2019 Awards: Rookies of the Year

4 Jan , 2020,
jcs

Men: Juancamilo Ronderos

This one wasn’t close.  4-0 on the year, with a ranking easily within the Top 50 at Flyweight.

 

Women: Maria Laura Alves

No real breakaway candidate for this award, but Alves edges it, ending at #50 in the 115 division.

Honorable Mentions: Ewelina Wozniak, Nong Stamp

Featured Upcoming Bouts (Outside of UFC)

Saturday, January 25th 2020: Bellator 238 - Budd vs. Cyborg
 [#1 W145] Cristiane Justino [#2 W145] Julia Budd
Last Fight Date: 7/27/2019 [UFC]
Last Opponent: [#5 W145] Felicia Spencer
Last 5: W W W L W
Last Fight Date: 7/12/2019 [BellatorFC]
Last Opponent: [#15 W145] Olga Rubin
Last 5: W W W W W
Friday, February 7th 2020: Invicta FC 39: Frey vs. Cummins 2
 [#3 W105] Jinh Yu Frey [#8 W105] Ashley Cummins
Last Fight Date: 6/02/2019 [Rizin Fighting Federation]
Last Opponent: [#2 W105] Ayaka Hamasaki
Last 5: W L W W L
Last Fight Date: 11/16/2018 [Invicta FC]
Last Opponent: [#59 W115] Jessica Correa Delboni
Last 5: W W L W W
Friday, March 13th 2020: Bellator 241: Pitbull vs. Carvalho
 [#3 FW] Patricio Freire [#22 FW] Pedro Carvalho
Last Fight Date: 9/28/2019 [BellatorFC]
Last Opponent: [#41 FW] Juan Archuleta
Last 5: W W W W W
Last Fight Date: 9/07/2019 [BellatorFC]
Last Opponent: [#62 FW] Sam Sicilia
Last 5: W W W W W

2019 Awards: Comeback & Most Improved Fighter of the Year

Jan , 2020,
jcs

As a refresher, our “comeback” award is about coming back from inactivity or major injury (that we know about) and in doing so, really impressing.  You can see more details on the awards page about specific qualifiers.

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Nate Diaz

Although he went an even .500 on the year, he ended on the fringes of the Top 10 at Welterweight.

 

Most Improved Fighter of the Year: Jairzinho Rozenstruik

5-0 on the year and stoppages over Arlovski and Overeem elevate Rozenstruik to the doorstep of a title opportunity, but he’ll need to get past Ngannou before that becomes a reality.

2019 Awards: Most Noteworthy Match of the Year

3 Jan , 2020,
jcs

Most Noteworthy Match of the Year:

Khabib Nurmagomedov SUB(3) Dustin Poirier

A fairly easy choice.  The undefeated Khabib, takes on Dustin Poirier, recent conquerer of Alvarez and Holloway.

Comparing the strength of schedule of Michael “Venom” Page and Anderson Silva through 18 fights

Jan , 2020,
Richard Mann
, , ,

During the broadcast of Bellator 237, former referee turned commentator “Big” John McCarthy mentioned that Michael Page’s schedule through his career so far has been similar in terms of difficulty to that of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva through the same stretch. Since Page has developed the reputation of a can smasher, this comment raised the ire of many MMA fans on social media. On its face, the comment is absurd. In his first 18 fights, Silva claimed the Shooto middleweight (168-pound) championship and knocked off a former UFC welterweight champion. But is the comparison really that outlandish?

Using Fight Matrix ranking points, it is possible to approximate the level of difficulty both fighters have faced through their first 18 fights. Every year, the website publishes the “Upsets of the Year” award. The most simple calculation is “Most Noteworthy,” which is the difference in ranking points (ranking points of a fighter minus the ranking points of an opponent). The higher the number, the larger the favorite. Through their first 18 fights, Page’s average most noteworthy score is 22.83, while Silva’s 21.61. However, that does not tell the entire story. Page’s average is buttressed by his fight against Douglas Lima. He went in as a heavy underdog against the Bellator champion and got knocked out in the second round. Without that fight, his average most noteworthy score rises to 41.35.

