This Saturday, the UFC returns to Pay-Per-View action with one of the most anticipated events of the year so far.
Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) puts his title on the line against former champion Stipe Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC).
The two first met in the Octagon last July, with Cormier defeating Miocic via first-round KO to end the most successful title reign in the history of the UFC heavyweight division.
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Cormier went a perfect 3-0 last year, sandwiching the aforementioned result against Miocic in between second-round stoppage wins against Volkan Oezdemir and Derrick Lewis, becoming the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold and defend titles in two weight classes.
This will be the third time in Cormier’s last six fights that he’s competed in a rematch against a previously faced opponent (Anthony Johnson, Jon Jones, and Miocic).
Miocic has recently found success in avenging a prior defeat, scoring a first-round TKO in a rematch against Junior dos Santos. Miocic followed this with a unanimous decision victory over the streaking Francis Ngannou before suffering that first-round KO defeat against Cormier last July.
Stipe’s victory over Ngannou saw him become the first fighter since the introduction of the UFC heavyweight championship in 1997 to make three successful defenses of the title.
Here’s a look at how these two fighters fared when competing against common opponents shared throughout their careers. On the left of the graphic, you’ll see how Cormier fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Miocic’s results against the same men.
The two men share just one common opponent; Roy Nelson.
Miocic, a sizeable underdog at the time, defeated ‘Big Country’ via unanimous decision in June 2013. Nelson went on to face Cormier in his next fight, just four months later, suffering another unanimous decision loss.
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.
UFC 241: Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic II posts a strong score of +23.
This score ranks joint-6th out of 42 UFC events in the last year and 6th out of 13 Pay-Per-View events in the same period.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score exceeds the +11.3 average for all events in the last twelve months, as well as the +20.7 average for Pay-Per-View events in the same time frame.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributors to the score are Paulo Costa and Cory Sandhagen (both +4), ahead of Daniel Cormier and Manny Bermudez (both +3).
The lowest scorer is Jodie Esquibel (-3), whilst Khama Worthy is the lone fighter making their promotional debut at this event.
Enjoy the fights!