The World MMA Awards took place last Friday and air tonight at 9pm (ET) on Fox Sports 2. Congratulations to all the winners with special thanks to Daniel Cormier for scarring us all for life.
Does 2014 feel complete now? I can't help but think two things are still a bit off. First, how the hell did Everlast, the Jose Cuervo of combat gear, win the award for best technical equipment? Second, the World MMA Awards are lacking numbers! Keep your cake and chicken and give us the statlines for strikes landed, power shots absorbed to the head and the highest rate of having one's face busted up.
What's missing is the 2014 Octagon Unallied Contractor Hardihood Yardstick Awards for statistical excellence and shame, also known as the Ouchys. The Ouchys are a once-in-a-lifetime honor - and by lifetime, I mean once a year - to the UFC's best and worst performers in a wide variety of striking and grappling categories.
These ain't your mother's MMA awards. Ties are allowed; there's no voting and no trophies. There's only the pride of knowing you trained rigorously, ate conscientiously, beat people up tirelessly and gave it your absolute statistical best...or worst.
We're handing out Ouchys for statistical excellence today with the awards for statistical shame in part two tomorrow. Let the show begin!
Note: I don't care if a fight was overturned due to a failed drug test, illegal strikes or any other reason. The Ouchy Awards are based off what actually went down inside the Octagon in calendar 2014.
"ADHD" Ouchy: Most strikes landed.
Robbie Lawler spent over 88 minutes inside the cage in 2014, 75 with Johny Hendricks and Matt Brown. The award probably would've been T.J. Dillashaw's had he not knocked Renan Barao out with 2:34 left in the 5th round.
"Furious Fisticuffs" Ouchy: Most strikes landed per five minutes (minimum two bouts and five minutes of fight time).
Krylov's the big winner here mainly because he planted 80 strikes on Cody Donovan in 4:57 back at UFC Fight Night 46.
"The Clubber Lang" Ouchy: Most power head strikes landed.
I often like to distinguish between jab and power strikes instead of using the more well-known significant strike designation. All you really need to know is that power strikes and significant strikes are identical in the clinch and on the ground. At distance, all strikes are significant while only powerful ones are classified as power.
Robbie Lawler takes home his second Ouchy award, but Max Holloway vaults towards the top of the list with the assistance of his 3-round brawl with Clay Collard where he landed 87 power shots to the dome.
"The Headhunter" Ouchy: Most power head strikes landed per five minutes (minimum two bouts and five minutes of fight time).
Mitrione and Holloway couldn't overtake Krylov but vaulted towards the top of the leaderboard when looking at their power headhunting performance per second.
"The Sniper" Ouchy: Most strikes landed per five minutes at distance (minimum two bouts and five distance minutes).
Fabio Maldonado did nothing against Stipe Miocic and wasn't terribly active at distance against Hans Stringer, but he positively went off on Gian Villante in the 2nd and 3rd rounds for 54 and 70 distance strikes landed, respectively.
"The Cassius Clay" Ouchy: Highest percentage of opponent misses at distance (minimum two bouts and five distance minutes).
Does Anthony Johnson float like a butterfly and sting like a bee? He did against Phil Davis, who missed 105 of 121 strikes at distance. In his other fight, Little Nog only threw four distance strikes, missing two. Vaughan Lee got the vast majority of his opponent misses from Nam Phan. But Mighty Mouse made both of his opponents look silly. Ali Bagautinov missed 70 of 81 distance strikes and Chris Cariaso missed 21 of 25.
"The Foundation Shaker" Ouchy: Most power strikes landed to the body or legs at distance.
T.J. Dillashaw landed seven or more power shots to the body or legs in six of his 13 rounds in 2014, including 11 in the 3rd round against Joe Soto.
"My Eyes Are Up Here" Ouchy: Most power strikes landed to the body or legs per five minutes at distance (minimum two bouts and five distance minutes).
Did you think the winner would be Tarec Saffiedine? Garett Whiteley went off on David Michaud's lower parts in the 1st and 3rd rounds and RDA did the bulk of his damage in the first two rounds to Nate Diaz.
