This Saturday, Thiago Santos (18-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) will meet Eryk Anders (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a fight that neither participant was supposed to be involved in.
Santos was substituted in for an injured Glover Teixeira 5 weeks out from the fight, whilst Anders replaced Jimi Manuwa on Monday, just 6 days before the event, after the Englishman suffered a ‘severe’ muscle tear.
The two career-middleweights will both be competing at light-heavyweight for the first time in their professional MMA careers.
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday’s main event:
Santos defeated Anthony Smith (now a top-ten UFC light-heavyweight) via second-round TKO back in February, before losing via first-round KO to David Branch in April. ‘Marreta’ rebounded from this defeat with a unanimous decision win over Kevin Holland last month.
This will be Santos’ 4th UFC fight of 2018- no one has more this year (although Brandon Davis also has 4). Santos, who has been extremely active as of late, was tied for both the most victories (3) and the most TKO/KO stoppages (3) in the UFC in 2017.
Anders followed a unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez with a controversial loss to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida- a split-decision that 16 out of 23 polled media members scored for Anders.
Anders returned to action just 25 days ago, earning a Performance of the Night bonus for his third-round KO over Tim Williams.
Santos and Anders 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 137: Thiago Santos vs. Eryk Anders checks in with a relatively low score of -3.
This score ranks 28th out of 28 events in 2018.
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 +10.6 average for all events in the last twelve months, as well as the +3.6 average strictly for Fight Night events in the same period.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+5), some way ahead of Sam Alvey and Gillian Robertson (both +2).
The lowest individual scorer is Hector Lombard (-5). With a loss to Thales Leites, Lombard would become the first fighter to lose six consecutive fights whilst competing in the UFC.
He’s currently tied on 5 losses alongside Andrei Arlovski, B.J. Penn, Josh Burkman, Josh Koscheck, Leonard Garcia, Rashad Evans, Steve Cantwell and Takanori Gomi.
Enjoy the fights!