UFC pace of action up over 200% since 90s

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The UFC, via FightMetric, tracks significant strikes as all strikes attempted from a standing distance position, plus all power strikes (as opposed to jabs) in the clinch, or on the ground.  It is the common denominator for offensive output by a fighter, and an excellent metric to use as a proxy for overall fighting pace.

Since 2007, UFC fighters average 6.8 significant strikes per minute (SSpM) of fight time. Significant strikes do damage, score knockdowns, set up submissions, or cause referees to jump in for the save.  Significant strikes generally define the action in a fight, and as the analysis shows, fighter output by this metric has changed drastically since the early years of the UFC.

Through the 1990’s, UFC fighters attempted an average of only 2.8 significant strikes per minute.  Averages for UFC fighters then more than doubled to 6.9 SSpM after the sport matured under Fertitta’s Zuffa umbrella.  Modern UFC fighters also score more knockdowns and throw a slightly higher percentage of power strikes than the old guard, further suggesting greater endurance.

10 Best Gas Tanks in the UFC
Duane Ludwig 16.8 SSpM
Chris Cope 15 SSpM
Renan Barao 14.2 SSpM
Sam Stout 14.1 SSpM
Junio dos Santos 13.9 SSpM
Tony Ferguson 13.6 SSpM
Luiz Cane 12.6 SSpM
Dennis Siver 12.3 SSpM
Nick Diaz 12.2 SSpM
Jared Hamman 12.2 SSpM

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