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MMA Analysis: Pat Barry vs. Christian Morecraft 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]

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Betting Strategy:

Pick to win: neither fighter, 50/50% chance to win

The numbers say this is a much closer match up than the betting odds are predicting.

The statistical advantage in striking goes to Barry. Morecraft has landed more strikes and prevented more of his opponents’ strikes, but Barry is a much more efficient striker and is MUCH heavier-handed.

Barry has delivered 9.2 knockouts + knockdowns per hour, compared to ZERO for Morecraft. That’s especially important in this match up because Morecraft’s chin is suspect. He’s been knocked down or knocked out 15 times per hour, which puts him near the bottom of all fighters we track.

But Morecraft has a solid chance of winning this bout based on his grappling advantage. Morecraft scores well above average in takedowns and passes. Barry has done a good job stopping takedowns but his grappling game is basically non-existent.

Other factors: Morecraft will have a 6.5″ reach advantage, which is significant (advantage Morecraft). Barry fights switch stance and Morecraft orthodox (advantage Barry).

Putting it all together, the math says Morecraft has a 51% chance of winning this bout, but I’m rounding it off and calling it 50/50%.

. . . . .

Pick to bet: Christian Morecraft

The current moneyline on Morecraft is +149 (= 40% chance of winning, $100 pays $149).

Those odds underestimate Morecraft’s legitimate chance of winning this bout, and assuming the odds stay long, I’ll be betting on Morecraft for the win.

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.