This Saturday, the UFC makes its maiden visit to Idaho for what will be the promotion’s third event in eight days.
In the main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) takes on former WSOF/PFL heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov (16-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Dos Santos rebounded from a second-round TKO loss to long-time rival Alistair Overeem in December 2015 with a dominant five-round decision win over Ben Rothwell- a win that brought to an end Rothwell’s impressive four-fight finish streak.
‘Cigano’ was rewarded for that performance with the third UFC title shot of his career, coming up short in a first-round TKO loss to then champion Stipe Miocic.
Ivanov scored a five-round unanimous decision win over Josh ‘Cuddly Bear’ Copeland in June 2016 before defeating another UFC veteran, Shawn Jordan, via first-round TKO last March. Ivanov then won a three-round unanimous decision over Caio Alencar – the fourth and final successful defense of his WSOF/PFL heavyweight title.
The Bulgarian defeated MMA legend and three-time combat sambo world champion Fedor Emelianenko en route to winning the 2008 combat sambo world championships at heavyweight.
Dos Santos and Ivanov 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.
UFC Fight Night 133: Junior dos Santos vs. Blagoy Ivanov checks in with a score of +4.
This score ranks joint-29th out of all 41 events in the last year and joint-13th out of 23 Fight Night events in that same time frame.
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 falls just short of the +4.5 average for Fight Night events in the last twelve months, as well as the +10.8 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 Darren Elkins (+6), followed by his opponent on Saturday, Alexander Volkanovski (+4), then Alejandro Pérez (+3).
Elkins and Volkanovski are on a combined streak of 10 UFC victories (+6 vs. +4). Of 235 fights so far in 2018, only two have pitted fighters on greater combined UFC winning streaks against each other, Nurmagomedov-Iaquinta (+9 vs. +5) and Miocic-Ngannou (+5 vs. +6).
The lowest scorers are Dennis Bermudez and Cat Zingano (both -3), with Chad Mendes, Justin Scoggins and Jessica Aguilar (all -2) close behind. Six fighters are making their promotional debuts this weekend.
Enjoy the fights!