FanPost

Using a Chess Rating System to Rank Fighters because WHY NOT

Hey, hi. Hello, Bloodyelbow.

So anyways I was bored as heck in the main not three weekends back and I thought to myself: "Hey, what if I used a rating system used in chess to rank fighters? It seemed like a pretty good idea. It really did!

So for an hour or so it was all tak-tak-tak-tak on the keybad as I wrote up a program to crawl from fighter profile to fighter profile in the Sherdogman database and suck out the juicy data. I ended up with almost 30,000 fighters and 78,000 fights -- though I can always go back and absorb more delicious data!

The data I took was simply the fighter names and IDs and their fight histories -- weightclass information was hell of inconsistent so I said "No thanks".

The major problem with applying a chess rating system to something like MMA competition is that chess players play a metric asston of chess. Thousands of games! Meanwhile, an MMA fighter is usually considered a hardened veteran at 30 fights. So the system would need to be very... volatile. It'd need to really respond to big upsets and all that jazz saxophone.

The ELO system -- the most popular chess rating system by five miles minimum -- was too glacial, too slow and lumbering, and didn't account for one of the greatest issues with something like MMA -- estimating just how little we actually know of a fighter!
So in steps Glicko! It has two parts to a rating -- the rating of a fighter and the rating deviation (how high or low his rating could really be). So we have can construct a 95% confidence interval of where a fighter could be! New fighters will have very large intervals while experienced fighters who put on consistent performances will have narrow intervals.
Then I discovered Glicko-2 and was like "Whoa" because it has a volatility rating which is used to judge how much a players skill is changing -- in other words how much a fighter improves!

So tak-tak-taktaktaktaktkat BAM Glicko-2 implemented alright go team. Gimme some skin bro! Bro fist bump broooo.

The system goes thru every fight ever and computers the rating changes after the victory or loss. This doesn't simply compare records!


So here's the output. As you can see it's... it's crazy. It's just fucking CRAZY. Still, it was fun to implement and I learnt a lot and I thought you guys might enjoy seeing some results of it... 

I may revisit this system and try to improve it later. It has a bit of promise! A little bit.

The first number is the rating, second is the rating deviation (lower is better), third and fourth is a 95% confidence interval (keep in mind the bell curve aspect at that the lowest and highest values would really have a 0.00000001% chance of being reality) and finally the last bit is the fighter's current record.

Top Fighters!

1 Georges St Pierre    2335 84 (2167,2503) 21:2

2 Fedor Emelianenko    2307 78 (2151,2463) 31:2

3 Lyoto Machida    2298 103 (2092,2504) 16:2

4 Fransino Tirta    2295 179 (1937,2653) 9:0

5 Cain Velasquez    2287 122 (2043,2531) 9:0

6 Rashad Evans    2278 94 (2090,2466) 15:1

7 Billy Evangelista    2278 159 (1960,2596) 11:0

8 Gray Maynard    2270 118 (2034,2506) 10:0

9 Frankie Edgar    2266 103 (2060,2472) 13:1

10 Joe Warren     2254 139 (1976,2532) 6:1

11 Josh Barnett    2247 76 (2095,2399) 29:5

12 Antonio Silva    2245 106 (2033,2457) 15:2

13 Anderson Silva    2241 75 (2091,2391) 27:4

14 Gilbert Melendez    2236 95 (2046,2426) 18:2

15 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira   2232 69 (2094,2370) 32:6

