Category Archives: Fighter Highlights

Can The Eagle Soar To A Title At UFC 223?

9 Mar , 2018,
A. J. Riot
one comments


“UFC Undisputed 2010” by Peiyu Liu (CC BY-NC 2.0)

When Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov takes on Tony Ferguson at UFC 223, their de facto world lightweight title fight will be between two fighters with one combined loss in UFC. With so much on the line, can Nurmagomedov keep his perfect record intact and earn a first UFC championship? Or will Tony Ferguson cash in and turn his interim championship into a real championship?

This fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson will be a battle of contrasting styles, thanks to Ferguson’s history of wins via submission and Khabib’s history of winning by knockout or decision. The Russian tends to control fights, waiting for his opponent to wear down to allow him to land the ideal combination to score a finish. If that opportunity doesn’t present itself, he is more than content to win by decision. Ferguson, meanwhile, takes the fight straight to his opponent, getting them out of their comfort zones to score submission wins.

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UFC: Seven under 30

7 Mar , 2018,
oleg
2 comments

Did you think based on the title that this article would be about seven hot UFC prospects under 30 years of age? Nope.  I am talking about the seven fighters with 27 or more UFC fights to their name – guys who are within three fights of reaching the record of 30 official bouts in the UFC Octagon. So who will be the first to achieve this record? Here’s the list of candidates, in the order of probability (in my opinion of course).

But first, a few notes:

  1. While for most purposes we ignore No Contests (i.e. treat them as if the fight never happened), for the purpose of this record they are considered as valid fights. Once the Octagon doors close and the referee signals the start of action, it’s a fight – no matter if it’s eventually ruled a No Contest. This gives a one-up to Jim Miller and Gleison Tibau (questionably – more on that later).
  2. ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ house fights – generally termed “pro-exhibition bouts” are not counted. If they were included, TUF alumni Diego Sanchez and Michael Bisping would have three and two additional fights each, respectively.
  3. Though Tito Ortiz and Frank Mir both have 27 UFC bouts, they are not included in this list as the probability of either fighting in the UFC again – let alone three more times – is infinitesimally small.
  4. The ‘Average Fights Per Year’ calculation does not include any fights which took place in 2018. The year of fighter’s UFC debut is included in the calculation only if the fighter fought two or more times in their first calendar year; any fights in other promotions in the same year but prior to the fighter’s UFC debut are not inocluded.

That said, here’s our magnificent seven:

[#7 MW] Michael Bisping
Age: 38
UFC Fights: 29
UFC Debut: Jun 24, 2006
Current Streak: L-2
Average Fights Per Year: 2.41

While the current record holder for most fights in the UFC will never be in consideration for one of the ‘GOATs’, he is guaranteed a future spot in the UFC Hall of Fame, and his accomplishments in this sport cannot be denied. For most of his UFC career, ‘The Count’ scrapped with the elite fighters in his weight class, but was never quite able to cross that threshold himself – he was good but not great, and seemingly always lost the fights that mattered the most. After a period between 2012 and 2014 where Bisping alternated wins and losses, he has had a late career resurgence, winning five straight in a streak that included capturing and defending the middleweight title, as well as scoring a decision victory over the former 185 lbs king Anderson Silva, and avenging two of his three stoppage losses at the time.

A victory over Georges St. Pierre would have been the crowning feather in Bisping’s countly headgear. Alas it was not meant to be, as Bisping was chocked unconscious in the third round, losing the middleweight title which GSP then promptly relinquished. Motivated by the loss, Bisping decided to get back in the cage as soon as possible, taking on the rising prospect Kelvin Gastelum a mere three weeks after the GSP fight. This proved to be disastrous for The Count, who suffered a brutal knockout loss in the very first round. It might have been the perfect opportunity for him to retire, but not many athletes can admit that it’s time to walk away from the sport they love – especially coming off a bad loss. Bisping has mulled retirement since then, but all signs point to him fighting at least one more time. More than a few middleweights threw their name in the hat to play the role of Michael’s final opponent, and it seems that Luke Rockhold trilogy is the matchup that interests Bisping the most. Should this fight happen some time in the near future, Bisping will almost certainly become the first UFC fighter to step into the Octagon for the 30th time.

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Video: Jon Jones and Anderson Silva Sparring

27 Jul , 2017,
Fairfax
No Comments

This Saturday, Jon Jones will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 214. In the past week, there have been rumors of Jones moving up a weight class to take a superfight against Brock Lesnar, should Jon be victorious against the current light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Not sure how likely this fight is too happen, but it would be an interesting matchup of styles, even if Jones loses to Cormier.

