Snapstats: Who is the Hardest Hitter at UFC 174
The trend has been obvious for a long time now; the UFC saves its most exciting and ferocious fighters for higher profile Pay-Per-View cards, especially fighters from larger divisions. It’s always fun to look at knockout potential, and UFC 174 is loaded with it. Only one fight will be below Welterweight (the main event), and three out of five are at 205 pounds or higher. So when the fighters touch gloves and start firing from a distance, who is most likely to knock someone down.
Here are the Knockdown Rates* for all the main card fighters at this Saturday’s UFC 174 event.
*Knockdown Rate is calculated as total Distance Knockdowns divided by Total Landed Distance Power Head Strikes. It is essentially the rate at which fighters knock down their opponents when they land a single powerful head strike. The UFC average is 3.9%, but the average is clearly different for fighters of varying weight classes. For more details and history on Knockdown Rates, get the book “Fightnomics” at Amazon.
At the top of the list karate black belt Ryan Jimmo leads the way thanks mostly to a one-punch knockout of Anthony Perosh in his UFC debut. His Knockdown Rate used to be 100% with a sample size of 1 power head strike landed. So he’s kind of at the extreme of this metric. Despite regressing quickly towards the mean, however, he still scored more knockdowns in his later fights, totaling 3 so far in his UFC career. He’s facing another heavy hitter in Ovince St-Preux, who could decided to make this more of a wrestling match given Jimmo’s love of firing from a distance.
Light Heavyweights Rafael Cavalcante and Ryan Bader are next on the list. These two will face each other in the pivot matchup of the fight that I analyzed in more detail earlier, and have a combined 13 UFC/Strikeforce career knockdowns between them. If you’re wondering who will land a KO blast first, it’s a tricky tradeoff between Bader’s more susceptible chin and his better strike avoidance.
Next down is arguably the pound-for-pound hardest hitter at UFC 174, Tyron Woodley. With 6 total knockdowns to his credit, he punches well above his welterweight division average.
Last among the top 5 is Brendan Schaub, who started his career living and dying by strikes. Now having rounded out his game, look for Brendan to utilize his wrestling and jiu-jitsu against Arlovski, another heavy hitter.
Heavy underdog Flyweight Bagautinov sits further down on the list, and only Rory MacDonald has yet to score a knockdown from this pool of fighters.
All in all, there’s a lot of hard punching that could go down at UFC 174, but also note that the more likely grappler is favored in the first three fights of the card, which could mitigate some of the fireworks. That said, all fights have to start standing, and it only takes one clean punch to end a fight – something this batch of guys know plenty about!