Last week, we saw the king of the featherweight division solidify his spot as one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC today. This Saturday, two of that division’s top contenders square off to put themselves in line for a shot at Max Holloway’s belt in 2018.
WEC and UFC veteran Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) takes on the 26-year-old Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) this weekend in Fresno, California.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Swanson’s last three fights have all been exciting affairs. He followed a back-and-forth battle with Tatsuya Kawajiri with competitive (yet decisive) victories over Doo Ho Choi and Artem Lobov, with all three wins coming by way of unanimous decision.
Swanson’s action-packed win over Choi last December was so exciting, in fact, that it won the World MMA Awards’ Fight of the Year prize for 2016, whilst his victory against Lobov in April also won that night’s Fight of the Night bonus.
Ortega’s recent fights have been just as eventful. He likely found himself behind on the judges’ scorecards in fights against both Diego Brandão and Clay Guida last year, before scoring two much-needed final-round finishes to win both fights. He then submitted Renato Moicano in July, again in the final round, in a bout which claimed that night’s Fight of the Night award.
Ortega is currently on a streak of four consecutive third-round stoppage victories, whilst, in contrast, Swanson’s last four bouts all went to decision.
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. A fighter coming off a No Contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0, and only UFC results are considered. 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 123: Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega has a decent Dwyer Score of +5.
This score ranks joint-22nd out of 37 events in 2017 and joint-9th amongst 23 Fight Night events this year.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
This score may fall short of the +11 average for all events in the last 12 months, but it does beat the +2.7 average for Fight Night events in that same time frame.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributors to this score are the two men in the main event; Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega (both +4), with Aljamain Sterling and Liz Carmouche (both +2) close behind.
The lowest scorer is Frankie Saenz (-3), just ahead of Andre Soukhamthath (-2), who has been on the wrong end of a split-decision in each of his first two UFC fights.
There’s a lot to like on this card and looking at the fighters on display I believe we’ll be in for a good night of action.
Enjoy the fights!