Also, Page’s level of opposition has declined significantly following his only career defeat. He has been a heavy favorite in his last three fights over Richard Keily, Gianni Melillo and Shinzo Anzai. The spike on the following chart is quite evident.


(Click here for the interactive Tableau Public version of this chart)

It would also be unfair to Silva to ignore that fact that his a large portion of his early opposition went on to have solid careers. When he fought Luiz Azeredo, Fabricio Camoes and Roan Carneiro they were a combined 3-2. All three went on to have extensive careers in major promotions such as the UFC and Pride FC. While those fighters blossomed later in their careers, it seems unlikely that will happen for some of Page’s early opponents. His first two opponents, Ben Dishman and Miguel Bernard, are still a combined 0-6 nearly eight years later.

While it does seem like large McCarthy was shilling from the commentary booth, Page’s early career run has not been that facile. However, his team and Bellator have clearly tried to give him a softer touch as of late.

Richard Mann is a regular contributor to @ESPNMMA, @FightMetric, @RotoWireMMA and @InterMat. You can follow him on Twitter at @richardamann.

2019 Awards: Upsets of the Year

2 Jan , 2020,
jcs

Note: We have three ways that we derive biggest “upsets” based on points difference between winner and loser.

“Most Noteworthy” (X minus Y / normalized by division)
“Most Noteworthy – Glicko” (GlickoX minus GlickoY)
“Most Lopsided” (X divided by Y)

 

Most Noteworthy: Walt Harris KO(1) Alexey Oleynik

While not a betting upset, Oleynik was fringe Top 10 and Harris was still an unproven fighter prior to this.

 

Most Noteworthy (Glicko): Kai Asakura TKO(1) Kyoji Horiguchi

Horiguchi was that rare fighter who’d occasionally show up at the bottom of the P4P lists, yet not actively competing in the UFC.  Asakura knocked him out and down a few notches in the rankings.

 

Most Lopsided: Timofey Nastyukhin TKO(1) Eddie Alvarez

Alvarez was annihilated by a totally unknown fighter in his first One Championship fight.  Maybe he took the competition a bit too lightly, or maybe he left a piece of himself in the UFC.

Fight Matrix Program – PFL 2019 #10 (12-31-2019)

30 Dec , 2019,
jcs

Women Featherweight (154)
[#5] Larissa Pacheco (13-3-0, 153.6lb, +711) vs. [#7] Kayla Harrison (6-0-0, 154.8lb, -1245)

Last 3 Fights: Larissa Pacheco (2-1-0)
2019-10-11: W vs. [#8FW] Sarah Kaufman (21-5-0) via UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
2019-07-11: W vs. [#29FW] Bobbi Jo Dalziel (5-2-0) via Submission (Armbar) in 2:31 of round 1
2019-05-09: L vs. [#7FW] Kayla Harrison (6-0-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)

Last 3 Fights: Kayla Harrison (3-0-0)
2019-10-11: W vs. [#29FW] Bobbi Jo Dalziel (5-2-0) via Submission (Armbar) in 3:32 of round 1
2019-07-11: W vs. [#55FW] Morgan Frier (4-3-0) via Submission (Key Lock) in 3:35 of round 1
2019-05-09: W vs. [#5FW] Larissa Pacheco (13-3-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)

Odds Favorite (Implied): Kayla Harrison – Win%: 88.24
Elo Favorite (Standard): Kayla Harrison (1440.10) [+10.97] – Win%: 51.25
Elo Favorite (Modified): Kayla Harrison (1547.65) [+50.90] – Win%: 55.55
Glicko-1 Favorite (Adj): Kayla Harrison (1481.80) [+14.37] – Win%: 52.79
Days Since Last Pro Fight: Larissa Pacheco 81, Kayla Harrison 81
Previous Match-up Record: Kayla Harrison leads 1-0-0
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 1 win(s) against common opposition.
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Welterweight (169)
[#39] David Michaud (18-5-0, 169.5lb, +113) vs. [#53] Ray Cooper III (19-7-1, 168.6lb, -142)

