Heavier MMA Fighters Deliver More Knockouts

junior_dos_santosCasual MMA fans tend to love knockouts and the heavyweight division delivers them most frequently. Tapology analyzed the methods of victory in MMA fights from 2008 and 2009 and identified a general increase in the percentage of knockouts as weight classes increase. Lighter weight classes filled with back and forth action are the most likely to go to the judge’s scorecards for a decision. With the knockout power possessed by heavyweight fighters, however, 65% of fights in that weight class end in a KO or TKO.

Submission rates vary from weight class to weight class, and only in the middleweight division is it the most common method of victory (36%). Fighters in the smallest weight classes (bantamweight and featherweight) are less likely to possess devastating knockout power; as a result, over half of these fights go to decision. Decision levels decline like clockwork as the weight classes go up, and end with the heavyweight division at only 13%. Dream’s “Superhulk” tournament makes up all of the Super Heavyweight bouts and, not surprisingly, has yielded no decisions at all.

Specially announced catch-weight bouts such as Rich “Ace” Franklin’s UFC 103 fight against Vitor Belfort are applied to the next weight class up (light heavyweight, in this example). If a fighter missed weight in a regular divisional match, such as Hermes Franca’s miss at lightweight against Tyson Griffin at UFC 103, the bout is still classified in the originally scheduled division.

Weight Class Fight Count KO/TKO Submission Decision
Bantamweight – 135 lbs 43 21% 28% 51%
Featherweight – 145 lbs 82 27% 19% 54%
Lightweight – 155 lbs 205 27% 32% 41%
Welterweight – 170 lbs 135 40% 21% 39%
Middleweight – 185 lbs 157 35% 36% 29%
Light Heavyweight – 205 lbs 92 55% 15% 29%
Heavyweight – 265 lbs 91 65% 22% 13%
Super Heavyweight – Over 265 lbs 6 50% 50% 0%
Tapology’s fight stats include results from the following promotions only: Affliction, Dream, EliteXC, Sengoku, Strikeforce, UFC, and WEC. Over time we may add additional organizations and update our figures.

Gregory Saks

Author Bio: Just another MMA fan.

  • http://www.ScorecardMMA.com Al

    I like your analysis.
    I did something similar, but including all Promotions
    Here is the percentage for last 2 years:

    ctg – count – KO/TKO – Sub – Decision – Draw
    125 — 184 – 17.4% – 34.2% – 39.1% – 9.2%
    135 — 706 – 25.8% – 41.9% – 28.2% – 3.0%
    145 – 1141 – 27.4% – 43.2% – 25.9% – 2.1%
    155 — 878 – 24.1% – 40.7% – 30.1% – 4.2%
    170 – 1141 – 27.4% – 43.2% – 25.9% – 2.1%
    185 – 1886 – 29.2% – 40.1% – 26.8% – 2.5%
    205 – 1739 – 32.3% – 42.3% – 22.1% – 2.1%
    265 — 196 – 35.2% – 30.6% – 31.1% – 1.0%

  • Gregory Saks

    thanks – great info.

    http://www.scorecardmma.com for anyone who wants to see more of their stuff.

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