Top UFC fighters are way less active than top boxers - Proof

Discussion in 'Cageside - MMA Discussion' started by CreativeClassMauler, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Short version: UFC fighters are highly inactive compared with boxers. Basically boxing fans get 4 more fights a year with the P4P best boxers. Even though MMA fighters get paid way less, they also fight way less. It's why we have to watch bums fight every weekend instead of fighters we have heard of.

    Long version: I did some number crunching and it shows how sad the UFC has become. This was a sport that originated with people having to fight 3 times in a night.

    I looked at the top 15 UFC fighters P4P vs the top 15 boxers. For the boxers, I chose the Ring top 10, added in the next highest 3 from boxrec and then put in Wilder and Fury (because they should be up there and people on here have heard of them. Also one of them is the equal least active boxer, so it hurts my point rather than helps it).

    Boxers have fought on average 13.3 times since the beginning of 2014. MMA fighters have fought on average 11.2 times. Now before some spastic goes crying about 'outliers', if you get rid of the three least active MMA fighters and boxers as well as the the three most active - and let's be clear, the 3 least active MMA fighters are the sport's 3 biggest stars, which is kind of the point - you get left with the exact same average for both sports.

    Top 15 UFC Fighters - Fights Since 2014

    Jones 7
    Khabib 7
    Cejudo 12
    Miocic 11
    Nunes 10
    Cormier 12
    Holloway 15
    Ferguson 11
    Usman 13
    Adesanya 15
    Shevchenko 11
    Poirier 14
    Whittaker 11
    McGregor 9
    Woodley 10

    Top 15 boxers - Fights Since 2014

    Canelo 12
    Inoue 14
    Lomachenko 14
    Crawford 14
    Spence 16
    Golovkin 14
    Estrada 13
    Beterbiev 12
    Pacquiao 9
    Usyk 15
    Smith 17
    Berchelt 17
    Wilder 13
    Fury 9
    Porter 10
     
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  2. conor mcgregor nut hugger

    conor mcgregor nut hugger What Trump did is 100% impeachable

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    You look at the least active guys in each sport and you realize there were unique reasons for each one's extended absences:

    Jones - suspensions/errors in USADA testing

    Khabib - injuries/religion

    Conor - hiatus to boxing (not sure if you're counting the boxing match but regardless it required extra training), legal issues

    Pacquiao - old age

    Fury - gypsy

    But overall I would guess that the top MMA fighters compete less often on average because there are more injuries in an MMA training camp than a boxing training camp.
     
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  3. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Firstly, I re-did the averages excluding the 3 most active and least active guys in each sport, including all 5 of the fighters you just mentioned, and it changed nothing - the average fights were still exactly the same. So with respect, learn to read you illiterate milk-shitter.

    Secondly, while all of this is true, it's also plain as day that healthy fighters sit out all of the time (how often do you hear 'I'm going to wait for my shot'?) and the UFC has become obsessed with scheduling fights way, way too long in advance which combines with injuries to completely fuck everything up.

    If you have these structural disadvantages, you make up for them by giving better incentives to fight and not fucking around with scheduling
     
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  4. conor mcgregor nut hugger

    conor mcgregor nut hugger What Trump did is 100% impeachable

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    My entire post was just an excuse to make a gypsy joke.
     
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  5. MMAPlaywright

    MMAPlaywright First 100
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    My eye went immediately to the gypsy joke. I liked it.

    I don’t fully understand how all of a sudden there can be some sort of gigantic gypsy who is a top notch boxer anyway. It all seems suspect to me. Doesn’t pass the smell test.
     
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  6. Shang Tsong2

    Shang Tsong2 ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
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    Do you know much about jippos?
     
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  7. BJTT_Kiwi

    BJTT_Kiwi My member is more well known than yours

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. MMAPlaywright

    MMAPlaywright First 100
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    Yes. The Roma ones.
     
  9. Shang Tsong2

    Shang Tsong2 ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
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    Real jippos tarmac driveways, steal from gardens, and most importantly, bareknuckle box from the age of two months
     
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  10. MMAPlaywright

    MMAPlaywright First 100
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    @Shang Tsong2@Shang Tsong2
    The ones I know of make their wives claim to be fortune tellers and can’t read or write too well. They all carry canes, the size and complexity of design of which dictates their rank in the clan. Their last names are either “Mitchell” or “Evans.”

    EDIT: after posting the above, I googled the topic. This ridiculously interesting article lays it all out:

    The Curse of Romeo and Juliet
     
    #10 MMAPlaywright, Nov 28, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  11. conor mcgregor nut hugger

    conor mcgregor nut hugger What Trump did is 100% impeachable

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    What do jippos and cigarettes have in common?

    They smell like shit, always come in packs of 20, and are banned from every pub in England.
     
