After a three-week break in UFC action- almost enough time to process the mayhem of UFC 229- the promotion returns with its maiden visit to Moncton, Canada.
In the main event, Volkan Oezdemir (15-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) takes on Anthony Smith (30-13 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in an important fight in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Last year, Oezdemir scored back-to-back first-round knockouts over Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in two fights that lasted a combined 70 seconds. Cirkunov and Manuwa were ranked 7th and 3rd, respectively, in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division at the time and those wins, alongside a controversial split-decision victory over Ovince Saint Preux earlier last year, saw Oezdemir rewarded with a shot at Daniel Cormier’s light-heavyweight title.
Oezdemir ultimately came up short in his title shot in January of this year, suffering a second-round TKO loss to the now heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion Cormier.
Just fourteen days after Oezdemir’s title shot, Smith suffered a second-round TKO of his own, against Thiago Santos. This defeat snapped a three-fight winning streak for Smith and prompted him to make the move up from middleweight to light-heavyweight.
So far, it’s been a fruitful decision for Smith, who rebounded from the Santos defeat with back-to-back first-round knockouts over two former UFC light-heavyweight champions, Rashad Evans and Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua.
Oezdemir 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 lowest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC Fight Night 138: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Anthony Smith posts a Dwyer Score of -21, the lowest score in UFC history.
In 454 events in promotional history, no UFC card has ever featured fighters with worse combined momentum than this Saturday’s.
Not only is it the lowest score we’ve ever seen, it’s also significantly lower than the previous all-time lowest score (-14).
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score falls well beneath the average score of +11.7 for all events, as well as the +4.7 average for Fight Night events.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
(For some context, this was the previous lowest-scoring card)
The highest individual contributor to the score is Anthony Smith (+2), with Michael Johnson and Nasrat Haqparast (both +1) the only other fighters entering the card on the back of a UFC victory.
Artem Lobov, Misha Cirkunov, Ed Herman, Court McGee, Talita Bernardo and Stevie Ray (all -2) share the honors for the lowest individual scorer, whilst four fighters will be making their UFC debuts at this event.
Enjoy the fights!