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Measuring Momentum- the Dwyer Score of UFC Fight Night: Rafael dos Anjos vs Eddie Alvarez

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Here we go, it’s international fight week and we’re looking at the first of three consecutive events running from Thursday to Saturday night. 35 fights scheduled, 4 champions looking to defend their belts, 1 interim championship fight and the return of one of the biggest stars in MMA history at what is possibly the greatest UFC card ever (on paper) this Saturday night.

Our first of three Dwyer Scores this week comes in at +10. It’s an above-average score for this type of card, ranking 4th of the 10 Fight Night events in 2016. The champion Rafael dos Anjos (+5) is the highest contributor to the cards score (followed closely by “the Black Beast” Derrick Lewis on +3) whilst Russel Doane and John Makdessi share the ignominy of the worst streak on the card, both contributing -2 to the event.

The main card contributed +10 by itself, and I find myself typing about a neutral prelim card of 0 for the second consecutive column (last was the UFC 100 feature). This is a closely matched card, every fighter coming off a win is facing a fighter coming off a win and every fighter coming off a loss is facing a fighter coming off a loss. There’s not an abundance of fighters riding real significant waves of momentum on the card, with only dos Anjos and Lewis coming off more than two consecutive wins, although you can hardly blame the matchmakers for saving more of the high-flyers until later in the week.

Many of us have discussed UFC 200 for years since it was just a distant prospect, but as the content starts coming in for this week’s events the excitement is starting to kick in. Enjoy, folks.

The Big Contributors

Rafael dos Anjos +5 : With Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone making up the most recent quartet of the champion’s 5-fight winning streak, dos Anjos is undoubtedly in the form of his life (he’s 10-1 since 2011). RDA is good enough to be on any main card, including UFC 200, so his presence on this Fight Pass card is a huge bonus.

John Makdessi -2 : The stats say that Makdessi is coming into this fight on a 2 fight skid, although 11 of 14 media members polled at MMADecisions.com disagreed with the verdict in his decision loss to Yancy Medeiros on the UFC 194 undercard. A little over a year ago Makdessi was 4-1 in his past 5 bouts and about to face “Cowboy” Cerrone on a well-publicised card. Fast forward to today and the Canadian lightweight faces a must-win bout against TUF 22 alum Mehdi Baghdad. “The Bull” will be at a significant height disadvantage as he often is, but certainly has experience in his favour.

Derrick Lewis +3 : The social-media superstar has won all 3 of his recent bouts by KO or TKO. Lewis has never won via decision in his career, with 14 of his 15 victories coming by knockout and the lone dissenter coming via submission. In Roy Nelson, he faces a heavyweight with 14 knockout victories of his own in a fight which surely won’t go the distance whichever way it turns out.


Last 5 Dwyer Scores

UFC FN dos Anjos vs Alvarez +10

UFC FN MacDonald vs Thompson: +5

UFC 199 Rockhold vs Bisping: +30

UFC FN Almeida vs Garbrandt: +12

UFC 198 Werdum vs Miocic: +43


The Dwyer score is a simple way of assigning a numeric value to the momentum of any one event. We can do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak. A fighter on a 3 fight win-streak contributes +3 to an event’s score. A fighter on a 2 fight losing-streak contributes -2 to the score. If you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card (only counting UFC fights) you get a total which gives you an idea of the form of fighters heading into that event.

As you may imagine Pay-Per-View events tend to have higher scores than Fight Nights, as fighters on longer winning streaks tend to be placed on bigger cards. For example, UFC: Rothwell vs Dos Santos was a +4 whilst UFC 194: Aldo vs McGregor was a +62.

So what does this tell us? It cannot definitively measure the quality or excitement of any one specific event, however it does give a value for a card’s momentum that is immune to the business side of MMA matchmaking. Events pitting fighters at the top of their game against each other will score well, events that fast-track fighters into main card slots or push too many immediate rematches will not.

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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