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First tri-annual look at the MMA landscape in 2016


As we send off the month of April in 2016, we also pass on from the first third of the year. Four months in and much has happened that has shocked, awed or amazed us when looking back on 2016. So with that we take a peek back on the stats, stories, and highlights from this year that have come from MMA’s “Big Three” which of course mean the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), Bellator MMA, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). These promotions, above all, dominate the mixed martial arts landscapes and now we gather from them what hit or misses they have brought us this year.

Never tell them the odds: When looking at any MMA event in an attempt to consider if it is worth watching, you look at the top of the billing. The main event, and sometimes also the co-main event. Where we start here is a simple count on how the underdogs or the betting odd favorites have done this year across all three promotions in the co-main and the main event. In a noticeable trend that has stayed steady since the start of 2015, underdogs have recently taken a big charge at the odds-makers wallets and given many fans across the world more reason to put their money where their mouth is.

Favorites- 12
Underdog- 8
Even odds-2

Underdog- 4
Even odds-1

Favorites- 7
Even odds-2

UFC ‘Of the Night” winners: Since 2007, the UFC has implemented a hefty reward system that was once split into two groups being Knockout, and Submission of the night. In 2014, the UFC changed this to Performance of the Night in the event that there wasn’t a submission or knockout on the card. There has also been Fight of the Night which rewards the two men or women that truly leave it in all in the cage after the final bell has ended. Here are those recipients thus far this year.

Performance of the Night
-Stipe Miocic (KO over Andrei Arlovski)
-Michael McDonald (Submission over Masanori Kanehara)
-Ed Herman (TKO over Tim Boestch)
-Luke Sanders (Submission over Maximo Blanco)
-Anthony Johnson (KO over Ryan Bader)
-Ben Rothwell (Submission over Josh Barnett)
-Stephen Thompson (KO over Johny Hendricks)
-Diego Rivas (KO over Noad Lahat)
-Donald Cerrone (Submission over Alex Oliveira)
-Chris Camozzi (TKO over Joe Riggs)
-Scott Askham (Submission over Thibault Gouti)
-Teemu Packalen (KO over Chris Dempsey)
-Nate Diaz (Submission over Conor McGregor)
-Miesha Tate (Submission over Holly Holm)
-Mark Hunt (KO over Mark Hunt)
-Neil Magny (TKO over Hector Lombard)
-Derrick Lewis (KO over Gabriel Gonzaga)
-Alejandro Perez (Submission over Ian Entwistle)
-Mairbek Taisumov (TKO over Damir Hadzovic)
-Jared Cannonier (KO over Cyril Asker)
-Glover Teixeira (KO over Rashad Evans)
-Michael Chiesa (Submission over Beneil Dariush)
-Demetrious Johnson (TKO over Henry Cejudo)
-Yair Rodriguez (KO over Andre Fili)
Fight of the Night
Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit (UFC 195)
TJ Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz (UFC Fight Night 81)
Jimmie Rivera vs. Iuri Alcantara (UFC on Fox 18)
Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer (UFC Fight Night 82)
Lauren Murphy vs. Kelly Faszholz (UFC Fight Night 83)
Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva (UFC Fight Night 84)
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor (UFC 196)
Jake Matthews vs. Johnny Case (UFC Fight Night 85)
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Omari Akhmedov (UFC on Fox 19)
Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele (UFC 197)

Championship/Title changes: When a title changes hands, it signals something that we don’t see as often as we think in this sport; change. Whether a passing of a torch, the beginning of a rivalry, changing of the guard, or even the rise of a new legend. Here are the newly crowned champions of 2016 thus far.

