Mr John Douglas

Tribal Warfare

Tag: Pride Fc

10 year anniversary of the weirdest MMA fight of all time

Posted on March 8, 2015  in MMA Fights, Videos

 

If you haven’t seen this masterpiece of a performance by 0-1 career fighter Makhmud Aliev, then you haven’t lived.

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Tag: Pride Fc

Ranking and Legitimacy: From Intuition to Measurement

Posted on July 24, 2014  in Uncategorized

This essay, by Corey Whichard, won first place in the Co-Main Event Podcast’s second annual White Elephant Essay Contest, in the persuasive essay category.

“The UFC always has the fallback to where if some really bad shit happens, it can just have Dana White yell at us about it … Bellator doesn’t really have that. … It doesn’t have that figurehead who is endowed with the confidence to think that he can just make us believe whatever.”
– Chad Dundas, 5/12/14, Episode 103

“But, you know, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with those rankings … It seems like if the UFC wanted to make those rankings into a thing that we could all take seriously, they would have to have some rules …”
– Ben Fowlkes, 5/12/14, Episode 103

In today’s MMA landscape, the UFC’s capricious abuse of its own ranking system is symptomatic of a much more serious threat to the overall health of MMA. That is, the UFC has too much control over how the sport is presented, and it often uses this control to benefit its own financial agenda at the expense of the sport’s integrity. If MMA is ever going to attain the kind of “sport for sport’s sake” legitimacy that attends football (or even tennis), an important first step is to develop a meaningful ranking system based on objective standards of athletic accomplishment. In this essay, I describe a method for creating such a system and demonstrate its validity.

One way to generate a standardized MMA ranking system involves drawing on techniques used in a sub-field of sociology called “social network analysis.” The basic idea is to model the structure of a social group by mapping out the relationships between individual group members (Borgatti, Everett, and Johnson 2013). It helps to think about this visually. For instance, picture all of the fighters in the UFC’s Welterweight division as large dots drawn on a piece of paper. Now imagine that there are lines linking certain dots together, where each line represents a fight, and each linked pair of dots represents fighters who have competed against each other. Using information from Sherdog.com to construct a win-loss matrix for all Welterweights employed by the UFC circa September 2013, I actually diagrammed the 170-pound division with a program called UCINet. [See Figure 1; Georges St. Pierre is the red dot.]

Once the network structure has been mapped out, it is possible to rank the fighters by calculating each fighter’s “Beta-centrality.” Beta-centrality functions by assigning each fighter a score based on the number of opponents in the network that he has beaten; it then adjusts that score based on the position of those opponents in the network, which itself is based on the position of the opponents that they have beaten, and so on. The process counts all opponents that are directly tied to the fighter, and all opponents that are indirectly tied to the fighter within 10 fights, though opponents that are “farther” away contribute less and less to the fighter’s score. Thus, when Jake Shields beat Martin Kampmann, his “Beta-centrality” score got a bump for this direct victory, but it also got a smaller bump for Kampmann’s win over Paulo Thiago, and an even smaller bump for Thiago’s win over Mike Swick, etc. This kind of recursive calculation is impossibly difficult to perform by hand, though relatively simple with the right computer program.

In plain English, a ranking system based on Beta-centrality means that the “best” fighter in the division does not simply have the most UFC victories, but he has the most victories over the most accomplished fighters in his division. Unlike the current ranking system, where the criteria for evaluating a fighter’s accomplishments largely rest on human opinion, a system based on Beta-centrality has the advantage of standardization. The relevant concept here is prestige, or the notion that a person’s prominence in a group only exists as an emergent quality of their relation to other group members. If you can empirically measure a person’s relationship to others in a group—using, say, a win/loss record—then you can empirically measure their relative position in that group. I used these techniques to generate a top-ten list of the Welterweights described above [see Table 1]. Keeping in mind that this ranking technique does not (yet) account for wins against fighters who were not employed by the UFC during September 2013, that it does not account for periods of inactivity (as long as the fighter was employed, their record was counted), and that it does not assign “style” points for impressive wins, it is notable that 50% of the same names appear (in different order) on my top-ten list that appear on Bloody Elbow’s September 2013 Welterweight meta-rankings (Wade 2013). This overlap provides suggestive evidence that the Beta-centrality rank is at least somewhat accurate. However, I ran one more test to verify this ranking technique’s validity.

