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UFC has had a lot of ups and downs in 2015 so far.   After a fairly successful first quarter in terms of TV ratings and Pay-Per-View buy numbers, the promotion hit another rough patch: cards falling apart due to injuries, controversial Reebok sponsorship deal which left many fighters unhappy, and legal issues faced by the company as well as certain fighters.  Nonetheless, the line-up they put together for UFC 187 looked to be the most stacked card since UFC 100 (and arguably the best in the organization history).  Of course the MMA gods didn’t spare this great card: light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who was slated to defend his title against Anthony Johnson, was stripped of the belt and suspended from UFC due to a series of poor decisions on his part, and a lightweight title eliminator bout between two top contenders fell apart when Khabib Nurmagomedov suffered an injury and pulled out of his fight against Donald Cerrone.  Despite these losses, UFC 187 had such a strong line-up that it still remains an amazing card, and will be one of the rare PPV events worth the asking price.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View)

Main Event: [#2 LHW] Anthony Johnson vs [#3 LHW] Daniel Cormier for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

Worth: $20

Why: If the original main event of Jon Jones vs Anthony Johnson had gone on as planned, it would have been the second UFC fight this year to receive my max valuation of $25 (the first and only one so far was Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier at UFC 182).  The replacement bout of ‘Rumble’ Johnson vs Daniel Cormier is still a great fight, but let’s not kid ourselves: the winner of this fight will be a paper champion unless Jon Jones receives a lengthy prison term for his shenanigans, or decides to walk away from the sport.  I am looking forward to Cormier-Johnson, and really this was the best fight UFC could have made under the circumstances, but I can’t help the feeling that the winner of this fight will be just keeping the belt warm for Jones’ eventual return.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC 187'

Posted on May 21, 2015 by oleg

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (3)


I realize the UFC has to hype fights, but from a Fight Matrix rankings perspective, Conor McGregor may be one of the most overhyped fighters in MMA history.

He is basically even money with Jose Aldo for their fight.

From an All-Time perspective, McGregor ranks as the #49 Featherweight in history, sandwiched between Josh Grispi and Robbie Peralta.  If you think this is harsh, please consider that approximately half of McGregor’s fights have taken place at Lightweight.

Despite having beaten the currently ranked #5 Featherweight, McGregor finds himself at #6 — you can argue that we should be performing adjustments based on events since two fighters matched up, but we don’t.  Even if we did, he would probably find himself no higher than #5.

Recently, he got his poster hung from the ceiling at the TUF gym.  While some may consider this a mecca of sorts for the UFC, it is certainly one or both of two things; foreshadowing, absurd.

Your thoughts?

Posted on May 21, 2015 by jcs

Historical Ranks, MMA Ranks | Comments (11)


Light Heavyweight Championship (205)
[#2/#7P4P] Anthony Johnson (19-4-0) vs. [#3] Daniel Cormier (15-1-0)
Anthony Johnson is the All-Time #19 ranked Light Heavyweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Anthony Johnson (3-0-0)
2015-01-24: W vs. [#6LHW] Alexander Gustafsson (16-3-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:15 of round 1
2014-07-26: W vs. [#11LHW] Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-6-0) via KO (Punches) in 0:44 of round 1
2014-04-26: W vs. [#5LHW] Phil Davis (13-3-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Last 3 Fights: Daniel Cormier (2-1-0)
2015-01-03: L vs. [#1LHW/#2DD/#1P4P] Jon Jones (21-1-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
2014-05-24: W vs. [#16MW] Dan Henderson (30-13-0) via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 3:53 of round 3
2014-02-22: W vs. [#42LHW] Patrick Cummins (7-2-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:19 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Anthony Johnson 119, Daniel Cormier 140
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Middleweight Championship (185)
[#1/#1DD/#3P4P] Chris Weidman (12-0-0) vs. [*] Vitor Belfort (24-10-0)
Chris Weidman is the All-Time #2 ranked Middleweight and #22 ranked Absolute fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Chris Weidman (3-0-0)
2014-07-05: W vs. [#4MW] Lyoto Machida (22-6-0) via UD (49-45, 48-47, 49-46)
2013-12-28: W vs. [#6MW] Anderson Silva (34-6-0) via TKO (Leg Injury) in 1:16 of round 2
2013-07-06: W vs. [#6MW] Anderson Silva (34-6-0) via KO (Punches) in 1:18 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Vitor Belfort (3-0-0)
2013-11-09: W vs. [#16MW] Dan Henderson (30-13-0) via KO (Head Kick) in 1:17 of round 1
2013-05-18: W vs. [#2MW/#9DD] Luke Rockhold (14-2-0) via KO (Spinning Heel Kick and Punches) in 2:32 of round 1
2013-01-19: W vs. [#9MW] Michael Bisping (26-7-0) via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) in 1:27 of round 2