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  12. Haulport

    Haulport Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes
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    You can just look at the median to answer your outlier skew worries:

    Boxing median = 14
    MMA median = 11
     
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  13. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    You're comparing apples to oranges.

    First, you only use one promotion in your analysis of MMA fighters whereas boxing is controlled by multiple promoters who don't operate in an organizational frame. The UFC is one company with a set roster and a limited number of shows per year. That means there are a finite number of appearances even possible for every MMA fighter versus a potentially unlimited number of appearances for boxers. If you isolated your analysis to Top Rank or Don King etc, then you could do a more meaningful promoter to promoter comparison, but there would still be some inconsistency due to copromotion, etc. Also, the "top 15 fighters" going by P4P is a pretty arbitrary grouping as is adding in Wilder and Fury because they're popular. You also add in women for the UFC list, who are themselves in sparsely populated divisions, while leaving them off the boxing list where they would skew the data due to also bring sparsely populated.

    Your finding is interesting (though the median is more compelling than the mean), but there are a number of ways to explain it outside of some overall dilution of product.
     
  14. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Firstly, I have too much time on my hands but not that much time on my hands. If you want to do some analysis extending the sample size out to 100+ fighters, be my guest. I was making a post on an Internet forum, not writing a research paper. And yes, I should have used the median.

    Wilder is actually ranked in the top 15 according to the combined ranking system I used and Fury is not only the undefeated lineal HW champion of the world (I.e the actual best boxer in the world), but including him skewed the data AGAINST the trend, being the equal least active boxer. I did it deliberately. So if you’re going to whine about me including Fury, then it’s frankly hard to take your other points seriously as it’s a silly thing to complain about on multiple levels.

    As for the point about including women and not including non-UFC fighters. Well, firstly the thread quite literally says I am comparing UFC fighters to top boxers. Secondly, well have a look at this:

    Douglas Lima: 9
    Pitbull: 11
    Rory MacDonald: 11
    Michael Chandler: 11
    Mighty Mouse: 12
    Rafael Lovato: 10 (debuted in September 2014, so bump him up to 11 on his fight average)
    Moose: unsurprisingly active at 16

    It changes nothing. Most of the top MMA fighters are in the UFC and most outside it aren’t any more active.

    Note, the entire point of keeping it a comparison with ‘top’ fighters within a limited timeframe was a recognition that boxers tend to fight a lot more than MMA fighters at the start of their careers and overall. It was to ensure a fairer comparison for UFC fighters by recognising that once boxers establish themselves, they slow down. You’re thinking I am trying to skew the data to establish an argument, when I’ve actually attempted to be as generous as possible to MMA fighters to refute it.

    As for your final point, yes there are many possible causal explanations for the difference, none of which I attempted to give.
     
  15. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    I'm not thinking you're trying to do anything. I have no insight into your thought process or intentions. I'm just pointing out that your categories are flawed and so your analysis is spurious. To elucidate: the UFC is a closed system and boxing by comparison is a comparatively open system. Even the rankings are constructed to accommodate this closed system. This analysis would be the equivalent of comparing grapplers who only compete in IBJJF tournaments to grapplers who compete in EBI, Polaris, ADCC, etc. Of course there's going to be more activity in the latter category, especially among the top competitors, whereas the IBJJF grapplers will be restricted by the finite number of opportunities they have to compete. In the UFC, each fighter is guaranteed to be offered ~3 fights a year with occasional outliers. Top Rank or Don King Productions may have a similar offer structure for all we know, but then a more accurate comparison would be to sort the top 15 Top Rank or Don King fighters so as to keep the categories consistent.

    You use this apples to oranges comparison to support this explanation:

    Which means that's how you explain your finding. The data you presented doesn't support this conclusion, not because you're manipulating the data, but because your data isn't uniform. I pointed out the other inconsistencies (e.g. inclusion/disinclusion of women, arbitrarily adding to the rankings using a different ranking system) only to point out other examples of this lack of uniformity, allowing us to throw out the whole result without some tweaks.

    To be charitable, a more persuasive finding would be to say the current top 10 male fighters as ranked by the Ring Magazine fought more frequently between 2014 and 2019 than the current top 10 P4P male UFC fighters according to the UFC's rankings. Then we'd still have questions over whether they were in the top 10 the whole time or whether increased activity led to their being in the top 10, but at least then we'd have something specific and we'd know the limits of what the data could tell us about each of the overall sports.
     
  16. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Again, see the part about this being a post on an internet forum not an academic research paper. Apologies for not writing a 10,000 word disclaimer listing all of the potential methodological issues with the research design for the internet post I spent about 12 minutes on.

    What you're failing to understand is that the 'arbitrary' changes you think I made were not arbitrary. They were to try and help refute the trend I'd already observed in the 10 vs 10 sample. I increased the sample to 15 each in order to see if doing so would expose problems in the initial sample size. Ring rankings only go to 10 so I used the boxrec rankings to supplement it. You could do the same for 20, 30, 40 etc. if you like.

