How Many People Would it Take to Beat Up a UFC Fighter?

The question has haunted the minds of men for decades – until now.

By tweaking our advanced fight predicting simulator matrix we were able to run a series of trials predicting the hypothetical outcome of a “battle” between a UFC fighter and an average Joe. The following post summarizes our shocking (and disturbing) findings.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is intended for comedic purposes only. Our apologies in advance if you are at all offended.

To begin our trials we chose none other than the current light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones to represent the fighters of the UFC.  It goes without saying that Bones would make bones of at least 4 grown men for sport, which begs the question:  Just how many men WOULD it take to beat up the champ?

Jon "Bones" Jones

Jon “Bones” Jones

With the tweaks to our model in place we began our first trial.  Jones vs. a single man.  Pointless although necessary for estimating the power of an individual in later trials.

The Result: After double checking for human error, the model produced a probability suggesting that the chances of one man beating up Jon Jones is negative 75%.  Further analysis by repeating the trial 10,000 times reveals that Jones is more likely to be hit by a live whale falling from a monsoon than losing a fight against a single man.

Knowing this our next trial used 5 men.

The Result: Immediately apparent in the model output is the exponential power of 5 men fighting together as a team.  After executing a statistically significant number of trials however, the results speak for themselves.

In the worst instance of all trials, one man was able to hit Jones square in the jaw with a full powered haymaker punch.  The man’s hand shattered up to his elbow.  Jones was unaffected.

In fact, our threat detection variant monitoring Jones’ hypothetical heart beat indicates that even under attack from 5 men, Jones has yet to feel threatened.

So we double the damage. 10 men. To spice it up (and to be fair), we also add 2 women. Were all for equal rights, and maybe they’ll have an outlying effect in the model.

The Results: At this point Jones appears to feel threatened. Through observing 20,000 trials we are able to conclude that the additional pressure of fighting 12 people causes Jones to turn into an even more efficient killing machine. The 10 men are dead within an average of 2 minutes, a kill rate of which even North Korea would approve. The only plausible explanation for this slaughter is that Jon Jones is in fact the first black Super Saiyan.

A Super Saiyan

A Super Saiyan

As for the women? Initially programmed to kill him, Jones saves them for last. He proceeds to initiate a Spartacus-style threesome orgy impregnating them both IN EVERY TRIAL. The mans seed appears to resemble a genetic combination of Michael Phelps and Kanye West.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Trial 3. No more ****ing around.

Included in this trial are 6 stormtroopers, 30 men, Agent Smith, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Miley Cyrus. After running only one trial we decide to end the experiment. It turns out some questions are better left unanswered..

Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.

Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.

Jones definitely feels danger here. Before going Super Saiyan he places a cell phone call to Joe Rogan. Joe appears moments later with two kettle bells shaped liked monkey skulls which he uses to violently dispatch of the Stormtroopers. He appears to enjoy doing this very much.

Well done Joe, well done.

Well done Joe, well done.

While Jones engages in speedy-blurred-combat with Agent Smith, The Rock kills 15 of the 30 men accidentally by performing a spinerama-attack with a squat rack. The other 15 men synchronously lose control of their bowels and flee. Seeing this – and now done with the Stormtroopers – Joe Rogan chases them down screeching like an ape proclaiming he is the alpha male and yelling about hunting his own food.

In an honorable (read: strategic) move, The Rock decides to let Jones and Agent Smith continue battle. He places the squat rack on his back and begins to perform step ups on a pile of bodies while shouting out his reps in an ancient tribal language.

Then, in a truly unexplainable turn of events, the women from the previous trial appear out of nowhere to aid Jones. They simultaneously give birth to two boys who mature faster than Shia Labeouf into formidable young warriors. They instantly engage Agent Smith in combat next to the champ.

Seriously, what happened to Even Steven?

Seriously, what happened to Even Steven?

Upon seeing his boys grown into healthy young warriors Jones proceeds to end the battle against Agent Smith the one and only way possible: They must both die. He lowers his guard and Agent Smith punches him straight in the heart. Jones feels the cold envelope him as the agent proceeds to consume him in grey virtual ooze. As the transformation completes both men burst into a sonic explosion of light and sound.

Although physically gone, we can sense that Jones has become more powerful than ever before. Joe Rogan has returned and can be heard muttering something about a waste of meat.

Seeing no point in fighting, The Rock and the Jones Jr’s shake hands. The Jones Jr’s claim to be big fans and demand a picture with their hero. He obliges ever so kindly and immediately posts the picture to his Instagram page applying bad-ass custom filters. He also hashtags. #ImTheRock #ImTHESHIT #theseniggasCRAZY #WTFjusthappen?

Wrapping up, The Jones Jr’s politely decline an invitation from Joe Rogan to appear on his podcast citing an unexplainable sense of destiny to seek out a place they only know to be called the Dagobah System.

