Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

Striking Power of UFC Lightweights

This is the fifth of a series of posts estimating the striking power of UFC fighters by taking the following steps. First, I look at how many standing and clinch strikes each fighter listed on the UFC website has landed in their UFC career. Second, I look at how many knockdowns each fighter has landed in their UFC career, from Fight Metric’s website. The number I use to estimate striking power is the ratio of a fighter’s strikes landed to his knockdowns. This only looks at fighters who have landed at least 50 standing or clinch strikes in the UFC.

This is hardly a definitive measure for a number of reasons. One is that the sample sizes are very low; even the fighters with the longest UFC careers and the most strikes landed barely clear 600 strikes landed overall, and a large percentage have landed fewer than 100. Another is that knockdowns are not the only way striking power can be represented, but from all the statistics I’ve seen available, it’s the only way to measure striking power that I can think of.

Here is how the lightweights in the UFC stack up:

Some notes:

  • Once again, the estimated #1 fighter in striking power should come as a surprise to nobody. In this case, Melvin Guillard tops the list of lightweights with 11 knockdowns. It’s worth noting that Guillard’s ratio of 19.6 is lower than  every welterweight and light-heavyweight in the UFC.
  • UFC champions Junior dos Santos, Jon Jones, and Georges St-Pierre all rate in the middle of the pack in striking power in their respective divisions. Lightweight champion Benson Henderson is the same way, rating 23rd out of 42 lightweights overall. Only Anderson Silva has displayed elite striking power in his weight class among UFC champions so far.
  • Takanori Gomi doesn’t rate as having special power, which makes me wonder what his rating would be if the appropriate data for PRIDE fights was available.
  • Frankie Edgar’s knockout of Gray Maynard is also the only knockdown of his UFC career.

Here is the breakdown by weight class:

  • Heavyweights: 41.8 strikes landed per knockdown
  • Light-Heavyweights: 74.3
  • Middleweights: 76.3
  • Welterweights: 98.3
  • Lightweights: 98.4

Only two more weight classes to go (I’ll be including the flyweights with the bantamweights). Stay tuned!

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