    Also, why would I compare the UFC to a specific boxing promotion when that wasn't the question I was trying to answer? What is this nonsense about 'closed vs open' system? I was just straight up comparing the activity of top UFC fighters vs top boxers, knowing full well that the two have a different structure - which is kind of the point.

    You keep using the phrase 'apples and oranges' but you don't seem to understand what that means. There's nothing invalid about the comparison whatsoever and it's frankly bizarre to claim that there is. I mean, you know you can literally compare apples and oranges as long as the comparison follows logical reasoning, right?

    I also showed you what happens when you add in the best Bellator fighters and Mighty Mouse - absolutely nothing changes.

    If you would like to do your own research using a stronger sample or using different rankings or a different starting time, I would be interested in the findings. Until you've done so, you've added nothing.
     
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  17. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Average fights for a top 10 P4P boxer: 34
    Average fights for a top 10 (Male) UFC fighter: 25

    Average age for a top 10 P4P boxer: 31.9
    Average age for a top 10 (Male) UFC fighter: 32.6

    So despite even being older than boxers, top UFC fighters have fought on average nearly 10 less fights over their careers.

    This is why I was getting frustrated at the inane nonsense passing for 'methodological critique' above. Because I had already considered a bunch of shit and deliberately skewed the data in the MMA fighter's favor in the first place in an attempt to falsify the initial findings. I could just have easily chosen some parameters that made the discrepancy look much worse.

    Because quite simply, boxers are more active than MMA fighters. But even the top boxers, after they become established, are still more active than the top dogs in MMA. Good luck trying to refute those claims.
     
  18. conor mcgregor nut hugger

    conor mcgregor nut hugger What Trump did is 100% impeachable

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    Different dynamic in different sports, but I am still shocked that Deontay Wilder chose such a risky fight before the big money rematch against Fury.

    In the end, though, the gamble paid off. Despite losing the first 6 rounds, he found a way to knock Ortiz out in the 7th.

    We would never see that kind of risk taken in the UFC, simply because the fighters have less of a say.
     
  19. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    The worst kind of arguments when someone points out a flaw in your methodology is to say "well, you do the work and find out for yourself then!" It's the taking your ball and going home of debate. But because I'm working on some data analysis anyway, I figured I'd accommodate your request using your own miserable methods with data that's more sensibly collected.

    First off, The Ring and Boxrec derive their methods for determining pound for pound in completely different ways. So just stitching on a few Boxrec findings doesn't present a compelling case. In fact, it repeats the data. For example, Naoya Inoue is ranked #15 by BoxRec and #3 by The Ring. So how did you resolve this issue? Was he counted twice? Similarly, the UFC top 15 P4P is calculated very differently from BoxRec and The Ring and is confined to fighters in a single promotion. Generally speaking, the UFC rankings are closer to The Ring since they're based on votes by media, but the Ring only goes up to 10, so the safer thing to do would've been to make the cut at 10. BoxRec uses an algorithmic method to determine their rankings based on who beat who when, etc. In MMA, the closest analogue we have is Fightmatrix. I have my problem with the way both services weight quality of opposition, etc., but they both rely on similar enough logics and most importantly, both are hype and promotion agnostic. They are not based on a single company or promoter's stable. They're based on performance against international competition and in cage/ring results. I don't mean to suggest that computational rankings are superior, but rather that freeing ourselves from the limitations of promotional hype allows for a fairer look at athletes and also gets us around the difference in data available to us (i.e. 10 boxers vs. 15 MMA fighters). So I used the top 15 FightMatrix and the top 15 BoxRec pound for pound fighters, even considering their flaws.

    Secondly, I was unclear why you chose to look over the last 4 years when your conclusions are based on what's happening in MMA right now. I assume you did it because you wanted to show a more robust finding across time, but if that were the case, you'd have to account for what about 4 years as opposed to 1, 3, or 5 would do the trick. It may have just been an arbitrary decision, but I didn't have the time to repeat it because looking up these stats is annoying enough. Instead, I chose the last year for which we have complete data available, 2018. If I were going to add years, I would probably plot it out year by year to be transparent about whether there were any significant changes over time that might require some explanation. Also, being in the top 15 is not a static status as some fighters were barely in the top 50 4 years ago or much lower ranked. A more compelling analysis would look at the end of year top 15 fighters for each of the 4 years and compare their total or average activity if it was aiming to be robust. For simplicity's sake, I stuck to 2018 as a fighter's ranking in that group generally stays stable in one year.

