By: R Eric Ellison
Welcome back fight fans to another edition of “Statistically Speaking,” an article where we break down some of our favorite upcoming battles by the numbers. We dig down into all the stats, records, and achievements to see what they can shine on the fight nights that electrify time and again. Each contains three segments; The Wrap Sheet looks at each fighter individually, the Cross Examination compares the numbers, and The Winning Path takes all this and lays forth a possible road to victory.
Today we turn our sights on a very exciting heavyweight fight going down this weekend at UFC 181. No, I am not talking about Brendan Shaub Vs Travis Browne (that’s tomorrows edition), I’m instead referring to the next phase of Todd Duffee on the UFC heavyweight roster. Duffee, remembered as much for his eight second KO of Tim Hague as much as his sudden KO loss to Mike Russow, is set to reboot himself against a very dangerous and game Anthony Hamilton.
Join us tonight as we break this fight down, and come back all week as we dissect the best matches coming down the pipeline this weekend.
THE WRAP SHEET
A lot of fight fans have no clue who Anthony Hamilton is, so let’s start with him. At 13-3, Hamilton brings a game recordinto his Octagon return, as well as a plethora of title experience. The guy is the current MFC, RR, and CageSport champion, and recently had a six fight win streak snapped. He lost his debut in the UFC, but rebounded at UFC 177 with a solid second round TKO. Half of his wins are via T/KO, and the rest a balanced mix of submission victories and wars that went to the cards. He boasts a near 90% accuracy with strikes in his UFC outings, and his defense and success with takedowns is not far behind. To say it mildly, Hamilton is very legit.
Todd Duffee is a beast, make no mistakes about that. Entering this weekends fight at 8-2-0, Duffee is one of those fighters that just seems to yet hit their full potential. Back in the UFC with another exciting knockout win under his belt, this next fight is all about building the momentum. All Duffee’s wins and losses are from knockout, which means it’s all or nothing when it comes to this heavyweight. Solid defensively, with high power and volume, Todd Duffee seems just a few answers away from the complete package. This fight will certainly continue to show us whether or not the massive beast man can hang with the best in the world at Heavyweight.
First up, let’s hit the striking head on, as it seems the biggest category to tackle. Both of these guys are big KO artists, with 14 knockout wins out of 21 between them. Each guy lands an average of about 25 strikes per round, which certainly is not bad in the heavy division. Where the line begins to blur is when it comes to the accuracy factor. Duffee is far from the most pinpoint striker, and FightMetric lists him as missing about 62% of his strikes. Compare this to Hamilton, who only wings about 16% of his. The big thing here with Duffee is that he wins ALL of his matches with big power. Anthony Hamilton is almost three times more accurate with his hands than Todd Duffee, however one punch is all you need when you’re Todd Duffee. This is huge when considering how these guys fight, and more importantly, how they win.
When the fight hits the canvas, we again run into some very interesting figures. I do not believe Duffee has ever even tried to take anyone down in the Octagon. Balancing this curious fact is his takedown defense, which stands at 93%. So although he isn’t taking anyone down, he himself does an amazing job of staying on his own feet. Compare this toAnthony Hamilton, who is a little more varied in his MMA approach. Hamilton boasts a 71% takedown accuracy andback that up with only being taken down about 15% of the time. Much like the striking stats above, once you see the whole picture on the mat, Duffee is at a noticeable disadvantage.
THE WINNING PATH
Tons of UFC fans know Todd Duffee, and the exact opposite can be said of Washington’s Anthony Hamilton. However that all may change this weekend at UFC 181 if these statistics are any indication. Anthony brings a much more rounded game to the table, standing and on the canvas. The question will be whether or not he decides to try and make this a ground war, or take his chances on the feet. Anthony has many ways to take this fight, probably with a wrestling-based strategy for the most effect. He has the groundwork and the submissions in his favor, and the chasm between his effectiveness on the mat and Duffee’s is quite large. Anthonys credentials and wins in areas outside striking make the impact on this fight huge. Hamilton will have more options as long as the first few Duffee haymakers don’t send him into oblivion.
Todd Duffee needs to make this fight an absolute war. He needs to suck Hamilton in to a dog fight, and never let off the gas. The longer the fight continues, the more his power and size will begin to fall away as influences. Once the fatigue hits, Hamilton will no doubt put Duffee on the ground much easier. If he hurts, wobbles, or stuns Hamilton he has to dive on it. With such one punch KO power, Duffee needs to pick his moments and make them count for all it’s worth when they come. He cannot risk big mistakes and sloppy work inside the cage. Duffee has all the tools to own this fight and it’s not to say Duffee’s chances are small, because his knockout power can make or break any fight, but he certainly has a much tougher fight on his hands than many MMA fans realize.