UFC Performance Institute data notebook: Takedowns not as important to wins as traditionally thought

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The UFC Performance Institute, a leader in the areas of injury prevention, nutrition, strength and conditioning of fighters, after completing its first year has released a 80 page report, the first chapter of which is entitled “Winning in the UFC”.

In a media gathering at the institute’s campus, vice president of performance, Duncan French, said that the entire report was based on winning in the UFC – and everything else was “reverse engineered” from the same.

The most surprising data from the fight, contrary to popular belief, was that takedown success is only the 19th-most important metric involved in winning fights in men’s divisions. If you are surprised at this, then you are not the only one. Even UFC Hall of Famer and currently vice president of athlete development, Forrest Griffin, was taken aback after seeing this. Forrest accepted that on the basis of his coaching experience even he would have thought that the ability to dictate where the fight takes place is an important factor in winning. However on the basis of the 167 metric data points collected by UFC, Significant Strikes is the most important factor in scoring a win in a fight.

(Picture credit : Forbes.com)

From the data collected on how fighters win from fights dating back to 2002, the top 5 key performance indicators in the UFC are:

  1. Total strikes landed
  2. Significant strikes success percentage
  3. Total strikes attemted
  4. Time in ground control
  5. Significant strikes landed

When it comes to the length of the fight, the figures aren’t as surprising. Heavyweight fights, on an average, last only 8:02 secs. This number goes up as one approaches the lighter weight classes. Women’s strawwieght matches last the longest – 12:35.

Here are a few other interesting numbers:

  • 67.4 of heavyweight finishes come via punches
  • Women’s bantamweight has the highest percentage of finishes via kicks (7.9) and knees (7.9) of any division
  • 11.6 percent of featherweight fights end in a guillotine choke, the most of any division

The UFC PI has been able to prevent injuries by providing the right treatment, a practice which they wish to continue by having more ground staff at cards moving forward.

Read more:

UFC: Mackenzie Dern to work with UFC Performance Institute to address weight-cut issues

UFC: Ali Abdelaziz: ‘Conor is running out of money; Will fight Khabib’


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