MMA Analysis: Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez at UFC on Fuel TV

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]

Click for all UFC Fuel TV breakdowns.

Betting Strategy:

Pick to win: Jake Ellenberger by Decision

Jake Ellenberger has the statistical advantage in striking.

Both fighters have landed a similar # of strikes, but Ellenberger has been more efficient and much heavier-handed, landing 9.4 knockdowns + knockouts per hour (compared to 1.6 for Sanchez).

It will be interesting to see how that power matches up with Sanchez who has proven himself to be incredibly durable.

Ellenberger also has the statistical advantage in grappling. His 16.4 takedowns per hour and 74% takedown completion rate put him in the top 10% of all fighters we track.

But the math says that Sanchez is still in this fight because, while Ellenberger dominates on paper, Sanchez has put together his numbers against a much tougher caliber of opponent. Sanchez has the strong advantage in level of competition faced.

Other factors: Ellenberger will have a 1″ reach advantage, but that is insignificant. Sanchez fights southpaw and Ellenberger orthodox, advantage Sanchez (read why).

Putting it all together, the math gives Jake Ellenberger the edge for the win (74%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: Jake Ellenberger (odds favorite)

The current moneyline on Ellenberger is -265 (= 73% chance of winning, $100 pays $38).

Based on the stats, I like Ellenberger, even as a strong favorite. I’ll continue monitoring the odds and will wager on Ellenberger at -300 or better.

Click for all UFC on Fuel TV 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.

Mike the Geek

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