This Saturday, the UFC returns to San Antonio, Texas with a card that’s headlined by an important fight in the welterweight division.
In the main event, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (29-11 MMA, 18-9 UFC) takes on streaking Englishman Leon Edwards (17-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC).
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Dos Anjos rebounded from back-to-back unanimous decision defeats against Colby Covington (for the interim UFC welterweight title) and now champion Kamaru Usman with a fourth-round submission win over Kevin Lee.
If Saturday’s main event enters the fourth round, dos Anjos will leapfrog Michael Bisping, Jeremy Stephens, Diego Sanchez, and Demian Maia in terms of time spent inside the Octagon, behind only Frankie Edgar who leads the way on 6:47:35.
Edwards followed a TKO victory over Peter Sobotta with a unanimous decision win over Donald Cerrone and a split-decision victory over Gunnar Nelson in what was a more comfortable win than the split verdict would suggest.
That win over Sobotta, at 4:59 of the third round, matched the record for the latest finish in a three-round UFC fight- a record that had just been set hours earlier by Paul Craig against Magomed Ankalaev that same night.
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 dos Anjos fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Edwards’ results against the same men.
The two men share two common opponents; Donald Cerrone and Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos went 2-0 against Cerrone, following a unanimous decision win in August 2013 with a 66-second TKO victory in December 2015, whilst Edwards scored a five-round unanimous decision win over ‘Cowboy’ last June.
Both men suffered unanimous decision defeats against current UFC welterweight champion Usman, with dos Anjos’ loss coming last November whereas Edwards’ defeat came in December 2015, on the same night that dos Anjos scored his second win over Cerrone.
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 on ESPN 4: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards posts a low score of -5.
This score ranks 40th out of 41 events in the last year.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score falls some way short of the +12.7 average for all events in the last twelve months, as well as the +8.6 average for all non-PPV events (not pictured) in the same period.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is, by some distance, Leon Edwards (+7), ahead of Irene Aldana (+3).
The lowest scorers are James Vick, Ben Rothwell, Raquel Pennington, Sam Alvey and Ray Borg (all -2), whilst two fighters will be making their promotional debuts on this card.
Enjoy the fights!