    Looking at the two groups, here were the results:

    Top 15 MMA fighters as of this week competition rate in 2018:

    Total fights: 31
    Median number of fights: 2
    Mean: 2.07
    Mode: 1

    Top 15 Boxers as of this week competition rate in 2018

    Total fights: 28
    Median number of fights: 2
    Mean: 1.87
    Mode: 2

    So what does this tell us? In 2018, the median difference between the two groups was negligible. The higher mean value among MMA fighters can be explained by some fighters being slightly more active (e.g. Adesanya) than others. As we can see, there is a slightly higher total number of fights among MMA fighters. Most interesting is the difference in mode which tells us a plurality of top 15 MMA fighters only fought 1 time in 2018 whereas a plurality of boxers fought at least twice. Generally speaking, the numbers are close enough across values to show that there really isn't much difference in the frequency of fights among the top 15 boxers and MMA fighters, at least in 2018. Generally, there's more variability within each group than between the two.
     
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  20. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Haha. I will repeat, again, that this is an internet forum and I wasn't writing an academic paper. You accept peer reviews without demanding that the reviewer do their own study first - but you don't have to accept some dipshit on the internet's criticisms without asking them to do it better. Which you most certainly haven't.

    Did you really just try and refute my 'methodology' by lazily taking a single year out of the close to the nearly 6 years (not the '4' years you seem to think the beginning of 2014 until now is) I already looked at? Yes, there's a reason why I looked at more than one year and whatever night school you went to that made you confident enough to critique internet forum posts probably should have explained to you what that reason is.

    2014 was somewhat arbitrary but all fighters had begun fighting and most were fighting either in the UFC or against top competition in boxing (which was what I was looking at), including Naoya Inoue who is the youngest fighter on the list. Not all were already in the UFC or fighting top comp, but that seemed to roughly even out on both sides. Maybe I should have done 2015. Again, see the part about it being an internet post.

    I do agree that doing an analysis of different sets of top 15ers vs how many times they fought in a year over multiple years would be worthwhile. If you can be fucked doing that, be my guest. If you had spent less time offering some rather embarrassing criticisms of my post, you probably could have even already done it.
     
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  21. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    At least you're good natured about not really knowing what you're talking about. It makes the back and forth more fun despite the public humiliation. Bottom line is MMA may be a dumpster fire at times, but boxing is a steaming turd of its own. Every time someone retardedly tries to act like there are some great differences whether in pay, scuzziness, independence, or caliber of shows on an MMA forum, they end up rehearsing the same easily disprovable or poorly supported arguments and this thread is no exception. There's really not much need to compare them anyway. They're both sports built on working class people beating the holy crap out of each other for a shot at wealth and fame. The main difference is that boxing at least has the Ali act to keep promoters from arbitrarily shelving fighters, offering them fights that are lose-lose situations or skimming so much of the take. Dana and co. will short change fans, fighters or whomever they can for a buck, but thankfully the creeps at the UFC aren't the whole sport, as any serious analysis would take into account. Not that his analogues are much better.
     
  22. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Boxing is a steaming turd but it's a turd that MMA has increasingly emulated over its history. That's the problem. One of the major selling points of MMA was that top level fighters were more active than boxers - Dana used to always claim that they fought at least 3 times a year (a lie built on the 3-fight offer requirement). Even you would agree that the available evidence suggests MMA fighters are no more active than boxers and quite possibly less active.

    If you look at Pride, it's sad what the UFC of today looks like in comparison. Sakuraba had 27 fights in Pride in 7 /12 years and he was the biggest star in the sport at the time. Vanderlei had 29 fights in just over 7 years from his Pride debut. Cro Cop had fucking 26 fights in less than 5 years after debuting in Pride. Fedor had 17 fights in 4 1/2 years after debuting in Pride. Big Nog had 22 fights in just over 5 1/2 years. For all of these guys, only two of their fights were on the same night, so it's not like same-night tournaments are heavily distorting the data. Guys just fought all of the time.

    These were the biggest stars in Pride, not just your Cowboys or Jim Millers of the UFC world. Another time and another place, but it still shows how far activity has fallen from old-school fans were used to.
     
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  23. Clark Griswold

    Clark Griswold I apparently look like a Jewish accountant

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    Can we not get more detail in the responses?
     
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  24. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    This is all true, but I think it's partly because fighters didn't make a lot and didn't have healthcare back then. There were incentives to staying active and fighting injured if you wanted to make a lot of money or even just stay above water. Today fighters have the option of sitting for the good of their own career if they like and the UFC in particular has an overstuffed enough roster to fill cards with up and comers or gatekeepers. It's hard to look at activity divorced from those economic realities, but it's a good point about the overall business model. In theory, smaller rosters or moving away from the organizational model altogether might open MMA up to a lot more excitement.
     
  25. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    There's not a lot that can be done realistically - 'it is what it is', as Professor Max Holloway would say - but scheduling fights 6 or so months in advance is one retarded thing they can stop doing.
     
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