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MMA Analysis: Breaking Down KJ Noons vs. Josh Thomson

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Below we’ve measured each fighter’s performance in major fights over the last 5 years and each fighter’s probability of winning this match up based on (uber nerdy) statistical analysis.

After the stats, I’ll talk about any wagers I’ll be making.

Click for all Strikeforce breakdowns.

[Ed. Note: Get more great stuff over at Breakdown Fights]

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Betting Strategy:

Josh Thomson

Pick to win: Josh Thomson by Decision

Statistically, neither fighter has a strong edge in striking. Thomson has been more efficient (ex. landing 42% of strikes vs 33% for Noons). Noons has had a higher work rate (ex. landing 261 strikes per hour vs 156 for Thomson).

Neither fighter’s grappling has impressed, but Thomson has definitely been “less bad”.

Other factor(s): Thomson will have a 1″ reach advantage, but that’s insignificant.

Putting it all together, the math gives Thomson the edge for the win (58%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: possibly Josh Thomson

The current moneyline on Thomson is -150 (= 60% chance of winning, $100 pays $67).

Based on the numbers, I think the current line is spot on. I’ll continue to watch the odds and wager on Thomson assuming they don’t get much longer from here.

Click for all upcoming Strikeforce breakdowns.

Mike the Geek

Understanding the Stats:

Data only includes fights from the last 5 years with stats in the Fight Metric database. That means fights in smaller organizations are ignored.

Results are color-coded by how the fighter compares to other fighters in the database: the darker the green the better, the darker the red the worse. High numbers are good in the fighter’s column, low numbers are good in the fighter’s opponents column.

The “probability of win” (top of stats) is based on analysis of the stats that matter the most in determining who wins fights, and is the most important thing I look at when deciding how to wager on a fight (read more).

The “level of competition” (bottom of stats) captures how difficult the fighter’s opponents have been by showing the total 5-year W/L record of opponents at the time they fought. It’s easy to rack up sexy stats when you fight goofs (and vice-versa) so stats should be viewed with the level of competition in mind (read more).

Click to read more FAQs about understanding these stats.

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Get more great MMA news and analysis over at Breakdown Fights.