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MMA Analysis: Chris Cariaso vs. Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 144

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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 UFC 144 breakdowns.

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

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Betting Strategy:

Takeya Mizugaki

Pick to win: neither fighter (50/50%)

The numbers say this fight is much closer than the betting odds are predicting.

Statistically, Chris Cariaso has the edge in striking. He’s been more efficient (landing 47% of strikes vs 34% for Mizugaki), landed more often (213 per hour vs 163) and done a better job limiting strikes from opponents (125 per hour vs 199).

Neither fighter’s grappling has impressed.

But Mizugaki is in this fight because his numbers are based on facing a much tougher level of competition (including losses to Bowles, Faber, and Jorgensen).

Other factors: Mizugaki will have a 5″ reach advantage (advantage Mizugaki, read why). Cariaso fights southpaw and Mizugaki orthodox (advantage Cariaso, read why).

Putting it all together the math says both fighters have about an even chance for the win.

. . . . .

Chris Cariaso

Pick to bet: likely Chris Cariaso

The current moneyline on Cariaso is +195 (= 34% chance of winning, $100 pays $195).

The numbers say those odds underestimate Cariaso’s legitimate chance of winning this bout. I’ll continue watching the odds and wager on Cariaso assuming they stay long.

Click for all UFC 144 breakdowns.

. . . . .

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 all 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.