UFC 200 Full Link Roundup!

  UFC 200 !! Well, it’s been a busy week. To say the least. Two fight cards have already happened this week, but most of our attention is on the huge milestone UFC 200 event this Saturday. We can’t event think about UFC South Dakota next Wednesday (you knew about that, right?). Here’s all the trouble we got into regarding UFC 200 and the matchups involved.   At ESPN, we were interested in some crazy things like: The Best UFC Career Betting Investments The Biggest UFC Title Fight Upsets of All Time How to Bet UFC 200 The first ever episode of ESPN’s 5 Rounds...

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Snapstats: Offensive Striking Metrics for UFC 193

  Note, for our Fantasy preview of UFC 193, go here. For our ESPN Insider betting analysis, go here.     The final two fights at UFC 193 will feature two of the most decorated strikers in women’s MMA, one a former boxer, and one a form Muay Thai competitor. But one is a monstrous betting favorite, and the other is a massive underdog. One look at the graph below, and you’ll see why. But how does the rest of the card stack up in terms of striking skills? Let’s see them on all on page.   How the Graph Works This balloon (or bubble) chart includes the fighters competing...

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Striking Assessment: UFC Middleweight Division

    The UFC Middleweight division was long ruled by the most dangerous striker in UFC history, Anderson Silva. His rise to power was swift and merciless, and when he cleaned out the division, he even made a few daytrips up to Light Heavyweight to knockout some of the talent in that division too. Silva recorded 17 career knockdowns while in the UFC, the most of any fighter by a longshot. But with a suspension delaying his post-championship super-fight schedule, it’s uncertain how many more points Silva will put on the board before retiring. In the meantime, the division’s...

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Striking Assessment: UFC Welterweight Division

  After the Lightweights, the next most populous and most frequently competed division is at Welterweight. It’s one of the legacy divisions that’s been around forever, and since the retirement of dominant champion Georges St-Pierre, it’s be given a recent makeover. So let’s see how this large and diverse division stacks up. We’ve got plenty of former wrestlers in the mix, and a few submission specialists. Some have picked up the striking game successfully, while others clearly are only trading as long they need to in order to set up a takedown.   For similar, prior...

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Striking Assessment: UFC Lightweight Division

  The UFC’s Lightweight division went dark for a few years before returning with tons of momentum, and it’s now the center of mass for the entire UFC. More fights now take place at Lightweight than any other single division, and the roster for that weight class just edges out the Welterweights as the biggest in the UFC. That’s partly because the typical body size for the Lightweights coincides with the most common frame size in the male population, and therefore there’s plenty of talent lurking that fits the weight class. And given how competitive the division is, perhaps it’s...

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Striking Assessment: UFC Bantamweight Division

  With The Barao Era fully behind us in the UFC Bantamweight division, The Dillashaw Era is already looking to be a similarly dominant one. TJ Dillashaw trounced Barao not once, but twice, and we’re left looking around and wondering where any challenge to Team Alpha Male’s top Alpha might lie. However, this analysis reveals several interesting candidates. As we’ll see below, one of the strongest wasn’t even in the division until recently, and several other veterans could make for fun title scraps. And due to lack of data, there’s a few other names that deserve mention at the...

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