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Based on comments on this question, I am wondering if there is any meaningful statistical analysis of kicking/punching vs grappling in MMA? Hopefully said analysis will detail which arts are used in all cases and the "skill" level of the practitioners. So, a fighter who fails to land kicks but has never learned to kick is utterly different from one who has skills in kicking and never lands kicks.

Which arts are used most often? Which arts score the highest points? Which arts win most often? Is there a difference between UFC and MMA?

I am not interested in youtube videos showing one or the other. Neither am I interested in your personal experience or opinion of which is better. I want meaningful statistics.

  • I have a PDF of a paper by Daniele Bollelli, M.A. in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Volume 12, Number 3 from 2003, entitled Mixed Martial Arts: A Technical Analysis of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in its Formative Years. That's a good start. – Dave Liepmann Nov 23 '15 at 16:33
  • I'd also consider journalofasianmartialarts.com/product/other-areas/… – Dave Liepmann Nov 23 '15 at 16:34
  • This BS.net thread also discusses how spotty, unreliable, and variously-arranged data for MMA competition is. – Dave Liepmann Nov 23 '15 at 16:44
  • However, it sounds like you may be looking for more granular FightMetric-style analysis, e.g. number of head kicks landed, number of significant strikes, etc. Unfortunately I think the only source of that data is proprietary. – Dave Liepmann Nov 23 '15 at 17:07
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For UFC at least, any point-based analysis is going to run into the problem of a very fuzzy scoring system, similar to that in boxing:

The following objective scoring criteria shall be utilized by the judges when scoring a round:

  • a round is to be scored as a 10-10 round when both contestants appear to be fighting evenly and neither contestant shows clear dominance in a round;
  • a round is to be scored as a 10-9 round when a contestant wins by a close margin, landing the greater number of effective legal strikes, grappling and other maneuvers;
  • a round is to be scored as a 10-8 round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.
  • a round is to be scored as a 10-7 round when a contestant totally dominates by striking or grappling in a round.

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