About the Stats
FightMetric is the first-ever comprehensive mixed martial arts statistics and analysis system. The system was developed based on a thorough analysis of the sport concentrated on establishing the factors that contribute to fight effectiveness rather than producing merely anecdotal information.By discarding cosmetically different occurrences (like measuring punches versus kicks) in favor of those factors that actually contribute to fight endings (like measuring head strikes versus body strikes), we can arrive at a clearer picture of a fighter's performance. And with that, we can open the door to a whole new method of analyzing fights and fighters; one rooted in data and demonstrated effectiveness rather than in gut feelings and bandwagon jumping.
Data Collection Methodology
FightMetric strives to compile data in the most accurate and consistent way humanly possible. The tenets of FightMetric’s data collection methodology:
Definitions are not an issue in sports like baseball where everyone understands what a home run is. In MMA, however, a word like takedown could mean different things to different observers. And unless everyone scoring fights uses the same criteria for a takedown, it will be impossible to produce consistent takedown statistics. To guarantee that all statistics are collected using the same criteria, FightMetric has established strict definitions for all the metrics it tracks. Scorers are rigorously trained to use only these specific definitions rather than subjectively interpreting the action based on their understanding of the techniques being tracked.
MMA is a super-fast, action-packed sport. But what makes it so exciting to watch makes it very hard to score. Fighters can throw furious, multi-strike combinations and transition quickly from position to position in a split second. At its most active, the sport is simply impossible to score accurately in real-time. Rather than trying to keep up or relying on inaccurate data, FightMetric insists on the use of slow motion. Every striking exchange, every takedown attempt, every possible submission attempt is rewound and meticulously examined in slow motion to ensure an accurate score.
As much as FightMetric is a data company, it is also a technology company. FightMetric has made significant investments in technology to make certain it is always on the cutting-edge. From the way fights are watched to scoring input tools and the way data is housed, FightMetric is constantly evaluating new methods to improve the accuracy and consistency of the data.
Despite rigorous training and strict definitions, small differences will inevitably exist in the tendencies of scorers. To assign a different scorer to each fighter in a fight creates an unfair standard and reduces the usefulness of the data, as it’s impossible to guarantee a strict apples-to-apples comparison. As an analogy, though different umpires may call a tighter or looser strike zone, both teams in a game have to deal equally with that strike zone. It would be unfair to assign one umpire to call balls and strikes against one team and a different umpire to work the plate for the other. Similarly, FightMetric assigns one scorer per fight. This ensures that whatever the tendencies of the scorer, it can be assured that both fighters are being scored on a level playing field.
In the end, all FightMetric scoring is done by human beings. To eliminate human error, FightMetric’s quality control algorithms analyze data as its being scored and check it against more than 7,500 scored rounds in our historical database. If any anomalies are found in the new data, the system will throw a warning so the scorer can re-watch the action, make corrections if necessary, and attest that the abnormal data is still valid and not an error. In addition, FightMetric’s innovative data integrity algorithms comb the entire database regularly to ensure the most accurate data humanly possible.
Effectiveness Score Principles
The FightMetric Effectiveness Score is based on qualitative and quantitative research into the things that matter most in ending a fight. Its algorithm is based on historical fight data and guided by the following principles:
Only things that win fights and confer advantages should score points. Those that result in more victories score higher.
If all you’re doing is stopping your opponent’s attacks, you’re losing.
Measuring the effectiveness of punches versus kicks versus knees independent of target may be interesting, but gives no indication of fight effectiveness.
Power matters a great deal. Even a total head strike count means nothing unless you know how many of those strikes were landed with power.
With the exception of slams, takedowns are only valuable insofar as they set up more valuable opportunities on the ground. Taking someone down into guard confers only a modest advantage to the fighter in top position.
Little things, like body jabs on the ground, will never end a fight, but they do set-up important things like submissions and guard passes. Remember that the submission attempt or successful guard pass will score the points, and that in their absence, those body jabs were worth little.
Cuts, swelling, and tight joint locks end fights both by doctor’s stoppage and by impairing a fighter’s ability to perform. Those effects last the duration of the fight and should be scored as such, not just in the round in which they occur.
It is unimportant what technique a fighter uses to execute a takedown or a guard pass. All that matters is what position that technique leads to.
The same number of points granted to one fighter for a position change (e.g., gaining mount) must be awarded to the other fighter should he work his way out of it.
Total Performance Rating
The Total Performance Rating (TPR) is a statistic used to measure the quality of a fighter’s performance. Scored on a scale between 0-100, TPR provides an easy way to measure and compare performance in any single fight, whether 30 seconds or 30 minutes long. Consider TPR to be for MMA fighters what the NFL’s Passer Rating is for quarterbacks.
TPR takes advantage of FightMetric’s proprietary effectiveness algorithm and is made up of six components: Volume, Accuracy, Dominance, Win/Loss, Method, and Time.
Volume (40 possible points): How much effective offensive volume did the fighter produce compared to the average fighter?
Accuracy (20* possible points): How accurate was the fighter in all of his techniques compared to the average fighter?
Dominance (15* possible points): How does the fighter’s offensive volume compare to his opponent’s?
Win/Loss (5 possible points): Did the fighter win or lose?
Method (10 possible points): By what method did the fighter win or lose?
Time (10* possible points): How long did it take for the fighter to win or lose?
*Meaningful accuracy stats cannot be measured for a fighter who attempts less than 20 offensive techniques. In those cases, Accuracy does not factor into of the formula. Instead, Dominance has 25 possible points and Time has 20 possible points.
Weights for the components were informed by FightMetric analysis and results from a survey of over 200 MMA fans. Calculations are normalized using FightMetric’s database so that the average winner’s score should be 55 and the average loser’s score is 45.