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Fun With Numbers: UFC 2012 Fight Finish Statistics

James Te Huna (left) fights Joey Beltran (right) in just the 10th light heavyweight bout in the UFC this year. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
James Te Huna (left) fights Joey Beltran (right) in just the 10th light heavyweight bout in the UFC this year. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

We're just past the halfway point of not only the calendar 2012, but the number of events held in the UFC this year. A total of 18 events of a scheduled 32 are complete, with exactly 200 fights in the record books. To put that in perspective, the UFC held 221 fights in all of 2009. If you love statistics, this is the article for you. I've compiled results from every single fight card, and broke them down in the following categories: Fight Endings, Finishes by Round, Finishes by Weight Class, and Submission Types.

After the jump we'll start things off with Fight Endings, as that's always a popular debate amongst MMA fans. Is the decision rate rising? What about the supposed decline in submissions?


Adding the two draws to the decision bucket, the percentage breakdown is as follows:

95 decisions (47.5%)
58 KO/TKOs (29%)
46 submissions (23%)
1 DQ (0.5%)

The finish rate is at 52.5%, which is only a minor drop after the 75-fight mark earlier this March.


Of those 104 stoppages, we next take a look at finishes by round:


Percentage breakdown:

60 in Round 1 (57.7%)
33 in Round 2 (31.7%)
10 in Round 3 (9.6%)
1 in Round 4 (1.0%)
0 in Round 5 (0%)

Chan Sung Jung is the only fighter to record a stoppage in the 4th or 5th round, with his submission win over Dustin Poirier this past May. Fifth round stoppages are so rare that only 3 have ever been recorded in UFC history.


The next table displays the finishing rates by weight class. It's no secret that the additions of the 125-145 lbs divisions are a huge role in the number of times we see the judge's scorecards, but is the decision count rising in the larger weight classes?


Weight Class percentages:

Flyweight (2.5% of all fights) - 80% decision, 20% KO/TKO, 0% submission
Bantamweight (11% of all fights) - 45.5% decision, 36.4% submission, 18.1% KO/TKO
Featherweight (16% of all fights) - 53.1% decision, 25% submission, 21.9% KO/TKO
Lightweight (20% of all fights) - 52.5% decision, 25% submission, 22.5% KO/TKO
Welterweight (18.5% of all fights) - 48.6% decision, 27% KO/TKO, 21.6% submission, 2.7% DQ
Middleweight (15% of all fights) - 43.3% decision, 36.7% KO/TKO, 20% submission
Light Heavyweight (5% of all fights) - 70% decision, 20% KO/TKO, 10% submission
Heavyweight (9% of all fights) - 72.2% KO/TKO, 16.7% decision, 11.1% submission
Catchweight (3% of all fights)- 50% decision, 33.3% submission, 16.7% KO/TKO

Catchweight fights encompass any fight in any weight class. The 2012 catchweight bouts are: Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson (197 lbs), Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader (211 lbs), John Lineker vs. Louis Gaudinot (127 lbs), Ramsey Nijem vs. CJ Keith (157 lbs), Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva (190 lbs), and Hugo Viana vs. John Teixeira (150 lbs).

And yes, you are reading the table correctly. Only 10 light-heavyweight fights have occurred so far, fewer than all established weight classes bar flyweight, even with nearly three-dozen LHWs on the roster.


Our final table is a short breakdown of submission methods. What is the preferred submission in 2012? So far it's the two most common chokeholds in the sport.


Charles Oliveira's calf slicer against Eric Wisely is the first in UFC history.


Some Comments

  • The UFC decision rate will eventually go above 50%. Once flyweight is fully integrated into the UFC it'll be just one of many weight classes where the majority of fights go the distance. About 56% of all decisions have come from flyweight-to-lightweight (plus the Lineker/Gaudinot catchweight at 127 lbs). Not that it's a bad thing, as the smaller guys generally deliver high-paced and very skilled action. Everything else generally holds true to form, except the paucity of LHW fights.
  • Chokes are here to stay. An astonishing 36 of 46 submission Ws have come via choke, with 32 just from guillotines and RNCs.
  • The return of the armbar. Inexplicably, the first armbar of 2011 didn't come until September when Nate Diaz beat Takanori Gomi. Last year's total has already been doubled with 8 so far when you factor in the triangle-armbars.
  • The higher the weight class, the more KOs. This is essentially common knowledge but further confirmed based on the statistics. Smaller guys have less power, hence why there are fewer KOs combined in the 125-145 lbs divisions than all of heavyweight.

There will be an update to this series at the end of the year. But for now, what are your thoughts on the data seen here?