The Dwyer Score- UFC Fight Night: Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua vs. Anthony Smith

This Sunday, the UFC makes its second trip to Hamburg (and its sixth visit to Germany) for what will be the third European event of the 2018 calendar.

In the main event, former UFC light-heavyweight champion Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) takes on Anthony Smith (29-13 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

It may surprise some to see that Smith has seven more fights on his professional record than Rua, who is widely regarded as a legend of the sport.

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

Rua won a Fight of the Night bonus for his unanimous decision win over ‘Little Nog’ Antônio Rogério Nogueira in August 2015. He followed this with a contentious split-decision victory over Corey Anderson the following May that 19 out of 21 polled media members disagreed with.

There was no disputing Rua’s next win- a third-round TKO victory over Gian Villante in March of last year. For the first time since 2007, and the only time in his UFC career, Shogun has recorded a streak of three consecutive victories.

Smith followed a third-round KO victory over Hector Lombard last September with a second-round TKO loss to Thiago Santos in February- Smith’s first loss in four fights.

After that loss, ‘Lionheart’ made the move from middleweight to light-heavyweight, returning to the win column last month with an emphatic 53-second KO of Rashad Evans- like Shogun, another former UFC light-heavyweight champion.

Rua and Smith 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 134: Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua vs. Anthony Smith posts a score of -2.

This score ranks joint-35th out of all 41 events in the last year, or joint-17th out of 23 Fight Night events in that same period.

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 well below the +10.7 average for all events in the last twelve months, as well as the +4.3 average for Fight Night events in the same time frame.

It also falls some way short of the all-time average of +6.9 for European events.

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

The highest individual contributors to the score are Maurício Rua and Justin Ledet (both +3), just ahead of Bartosz Fabiński (+2), who will be fighting for the first time since November 2015.

The lowest scorers are Vitor Miranda, Marcin Tybura, Stefan Struve, Marc Diakiese and Damian Stasiak (all -2). Six fighters are making their UFC debuts on this card.

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.