Strike Score MMA attempts to bring in-depth statistical analysis to the world of combat sports. The idea is to raise the level of objective analysis to match the recent revolutions seen in football, basketball, hockey and baseball writing. The initial launch of the site will be based around the signature stat, StrikeScore (abbreviated SS+) which is explained below.
What is StrikeScore?
Striking, in its simplest form, is trying to hit your opponent without getting hit yourself. The fighter who lands blows at a higher rate while avoiding his/her opponent's blow is the better striker. Most reasonable minds in MMA can agree on those statements. StrikeScore is basically a statistical expression of that statement. The statistic simply combines Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM), Significant Striking Accuracy (SSA), and a Knockout Factor (KO). The result is then compared against the opponent’s performance. (SLpM and SSA are terms from Fight Metric, the official statistics provider of the UFC. StrikeScore can be calculated with other forms of striking data. However, the propriety definition of a "Significant Strike" explained here enhances the value of the statistical measure.)
The formula used for StrikeScore is an adaptation of baseball’s On-base plus slugging plus (OPS+). On-Base plus slugging (OPS) is simply a baseball player’s on-base percentage (OBP) plus with his slugging percentage (SLG). OPS+ is an adjustment to the formula that uses park adjusted OBP and SLG of the league (lgOBP and lgSLG). Unlike OPS, OPS+ describes a batter’s performance in relation to the rest of the Major League Baseball. OPS+ is represented with the following formula (from Wikipedia):
For StrikeScore, SLpM and SSA replace OBP and SLG, while the opponent’s SLpM and SSA replace lgOBP and lgSLG. Also a knockout factor is included. There is not a baseball equivalent of winning a fight via knockout or technical knockout, but it must be included in any striking measure. There is no greater sign of striking prowess than finishing the fight with punches, kicks, knees or elbows. StrikeScore is represented with the following formula:
Let’s run the numbers from a recent main event to show StrikeScore in action. In the main event of UFC Fight Night 70, Yoel Romero picked up his biggest victory to date with a third-round knockout over former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. In the fight, Romero landed 3.61 SLpM with an SSA of 48 percent and finished the fight via knockout. On the other hand, Machida landed 2.67 SLpM with an SSA of 60 percent. The following is the formula with the fight data:
Romero ends up with 215 StrikeScore for his performance in Hollywood, Fla. The numbers can also be run for Machida who finishes with a much less than favorable -1.
StrikeScore gives a measure of a fighter’s striking performance for a contest. Simple adjustments can also adapt the stat for a fighter’s entire career or highlight performance against certain types of fighters such as southpaws, veterans, etc.