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Luke Hutchinson
Luke Hutchinson

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MMA math & why it doesn't always add up

At one stage or another we've all heard the phrase 'MMA math' being used to discuss upcoming fights. So what exactly is it?

MMA Math, is the discussed idea that Fighter A will beat fighter B, and how Fighter C will beat Fighter A because Fighter B lost to Fighter C but also beat fighter A.

Confusing enough? A prime example that I like to use for this scenario are the fights between Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz and T.J. Dillashaw.

We'll start chronologically:

UFC Fight Night 81: Cruz beats Dillashaw (Split Decision)
UFC 207: Garbrandt beats Cruz (Unanimous Decision)
UFC 217: Dillashaw beats Garbrandt (TKO punches)
UFC 227: Dillashaw beats Garbrandt (KO knee & punches)

Styles make fights, as it is often stated. Each of these fighters have a similar background in unique striking with a wrestling background. I use this example because a lot of speculation that Garbrandt would beat Dillashaw, due to how competitive and close that Cruz vs Dillashaw was, to how easy Garbrandt beat Cruz.

Skip forward to UFC 217, electric first round with Garbrandt edging it out especially with the knockdown at the end of the round, only for Dillashaw to recover and finish the fight in the second round and recapture the Bantamweight belt.

Onto the point of how the math doesn't always add up, to agree to disagree; a lot of fans probably expected Garbrandt to beat Dillashaw, enter the major upset. The masterclass of how Garbrandt beat Cruz, who was and is still considered by many as the GOAT of bantamweight.

Down to it all, who is the better fighter? When it comes down to it and based only from the results and current situations of the three of them; T.J. Dillashaw. Why do you ask? Defeated Garbrandt twice, you could argue your point that he beat Cruz too.

Current day: EPO suspension aside, T.J. is matched up to Aljamain Sterling for the Bantamweight crown at UFC 280. Dominick Cruz just suffered a brutal head kick KO from Marlon Vera. And with Cody Garbrandt going 1-5 in his last six bouts.

To conclude, does MMA math always work out? The answer seemingly is no, it doesn't. Does it come down to styles make fights? Probably. The better fighter won on the night? You would assume the answer to be yes, unexpected upsets aside (see GSP vs Matt Sera 1).

Do you agree or disagree, comment below and any other times MMA math didn't add up! I do plan to post more thought provoking posts and/or fight breakdowns, and remember that these are my own opinions so it's not to say that i'm right you're wrong etc etc.

Top comments (3)

hannahwoking1 profile image

To conclude, does MMA math always work out? The answer seemingly is no, it doesn't.

100% it doesn't. Especially with all the moving parts in MMA, it's such a unpredictable sport. I think the math works better in boxing though, don't you think?

lukehutchinson_95 profile image
Luke Hutchinson

Fully agree with both of you!

lee profile image

Agreed, I think it's sorta more applicable in boxing and other sports. Definately not the chaos of MMA that's for sure.

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