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