FanPost

Answering Your Questions About Reach Advantage (Research Contest)

 

I took a somewhat different approach from other members, since due to a very limited (and probably highly biased) number of outcomes I don’t think it’s fair to make conclusions based on entire dataset. I decided to take an “inch by inch” approach to see how percentages change with reach difference growing. Such approach allows to see obvious bias (e.g. that the 8+ difference in reach skews the results pretty significantly).

Does longer reach matter in terms of winning fights? How much?

The short answer is: yes it does. It adds a few percentage points for every extra inch difference.

Reach difference (inches)

Longer reach number of wins

Longer reach number of wins %

Longer reach number of wins % Difference

Total Fights

8+

29

80.56%

12.47%

36

7.5+

32

68.09%

-3.13%

47

7+

47

71.21%

1.33%

66

6.5+

58

69.88%

-5.33%

83

6+

91

75.21%

12.08%

121

5.5+

101

63.13%

-5.06%

160

5+

150

68.18%

7.23%

220

4.5+

167

60.95%

-5.15%

274

4+

232

66.10%

5.82%

351

3.5+

261

60.28%

-3.19%

433

3+

344

63.47%

5.20%

542

2.5+

384

58.27%

-2.83%

659

2+

490

61.10%

6.59%

802

1.5+

526

54.51%

-3.19%

965

1+

641

57.70%

4.48%

1111

0.5+

687

53.21%

-3.65%

1291

0+

845

56.86%

 

1486

 

Every inch of advantage adds to chance of a winning

2.96%

 

 Other than a clear pattern of increased winning odds for longer reach which was shown by other members we can say that every 1 inch of reach advantage adds about 3% to the chances of winning the fight. So scouts may want to spend more time around basketball courts rather than football fields

 

*Pay attention that the more the reach difference the less sample of fights we have, so other factors will influence the data more. For example, one consistently winning fighter with a reach advantage (say Anderson Silva or Jon Jones) will skew the results significantly on 36 fights sample and not significantly on 659 fights sample. I suggest that their wins come not only as a result of reach advantage.

** It’s rather weird that for .5 differences odds always decrease only to rebound when a full 1 point of extra difference is reached. I’ve rechecked my calculations and can’t really find an explanation other than that there must be other factors at play.

 

Can a reach difference predetermine the outcome of a fight? (i.e. can I suggest the fight will end with a specific outcome, knowing the reach difference)

The short answer is: not really.

Reach difference (inches)

Decision

KO/TKO

Submission

Other

8+

25.00%

38.64%

29.55%

6.82%

7.5+

23.53%

39.22%

29.41%

7.84%

7+

26.39%

40.28%

27.78%

5.56%

6.5+

30.68%

38.64%

26.14%

4.55%

6+

32.67%

38.00%

26.00%

3.33%

5.5+

33.33%

36.84%

26.32%

3.51%

5+

35.94%

34.38%

27.34%

2.34%

4.5+

34.97%

34.62%

28.32%

2.10%

4+

36.14%

33.42%

28.71%

1.73%

3.5+

36.03%

33.41%

29.04%

1.53%

3+

39.00%

32.52%

26.54%

1.94%

2.5+

37.90%

33.43%

26.66%

2.02%

2+

38.11%

33.58%

26.05%

2.26%

1.5+

37.45%

34.04%

26.20%

2.31%

1+

37.43%

33.82%

26.59%

2.17%

0.5+

37.30%

33.99%

26.45%

2.26%

 There is some tendency for more knockouts for longer reach difference, but since it only appears for very large differences I would guess it is more related to fighter’s style than to the reach difference.

 

Same goes to a declining % of decisions and increased number of uncommon outcomes – I’m pretty sure Jon Jones single handedly played a very significant role in skewing this results with his DQ against Matt Hammill.

Longer arms should imply more common guillotines and arm-bars, that is in fact the case, but with a total number of such outcomes being less than 10 and Jon Jones scoring 2 Guillotine chokes while having 8+ reach advantages over his opponents I don’t think it’s worth paying attention to these data. (I’ve put it in the below section).

A few more observations after the jump.

 

 

 

 

Some statistically insignificant, but amusing patterns:

I think these results are highly biased to other factors than reach, nevertheles,s they may be interesting and even insightful if combined with other data or assumptions.

Can I decide if I should watch a fight based on the fighters’ reach?

Here is a table showing the fight outcomes for particular reach pairs. Unfortunately, the sample is fairly small so there may be some significant errors due to weight or particular fighter (i.e. the outcomes are not due to reach, but have to do with the specific fighters skewing the results).

Reach 1

Reach 2

Decision

KO/TKO

Submission

Total Fights

72

70

48.48%

21.21%

27.27%

33

76

74

27.27%

45.45%

24.24%

33

70

69

30.00%

43.33%

26.67%

30

70

71

34.48%

24.14%

41.38%

29

74

73

48.15%

25.93%

25.93%

27

72

74

26.92%

42.31%

26.92%

26

75

74

38.46%

26.92%

30.77%

26

^Only reach pairs with more than 25 fights shown.

What it tells us is that you should get really excited when you see 76-74 or 70-69 on the card, expect knockouts in nearly half of the outcomes. If you are in for some submissions don’t miss the 70-71 pairs. And the 72-70 and 74-73 are popular decision grinders.

If I’m betting on fights and I know the reach difference, what are the odds I need on the longer fighter to at least break even in the long run according to these data?

 Reach Difference (inches)

Win odds on a longer fighter, at least

8+

+124

7+

+140

6+

+133

5+

+147

4+

+151

3+

+158

2+

+164

1+

+173

I would not recommend to bet based on this system, but it provides a reference when incorporating reach as one of the points in fighter analysis.

Basically, if you see two somewhat equal fighters one with 8+ reach over the other fighter and odds on him being +125 you should consider placing a bet.

Does a larger reach advantage imply more arm-bars and guillotines?

Reach difference (inches)

Submission – Guillotine % wins

Submission – Guillotine # of outcomes

Submission – Arm-bar

Submission – Arm-bar

 # of outcomes

Total Number of fights

8

9.09%

4

6.82%

3

44

7

8.33%

6

5.56%

4

72

6

6.00%

9

3.33%

5

150

5

6.64%

17

3.52%

9

256

4

6.93%

28

2.97%

12

404

3

5.50%

34

2.75%

17

618

2

6.03%

56

3.34%

31

929

1

6.18%

77

3.53%

44

1245

 According to this table there are certainly an increasing numbers of arm-bars and guillotines for larger reach differences. However ,the number of such outcomes is so small that, as I mentioned earlier ,one fighter’s performance can significantly skew the results (i.e. Jon Jones accounts for 2 guillotines out of 4 for the 8+ reach differences).

 

My Category assumptions were as follows:

KO/TKO: KO/TKO; Submission - Strikes

Submission: Submission - Ankle Lock; Submission - Arm Triangle; Submission - Armbar; Submission - Guillotine; Submission - Kneebar; Submission - Neck Crank; Submission - North-South Choke; Submission - RNC; Submission - Shoulder Lock; Submission – Triangle

Other: DQ, Submission – Injury, TKO – Dr. Stoppage

\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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