Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC on Versus 5 Preview: Edwin Figueroa vs. Jason Reinhardt

Jason Reinhardt is 20-2 in MMA. Of those 22 fights, Reinhardt has faced UFC-quality opposition twice. In those two fights, Reinhardt lost in 74 seconds to Joe Lauzon by rear naked choke, and 48 seconds to Tie Quan Zhang by guillotine choke.

In Reinhardt’s 20 wins, he has faced exactly two opponents even considered “above average” by Victory Score. They are:

  • Theodore Reynol, 63.76
  • Del Hawkins, 50.84

When I say “above average,” I mean that in the context of the entire universe of MMA. A fighter like Del Hawkins, who was estimated to be an average MMA fighter when Reinhardt beat him, would perform horribly in the UFC. And before you say “well, the win against Theodore Reynol looks decent,” let me be perfectly frank in explaining that Victory Score is not a perfect tool, and can be quite inaccurate in the case of a fighter with an extreme record. As it turns out, Reynol may have been considered “Reinhardt lite,” as he was 12-0 against exactly nobody who was even close to good.

How does a fighter with the resume of Jason Reinhardt get a spot in the UFC? That’s a very good question, and one I can’t answer. The win against Reynol, with an arguably broken Victory Score, gives Reinhardt a Fight Level of 13.76, and a SILVA of 23.76. It could be very reasonably argued that Reinhardt’s SILVA score should instead be 10.00, the SILVA score of any fighter whose Fight Level is below zero but rAP is above 10.00 (meaning that the fighter wins a lot, but never against a decent opponent).

His opponent, Edwin Figueroa, only has a slightly better resume. Like Reinhardt, Figueroa has only two wins against opponents who are even above average. They are the following:

  • Johnny Bedford, 59.47
  • Whitney Brown, 50.40

Now, unlike Reynol, Johnny Bedford is a real fighter who has really beaten real opponents. That Victory Score of 59.47 should be a reasonably accurate depiction of Bedford’s status as a fighter.

The other part of this match indicating a Figueroa win is his performance against Michael McDonald as a short-notice replacement at UFC Fight Night 24 in March. Figueroa’s performance was lauded more because he didn’t get blown away than anything else, but that’s the point. Unlike Jason Reinhardt, who got obliterated in both of his previous UFC appearances, Figueroa put up a fight against a very solid fighter in McDonald. Unlike Reinhardt, he’s actually shown something that indicates that he belongs.

The problem is that Reinhardt still has a higher Fight Level due to a broken Victory Score for beating Theodore Reynol. And therefore…


Don’t pay any attention to SILVA’s prediction there. That’s the result of a restricted system that’s completely objective in its judgments. In the real world, Edwin Figueroa has shown more success against quality competition. That’s not to say that Figueroa is any kind of prospect in the bantamweight division, but he should absolutely be the pick to win this fight.


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