MMA Cross-Organizational Stats (In-Depth Graphs) Pt. 1

“Diegonightmare” from the forum reporting …


The first MMA I began watching was the UFC. I didn't watch Pride or any other org for some months.

When I did begin to watch Pride, and then other orgs, I started to wonder how the results in the orgs compared. Did the UFC have more or less knockouts than Pride? Were there more armbars in KOTC or Cage Rage? In which org did more fights go to decision? And similar questions.

So I decided to crunch the numbers and find out.

I used as my source data the MMA Organizations data from Sherdog. Sherdog has tons of raw data, but as far as I can determine, they don't offer a lot of real crunching of that data. I decided to do that and see the results.

I crunched the results for every fight listed for each of 6 major orgs – UFC, Pride, Cage Rage, King of the Cage, IFL, WEC. In all, the data I compiled is the most complete data available (on Sherdog) for these 6 organizations; it totalled 331 events and 3,364 fights.

The charts below are the result.


Fight result:

For each organization I show the % of their fights that end in each of 5 results – Decision, KO, TKO, Submission, or Other. Other includes DQ, Draw, Forfeit, and the like.


For each organization I show the % breakdown of their fights which ended in submission, by type of submission. I included 8 categories – Armbar/Armlock, Kimura, Strikes, Triangle (which includes standard and reverse triangle, flying triangle, and head/arm triangle), Rear Naked Choke, Guillotine Choke, Other Choke, and Other. Other includes exotic submissions not included within the other categories, plus heel hooks, achilles locks, neck cranks, etc. The chart was already pretty busy at 8 submission categories, and those 8 captured more than 85% of sub victories, so I left it at that.


For each organization I show the % breakdown of their fights which ended in decision, by whether it was a split or unanimous decision, or unspecified (i.e. Sherdog simply has the result as “decision”). Frustrating that Sherdog has a relatively high proportion of unspecified decisions, but my charts can be only as good as the data itself.

Each of the 3 charts also has an “average”, meaning the average % value for each “category” across all 6 orgs and 3364 fights.

There are some things which I find interesting, and you're likely to find more.


* KO is the most stable fight result. A very reliable 10-11% of fights ended via KO across all 6 orgs.
* TKO is almost as stable, with only Pride having noticeably less (consistent with observations of their refs LOL)
* Decisions are the least stable category, with for example 32% of IFL fights going to decision, while less than half that % went the distance for Cage Rage, KOTC, and the WEC.
* Pride goes to decision more often than any org but one (IFL, which is only slightly higher), which really surprised me. I assumed the 10-minute first round would result in Pride being close to the bottom in decisions.
* More than 45% of KOTC fights end via submission, markedly more than the other 5 orgs.
* Kimura is a rare beast, at least in these 6 orgs. I was surprised how low the % of Kimuras was.
* A full 1/3 of Pride's subs are armbar/armlock, with the other 2/3 being everything else.
* An amazing 38% of sub victories in the relatively young IFL are via guillotine, way more than any other org has for any sub. Since close to 1/3 of IFL fights end via sub, this means that the average 10-fight card averages greater than one guillotine – roughly THREE TIMES as often as in other orgs.
* Submission due to strikes is exceedingly rare in the IFL
* If you assume half of the not-specified decisions are unanimous and half split, then very nearly 2/3 of all decisions are unanimous.
* Even if you assume half of the not-specified decisions are unanimous and half split, the UFC's decisions are unanimous nearly 75% of the time.

Interested to hear folks' reactions to the data, and any surprises that you might have gotten. Click here to chat with me in the forums directly about the data.