Last 3 Fights: David Michaud (3-0-0)
2019-10-11: W vs. [#69WW] Glaico Franca (22-6-0) via MD ()
2019-10-11: W vs. [#62WW] John Howard (28-16-1) via UD ()
2019-07-11: W vs. [#80WW] Handesson Ferreira (14-3-1) via TKO (Punches) in 4:37 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Ray Cooper III (1-1-1)
2019-10-11: W vs. [#89WW] Chris Curtis (21-8-0) via KO (Punch) in 0:11 of round 2
2019-10-11: D vs. [#88WW] Sadibou Sy (8-5-2) via Draw (Majority) in 5:00 of round 2
2019-07-11: L vs. [#62WW] John Howard (28-16-1) via KO (Punches) in 3:23 of round 1

Odds Favorite (Implied): Ray Cooper III – Win%: 55.55
Elo Favorite (Standard): David Michaud (1821.04) [+103.32] – Win%: 61.59
Elo Favorite (Modified): David Michaud (1785.77) [+65.77] – Win%: 57.15
Glicko-1 Favorite (Adj): David Michaud (1763.86) [+5.34] – Win%: 51.00
Days Since Last Pro Fight: David Michaud 81, Ray Cooper III 81
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: David Michaud leads 2-1
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Heavyweight (258)
[#20] Ali Isaev (8-0-0, 258.8lb, -507) vs. [#36] Jared Rosholt (20-7-0, 250.6lb, +366)

Last 3 Fights: Ali Isaev (3-0-0)
2019-10-31: W vs. [#35HW+] Denis Goltsov (25-6-0) via TKO (Punches) in 4:59 of round 3
2019-10-31: W vs. [#51HW+] Kelvin Tiller (11-5-0) via UD ()
2019-08-08: W vs. [#138HW+] Carl Seumanutafa (12-11-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Last 3 Fights: Jared Rosholt (3-0-0)
2019-10-31: W vs. [#51HW+] Kelvin Tiller (11-5-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2019-10-31: W vs. [#86HW+] Muhammed DeReese (8-2-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:41 of round 1
2019-08-08: W vs. [#55HW+] Satoshi Ishii (22-10-1) via UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Odds Favorite (Implied): Ali Isaev – Win%: 79.55
Elo Favorite (Standard): Ali Isaev (1777.99) [+35.78] – Win%: 54.08
Elo Favorite (Modified): Ali Isaev (1818.91) [+48.46] – Win%: 55.28
Glicko-1 Favorite (Adj): Ali Isaev (1799.19) [+51.12] – Win%: 59.42
Days Since Last Pro Fight: Ali Isaev 61, Jared Rosholt 61
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 3 win(s) against common opposition.
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Fight Matrix Program – RIZIN 20 (12-31-2019)

Dec , 2019,
jcs

Women Atomweight Championship (108)
[#1/#6DD/#5P4P] Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2-0, 107.7lb, -106) vs. [#2/#10DD] Seo Hee Ham (22-8-0, 107.8lb, -128)
Ayaka Hamasaki is the All-Time #6 ranked Women’s fighter.
Seo Hee Ham is the All-Time #35 ranked Women’s fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Ayaka Hamasaki (3-0-0)
2019-08-18: W vs. [#14AW] Suwanan Boonsorn (4-2-0) via Submission (Armbar) in 3:29 of round 1
2019-06-02: W vs. [#3AW] Jinh Yu Frey (8-4-0) via UD ()
2018-12-31: W vs. [#8AW] Kanna Asakura (16-4-0) via Submission (Armbar) in 4:34 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Seo Hee Ham (3-0-0)
2019-10-12: W vs. [#7AW] Miyuu Yamamoto (5-4-0) via TKO (Punches) in 4:42 of round 2
2019-07-28: W vs. [#9AW] Tomo Maesawa (13-10-0) via TKO (Knees) in 3:14 of round 1
2018-12-15: W vs. [#11AW] Jeong Eun Park (7-6-1) via UD ()

