Last week, I took the bold step of publishing SILVA scores for all TUF participants before the preliminary fights to get on the show took place. This resulted in a top five of Dakota Cochrane, Austin Lyons, John Cofer, Jeff Smith, and Myles Jury. I decided to go out on a limb, and state that I would be very surprised if the eventual TUF winner wasn’t one of those five.
This was before I knew that the preliminary fights would consist of just one five-minute round. There’s been a lot of positive reaction to the five-minute fights, and I understand why. When fights are just five minutes long, there’s no reason for the combatants to worry about expending energy. Indeed, there were quite a few action-packed fights, and even a good number of finishes.
The problem is that, when fights are only five minutes long, it makes for much more random outcomes. Imagine a football or basketball game lasting just one quarter. Yes, the team that leads after one quarter will win more often than not, but making predictions becomes much more difficult. For example, the Green Bay Packers, a team that was 15-1 in 2011, would have been 10-4-2 if football games were just 15 minutes long. This doesn’t even account for the inevitable changes in strategy that would take place with a shorter duration.
So in MMA, a sport that is difficult enough to predict in the first place, shortening fights to just five minutes makes predictions pure folly. Yes, I’ll admit to sour grapes here, with three of my top five fighters having lost, but I think the sourness is warranted.
With that said, here are the SILVA rankings for the remaining 16 fighters:
- John Cofer (7-1): 50.56
- Myles Jury (9-0): 41.73
- Daron Cruickshank (10-2): 39.52
- Chris Saunders (9-2): 35.34
- Mike Rio (8-1): 33.53
- Cristiano Marcello (12-3): 32.04
- Sam Sicilia (10-0): 30.59
- Mike Chiesa (7-0): 27.40
- Vinc Pichel (6-0): 25.07
- Joe Proctor (7-1): 25.00
- Andy Ogle (8-1): 24.80
- Jeremy Larsen (8-2): 22.77
- Chris Tickle (7-4): 16.59
- James Vick (4-0): -9.83
- Al Iaquinta (5-1-1): -19.57
- Justin Lawrence (3-0): N/A
Two things to note: first, Justin Lawrence is probably much better than his dead-last ranking here. The only reason I’m ranking him last is that he doesn’t have enough fight data to be given a SILVA score. My generic prediction is to pick a fighter who qualifies for a SILVA score to beat a fighter who doesn’t. There were three such fights to take place in the TUF preliminary fights, and the generic prediction was 2-1 picking those fights.
Second, I think that because the preliminary fights were just one round long, they were considered amateur fights. I think that the fights from this point forward will be counted as professional fights. For now, everybody’s SILVA score is the same as it was before the preliminaries, but if I get different information about what is considered a professional fight, I will update the SILVA scores accordingly.