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MMA Analysis: Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman at UFC on Fox 2

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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 on Fox 2 breakdowns.

[Ed. Note: Make sure to check out all of Mike the Geek's other MMA analysis over at Breakdown Fights]

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Betting Strategy:

Pick to win: Chris Weidman by Decision

The statistical advantage in striking goes to Weidman. Both fighters have been about equally efficient, but Weidman has had a higher work rate, landing almost 50% more strikes per hour.

The advantage in grappling also goes to Weidman. Maia is clearly a threat on the ground, but Weidman’s 19.1 takedowns, 27.3 passes, and 5.5 subs per hour put him near the very top of all fighters we track.

But this match up is still close because of the level of competition each fighter has faced. Weidman has never faced as serious a threat as Maia, while Maia has faced (and often beat) the best in the business.

Other factors: Weidman will have a 6″ reach advantage (which is significant, advantage Weidman). Weidman is taking this fight on short notice (advantage Maia).

Putting it all together, the math gives the edge to Weidman for the win (56%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: neither fighter

The current moneyline on Weidman is -142 (= 59% chance of winning, $100 pays $70).

I think Weidman’s chances of winning this bout are already baked in to the odds. I’ll wager on Weidman if the the odds get down to -115, otherwise I’ll be sitting on the sidelines for this one.

Click for all UFC on Fox 2 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.