MMA Analysis: Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo 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:

Cheick Kongo

Pick to win: Cheick Kongo by KO/TKO

Statistically, Kongo has the edge in striking based on being more efficient and landing more often. Having said that, Hunt has heavy-hands (4.6 knockdowns + knockouts per hour) and is always a threat on the feet.

Neither fighter’s grappling has impressed. Example: Hunt has been submitted 7.0 times per hour which puts him near the very bottom of all fighters we track.

Other factor(s): Kongo will have an 8″ reach advantage (which is very significant).

Putting it all together, the math gives Kongo the strong edge for the win (69%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: neither fighter (yet)

The current moneyline on Kongo is -278 (=74% chance of winning, $100 pays $36).

That’s a little too close to my own prediction to justify a bet. I’ll keep watching the odds and wager on Kongo if he gets to about -185 (which I don’t expect him to).

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.