Odds Favorite (Implied): Seo Hee Ham – Win%: 52.17
Elo Favorite (Standard): Ayaka Hamasaki (1721.26) [+148.00] – Win%: 66.29
Elo Favorite (Modified): Ayaka Hamasaki (1718.22) [+128.62] – Win%: 63.71
Glicko-1 Favorite (Adj): Ayaka Hamasaki (1697.97) [+94.67] – Win%: 67.12
Days Since Last Pro Fight: Ayaka Hamasaki 135, Seo Hee Ham 80
Previous Match-up Record: Ayaka Hamasaki leads 2-0-0
Wins Against Common Opposition: Ayaka Hamasaki leads 6-4
.

Lightweight (157)
[#43] Tofiq Musayev (16-3-0, 156.9lb, -170) vs. [#45] Johnny Case (27-6-1, 156.9lb, +132)

Last 3 Fights: Tofiq Musayev (3-0-0)
2019-10-12: W vs. [#87LW] Damien Brown (19-13-0) via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) in 4:14 of round 1
2019-06-02: W vs. [#119LW] Daron Cruickshank (22-13-0) via UD ()
2018-12-31: W vs. [#431LW] Nobumitsu Osawa (12-5-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:19 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Johnny Case (3-0-0)
2019-10-12: W vs. [#129LW] Roberto de Souza (9-1-0) via TKO (Submission to Punch) in 1:15 of round 1
2019-07-28: W vs. [#202LW] Satoru Kitaoka (42-20-9) via TKO (Corner Stoppage) in 5:00 of round 1
2018-12-31: W vs. [#103LW] Yusuke Yachi (21-9-0) via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in 4:47 of round 2

Odds Favorite (Implied): Tofiq Musayev – Win%: 59.36
Elo Favorite (Standard): Johnny Case (1811.05) [+18.84] – Win%: 52.15
Elo Favorite (Modified): Johnny Case (1806.39) [+9.23] – Win%: 51.01
Glicko-1 Favorite (Adj): Johnny Case (1802.04) [+8.14] – Win%: 51.54
Days Since Last Pro Fight: Tofiq Musayev 80, Johnny Case 80
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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Lightweight (157)
[#12] Patricky Freire (22-8-0, 156.4lb, -443) vs. [#82] Luiz Gustavo Felix dos Santos (10-1-0, 155.8lb, +316)
Patricky Freire is the All-Time #46 ranked Lightweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Patricky Freire (3-0-0)
2019-10-12: W vs. [#203LW] Tatsuya Kawajiri (37-14-2) via KO (Flying Knee and Punches) in 1:10 of round 1
2019-02-09: W vs. [#88LW] Ryan Scope (10-3-0) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
2018-09-21: W vs. [#345LW] Roger Huerta (24-12-1) via KO (Punch) in 0:43 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Luiz Gustavo Felix dos Santos (2-1-0)
2019-10-12: W vs. [#210LW] Hiroto Uesako (18-9-0) via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in 3:55 of round 1
2019-04-21: L vs. [#95FW] Mikuru Asakura (12-1-0) via UD ()
2018-08-12: W vs. [#103LW] Yusuke Yachi (21-9-0) via KO (Punch) in 2:32 of round 2

Odds Favorite (Implied): Patricky Freire – Win%: 77.23
Elo Favorite (Standard): Patricky Freire (1998.49) [+376.15] – Win%: 84.80
Elo Favorite (Modified): Patricky Freire (1941.33) [+300.83] – Win%: 78.86
Glicko-1 Favorite (Adj): Patricky Freire (1906.50) [+211.70] – Win%: 83.01
Days Since Last Pro Fight: Patricky Freire 80, Luiz Gustavo Felix dos Santos 80
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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