Are Wrestlers Ruining MMA?

  We have already seen a brief history of the UFC by the fights they promoted, and how they ended. But what about more subtle ways in which MMA has evolved over time? Are fighters fighting any differently now than they once did? We often hear that wrestlers are altering the competitive dynamics of the sport at its core, or worse, making it “boring.” The infamous Junie Browning of TUF Season 8 lamented the performance of “boring ass wrasslers,” and plenty of fans at live events are vocal with their displeasure if fights spend too much time on the ground. But are MMA fights really...

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A Very Brief History of How Every UFC Fight Ended

  Some argue that the peak of UFC popularity was around 2005. It was the heyday of the “Iceman” Chuck Liddell and the “Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski. Half of all fights that year ended in a knockout, and another quarter of fights ended in submission. Decisions made up less than a quarter of all fights, and the epic barn-burner between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin at The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale tipped the unconvinced into devoted fans. And the UFC delivered when demand began to surge. Whereas just 39 fights occurred in 2004, the annual fight count more than quadrupled to...

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UFC 183 Link Roundup – Everything in One Place

  Super Bowl weekend is a big deal in Las Vegas, and the UFC always comes through to give sports fans a good show the night before the big game. This year is no different with the return of two MMA legends in Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz. With such a deep card, loaded with talent and veterans, there was a lot of ground to cover this week. So you may not have seen it all. Here’s everything in one place…seven article links, two videos, and one podcast. And don’t forget, in honor of Super Bowl weekend, print out some MMA Betting Squares for your fight watch party Saturday...

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How Every UFC Fight Ended in 2014 (in one graph)

  It was a whirlwind, friends! The year 2014 may be remembered most for storylines outside the cage, like the Reebok deal, the addition of the Women’s Strawweight division, the signing of CM Punk, and the continued global expansion. There was also bad news outside the cage, however, like the cancellation of UFC 176 and the sustained Injury Bug, the signing of CM Punk (!), and now the recent anti-trust lawsuit. But throughout 2014 there were also some fights inside the Octagon: 503 of them, spanning 46 UFC events. And here’s how they all went down in one graph. There’s plenty to...

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Small Cage Analysis Part 2: the What and the How of the Finisher’s Cage

  Analysis of cage size effects was presented in the “Fightnomics” book, this analysis is more recent and focuses on UFC competition only.    In Part 1 of the analysis of Cage Size in the UFC we found that finish rates in the smaller Octagon were substantially higher than those in the normal, full-size Octagon. It’s not a perfect experiment given the sample sizes involved, but they were found to be statistically significant beyond a reasonable doubt. So the phenomenon of the “Finisher’s Cage” is, therefore, real. We just don’t how, or why.   There are a...

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The Hard Numbers on the Small UFC Cage (Part 1)

Analysis of cage size effects was presented in the “Fightnomics” book, this analysis is more recent and focuses on UFC competition only.    What if you had your own MMA promotion? You could manage your own roster and even tweak some of the rules to orchestrate the perfect fight card. What would you change to maximize your objective of offering fans the most possible excitement? Would you focus on certain weight classes, or change the rules to allow soccer kicks? Would you invest in cutting edge audio and visual bells and whistles for enthralling fighter walk-ins? Or just cut all...

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