MMA Analysis: Jorge Rivera vs. Eric Schafer at UFC on FX

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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 UFX on FX breakdowns.

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

Betting Strategy:

Pick to win: Jorge Rivera by KO/TKO Round 1

Rivera has the strong edge in striking. He’s landed more strikes, been more efficient, and been much heavier-handed (delivering 9.2 knockdowns + knockouts per hour compared to just 1.0 for Schafer).

The numbers don’t give a strong advantage in grappling to either fighter. For all the talk about Schafer’s chances on the ground, his grappling hasn’t impressed statistically.

Other factors: Schafer will have a 3.5″ reach advantage (which is significant, advantage Schafer). This will be Schafer’s third fight down at middleweight, having previously fought at light heavy (advantage unknown).

Putting it all together, the math gives Rivera the edge for the win (55%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: Jorge Rivera (underdog)

The current moneyline on Rivera is +130 (= 43% chance of winning, $100 pays $130).

I think the odds underestimate Rivera’s very legitimate chance of winning this bout, and I’ll be betting on Rivera at -120 or better.

Click for all UFX on FX 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.