This weekend, the UFC will stage two events 24 hours and 8,000 miles apart. On Friday, we get things underway with the culmination of the 28th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
In the main event, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (28-10 MMA, 17-8 UFC) takes on Kamaru Usman (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) in an important 170 lbs. contest.
Only six fighters (Donald Cerrone, Georges St-Pierre, Michael Bisping, Demian Maia, Matt Hughes and Jim Miller) hold more UFC victories than the veteran dos Anjos.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Friday’s main event:
In late 2017, dos Anjos notched a first-round submission victory over Neil Magny before a dominant five-round decision win against former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
He was rewarded for his victory over Lawler with a shot at the interim UFC welterweight championship, coming up short in a unanimous decision defeat to Colby Covington in June.
Usman scored a first-round KO over Sérgio Moraes last September. It’s the only of Usman’s last 7 fights not to end in a unanimous decision. He followed this up with back-to-back decision victories against Emil Meek and Demian Maia in 2018.
Usman’s eight-fight winning streak is the longest active streak in the UFC welterweight division, ahead of Santiago Ponzinibbio (7) and Colby Covington, Leon Edwards and Elizeu Zaleski (all 6).
Dos Anjos and Usman 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 28 Finale: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman posts a solid score of +11.
This score ranks 16th out of all 35 events in 2018 and 5th out of the 20 Fight Night/TUF Finale events this year.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score far exceeds the +5.1 average for Fight Night/TUF Finale events in the last twelve months, as well as the +10.8 average for all events in the same period.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is Kamaru Usman (+8), far ahead of Alex Perez (+3) in second place.
The lowest scorer is Tim Means (-2), though his two prior defeats were both split-decision losses, whilst thirteen fighters will be making their UFC debuts on this card.
Enjoy the fights!