MMA Q&A: How Have UFC Finishes Changed Over the Years?

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The way fights end has changed a lot in the 18 years since UFC 1.

Below we show the percentage of UFC fights that ended by KO/TKO (red), submission (green), or decision (blue) each year since 1993.

[Ed. Note: Make sure to check out all of Mike the Geek's other MMA analysis over at Breakdown Fights]

Submissions dominated the mid-90’s, reaching an all time high in 1994 when 75% of all fights ended by tap out. That was partly a result of the (lack of) rules in early MMA, but still, compare that to this year when only 20% of fights have ended by submission. That’s close to an all time low for the organization.

On the rise are decisions. 49% of all UFC fights in the last two years have gone to the judges. That’s a new record for the organization by far.

To the educated fan, more decision victories aren’t necessarily good or bad. But educated fans don’t pay the bills, casual fans do. Casual fans want to see brutal finishes and this trend towards more decisions in the last few years can’t be a good thing for the UFC or MMA.

Mike the Geek

* Fight data courtesy of Fight Metric

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