MMA Analysis: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce at UFC 143

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 143 breakdowns.

[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: neither fighter (50/50%)

This is one of those odd fights we sometimes break down where a less seasoned fighter (Mike Pierce) is much better statistically than a much more seasoned fighter (Josh Koscheck).

The key question becomes whether Pierce’s dominant stats are a result of fighting easier opponents (or put another way, could Koscheck have put together as impressive of stats had he fought Pierce’s opponents?)

Pierce has faced two top shelf opponents for sure (decision losses to Fitch and Hendricks) but that doesn’t compare to the long line up of killers Koscheck has fought.

In the end I’m relying on the math and the math gives Josh Koscheck a 51% chance for the win. I’ll round that off and call it dead even (50/50%).

. . . . .

Pick to bet: Mike Pierce (underdog)

The current moneyline on Pierce is +210 (= 32% chance of winning, $100 pays $210).

Those odds underestimate Pierce’s legitimate chances of winning this fight, and I’ll wager on Pierce assuming the odds stay long.

Click for all UFC 143 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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