MMA Analysis: Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis 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]

Betting Strategy:

Anthony Pettis

Pick to win: Anthony Pettis by Decision

Statistically, this is a striker vs grappler match up.

Anthony Pettis has the advantage in striking based on doing a much better job limiting strikes from opponents (ex. he’s been hit just 85 times per hour, compare to double that for Lauzon).

Joe Lauzon has the strong advantage in grappling. His 14.8 takedowns, 34.6 passes, and 5.9 submissions per hour are all in the top 10% of all fighters we track.

Both fighters have faced a similar level of competition.

Putting it all together, the math gives Pettis the edge for the win (57%).

. . . . .

Joe Lauzon

Pick to bet: Joe Lauzon

The current moneyline on Lauzon is +220 (=31% chance of winning, $100 pays $220).

Lauzon has pulled out upsets over heavy favorites twice (Jens Pulver and Melvin Guillard), and based on the numbers, I think the odds underestimate his chances of doing the same here.

Even though I think Pettis is more likely to win, I’ll bet on Lauzon assuming the odds 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.