16 Muhammed Lawal    2231 155 (1921,2541) 7:1

17 Jon Fitch     2222 82 (2058,2386) 23:3

18 Demian Maia     2222 100 (2022,2422) 14:2

19 Dominick Cruz    2203 102 (1999,2407) 17:1

20 Phil Davis     2203 138 (1927,2479) 8:0

21 Shinya Aoki     2202 74 (2054,2350) 26:5

22 Mauricio Rua    2200 83 (2034,2366) 19:4

23 Mirko Filipovic    2199 80 (2039,2359) 27:8

24 Thiago Silva    2196 110 (1976,2416) 14:2

25 BJ Penn     2193 80 (2033,2353) 16:7

26 Sean Sherk     2189 79 (2031,2347) 36:4

27 Fabricio Werdum    2188 93 (2002,2374) 14:4

28 Cole Konrad     2188 147 (1894,2482) 7:0

29 Takanori Gomi    2186 75 (2036,2336) 32:6

30 Jim Miller     2183 88 (2007,2359) 19:2

31 Gegard Mousasi    2181 79 (2023,2339) 30:3

32 Matt Hughes     2180 66 (2048,2312) 45:8

33 Eddie Alvarez    2178 86 (2006,2350) 21:2

34 Paulo Filho     2175 93 (1989,2361) 21:2

35 Jose Aldo     2175 97 (1981,2369) 18:1

36 Patricio Freire    2174 127 (1920,2428) 14:1

37 Rick Story     2174 105 (1964,2384) 12:3

38 Aleksander Emelianenko   2173 98 (1977,2369) 17:4

39 Joseph Benavidez    2173 114 (1945,2401) 13:2

40 Ronaldo Souza    2170 109 (1952,2388) 13:2

41 Kenny Florian    2169 95 (1979,2359) 13:5

42 Ryan Bader     2169 116 (1937,2401) 12:0

43 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira   2168 85 (1998,2338) 19:4

