MMA By The Numbers: UFC Hamburg Recap
MMA By The Numbers: UFC Hamburg Recap

This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.

Josh Barnett take advantage of Andrei Arlovski's questionable strategy

After the first round, it appeared as if Josh Barnett was in for a long night against Andrei Arlovski. "The Pitbull" stopped his only takedown attempt and outlanded him 16 to eight. However, Barnett was able to turn tide in the second round before finishing the fight via submission in the third. Despite being an accomplished grappler, Barnett has always struggled to score takedowns against high level competition. Arlovski actually made it easy on Barnett by continually initiating the clinch and actually working for takedowns himself.

For his combined UFC/Pride/Strikeforce/Affliction career, Barnett has landed only 55 percent of his takedown attempts. During his current five-fight stint in the UFC, he has finished only 25 percent of his attempts.

In the second round, Barnett was able to reverse Arlovski's takedown attempt and ended up on top. From there, he advanced position on the ground three times and landed 19 significant strikes. In the third round, Barnett was once again able to gain top position and finished the fight via submission (rear-naked choke).

The rear-naked choke finish was Barnett's 20th career victory by submission and his first since his 2013 win over Nandor Guelmino on the final Strikeforce show.

Alexander Gustafsson gets defensive, still wins

Gustafsson employed a more conservative strategy en route to a decision victory over Blachowicz. Despite the highest DraftKings prefight cost on the card ($12,500), the Swedish fighter finished with his lowest DraftKings point total (60) for a UFC win. He also registered his lowest significant strike per minute rate (3.33) for a fight that went to decision. Gustafsson made a concerted effort to get the fight on the ground as he landed more than two takedowns for only the second time in his UFC career.

Prior to this fight, Gustafsson had been part of several grueling battles against the likes of Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Perhaps these extended wars inspired a change in strategy. If the goal was absorbing less punishment, it certainly worked. He absorbed only 1.86 significant strikes per minute, which is his best defensive effort since 2011. If Gustafsson tries to replicate this strategy going forward, it will likely extend his career, even if it makes him a less appealing selection for fantasy purposes.

Ryan Bader finds his finishing power

Bader finished Latifi with a perfectly timed knee in the second round. Prior to knockout, Bader had only three such finishes in the UFC. Bader had not scored a knockout since finishing Jason Brilz in 2011. The former Arizona State wrestler had landed 313 significant strikes between knockout blows, the longest streak of his career.

Nick Hein struggles to land significant strikes on the ground

With a quick glance at the stats, it might appear as if Tae Hyun Bang dominated the fight. He outlanded Hein in terms of significant strikes 40 to 20. However, Hein took home the judges' decision and a strong majority of the media members tracked by MMADecisions.com agreed with the ruling.

In the first two rounds, Hein scored takedowns and did a lot of work on the ground. Overall, he landed 48 total strikes, but only 20 were considered significant. His ground work might have not impacted the judges, but it did enough to convince the judges and take the decision.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Mann
Richard is a statistical MMA analyst that has appeared on ESPN MMA via Fightmetric.
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