Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC 162 Preview: Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson



This is a very competitive match on paper. There are some very good reasons to think Cub Swanson will win, and other very good reasons to think Dennis Siver will win. The truth is that it’s a very close 50-50 type of match, but after looking at everything, I’m going to very slightly side with Siver for the upset.

Both fighters here prefer to stand and trade with their opponents. Siver has done so more consistently than Swanson; only 18 total takedowns have been landed in Siver’s 15 UFC fights. Siver appears to have the advantage in terms of ability to land more strikes than his opponent. He has out-struck his collective opponents by +1.54 significant strikes per minute, compared to +0.74 for Swanson. It’s worth noting that Siver’s numbers are skewed a bit from his match against Nam Phan, the lowest-rated featherweight in the UFC according to FPR.

On the flip side, Siver has also shown more vulnerability to being knocked down or hurt by strikes. He’s been knocked down five times compared to just once for Swanson. Even though Siver has shown more overall striking power, Swanson is probably more likely to win by knockout.

If either fighter decides to break away from the striking match, Siver is more likely to stuff Swanson’s takedowns than vice versa. Siver has a successful takedown defense rate of 71 percent, compared to just 45 percent for Swanson. Swanson has shown more of a willingness to attempt takedowns, but he’ll find Siver a very tough opponent to take down.

When I look at the numbers, I find what should be a slight edge for Siver in this match. Swanson is more likely to win by knockout, but Siver has advantages in significant strikes landed/absorbed and takedown defense. If this was a heavyweight match, I would favor Swanson based on his edge in ability to win by knockout. Since this match is in the much lighter featherweight division, the advantage goes to the man more likely to win by decision. In my view, that man is Dennis Siver.

Pick: Dennis Siver by decision


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