Beta-Centrality Ranking for UFC Welterweights

Rank          Fighter Name          Prestige Score

1                       Georges St. Pierre          5.43

2                      Matt Hughes                     3.16

3                      BJ Penn                               2.39

4                      Martin  Kampmann        2.22

5                      Johny Hendricks              2.02

6                      Carlos Condit                    2.00

7                      Thiago Alves                      1.87

8                      Jake Ellenberger             1.80

9                      Matt Serra                         1.79

10                   Rick Story                           1.63

Highly ranked fighters are highly successful fighters. If this ranking system is valid, then a fighter’s rank should be strongly related to other factors associated with professional success, such as financial compensation. It is reasonable to assume that the amount of show money that a fighter receives is a decent approximation of how much the UFC values that fighter. There are aberrations—Nate Diaz received 15K show money for UFC on Fox 7 (mixedmartialarts.com 2013)—but the overall pattern holds true. For the group of Welterweights described above, I recorded the amount of show money (in thousands) that they received for their most recent fight. I also recorded each fighter’s Beta-centrality (“prestige”) score. Because the amount of show money each fighter makes will be influenced by other factors, I also gathered data on how long each fighter had been employed by the UFC, their number of UFC victories, and the number of performance-based bonuses they had received. [Descriptive statistics for these variables can be found in Table 2.]

I then entered all of this information into Stata 11 (StataCorp 2009), a computer program designed to model statistical relationships between multiple variables. I used a statistical technique known as “Ordinary Least Squares” (OLS) regression to examine the correlation between Beta-centrality and show money, while simultaneously accounting for the influence of UFC wins, tenure, and bonuses. [See Table 3 for results.] Here’s how to read the table of results: the “b-coefficient” value estimates the correlation between the variable and “show money,” the “standard error” value represents the degree of imprecision, and the asterisks indicate the probability that the estimated correlation may be due to random chance. For instance, a “p-value” of 0.05 means that you can be 95% certain that the observed effect is real. To interpret the correlation, you read the b-coefficient as “a one-unit change in the predictor variable produces an X-unit change in the outcome variable.” Alright, so here’s what all this complicated shit really means: after accounting for the number of years a Welterweight has been employed by the UFC, how many wins they have, and how many bonuses they’ve won, each 1-point increase in the Welterweight’s prestige score translates to an additional $25K in show money, give or take about $4K. The model is more than 99.9% certain that the correlation is not due to random chance. In other words, Beta-centrality is powerfully correlated with financial success. The highest-rank fighters make the most show money, and the lowest-ranked fighters make the least show money. This confirms that the ranking metric is highly correlated with fighter success, which supports the notion that “Beta-centrality” is a legitimate way to go about ranking fighters.

With enough manpower, it is theoretically possible to use every professional fighter’s win/loss record from Sherdog.com to create one enormous MMA combat network. When fighters change promotions, it would be possible to treat them as “bridges” (Granovetter 1983) between the ranking structures of different organizations—a prospect that is increasingly plausible, given the UFC’s recent habit of releasing fairly high-profile fighters. In brief, using fancy mathematical techniques, it is totally possible to create an objective ranking system for MMA fighters. I propose that the implementation of such a system would go a long way toward elevating MMA’s status as a legitimate sport, and would wrest a core piece of the greater MMA narrative out from between Mr. White’s teeth.

Works Cited

Borgatti, Stephen P., Martin G. Everett, and Jeffrey C. Johnson. Analyzing Social Networks. Los Angeles: Sage, 2013. Print.

Dundas, Chad, and Ben Fowlkes. CoMainEvent.com. “Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 103.” 12 May 2014. Web. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

Granovetter, Mark. 1983. “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited” Sociological Theory 1: 201–233.

MixedMartialArts.com. “UFC on FOX 7 salaries + bonuses to Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson.” 21 April 2013. <http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/436808/UFC-on-FOX-7-salaries–bonuses-to-Brown-Mein-Romero-Thomson/>. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

StataCorp. 2009. Stata Statistical Software: Release 11. College Station, Tx: StataCorp LP.

Wade, Richard. BloodyElbow.com. “Bloody Elbow September 2013 Meta-Rankings: Welterweight.” SB Nation. 4 October 2013. Web. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

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Tag: Pride Fc

Hardcore Fan?