44 Miguel Torres    2168 82 (2004,2332) 38:3

45 Rustam Khabilov    2168 183 (1802,2534) 9:0

46 Johny Hendricks    2167 124 (1919,2415) 9:1

47 Charles Oliveira    2160 121 (1918,2402) 14:1

48 Roger Gracie    2157 206 (1745,2569) 3:0

49 Phillip Miller    2156 125 (1906,2406) 16:0

50 Kamal Shalorus    2156 150 (1856,2456) 7:0

51 Nazareno Malegarie    2154 125 (1904,2404) 19:0

52 Tatsuya Kawajiri    2152 76 (2000,2304) 26:6

53 Lyle Beerbohm    2152 120 (1912,2392) 15:0

54 Dan Henderson    2149 70 (2009,2289) 26:8

55 Dong Hyun Kim    2148 132 (1884,2412) 13:0

56 Brock Lesnar    2148 142 (1864,2432) 5:2

57 Chad Mendes     2147 124 (1899,2395) 9:0

58 Rich Franklin    2146 75 (1996,2296) 28:5

59 Matt Hamill     2145 109 (1927,2363) 10:2

60 Daniel Cormier    2144 154 (1836,2452) 6:0

61 Shane Carwin    2143 117 (1909,2377) 12:1

62 Diego Sanchez    2142 86 (1970,2314) 22:4

63 Tim Sylvia     2141 81 (1979,2303) 28:6

64 Josh Koscheck    2140 85 (1970,2310) 15:5

65 Jussier da Silva    2140 137 (1866,2414) 9:0

66 Bruno Santos    2140 146 (1848,2432) 8:0

67 Evan Dunham     2139 110 (1919,2359) 11:1

68 Brian Bowles    2138 136 (1866,2410) 8:1

69 Jake Shields    2136 74 (1988,2284) 26:4

70 Chuck Liddell    2133 75 (1983,2283) 21:8

71 Alexis Vila     2133 173 (1787,2479) 8:0

72 Junior dos Santos    2132 106 (1920,2344) 12:1

73 Jon Jones     2132 115 (1902,2362) 11:1

74 Quinton Jackson    2131 71 (1989,2273) 31:8

75 Bibiano Fernandes    2131 126 (1879,2383) 8:2

76 Andy Branson    2131 173 (1785,2477) 6:0

77 Marcos Vinicius    2131 196 (1739,2523) 6:0

78 Vitor Ribeiro    2130 94 (1942,2318) 20:5

79 Bryan Baker     2130 101 (1928,2332) 14:2

80 Yancy Medeiros    2128 145 (1838,2418) 9:0

81 Hector Lombard    2126 83 (1960,2292) 27:2

82 Marlon Sandro    2126 110 (1906,2346) 17:1

83 Damian Grabowski    2124 122 (1880,2368) 13:1

84 Urijah Faber    2122 77 (1968,2276) 24:4

85 Vladimir Matyushenko   2120 79 (1962,2278) 25:5

86 Renato Sobral    2119 67 (1985,2253) 36:9

87 John Hathaway    2119 121 (1877,2361) 14:1

88 Dave Branch     2119 128 (1863,2375) 8:1

89 Michael Bisping    2118 88 (1942,2294) 20:3

90 Gesias Cavalcante    2115 91 (1933,2297) 15:4

91 Renan do Nascimento Mota Pegado  2115 94 (1927,2303) 25:1

92 Wilson Reis     2114 111 (1892,2336) 11:2

93 Thales Leites    2113 93 (1927,2299) 18:4

94 Matt Mitrione    2113 196 (1721,2505) 3:0

95 Yoshihiro Nakao    2111 122 (1867,2355) 9:2

96 Jordan Smith    2111 112 (1887,2335) 15:1

97 Wanderlei Silva    2109 67 (1975,2243) 33:10

98 Ben Askren     2109 136 (1837,2381) 7:0

99 Frank Mir     2108 92 (1924,2292) 14:5

100 Nick Gaston     2106 183 (1740,2472) 4:0

 

Low Fighters!

1 Ron Thornburg    806 199 (408,1204) 0:4

2 Jerry Bignell    852 258 (336,1368) 0:3

3 Joe Kavey     883 127 (629,1137) 0:18

4 Shawn Nunnally    896 175 (546,1246) 0:5

5 Arturo Salcido    909 220 (469,1349) 0:4

6 Chris Conlin    909 232 (445,1373) 0:4

7 Nate Kopel     913 137 (639,1187) 0:10

8 Phil Parker     916 137 (642,1190) 1:16

9 Curtis Anthony    922 156 (610,1234) 0:8

10 Akira Omura     932 137 (658,1206) 0:16

11 Jared Eckright    948 331 (286,1610) 0:1

12 Adam Armstrong    955 318 (319,1591) 0:2

13 Hiroyuki Shida    956 242 (472,1440) 0:2

14 Chip Abernathey    957 323 (311,1603) 0:1

15 Kyle Fletcher    957 165 (627,1287) 0:9

16 Scott Blevins    959 142 (675,1243) 0:14

17 Nicholas Culbertson    967 169 (629,1305) 0:8

18 Hiroshi Koda    967 213 (541,1393) 0:4

19 Chad James     969 322 (325,1613) 0:1

20 Hiroshi Sato    972 205 (562,1382) 0:4

21 Takahisa Toyoshima    975 190 (595,1355) 0:7

22 Shawn Nolan     975 93 (789,1161) 6:45

23 Alex Bluck     975 325 (325,1625) 0:1

24 Jason Hays     978 318 (342,1614) 0:1

25 Kevin Leemon    979 164 (651,1307) 0:9

26 John Incorvaia    979 149 (681,1277) 0:13

27 Adrian Bosak    979 207 (565,1393) 0:6

28 Louis Sims     981 143 (695,1267) 0:12

29 Tim Honeycutt    982 194 (594,1370) 0:8

30 Manabu Kano     984 160 (664,1304) 0:9

31 Tyler Jackson    986 318 (350,1622) 0:1

32 Darius Lilionis    987 239 (509,1465) 0:4

33 Tim Wills     988 135 (718,1258) 0:18

34 James Silveira    988 203 (582,1394) 0:9

35 Josh Pankey     989 120 (749,1229) 1:17

36 Jason Jones     992 147 (698,1286) 0:10

37 John Lovejoy    992 156 (680,1304) 0:10

38 Nick Shadwick    995 193 (609,1381) 0:5

39 Matt Albright    995 121 (753,1237) 3:24

40 Zeb Hansen     998 263 (472,1524) 0:3

41 Chris Clark     998 173 (652,1344) 0:10

42 Jared Connolly    1000 263 (474,1526) 0:2

43 Brent Stott     1000 170 (660,1340) 0:7

44 Kyle Anderson    1000 194 (612,1388) 0:5

45 Chris Rock     1004 202 (600,1408) 0:5

46 Chester Lauchner    1005 244 (517,1493) 0:4

47 Eric Green     1006 320 (366,1646) 0:1

48 Mike Cooper     1007 231 (545,1469) 0:3

49 Dan Wheatley    1009 113 (783,1235) 2:25

50 Randy Ronchi    1009 139 (731,1287) 1:18

 

Excludes all fighters with wins or losses in UFC, PRIDE, Strikeforce, DREAM, Sengoku, Bellator