"The Downtown Dan" Ouchy: Highest percentage of power strike attempts to the body or legs at distance (minimum two bouts and five distance minutes).
Vitor Miranda just snuck in with 5:10 of distance time in 2014. He threw 32 power attempts at distance with 25 below the neck. Saffiedine had much more distance time, almost 30 minutes, and 61 of his 101 power strike attempts were lower than the opponent's head.
"The Backroom Brawler" Ouchy: Most rounds busting up the opponent's face.
Whoa, big surprise here. Damage is a binary variable indicating whether a fighter inflicted visible, effective damage on the opponent in a round. It's incremental, so if I bust up your face in the first round, I haven't automatically damaged your face in the 2nd and 3rd.
Lawler got Hendricks in the 4th at UFC 171 and the 5th at UFC 181, as well as Matt Brown in the 3rd. Romero got Brad Tavares in the 2nd and Tim Kennedy in the 2nd and 3rd. Sorry, Tim, for bringing up Romero and the number three.
"Brass Knuckles" Ouchy: Highest rate of busting up opponents' faces per power head strike or distance head jab landed (minimum two bouts).
Chris Indich busted up one face (Vik Grujic's eye) while landing a total of three head jabs from distance and three power shots to the head all year. It looked like the damage to Grujic's eye came from a headbutt so perhaps Indich's numbers are suspect but, hey, the poor guy lost both of his fights. Enjoy your Ouchy award, Chris!
"Puncher's Chance My Ass" Ouchy: Most knockdowns.
Cowboy dropped Adriano Martins, Edson Barboza, Jim Miller and Eddie Alvarez. Iaquinta dropped Kevin Lee, Rodrigo Damm and Ross Pearson (twice). Cruickshank dropped Mike Rio (twice), Erik Koch and Jorge Masvidal. Tumenov dropped Anthony Lapsley (twice) and Matt Dwyer (twice). Note to self: Don't piss these guys off.
"The Thing on Amphetamines" Ouchy: Highest knockdown rate per five minutes at distance or in the clinch off the cage (minimum two bouts).
Rogerio de Lima was a middle-of-the-cage killer in 2014. He knocked down and finished off Richardson Morreira in 17 seconds of standing off the cage. After some boring cage pressing, he did the same to Igor Pokrajac in 21 seconds. Yowza.
"The Real Hands of Stone" Ouchy: Highest knockdown percentage per power head strike landed while standing (minimum two bouts).
Timothy A. Boetsch landed a grand total of three standing power shots to the head in 2014. The result? Two knockdowns. Obviously, Boetsch didn't knockdown his April opponent, Luke Rockhold, who basically showed The Barbarian who his daddy was. Both knockdowns were served up to Brad Tavares within the span of about four seconds at UFC Fight Night 47.
"High Impact" Ouchy: Most efficient head TKOs.
This award goes to the fighter who needed the fewest power shots to the head per KO/TKO to the head (minimum two bouts and two head TKOs). I define a head TKO as any slam finish or a finish with a fight-ending strike to the head.
Rogerio de Lima got his two head TKOs by landing three power shots to Richardson Morreira's head and nine to Igor Pokrajac's. Leites needed only four power head shots on Trevor Smith and 10 on Francis Carmont. McGregor did his damage with only 13 power head shots on Diego Brandao and eight on Dustin Poirier.
"The Brick Wall" Ouchy: Most power head strikes absorbed without getting TKO'd to the head (minimum two bouts).
Who else could it be? The Ruthless One ate shot after shot last year without getting knocked down or knocked out.
Perhaps this shouldn't be in the excellence category, but I think getting tagged a lot in the head with power and not getting knocked out shows some very impressive cranial skills.
"You Deserve a Break Today" Ouchy: Most time inside the Octagon.
The Ruthless One's on fire! It's pretty easy to have the most time in the Octagon when you have three 5-round fights go the distance. But check out Neil Magny coming in 2nd place with all 3-round fights. He went the distance three times, finished one fight in the 2nd and one in the 3rd, and won them all. Lawler and Magny, you two deserve a break today.
"The Warm Embrace" Ouchy: Most time in the clinch.
