Five Things to Watch for at UFC 205 According to Graphs
1. The Three Title Fights Will Feature Superlative Strikers
Many of the fighters in the three title fights show up very well on paper for offensive striking metrics.
Conor McGregor has exceptional accuracy, Joanna Jedrzejczyk has blistering pace and Tyron Woodley hits harder than anyone in his division. Each is presented with different challenges, but for the UFC’s biggest fight card ever, they certainly brought in exceptional talent to put on display.
2. And the Women’s Strawweight Championship Could be a Barnburner
Despite what we saw above with Jedrzejczyk’s striking pace, it’s worth noting that she has only the second highest average striking output on the card. That’s because her challenger is Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
The challenger has the second fastest striking pace to date in the women’s strawweight division, just behind Joanna Calderwood. And given that neither woman in this matchup attempts takedowns, we should see a full speed striking duel. The real question will be whether Kowalkiewicz can maintain that pace beyond three rounds, which Jedrzejczyk has demonstrated fully. Overall, the reigning champ gets plenty of advantages on paper, but she does have a good dance partner this weekend.
3. Welterweight Title Fights May Never Be the Same Again
The GSP-era of the welterweight era lasted on and off almost a decade. But during that time, we saw very few finishes in title fights at 170 pounds.
Enter Tyron Woodley, who finished the first welterweight title fight inside the championship rounds since 2008. But not only is he a dangerous striker, his challenger Stephen Thompson is arguably the better pure standup striker. Regardless of outcome this weekend, the future champion will be feared for their knockout potential in ways that St-Pierre was not.
4. Khabib Nurmagomedov is a Really Good Wrester
The biggest potential mismatch on the ground this weekend will be when potential contender Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Michael Johnson.
Nurmagomedov has spent over a third of all his Octagon minutes on the ground, and controlling opponents while there. And that doesn’t bode well for Johnson who is nearly last on the same list. To date, we have not seen anyone stand up to Nurmagomedov’s onslaught of takedowns, which will be a tall order for Johnson.
5. The Edgar-Stephens Fight Could Be Close If It Stays Standing
Currently, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is a big -340 betting favorite over Jeremy Stephens.
But if the two stand and trade, Stephens and Edgar matchup very evenly in striking metrics, with a big edge to Stephens in the power department. Stephens’ most recent appearance was an impressive and surprising upset of former bantamweight champion Renan Barao, in a fight where Stephens demonstrated his most crisp striking to date. That means Edgar might need to use his wrestling if he can’t control things on his feet.
For information on getting the "Fightnomics" the book, go here.
Tags: ufc odds, mma odds, mma betting, ufc betting, Reed Kuhn, fightnomics, UFC 205, UFC 205 Betting, UFC 205 Odds, MMA Analytics, MMA Graphs, UFC Graphs, UFC Analytics, FightMetric
About the Author
Dropping science in the cage with UFC statistics & analytics. Quantifying underlying drivers of the fight game, and ending barroom disputes everywhere.
More articles from this author