After all is said and done the only one remaining on the battle field is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Lowering himself to the ground he begins performing a ritual for the dead ensuring their safe passage into the afterlife. Halfway through the ritual he is interrupted by the sound of a goat. He looks over to see Miley Cyrus twerking. Apparently she went unnoticed during the battle and was now looking for attention. The last thing we are able to interpret from the simulator matrix is Dwayne Johnson silencing the goat woman with a menacing People’s Elbow. Getting up he exclaims, “It’s about time that b**** stopped twerking!”

Take that Miley!

Take that Miley.

As for the real answer to our question? We think Jones could take out you and everyone you know and still make it home for dinner.

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Predicting Method of Victory and Round of Finish

As a logical next step in our fight prediction model, we decided to attempt to predict when and how fights will finish. While predicting a fight outcome can be very profitable, being able to accurately predict the round and method of victory would essentially be like a license to print money. Obviously, achieving this model would be incredibly difficult, and would probably require years and years of work and some luck along the way. We are here to share our preliminary results when attempting to predict the rounds in which fights end and how fights tend to finish.

To start off with, Reed Kuhn over at Fightnomics provides an excellent analysis of how fights tend to finish. The list of fights we use to generate our predictions is much smaller, and only encompasses fighters who have at least 3 fights worth of stats recorded in the fightmetric database.

Division Avg Rnd KO (%) Sub (%) Dec (%)
Heavyweight 1.96 66 15 18
Light Heavy 2.33 29 24 47
Middleweight 2.50 34 3 59
Welterweight 2.25 41 13 46
Lightweight 2.56 41 13 46
Featherweight 2.32 26 17 56
Bantamweight 2.32 26 19 55
Flyweight 2.58 26 32 42

We should note before expanding on this data that we have very few flyweight fights in our database. Therefore, even though the numbers are pretty much in line with the weight classes slightly above, we will not yet put very much stake into the output for that specific division. The division we have the most recorded fights for is the lightweight division with 44 fights. The first thing to notice, and it is probably expected, given the weight cap, is that heavyweight fights finish a third of a round faster than the next fastest division. In addition, an astounding 2/3 heavyweight fight finishes with a referee protecting one of the competitors (TKO/KO). Surprisingly, the only other division with more than 40% of fights ending via TKO/KO is the welterweight division. This may just be an anomaly over the last couple years, but memorable knockouts by Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Tyron Woodley and newcomer Robbie Lawler all help to make the last couple years especially knockout-filled for the welterweight division.

How can we use this data to our advantage?

The obvious answer is to look for lines that seem advantageous based on the data above. A great example of this, is featherweight champ, Jose Aldo taking on Chan Sung Jung. Our model has Aldo as a very heavy favourite, as most people do according to the odds. The one thing that stands out about the odds though, is Aldo sits at 4.47 to 1 to win by decision. Less than half of the featherweight fights we have observed have finished inside the distance and Aldo has only been able to finish 2 of his last 5 opponents. We see some definite value at 4.47 to 1 in betting on Aldo to win via decision. An example of a well adjusted line would be Johnson vs Moraga going the distance sitting at 1.48 to 1. Flyweights generally lack the power to knock each other out and submissions tend to happen less frequently than knockouts (by extrapolating from other divisions), so if anything the line may even be a little low.

Modelling Finish Round

Attempting to model fight lengths has been a frustrating experience. The output of our model is almost always under 2 rounds. It does seem however, there is a correlation between very low round estimates and actual fight finishes. For example, Herman vs Gonzaga was predicted to last less than a single round, which is exactly what happened. Unfortunately, even the aforementioned Aldo vs Jung fight is expected to last half a round as well. At this point, it is a struggle to find fights that are expected to last more than one full round. Modelling round outcomes will continue to be a work in progress as we move forward and collect more data.

Modelling TKO/KO Outcomes

Predicting fights that end in TKO/KO seems to be a bit more reliable. For example, Gonzaga vs Herman at UFC 162 was predicted to end in TKO/KO 62% of the time. Pierce vs Mitchell at the same event was predicted to have someone lying on the canvas 46% of the time. Kennedy vs Gracie was expected to end in TKO/KO just 20% of the time. The preliminary results of attempting to predict fights that end via KO or TKO seems promising. When Rory MacDonald takes on Jake Ellenberger, we project the fight to end in TKO/KO just 22% of the time. Machida vs Davis at UFC 163, on the other hand is expected to end in TKO/KO over 40% of the time.


There seems to be little evidence that we can accurately predict the round that fights end in so far. It will probably take a lot more work and a lot more data to accurately be able to come up with the rounds in which fights end. TKO/KO finishes on the other hand seem a bit easier to predict. The difficult part will be finding patterns in the data that are not easily seen with a brief look at the fighters stats. For example, predicting an Anderson Silva TKO is not nearly as impressive as would be predicting a Frankie Edgar TKO/KO. From now on, we will include our method of victory along with our fight outcome predictions in our blog posts. Stay tuned, UFC on Fox 8 and UFC 163 are both happening in the next couple weeks, leading into an incredibly busy month of August for The Fight Predictor.

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