MMA Analysis: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields 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:

Jake Shields

Pick to win: Jake Shields by Decision

The numbers say that there’s not a whole lot going for Akiyama in this fight.

Shields has outperformed by just about every stat, especially grappling. Shields’ 13.9 takedowns and 33.1 passes per hour are both in the top 10% of all fighters we track.

Other factors: Akiyama will have a 3″ reach advantage, which might be significant (read why).

Putting it all together the math gives Shields the strong edge for the win (73%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: likely Jake Shields (odds favorite)

The current moneyline on Shields is -280 (= 74% chance of winning, $100 pays $36).

Based on the numbers, I’d play Shields even as a strong favorite. I’ll continue watching the odds and plan to wager on Shields at -320 or better.

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.