MMA

The Dwyer Score- UFC Fight Night: Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos

This Saturday, the UFC visits Kansas for the first time as Derrick Lewis (21-6 MMA, 12-4 UFC) takes on former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos (20-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC).

This fight sees the man with the most knockouts (Lewis) taking on the man with the most knockdowns (dos Santos) in UFC heavyweight history.

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

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Lewis had a busy 2018, competing four times inside the Octagon. He followed an uneventful unanimous decision win over Francis Ngannou with a third-round KO over Alexander Volkov, who was undoubtedly ahead on the scorecards, with just seconds left on the clock.

Just 29 days after the Volkov win, Lewis fought Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight championship, coming up short in a second-round submission defeat.

Dos Santos also suffered a relatively recent defeat as a title contender, losing via first-round TKO to then-champion Stipe Miocic in May 2017. He returned to the win column last July with a five-round unanimous decision victory against Blagoy Ivanov.

‘Cigano’ last fought in December, handing rising prospect Tai Tuivasa the first loss of his career with a second-round TKO.

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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 Lewis fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see dos Santos’ results against the same men.

The two men share three common opponents; Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, and Mark Hunt.

Both men defeated Gonzaga via first-round KO before notching a three-round decision victory over Nelson in their next fight.

Dos Santos defeated Hunt via third-round KO in May 2013, whilst Lewis suffered a fourth-round TKO defeat to Hunt in June 2017.

The Dwyer Score

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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 Fight Night events of all time, to help give some context to this score.

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UFC Fight Night 146: Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos posts a strong score of +18.

This score ranks joint-12th out of 38 events in the past year and 4th out of 22 Fight Nights in the same time frame.

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

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As you can see, this score exceeds the +7.1 average for Fight Night events in the last twelve months, as well as the +12 average for all events in the same period.

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

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The highest individual contributor to the score is Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+6), ahead of Rocco Martin, Curtis Millender and Drew Dober (all +3).

The lowest scorer is Alex White (-2), whilst two fighters will be making their promotional debuts at this event.

Enjoy the fights!

Nick Dwyer
About the Author:

Nick Dwyer. Nick is a 27-year-old MMA writer who has been part of #TeamEverlast for 2 years now, contributing weekly 'Dwyer Score' columns as well as statistical analyses and fighter interviews. Follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDwyerMMA.

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