Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

Striking Power of UFC Featherweights

This is the sixth 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 featherweights in the UFC stack up:

Some notes:

– Erik Koch and Jose Aldo are effectively tied for the lead in striking power, but while Koch technically has the fewest strikes per knockdown, I would regard Aldo as being the fighter with the best power overall. This is because of Aldo’s much larger sample size of 312 standing and clinch strikes landed, compared to Koch’s 89.

-Every weight class above featherweight had at least one fighter with a ratio lower than 25.0. At 145 pounds, no single fighter has a ratio below 40.0, not even Dennis Siver, who until now had fought as a lightweight.

-16 out of 36 featherweights listed have yet to land a knockdown. That’s 44 percent of the fighters listed. By contrast, only nine out of 42 lightweights, or 21 percent, didn’t have any knockdowns. Featherweight really appears to be the division in which striking power really plummets.

-If you’re Ross Pearson, you can get away with a complete lack of striking power because you’re able to reliably land more strikes than your opponents. If you’re Nam Phan, you can’t get away with a complete lack of striking power, because you also get out-struck yourself.

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
  • Featherweights: 132.9

Only one weight class to go.

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