MMA by the Numbers: Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio at UFC 142

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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.

[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: Rousimar Palhares

Palhares is not a top-shelf striker, but (statistically) he has the advantage over Massenzio, especially in limiting strikes from opponents.

Palhares’ specialty is on the ground and it shows in the numbers. He’s a top performer in terms of takedowns and passes, and completes an uber scary 6.5 submissions per hour. Massenzio is no slouch on the ground, but the grappling advantage goes to Palhares.

Putting it all together, the math gives Palhares the strong edge to win (74%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: neither fighter

The current moneyline on Palhares is -470 (= 82% chance of winning, $100 pays $21).

Palhares’ chances of winning this fight are already “baked in” to the odds. Palhares is my strong favorite to win, but not enough to justify taking him here, so I’ll be sitting on the sidelines for this one.

. . . . .

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, recaps and analysis over at Breakdown Fights.