Posted on June 28, 2014  in Uncategorized

This is what I had instead of fight pass.

http://imgur.com/qSpzVvy 

I’ve been watching MMA since 2001 and I’ve been involved in the online community for years. Obviously watching both Pride and UFC while it was going on. Numerous Sherdog accounts, an account over at Subfighter.com when it was around. I was a big fan of the free instructionals they had there. I’ve left birthday parties early to go home and watch UFC. I remember watching Florian vs Gomi while I was in a mess tent in Kandahar City Afghanistan. The lets Army TV broadcast all of their cards, so while I was over there I was able to watch that card, Shogun vs Machida 2, UFC 109 and I’m sure there was one more.

I got this Achievement Legit. I actually played that much.

This one too.

I had BJPENN.com rip off a video I made and upload it withoug giving me credit for making it.

My music was used on episode 106 of of The Co Main Event Podcast.

I even got myself written into an article and had my picture on Fightland. That white dude on the left is me.

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Tag: Pride Fc

The Chronicles of Fedor

Posted on June 25, 2014  in MMA Related Videos

Fedor “the Last Emporer” Emeliankenko (age 37):
 Won 4 Pride title fights, 3 of those were defenses.
 Fedor was a Pride champion for 7 years and 3 months
 Emelianenko won 14 fights in Pride
 Fedor has an overall win percentage of .875 (35 wins in 40 fights)
 Emelianenko’s longest consecutive win streak in Pride was 8 

Strength of schedule:
 Fedor had 4 Pride title bouts. 25% of the fights in his entire professional career have been for a title (10 title fights out of 40 total fights)
 Emelianenko has 7 wins against opponents that were ranked in the top 5 at the time of the fight
 The Last Emporer has 12 wins against opponents that were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the fight
 Fedor’s record vs. current/future UFC/Pride hall of famers is 4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 no contest (2-0-1NC vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, 2-0 vs. Mark Coleman, 0-1 vs. Dan Henderson)
 Emeliankenko has 7 wins against former UFC/Pride champs (Minotauro 2x, Coleman 2x, Randleman, Sylvia, and Arlovski)
 The Last Emporer defeated 2 BJJ world medalists (Arona, Munson), 2 world-class wrestlers (Coleman, Lindland), the best judokas (Ogawa, Ishii), the best kick boxers (Semmy Schilt, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt)

Other:
 Future hall of famer
 Professional MMA career: 12+ years (May 21, 2000 – June 21, 2012)
 Of the 40 times he fought, he finished 65% of his opponents (26 stoppages in 40 fights)
 Of the 40 times he fought, he was finished 10% of the time (stopped 4 times in 40 fights)
 Significant stats:
Strikes absorbed per minute – 1.00
 President of the Russian MMA Union

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Tag: Pride Fc

Let’s talk about the MMA G.O.A.T

Posted on January 3, 2014  in Uncategorized

 

Anderson Silva has 12 top ten wins, the average rank of the his challenger was 4.5 and his undefeated streak lasted 2633 days over the course of 17 fights

Fedor Emelianenko has 13 top ten wins, the average rank of his challenger was 5.5 and his undefeated streak lasted 3369 days over the course of 27 fights, 1 NC.

Georges St Pierre has 17 top ten wins, the average rank of his challenger was 3 and his undefeated streak lasted 2276 days over the course of  12 fights.

Jon Jones has 8 top ten wins, the average rank of his challenger was 3.5 and his undefeated streak lasted 1395 days over the course of 10 fights.*

Statics do not prove anything as a legacy cannot be proved with numbers. However, these would suggest that in fact Georges St Pierre is the GOAT.

*Up to January 2nd 2014

Just thought you should know.

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Tag: Pride Fc

Some Details about Shogun Rua.

Posted on December 21, 2013  in Uncategorized

 

Shogun has unarguably pound for pound the best smile in MMA.  Here’s some number crunching about him that maybe you didn’t know.

The last (and only) time Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua submitted someone with a leglock was at Pride 32 on  Oct / 21 / 2006 against Kevin Randleman. This means..

Shogun has not submitted an opponent with a leglock for 7 years, 1 month, 16 days and 13 fights.

Shogun has only submitted an opponent with a leglock once in his 29 fight career.

Of Shogun’s 21 career victories, 5% have been won by way of leglock submission.

Just thought you should know.

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