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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How Big is a UFC Welterweight?

  How Big is the Average UFC Welterweight?   This weekend at the UFC’s debut in the Philippines, the biggest Welterweight matchup in history will take place. Literally. Neil Magny and Hyun Gyu Lim have two of the longest wingspans in the Welterweight division, and they are set to face off at UFC Fight Night 66 in Manila. The 160 inches of combined wingspan is the longest in UFC Welterweight history, by a long shot. And the prior records were usually fights involving one or the other. So if Magny and Lim are on the extreme of the division, then how big is the average Welterweight,...

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This is 40 (in the UFC)

  When Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic walks into the Octagon this weekend in Poland, he’ll be the 19th fighter to do so under the UFC promotion at over 40 years of age. He faces Gabriel Gonzaga, who defeated him in a number one contender matchup nearly eight years ago at UFC 70. That these two Heavyweights are theoretically not out of the title picture is kind of a big deal. The winner could be within striking distance of a title shot, and in the current injury-prone environment they would arguably be a realistic contender. It would be an MMA equivalent of winning a tennis championship...

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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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