As is tradition, international fight week has had to endure some unexpected outside-the-cage events, though as things stand Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 27 finale remains unaffected.
In the main event, Brad Tavares (17-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) takes on undefeated rising prospect Israel Adesanya (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
Mike Trizano (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will fight Joe Giannetti (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to crown this season’s lightweight TUF winner, whilst Brad Katona (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces Jay Cucciniello (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to determine this season’s featherweight champion.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Friday night’s main event:
Tavares followed back-to-back unanimous decision wins over Elias Theodorou and Thales Leites last year with a third-round TKO victory over Krzysztof Jotko in April.
After injuries to Yancy Medeiros and Max Holloway in the last week, Tavares is the last Hawaiian competing in the UFC this weekend.
Adesanya earned a UFC contract after a first-round KO of Stuart Dare last November, making his promotional debut in February with a second-round TKO of Rob Wilkinson. He then won a split-decision over Marvin Vettori in April, a result which brought to an end a streak of 12 consecutive TKO/KO stoppage victories.
If Adesanya emerges victorious on Friday, he will become the first fighter to record three UFC victories in 2018. Tavares and Adesanya share no common opponents throughout their professional MMA careers.
The Dwyer Score
Each event, I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It essentially gives a numeric value to the momentum of fighters competing at any one event. I do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak; a fighter on a five-fight winning streak contributes +5 to an event’s score, whilst a fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. Only UFC results are considered and a fighter coming off a no-contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0. When you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card, you get a total for the event- the ‘Dwyer Score.’ This score does not claim to predict or measure the quality or excitement of any one card, but it does give you an idea of the general momentum of fighters heading into a specific event. The graphic to the above-right displays some of the highest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale: Brad Tavares vs. Israel Adesanya checks in with a decent score of +7.
This score ranks joint-23rd out of all 41 events in the last year, or joint-10th out of 23 Fight Nights/TUF Finale cards in the same time frame.
It also ranks 1st out of 3 TUF Finale events in the last year.
Here’s a more detailed look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score exceeds the +4.3 average for Fight Night events (including TUF Finales) in the last twelve months, but falls short of the +10.7 average for all events in that same period.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is Brad Tavares (+4), ahead of Israel Adesanya and Oskar Piechota (both +2).
The lowest scorers are Alex Caceres, Martin Bravo, Roxanne Modafferi, Barb Honchak, Matt Bessette and Steven Peterson (all -1), whilst ten fighters will be making their UFC debuts at this event.
Enjoy the fights!