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Chris Weidman 322, Vitor Belfort 560
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Chris Weidman leads 2-0
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Lightweight (155)
[#2] Donald Cerrone (27-6-0) vs. [#62] John Makdessi (13-3-0)
Donald Cerrone is the All-Time #17 ranked Lightweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Donald Cerrone (3-0-0)
2015-01-18: W vs. [#4LW] Ben Henderson (22-5-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2015-01-03: W vs. [#13LW] Myles Jury (15-1-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2014-09-27: W vs. [#12LW] Eddie Alvarez (25-4-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Last 3 Fights: John Makdessi (2-1-0)
2015-04-25: W vs. [#144LW] Shane Campbell (11-3-0) via TKO (Punches) in 4:53 of round 1
2014-02-01: L vs. [*] Alan Patrick Silva Alves (12-0-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
2013-09-21: W vs. [#472LW] Renee Forte (8-4-0) via KO (Punches) in 2:01 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Donald Cerrone 125, John Makdessi 28
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Donald Cerrone leads 1-0
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program: UFC 187 (05-23-2015)'

Posted on May 20, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)


The above graph shows Win% averages by fighter, based on the fighters’ UFC fight # of their respective careers.

In short, fighters aren’t often successful in their first few attempts and do poorly after their 17th fight, with the most success coming between fights 4 and 16.

“No contests” included in fight enumeration, but not in Win% calculation.  TUF fights not included.

Posted on May 18, 2015 by jcs

MMA Statistics | Comments (0)


With a 5-round decision victory over Urijah Faber at UFC Fight Night 66, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar jumped from third place into first in the ‘Most Octagon Time‘ category. Clocking in at 5 hours, 35 minutes, and 23 seconds in the UFC cage, Edgar’s record is likely to stand a while: the fighters in the second and third place (Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn, respectively) are retired, while #4 Tito Ortiz no longer fights in the UFC. The next fighter in the list, Gleison Tibau, stands at 4:51:15. Even though Tibau fights often, he has never been in a 5-round fight and is not likely to headline a card or get a title shot any time soon, which means it will take him at least three fights to overtake Edgar (assuming Edgar stays inactive, which is not likely).

Looking further down the list, #6 Randy Couture is long retired. Which leaves the next 3 guys (Diego Sanchez, Clay Guida, and Michael Bisping) nearly an hour or more behind Frankie Edgar in total UFC fight time. Given the fact that most of Edgar’s fights are five-rounders, and usually tend to go the distance, I expect him to further separate from the rest of the pack in the coming year.

Posted on May 18, 2015 by oleg

MMA Statistics | Comments (2)


Unless you’ve been living under a stone or in a cave, you probably know that SI recognized Ronda Rousey as the most dominant athlete today.  Let’s keep other sports out of it and focus just on MMA.

“Dominant” is quite subjective, as are most adjectives.  However, we -can- use the “Division Point Dominance” rankings to see where she fits if we mixed the men and women lists.  As they are based on proportional differences, they can be mixed together with the disclaimer that by volume alone, the men’s portion of MMA is much deeper.

 

Top 10 Divisional Point Dominance – Mixed Gender

Rank Name DD Pts Gender
1 Chris Weidman 586 M
2 Jon Jones 510 M
3 Jose Aldo 396 M
4 Ronda Rousey 353 F
5 Rafael dos Anjos 349 M
6 Demetrious Johnson 344 M
7 Frankie Edgar 269 M
8 Robbie Lawler 240 M
9 Luke Rockhold 222 M
10 Rory MacDonald 215 M

If you follow our site, you’ll understand that the points above are as much about the fighter as they are about the division in which they fight. For example: Demetrious Johnson has had a longer tenure at the very top of a division than Rafael dos Anjos, but Lightweight is a much stronger division than Flyweight.

Our “P4P” ratings value the more cumulative aspect and remove the divisional aspect, but can be more influenced by the volume of history.

 

Top 10 Pound for Pound – Mixed Gender

Rank Name P4P Pts Gender
1 Jon Jones 460 M
2 Jose Aldo 294 M
3 Chris Weidman 280 M
4 Demetrious Johnson 244 M
5 Rafael dos Anjos 171 M
6 Fabricio Werdum 137 M
7 Anthony Johnson 135 M
8 Ronda Rousey 130 F
9 Robbie Lawler 125 M
10 Johny Hendricks 125 M

 

Given the two lists above, Rousey is not the most dominant in MMA, but she’s in the conversation once you get past Jones, Aldo and Weidman.

Posted on May 14, 2015 by jcs

MMA Ranks, MMA Statistics, Other | Comments (8)


Continuing on the quest for global expansion, UFC is holding their first ever event in the Philippines.  This card will be broadcast on Fight Pass and Fox Sports 1, with a bright and early Saturday morning start of 7 AM (Eastern Time) for Fight Pass prelims, 8 AM for the FS1 prelims, and 10 AM for the main card.   You won’t be missing much if you sleep in until 10 – while there are several interesting fights on the main card, the undercard doesn’t have a whole lot to offer, so set your DVR and watch the prelims later if you care.

