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MMA Analysis: Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson at UFC 144

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:

Frankie Edgar

Pick to win: neither fighter (50/50%)

The numbers say this fight is as close as they come.

Neither fighter has a significant advantage on the feet.

Henderson has the slight edge in grappling based on his success getting opponents to the ground (16.4 takedowns per hour vs 9.8 for Edgar), but that’s balanced by the fact that Edgar’s stats are from facing a tougher level of competition.

Other factors: Edgar will have a 2″ reach advantage, but that is insignificant. Henderson is southpaw and Edgar orthodox (advantage Henderson, read why).

Putting it all together the math gives Henderson a 51% chance for the win, but I’m rounding it off and calling it 50/50%.

. . . . .

Ben Henderson

Pick to bet: likely neither fighter

The current moneyline is almost even on this fight.

IMHO this is too close a fight to justify a wager on either fighter. If the odds get long I’ll wager on the underdog, otherwise, I’ll be sitting on the sidelines for this one.

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.


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