The Dwyer Score- UFC Fight Night: Derek Brunson vs. Lyoto Machida

This Saturday, a former UFC light-heavyweight champion returns to action after more than two years away from the cage.

Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) takes on Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in São Paulo on a card where all 12 fights feature a Brazilian taking on a foreign fighter.

Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:


Brunson followed a TKO loss to Robert Whittaker in a wild yet sloppy performance with a controversial decision loss to Anderson Silva- a fight which 20 of 24 polled media members scored for Brunson. He rebounded from this skid with a dominant first-round KO that snapped Dan Kelly’s four-fight UFC winning streak in just 76 seconds.

Machida’s last win came back in 2014 in the form of a first-round TKO win over C.B Dollaway. He was then finished in back-to-back losses just 70 days apart against top-ranked middleweights Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.


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 Brunson fared against any shared opponents, and on the right, you’ll see Machida’s results against the same men.

The two fighters share just one common opponent- Yoel Romero. Brunson suffered a third-round TKO loss to Romero in a bout he had looked on his way to winning, whilst Machida lost a more one-sided contest via KO, again in the third-round.

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. A fighter coming off a No Contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0, and only UFC results are considered. 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 Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida boasts a large Dwyer Score of +18.

This ranks in third place of the 18 Fight Night events in 2017, and eighth of all 30 events this year.

Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:


This score is well above the +11.9 average for all events, not to mention the +4.3 average for Fight Nights. In fact, it’s much closer to the kind of score we usually see reserved for Pay-Per-View cards.

Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:


The highest individual contributor to this week’s score is Colby Covington (+4), with Pedro Munhoz, Marlon Vera, Antônio Carlos Júnior and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (all +3) close behind.

The lowest individual contributors to the score are Lyoto Machida, Jim Miller and Hacran Dias (all -2), whilst Marcelo Golm is the lone fighter making his UFC debut this weekend.

We’ve got Machida, Maia, Miller, Santos, Trinaldo and Lineker… to name just a few. It really is a fantastic card that has plenty for the Brazilian and international fans to enjoy.

Nick Dwyer
About the Author:

Nick Dwyer. Nick is a 28-year-old MMA writer who has been part of #TeamEverlast for 3 years now, contributing weekly 'Dwyer Score' columns as well as statistical analyses and fighter interviews. Follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDwyerMMA.