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MMA Analysis: Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans 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: Phil Davis by Decision

I’m going to go out on a limb here and pick the underdog, Mr. Wonderful, to take out Suga Rashad.

This is a hard match to call statistically.

On one had, Davis has dominated Evans by almost every statistic we track, both striking and grappling. On the other, Davis has built up those impressive numbers against much less impressive opponents than Evans has faced.

The question is whether Davis’ statistical superiority is a result of weaker opponents (or to put the question another way, whether Evans would have put together similarly superior numbers against Davis’ same weaker opponents).

In the end, I’m going to fall back on the math and pick Davis for the win (55%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: Phil Davis (underdog).

The current moneyline on Davis is +153 (= 40% chance of winning, $100 pays $153).

I like Davis as an underdog, and will wager on him to win at better than even.

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.