Thanks to all the great contributions in the first research challenge, FightMetric and Bloody Elbow are happy to continue the project on another topic. The research done by the members of the Bloody Elbow community on the topic of reach helped raise the level of discussion around MMA and answer a fundamental question about the sport. We look forward to seeing the answers to this question:
Which is better, youth or experience?
This question becomes all the more interesting every time Randy Couture continues his extraordinary career at close to 50 years old. At UFC 129, he faces yet another opponent more than a decade his junior. But does a difference in age have an effect on fight outcomes? Do older fighters suffer in their performance or does their extra expererience give them an advantage over younger fighters?
The provided spreadsheet contains information for more than 2600 fights from all over the world. These fights come from UFC, PRIDE, Strikeforce, and many other organizations. In the first two columns, the two fighters' ages are expressed as their number of days old at the time of the fight. In this way, you can examine the absolute effect of age and the relative effect of the two fighters compared to each other. We've also included the method of victory in the fight (draws and No Contests are not included) and the total length of the fight. Do longer fights favor the young or the old?
Like last time, we're asking you to look at the data, do some analysis, and write-up your conclusions in a FanPost (make sure to put the words "Research Challenge" somewhere in the title of the FanPost). The most compelling entry will be selected as the winner and promoted to the front page.
Good luck and happy data hunting!