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MMA by the Numbers: Thiago Tavares vs. Sam Stout 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. Click for all UFC 142 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: Thiago Tavares

Statistically, Stout has the advantage in striking. Tavares has been more efficient, but Stout has a much higher work rate, landing 270 sig. strikes per hour, versus just 102 for Tavares.

But Tavares gets the nod for the win based on his solid edge in grappling. By almost every stat we track, Tavares has been an above average grappler (and Stout below average).

The question is whether Tavares will use this advantage to get the fight to the ground or try to stand and bang with Stout. Tavares’s chin is a question mark, but Stout isn’t a very heavy-handed fighter (only 2.0 knockdowns + knockouts per hour). Tavares should be safe from getting finished on the feet but he’ll lose by decision if this becomes a kickboxing match.

Putting it all together, the math gives Tavares the edge to win (55%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: Thiago Tavares

The current moneyline on Tavares is -110 (= 52% chance of winning, $100 pays $91).

That’s very close to my own estimate. I like those odds. I’ll continue to watch where the odds go from here, but I’ll wager on Tavares at -135 or better.

Click for all UFC 142 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.