Age: It’s impact on fights (Part I)

12 Apr , 2011,

This was spurred on by the Bloody Elbow/Fight Metric Research Contest.  I wonder if using FM data makes it ineligible?

Whatever the case is, here I am with another “stat geek” article for our readers’ consumption.   Some notes before I get into the bulk of it:

  • 1,361 fighters have valid birthdates in the database (this is a relatively new data attribute for us).
  • 4,317 pro fights have two fighters with a valid birthdate.
  • 4,062 pro fights are used in this analysis (excluded draws and no contests) when both fighters need a valid birthdate.
  • 18,898 pro fights are used in this analysis (excluded draws and no contests) when only one fighter needs a valid birthdate.

As you can see, not the largest sample set, but a decent amount nonetheless.

For starters, the average MMA fighter (at the time of the fight) was 10,198 days old.  If you divide this by 365.2425 (don’t hate on leap years), you get a yearly result of 27.92… so roughly 27 years and 11 months.

The winner, on average, was 126 days younger.  Although slim, this is pretty substantial considering the data set.

The oldest fighter in the analysis at the time of the fight?  Dan Severn.  He’s the oldest winner AND oldest loser.

The youngest fighter?  Nam Jin Jo.  Now, I’m not sure if this is legit, but he was only 5,346 days old (a little over 14 years and 7 months) when he beat Jin Woo Kim in a 2005 Spirit MC show.

The oldest combined age in a fight, by far, took place when Randy Couture beat Mark Coleman — nearly 92 years.

More to come…


  1. oleg April 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm Reply

    Interesting stuff, can’t wait to see more.

  2. Jonathan April 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm Reply

    I think Couture vs. Mike Van Arsdale is up there, 83 combined years I believe, a full 9 years less than Coleman/Couture though.

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