(UFC Bantamweight Title, UFC Fight Night 91) Dominick Cruz def. TJ Dillashaw
(Vacant WSOF Welterweight Title, WSOF 30) Jon Fitch def. Joao Zeferino
(W. Bantamweight Title, UFC 196) Miesha Tate def. Holly Holm
(Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Title, UFC 197) Jon Jones def. Ovince Saint Preux

Most/ Least viewed events

-Most: UFC on Fox 19 (2.8 Million viewers)
-Least: UFC 197 preliminaries (835,000 viewers)

-Most: Bellator 149: Gracie vs. Shamrock (2.73 Million viewers)
-Least: Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Souza (535,000 viewers)

-Most: WSOF 27 (261,000 viewers)
-Least: WSOF 30 (151,000 viewers)

Cancelled fights

Drew Dober vs. Erik Koch (UFC 195, Koch injury)
Stephen Thompson vs. Neil Magny (UFC 195, Neil rebooked)
Russell Doane vs. Michinori Tanaka (UFC 195, Doane injury)
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Kyle Noke (UFC 195, Gastelum injury)
Charles Rosa vs. Jimy Hettes (UFC Fight Night 81, Hettes injury)
Abdul-Karim Edilov vs. Francimar Barroso (UFC Fight Night 81, EDilov torn meniscus)
Rob Font vs. Patrick Williams (UFC Fight Night 81, Williams injury)
Beneil Dariush vs. Mairbek Taisumov (UFC Fight Night 81, Dariush injury)
Dennis Bermudez vs. Maximo Blanco (UFC Fight Night 81, Bermudez staph infection)
Chris Wade vs. Mairbek Taisumov (UFC Fight Night 81, Mairbek visa issues)
Charles Rosa vs. Augusto Mendes (UFC Fight Night 81, Mendes rib injury)
Mike Ricci vs. Caros Fodor (WSOF 27, Ricci injury)
Joaquim Silva vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (UFC on Fox 18, Silva injury)
Sage Northcutt vs. Andrew Holbrook (UFC on Fox 18, Holbrook injury)
Josh Koscheck vs. Matt Secor (Bellator 148, Koscheck injury)
Derek Anderson vs. Ryan Couture (Bellator 148, Anderson injury)
Nick Bustamante vs. Salvador Bacerra (Bellator 148, Unknown)
John Paul Elias vs. DeMarco Villalona (Bellator 148, Unknown)

Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez (UFC Fight Night 82, Cain back injury)
Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic (UFC Fight Night 82, Werdum foot injury)
Cody Garbrandt vs. John Lineker (UFC Fight Night 83, Lineker illness)
Sarah Moras vs.s Lauren Murphey (UFC Fight Night 83, Moras injury)
Trevor Smith vs. Leonardo Guimaraes (UFC Fight Night 83, Smith hand injury)
Brandon Thatch vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (UFC Fight Night 83, Rescheduled)
Sam Alvey vs. Daniel Sarafian (UFC Fight Night 83, Alvey broken jaw)
Bryan Barberena vs. Jonavin Webb (UFC Fight Night 83, Bryan rescheduled)
Donald Cerrone vs. Tim Means (UFC Fight Night 83, Means failed drug test)
Melvin Guillard vs. Mike Bronzoulis (Bellator 149, Bronzoulis injury)
Charlie Ontiveros vs. James Christopherson (Bellator 149, Unknown)
Jaimie Yager vs. Greg Parker (WSOF 28, Parker injury)
Marcos Galvao vs. Eduardo Dantas II (Bellator 150, Dantas injury)
Cheick Kongo vs. Augusto Sakai (Bellator 150, Sakai injury)
Gregory Babene vs. Trey Houston (Bellator 150, Unknown)
Daniel Gallemore vs. Frederick Brown (Bellator 150, Unknown)
James Witt vs. Jonathan Gary (Bellator 150, Witt misses weight)
Michael Bisping vs. Gegard Mousasi (UFC Fight Night 84, Bisping rescheduled)
Jimi Manuwa vs. Nikita Krylov (UFC Fight Night 84, Manuwa injury)
Brad Pickett vs. Enrique Briones (UFC Fight Night 84, Briones injury)
Teemu Packalen vs. Lukasz Sajewski (UFC Fight Night 84, Sajewski injury)

Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor (UFC 196, dos Anjos broken foot)
Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson (UFC 196, Johnson withdraws)
Michael Page vs. Fernando Gonzalez (Bellator 151, Page withdraws)
Stephen Banaszak vs. Steven Peterson (Bellator 151, Unknown)
Magomed Bibulatov vs. Tyson Nam (WSOF 29, Nam injury)
Chris Morgan vs. Hector Lumba (WSOF 29, Lumba injury)
Adam Vigil vs. Andrew Hathaway (WSOF 29, Unknown)
Ross Pearson vs. Abel Trujillo (UFC Fight Night 85, Trujillo visa issues)
Alan Patrick vs. Chad Laprise (UFC Fight Night 85, Laprise rescheduled)
Justin Scoggins vs. Ben Nguyen (UFC Fight Night 85, Scoggins injury)

Jake Shields vs. Jon Fitch (WSOF 30, Shields contract dispute)
Steve Kozola vs. Gil Guardado (WSOF 30, Guardado injury)
Ruslan Magomedov vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (UFC Fight Night 86, Magomedov injury)
Francis N’Gannou vs. Bojan Mihajlovic (UFC Fight Night 86, Bojan injury)
Bartosz Fabinski vs. Nicholas Dalby (UFC Fight Night 86, Fabinski injury)
Filip Kotarlic vs. Daniele Miceli (Bellator 152, Unknown)
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Brent Primus (Bellator 152, Fizzled bout)
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Derek Campos (Bellator 152, Campos injury)
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson (UFC on Fox 19, Ferguson injury)
Rashad Evans vs. Shogun Rua (UFC on Fox 19, Rua injury)
Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson (UFC on Fox 19, Machida failed drug test)
Cezar Ferreira vs. Caio Magalhaes (UFC on Fox 19, Magalhaes ankle injury)
Drew Dober vs. Islam Makhachev (UFC on Fox 19, Makhachev failed drug test)
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. John Teixeira (Bellator 153, Teixeira rib injury)
Andrey Koreshkov vs. Brennan Ward (Bellator 153, Ben Henderson signing)
Chris Foster vs. Felipe Levandoski (Bellator 153, Unknown)
Jay Bakanowski vs. TJ Hepburn (Bellator 153, TJ injury)
Pete Rogers vs. Mike Mangan (Bellator 153, Rogers withdraws)
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones (UFC 196, Cormier leg injury)
Jessica Aguilar vs. Juliana Lima (UFC 196, Aguilar torn ACL)

Fun Facts

Fastest knockout finish: Chris Camozi def. Joe Riggs (Round 1 – 0:26)
Fastest Submission finish: Teemu Packalén def. Thibault Gouti (Round 1 – 0:24)
Longest Finish: Miesha Tate def. Holly Holm (UFC 196, Round 5 – 3:30)
Total Decisions:
-UFC: 73
-Bellator: 28
-WSOF: 22
Number of Finishes:
-Knockouts: 43
-Submissions: 22
-Knockouts: 22
-Submissions: 17
-Knockouts: 18
-Submissions: 5
Largest odds based upset: Daniel Kelly (+325) def. Antonio Carlos Junior

Drug Test Offenses: Now before you get crazy looking at this list. Please note that most of these fighters have not been proven guilty. Even some of them have tested or been accused of taking substances that one could argue shouldn’t be banned. Most of these fighters await their hearings and possible punishments. Those that do are labled with an asterisk

*Felipi Oliveira- UFC on Fox 18 (USADA banned substance)
*Tim Means- UFC Fight Night 83 (SARMS)
*Islam Makhachev – UFC on Fox 19 (Meldonium)
*Lyoto Machida – UFC on Fox 19 (DHEA)
*Viscardi Andrade- UFC Fight Night 85 (USADA banned substance)
*Frank Mir- UFC Fight Night 85 (USADA banned substance)
Kimbo Slice- Bellator 148 (Nandrolone, Elevated (T/E) ratio)
Ken Shamrock- Bellator 148 (Nandrolone, Methadone, Elevated (T/E) ratio)


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