Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

Striking Power of UFC Bantamweights

This is the seventh and final post 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.

Note that this post includes three flyweights: Joseph Benavidez, Demetrious Johnson, and Ian McCall. I have included those fighters in this post because it would be silly to have one post featuring just them.

Here is how the bantamweights stack up:

Some notes:

-The fighters rating at the top in this weight class are great representations of what can be described as “small sample size theater.” Walel Watson rates as having the best striking power in the bantamweight division for landing two knockdowns in 77 seconds against Joseph Sandoval. He’s followed by Michael McDonald, who landed two knockdowns in 56 seconds against Alex Soto. I personally regard Brian Bowles as having the best striking power in the bantamweight division.

-Urijah Faber rates well in this metric. While there’s nothing in Faber’s statistical profile that jumps off the page, perhaps the reason he’s so successful is that he performs well in every aspect of the MMA game. In other words, Faber has no glaring weaknesses or deficiencies.

-Of the seven UFC champions, four rate in the middle of the pack of their respective divisions in striking power. Two, Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo, rate extremely highly. Dominick Cruz, on the other hand, is dead last, as he’s landed more standing or clinch strikes than anybody else listed, and has yet to land a single knockdown. Cruz’s success stems from his sheer striking volume combined with his excellent wrestling and conditioning. It’s hard to finish Cruz, and even harder to out-point him.

Here is the full 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
  • Bantamweights: 131.6
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3 responses to “Striking Power of UFC Bantamweights

  1. Nick April 10, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Looking forward to your UFC on Fuel 2 breakdown.

  2. David Williams April 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks guys! The first post on that show will be today, so you won’t have to wait long.

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