Another superfight I would have loved to see Jon Jones in a few years back would have been against Anderson Silva. Since that is one fight we will likely never see, the closest we get is this footage of the all-time greats engaging in some fun and friendly sparring:

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Chan Sung Jung: Underrated or Overrated?

28 May , 2014,
jcs
2 comments

Let’s take a look at the current ranking of Chan Sung Jung at various outlets:

Source Rank
MMA Weekly #6
Tapology #6
Sherdog #8
MMA Junkie #8
ESPN #9
MMA Madman #9
Fight Magazine #12
Fight Matrix #24

Now, I’m of the opinion that a top fighter must fight (and win) often enough to sustain such a lofty ranking.

 

If we go back to the start of 2010, we have the following results for Chan Sung Jung:

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Combat Age: Our Latest Creation

29 Apr , 2013,
jcs
5 comments

Now visible in the fighter ranking “hover overs”, is our initial iteration of a statistic we call combat age.

For years, fans have subjectively argued about which fighters were battle-worn and have attempted to link this to the foreshadowing of the end of a fighter’s prime.  With combat age, we are looking to add our objective touch to this.

At it’s most basic level, one can equate “combat age” to “dog years” in that it will mirror the basic human lifecycle.  With this new computation, we expect fighters to hit their respective “peak” in the years that your typical adult “peaks” in life, somewhere between 25 and 40.  We will expect most fighters to start their descent at some point in their 40s and be far removed from their peak by 60.  Please keep in mind, that there will be anomalies, just like in life.  These anomalies (for the most part) will be welcome. Anomalies we cannot prevent, are those that basic fight data can’t convey, such as serious career-altering injuries, non-MMA fight careers or a predisposition to not get knocked out (incredibly hard heads).

In this computation, we will be considering:

  • Biological age.
  • Total fights.
  • Total losses.
  • Stoppage losses.
  • Cumulative fight time.

The included factors, as well as the weighting of said factors are subject to and may very likely change.

For a quick demo of combat age.

Age Combat Age Diff
Forrest Griffin 33 44 +11
Wanderlei Silva 36 56 +20
Georges St. Pierre 31 38 +7
Andrei Arlovski 34 50 +16
Anderson Silva 38 44 +6

 

 

FightMatrix 2012 Awards: Upsets of the Year / Most Improved

25 Dec , 2012,
jcs
one comments

We feature two upsets per year, the most “noteworthy” and the most “lopsided”.

The most “noteworthy” upset is based on a net difference of pre-fight rating points, normalized by division.

This was not a big year for notable upsets, but the most noteworthy based on our standards was: Josh Sampo UD(3) Antonio Banuelos.  For this win Sampo also earns the “most improved” award.

 

The most “lopsided” upset is based on the largest divisible difference between pre-fight rating points.

The upset that makes the notability cut is Ilir Latifi UD(3) Tony Lopez.

In the world of obscurity, quite possibility the biggest upset in history took place — assuming the previous records are correct (a main reason we have a notability requirement).  On 9/8, a previously 0-3 fighter named Ben Santiago TKO’d Paulo Goncalves Silva, who was ranked and held a previous record of 18-7.

 

FightMatrix 2012 Awards: Women’s Fighter of the Year – Ronda Rousey

24 Dec , 2012,
jcs
No Comments

It should come as no surprise that Ronda Rousey, now holder of the only Women’s MMA championship that really matters, is our Women’s 2012 Fighter of the Year.  With two first round finishes against the best competition available, you could not have given the award to anyone else.

The first runner-up is Ayaka Hamasaki who went 3-0 on the year against quality ranked opposition, including a dominant win over Yuka Tsuji, one of the best women’s fighters in history.  Hamasaki is undoubtedly the best women’s fighter in Asia and with a record of 9-0, she’s beaten the best over there (sans Fujii) in her division.  With the 115lb division relatively unestablished in the USA, let’s hope it picks up and she fights Aguilar before exiting her prime.

In third place is Jessica Penne who put the Atomweight division on the map by beating the consensus #1 and our 2011 Women’s Fighter of the Year, the previously undefeated Naho Sugiyama.

 

The honorable mention goes to Jessica Aguilar.  Her questionable win over the aged Megumi Fujii to propel her to the top of the division did not go unnoticed, but aside from that, her year was relatively quiet.

FightMatrix 2012 Awards: Men’s Rookie of the Year – Smealinho Rama

19 Dec , 2012,
jcs
4 comments

Amassing a 5-0 record in 2012, finishing all opponents in the first round, 74th ranked Heavyweight, Smealinho Rama is our Men’s Rookie of the Year