Top non-major organisation fighters

1 Fransino Tirta    2295 179 (1937,2653) 9:0

2 Rustam Khabilov    2168 183 (1802,2534) 9:0

3 Nazareno Malegarie    2154 125 (1904,2404) 19:0

4 Jussier da Silva    2140 137 (1866,2414) 9:0

5 Bruno Santos    2140 146 (1848,2432) 8:0

6 Alexis Vila     2133 173 (1787,2479) 8:0

7 Andy Branson    2131 173 (1785,2477) 6:0

8 Marcos Vinicius    2131 196 (1739,2523) 6:0

9 Jordan Smith    2111 112 (1887,2335) 15:1

10 Nick Gaston     2106 183 (1740,2472) 4:0

11 Alexander Sarnavskiy   2104 140 (1824,2384) 12:0

12 Ray Mercer     2101 333 (1435,2767) 1:0  <-- hahahaha

13 Marcos Rogerio de Lima   2099 153 (1793,2405) 8:0

14 Dan Keefe     2089 197 (1695,2483) 4:0

15 Givanildo Santana    2086 109 (1868,2304) 15:1

16 Lloyd Woodard    2085 138 (1809,2361) 10:0

17 Tony Lopez     2084 89 (1906,2262) 21:5

18 Quinn Mulhern    2084 111 (1862,2306) 14:1

19 DJ Linderman    2081 135 (1811,2351) 8:1

20 Ryan Jimmo     2080 113 (1854,2306) 13:1

21 Jan Blachowicz    2080 116 (1848,2312) 12:2

22 Eduardo Pamplona    2078 104 (1870,2286) 13:2

23 Antonio McKee    2077 83 (1911,2243) 25:3

24 Tony Bonello    2076 123 (1830,2322) 16:1

25 Vyacheslav Vasilevsky   2073 124 (1825,2321) 11:1

26 Adlan Amagov    2072 161 (1750,2394) 7:1

27 Marcus Vanttinen    2071 98 (1875,2267) 18:2

28 Andry Fachruriadi    2069 129 (1811,2327) 10:1

29 Uchu Tatsumi    2065 140 (1785,2345) 10:1

30 Masakatsu Ueda    2064 118 (1828,2300) 11:1

31 Eduard Folayang    2062 160 (1742,2382) 9:1

32 Rumen Dimitrov    2061 166 (1729,2393) 10:0

33 Edinaldo Oliveira    2060 148 (1764,2356) 8:0

34 Gunnar Nelson    2060 151 (1758,2362) 8:0

35 Patrick Garcia    2059 293 (1473,2645) 2:0

36 Danny Lafever    2058 329 (1400,2716) 1:0

37 Koetsu Okazaki    2058 136 (1786,2330) 7:1

38 Trevor Osbourne    2058 160 (1738,2378) 7:0

39 David Baron     2057 101 (1855,2259) 17:3

40 Shamil Zavurov    2057 121 (1815,2299) 13:1

41 Eduard Vdovenko    2056 231 (1594,2518) 6:0

42 Jonas Billstein    2056 149 (1758,2354) 9:0

43 Joao Roque     2055 132 (1791,2319) 7:2

44 Guram Gugenishvili    2055 154 (1747,2363) 10:0

45 Hacran Dias     2053 119 (1815,2291) 16:1

46 Bazigit Atajev    2052 119 (1814,2290) 16:1

47 Russell Doane    2052 187 (1678,2426) 5:0

48 Papy Abedi     2049 156 (1737,2361) 8:0

49 Salvador Augusto Montano   2049 166 (1717,2381) 9:0

50 Akitoshi Hokazono    2047 157 (1733,2361) 6:0

 

 

Finally here's a quick record of how fights turned out and how accurate the rating system is. 

Winner had at least 0 more points: 66.3976398693% of the time (31509:15946)

At least 50 more: 69.1799808477% of the time (27452:12230)

At least 100 more: 72.0330077884% of the time (23307:9049)

At least 150 more: 74.8912705809% of the time (19286:6466)

At least 250 more: 79.7046275025% of the time (12143:3092)

At least 500 more: 90.0040799674% of the time (2206:245)

At least 650 more: 93.8271604938% of the time (456:30)

At least 800 more: 100.0% of the time (66:0)

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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