Mama, there goes that man again. In close 2nd comes Richard Walsh who spent over half his fight time in the clinch, most with him doing the pressing.
"The Cheese Grater" Ouchy: Most time pressing the opponent against the cage.
While Paige VanZant's the only person on the list with just one fight, Musoke and Elkins both had three fights go to decision but only spent an inordinate amount of time pressing their opponent against the cage once. Musoke pressed Alexander Yakovlev against the cage for 6:48 and Elkins pressed Lucas Martins for 7:54.
"The Hammer" Ouchy: Most takedowns landed.
Cummins had 10 takedowns on Kyle Kingsbury and seven takedowns on his other two opponents, not counting Daniel Cormier's domination as a real fight. Vinc Pichel had only two fights and landed eight takedowns each on Garett Whiteley and Anthony Njokuani.
"The Jackhammer" Ouchy: Most takedowns landed per five standing minutes (minimum two bouts and five standing minutes).
Who was most effective at takedowns per standing second in the cage? Royston Wee by far. Wee landed six takedowns in 1:35 standing time against Dave Galera (and had him on his back for over 13 minutes) and three takedowns in 3:34 standing time versus Yao Zhikui.
"The Cow Catcher" Ouchy: Most takedowns stuffed.
Robbie Lawler finds his way to another Ouchy award for stuffing eight takedowns against Johny Hendricks in March, one against Jake Ellenberger in May, six against Matt Brown in July and 12 against Hendricks in December. Honorable mention goes to Joanna Jedrzejczyk for stuffing 22 takedowns in just two fights (13 against Juliana Lima and nine against Claudia Gadelha).
"The Yokozuna" Ouchy: Most takedowns stuffed per five standing minutes (minimum two bouts and five standing minutes).
Sean Soriano was the most fiendish stuffer of takedowns per second on his feet. He stuffed nine takedown attempts in less than three standing minutes against Tatsuya Kawajiri in January and three takedown attempts in just over three standing minutes versus Chas Skelly in September.
"The Shutout" Ouchy: Best takedown differential per five standing minutes (minimum two bouts and five standing minutes).
Takedown differential is the difference between the number of takedowns a fighter lands and the number opponents land on him. Royston Wee had the best differential per second on his feet as his opponents didn't land a single takedown on him. In fact, they didn't even try. Wee was a ground magnet, spending almost 25 of his 30 minutes of fight time on the ground, mostly with control. It's pretty hard to attempt a takedown from your back.
"The Shark" Ouchy: Most time on the ground.
I debated whether the next two categories deserve an excellence award. "The Shark" and "The Blanket" Ouchys may not always make for the most exciting performances, but are still statistically excellent in their own right.
"The Blanket" Ouchy: Most ground control time.
"The Immovable Object" Ouchy: Most ground control time without allowing a standup or sweep.
Sai Wang spent 6:56 controlling Lipeng Zhang and 3:06 on Danny Mitchell, neither of whom could get up or reverse. Honorable mention to Cat Zingano who, in just one fight, spent 6:58 getting payback on Amanda Nunes for daring to try to win in the 1st round.
"The Black Belt" Ouchy: Most ground control time in half guard or better.
This seems about right, doesn't it? Jacare spent 6:53 of his almost eight minutes of ground control in half guard or better on Francis Carmont and 4:50 of 8 ½ minutes on Gegard Mousasi.
"The Strangler" Ouchy: Most rear naked choke attempts per back control minute (minimum two minutes of back control).
By far, the most submission attempts per minute of suitable ground control are rear naked chokes. In 2014, Ray Borg was the RNC king making four qualified rear naked choke attempts in 3:58 of back control.
Congratulations to all of our Ouchy excellence winners! Let's give them a hand...or a tweet...or a poke...or a fistbump with a "Hey, you won a fake award from some MMA nerd. Congrats!" Your accomplishments beating people up and/or not getting beat down in 2014 filled our little mixed martial hearts with joy and we can only hope today's recognition does justice to your performance in some small way.
Special thanks to Andrew Hagar for brainstorming many of the award names and for being a kick ass Muay Thai instructor.