Reach: Fact or Myth

Of course, I am out of practice with the mathematical side of economics, but I figure I will give it a shot with the limited tools I have (Excel).  Here is what I have as the breakdown of wins from the data provided.

Reach Difference








Total Population


Where there is a difference, we're at an agreement where someone with a positive reach advantage wins 51.8% of the time.

If reach alone had an impact on the fight, we could easily state "A longer reach gives a fighter an increased likelihood to win"

We could illustrate this by a simple linear equation:

Y = aX + C

Y = Winning (valued as 1 for a win and 0 for a loss)

X = Reach of "longer" fighter

C is a simple constant

If you eliminate the data rows where reach difference equals zero, you have an equation equal to:

Y = 3*10-5 X + .4955

10-5 = .00001

Someone with a reach advantage in the fight with a 76 inch reach increases his chances of winning from 49.55% to 49.778%.

The unfortunate part is that when calculating the r-squared the value is = .0007.

We could take into account the level of mastery of each fighter in striking, grappling, and submissions.  We can't in this simulation because the data is simply not available. Reach wholly onto itself is a poor measure to predict winning.

Here are the equations for reach in different scenarios:

Decisions: Y = .0001 X + .4407 (r-squared = .0008)

(231 wins for longer vs. 265 wins for shorter)

KO/TKO:  Y = .0003 X + .4966 (r-squared = .0054)

(253 wins for longer vs. 199 wins for shorter)

Submissions:  Y = -.0002 X + .5689 (r-squared = .0012)

(203 wins for longer vs. 174 wins for shorter)

What does this tell us?

No scenario came close to explaining that reach alone had an impact upon the fight.  None of the equations had an r-squared showing reach explained 1%.

Inserting our own "conventional wisdom" simply cannot explain with the limited data set. 

Everything was done only on Excel.  If the project goes deeper, I'd be very tempted to dust off my skills using TSP (regression software) I haven't touched since grad school.

\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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