How Every UFC Fight in the First Half of 2015 Ended (in one graph)

 

The year 2015 is barely into the second half, and already it’s been a blur for UFC fans. If you can’t recall some of the 237 fights that went down in the first six months of the year, don’t be surprised. And if that’s the case, we’ve got a single graph to summarize it all.

The mosaic plot below shows how fights ended, but also what division they took place in. Both the vertical and horizontal axes are proportional, so the widest bars represent weight classes that had more fights.

UFCFights2015Q2

Click image to enlarge.

So let’s consider a few takeaways. First, we see the common trend of the largest weight classes finishing the most fights. We also see the center of mass for the UFC being in the Lightweight division, with nearly as many fights occurring below 155 pounds as above it. More than half of all UFC fights occur in just three of the 10 divisions, between 145 and 170 pounds.

Strangely, the Light Heavyweight Division saw only 11 fights for this period, one more than the Women’s Bantamweight division, and the same as the Strawweights. While the UFC’s “glamour” division is running a little thin, the departure of Jon Jones at least refreshes the title picture. However, there’s still not much room to boast considering the Bantamweights have been finishing more fights this year.

From a macro-perspective, the overall finish rate for the year is currently 56%, up from the recent historical average hovering around 50%. So the addition of new smaller fighters hasn’t pushed the finish rate further down. While we’re just considering half of the fights for 2015, the year to date is on an upswing in finishes, and that should make Dana White and fans happy.

Eliminating Overturned fights and No Contests from the total, we ended up with 81 T/Kos and Doctor’s Stoppages, 49 submissions, and 103 decisions. Of those decisions, 80 were unanimous, while 23 were split or majority decisions, for a dissention rate of 22% – which is down slightly from the year before, but in line with the historical averages.

And when it comes to finishing fights, title bouts are definitely offering more than their fair share. Seven out of nine title fights ended inside the distance, with Women’s Strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk being the only one to win two title fights via strikes. Meanwhile, the Bantamweight, Featherweight, and Welterweight divisions all went the entire first half of the year without a single title fight. Those three have all since held a title or interim title fight, and all three ended early. Another takeaway is that we’re only getting about one division title fighter per six month period. That means champs are generally fighting only twice a year, which is below the rate at which non-champions compete in the UFC.

Some other half-year UFC totals, just for fun:

- 2,488 Minutes of Fight Time (or 41.5 hours)

- 557 Rounds

- 148 Submission Attempts

- 14,952 Significant Strikes Landed

- 13,983 Total Head Strikes Landed

- 88 Knockdowns

- 524 Takedowns Landed

- 55 Slams

So what will the rest of 2015 bring? Well, expect another 200+ fights as the frenzied UFC schedule rolls on. With the end-of-year schedule just now starting to get planned, let’s hope to see more of same on the back end, with finishes galore. And that also means title fight finishes.

 

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2 Comments

  1. ed says:

    Are you planning to do a graph that shows data from, say, 2011 – 2015?

    Lots of great info on your site. Thanks very much.

    • Reed Kuhn says:

      First we’ll cover all fights in 2015. Then we’ll update the macro-trend chart soon after. Stay tuned!

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