the obvious omission here is Alexis Davis (FM #6/#6), who the ranking system has loved for quite a long time.  Another candidate for Sherdog’s list is Ayaka Hamasaki (FM #15/8), who gets her shot at Tiburcio in July for the 105 pound crown.  One more is Vanessa Porto (FM #17/#10), who is in a division that is ignored almost as much as the 145 division in WMMA.

Posted on March 4, 2015 by jcs

MMA Ranks | Comments (0)

A year ago, UFC made some changes to their bonus system: instead of awarding submission and knockout of the night bonuses, they replaced them with ‘Performance of the Night’.  Since then, 15 fighters racked up multiple ‘POTN’ awards.  Last Saturday at UFC 184, Ronda Rousey became the first fighter to earn her third POTN.  To commemorate this achievement, we are adding a new page to our UFC records section.  Check it out and check back often, as this list will surely fluctuate a lot – in the two most recent events, four fighters snatched a POTN each, in lieu of a  ‘Fight of the Night‘ award.

Most UFC ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses

Posted on March 2, 2015 by oleg

MMA Statistics | Comments (0)

It’s always taken for granted that the heavier fighters are the more dangerous fighters.  Every champion is the best in his or her division, he or she may be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, but only one fighter is “The Baddest Fighter on the Planet”, and that’s the Heavyweight champion. He is the only fighter who would probably beat everybody else if there were no weight limits, and that stands to reason.   We implemented the weight system because we know size matters.

For some reason this does not apply to Ronda Rousey. She is considered a lot of times as the most dangerous woman fighter in the world, who supposedly can beat 50% of men fighters and beat Floyd Mayweather in an MMA fight. While all this time there is a whole division of women fighters who are heavier than her, which nobody says any of these things about.  We don’t really know how Rousey would fare against those women since she never fought any of them or at that weight – yet she is the one talked about as the most formidable woman fighter.

This situation is even more ridiculous considering that this heavier division has its own undefeated undisputed champion who smashes everyone she is facing and in fact has been doing so for a very long time, since before Rousey has even started MMA. Cristiane Justino has been considered the undisputed woman champion for a long time before Ronda Rousey got to be, and rightfully so. Ronda Rousey has taken her spot because she is American, more beautiful, more marketable and, most importantly, fights in the UFC.

Continue reading 'The Rowdy Cyborg Superfight'

Posted on March 2, 2015 by Ked Becker

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Latest Men's Rankings: P4P Division Dominance Heavyweight LightHeavyweight Middleweight Welterweight Lightweight Featherweight Bantamweight Flyweight Strawweight

Latest Women's Rankings: P4P Division Dominance Featherweight+ Bantamweight Flyweight Strawweight Atomweight