Main Event: [#2 FW] Frankie Edgar vs [#3 BW] Urijah Faber

Worth: $15

Why: This is a matchup between two of the all-time greats in the 155-and-under divisions.   Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is 3-1 since dropping down to featherweight, his only loss a decision to the champion Jose Aldo.  With Aldo set to face Conor McGregor at UFC 189, and no clear #1 contender waiting for the winner, Edgar will be campaigning for another shot at the featherweight gold with a win over Urijah.  Faber has yet to get his hands on a UFC title: the long-time WEC featherweight champion is 8-3 in the UFC overall, and those 3 losses all came in bantamweight title fights.  He is now returning to his old roaming ground of 145 lbs, and a victory here might also earn him another title shot.  Faber has not looked great in his last few outings, particularly in his most recent fight with Francisco Rivera, who appeared to be getting the best of Urijah until Faber capitalized on an unintentional eye poke that was missed by the referee.  This does not bode well for him against Edgar: in the lighter weight classes speed is king, especially when both opponents are not knockout artists and instead rely on endless cardio and scrambling ability to win fights.  At 35, Faber may have lost a step in the quickness department, while 33-year-old Edgar looked as good as ever in his dominant win over Cub Swanson.  I believe Urijah still has enough left in the tank to make it a competitive fight, but ultimately he will be outworked by the younger and fresher Edgar, which will likely mark the end of Faber’s title aspirations.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC Fight Night 66'

Posted on May 12, 2015 by oleg

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)


Featherweight (145)
[#2/#6DD] Frankie Edgar (18-4-1) vs. [#3BW] Urijah Faber (32-7-0)
Frankie Edgar is the All-Time #21 ranked Featherweight and #12 ranked Absolute fighter.
Urijah Faber is the All-Time #2 ranked Featherweight and #11 ranked Absolute fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Frankie Edgar (3-0-0)
2014-11-22: W vs. [#10FW] Cub Swanson (21-7-0) via Submission (Neck Crank) in 4:56 of round 5
2014-07-06: W vs. [*] B.J. Penn (16-10-2) via TKO (Punches) in 4:16 of round 3
2013-07-06: W vs. [#12FW] Charles Oliveira (19-4-0) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Last 3 Fights: Urijah Faber (2-1-0)
2014-12-06: W vs. [#38BW] Francisco Rivera (10-4-0) via Submission (Bulldog Choke) in 1:34 of round 2
2014-07-05: W vs. [#46BW] Alex Caceres (10-7-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 1:09 of round 3
2014-02-01: L vs. [#2BW] Renan Barao (33-2-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:42 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Frankie Edgar 175, Urijah Faber 161
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Frankie Edgar leads 1-0
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Middleweight (185)
[#5] Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) vs. [#14] Costas Philippou (13-4-0)
Gegard Mousasi is the All-Time #16 ranked Middleweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Gegard Mousasi (2-1-0)
2015-01-24: W vs. [#15MW] Dan Henderson (30-13-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:10 of round 1
2014-09-05: L vs. [#3MW] Ronaldo Souza (22-3-0) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in 4:30 of round 3
2014-05-31: W vs. [#24MW] Mark Munoz (13-6-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 3:57 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Costas Philippou (1-2-0)
2014-05-10: W vs. [#27WW] Lorenz Larkin (15-4-0) via KO (Punches) in 3:47 of round 1
2014-01-15: L vs. [#2MW/#9DD] Luke Rockhold (14-2-0) via KO (Kick to the Body) in 2:31 of round 1
2013-09-21: L vs. [#19LHW] Francis Carmont (23-10-0) via UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Gegard Mousasi 112, Costas Philippou 371
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Middleweight (185)
[#24] Mark Munoz (13-6-0) vs. [#64] Luke Barnatt (8-2-0)

Last 3 Fights: Mark Munoz (0-3-0)
2015-02-28: L vs. [#16MW] Roan Carneiro (20-9-0) via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 1:40 of round 1
2014-05-31: L vs. [#5MW] Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 3:57 of round 1
2013-10-26: L vs. [#4MW] Lyoto Machida (22-6-0) via KO (Head Kick) in 3:10 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Luke Barnatt (1-2-0)
2014-11-22: L vs. [#63MW] Roger Narvaez (7-2-0) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
2014-05-31: L vs. [#93WW] Sean Strickland (15-1-0) via SD (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
2014-03-08: W vs. [*] Mats Nilsson (11-4-1) via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) in 3:24 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Mark Munoz 77, Luke Barnatt 175
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program: UFC Fight Night – Edgar vs. Faber (05-16-2015)'

Posted on May 10, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)


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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