BRIEF REVIEW: What are the odds of the “puncher’s chance”

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THE PUNCHER’S CHANCE

In combat sports, the puncher’s chance refers to the scenario whereby a combatant who is thought to be inferior in ability prior to a bout, or who is being outclassed during a bout, still has the ability to win the bout via KO or TKO.

 

Researchers in Australia analysed the statistics from all UFC bouts between 1997 and June 2020 that ended in KO and TKO. These statistics were correlated to equate an odds ratio for a fighter who is losing a match, based on the proportion of significant strikes landed. 

 

  • Where a fighter is “mildly outclassed” (throwing <45% of the total number of strikes), they had a 1:43 chance of winning by KO/TKO.
  • Where a fighter is “moderately outclassed” (throwing <35% of the total number of strikes), they had a 1:131 chance of winning by KO/TKO.
  • Where a fighter is “severely outclassed” (throwing <20% of the total number of strikes), they had a 1:1356 chance of winning by KO/TKO.

 

One limitation of the study is that it doesn’t take into consideration the statistics related to takedowns, ground time, etc.

 

It would be interesting to see this study replicated in other combat sports, and in other levels of MMA competition.

 

  1. Wild G. The puncher’s chance in professional mixed martial arts competition. 2020; Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, in press

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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