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Measuring Momentum – The Dwyer Score of UFC Fight Night: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson

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UFC Fight Night 98 weigh-ins

This Saturday in Mexico City, the first event back after a short break from UFC action posts an impressive Dwyer Score of +16, some way above 2016’s average score of +12.5 for all events, and significantly above the +8 average for strictly non-PPV cards. This score actually betters that of three PPV events (cards which typically boast much stronger scores) in 2016, and is the highest scoring TUF Finale, Latin America or otherwise, that I’ve ever recorded.

This score is more impressive when you consider there are a handful of fighters making their promotional debuts this event; Martín Bravo, Claudio Puelles, Alexa Grasso and Marcin Held are all coming off bouts with other organizations and thus not contributing anything to this event’s score.

The highest scoring individual fighter at the event is Tony Ferguson (+8), followed in second place by Rashid Magomedov (+4) whilst the honors for the lowest scoring fighter are shared between a whole host of others. Rafael dos Anjos, Diego Sanchez, Ricardo Lamas, Charles Oliveira, Heather Jo Clark, Erick Montaño, Max Griffin, Henry Briones, Jason Novelli, Enrique Barzola and Chris Avila all contribute -1 to the event’s score, in what will be a rare instance of an event without a single fighter coming off more than one consecutive UFC defeat.

The biggest momentum-differential of the night is the 9 point swing between the night’s headliners, as dos Anjos looks to rebound from losing the UFC lightweight title, whilst Ferguson looks to continue his ascent to that same strap.

The Big Contributors

Tony Ferguson +8: Ferguson’s 8 fight winning streak is bettered only by Max Holloway, Georges St-Pierre (sort of) and Jon Jones in active UFC competition. His streak includes notable victories over Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson and Gleison Tibau and ‘El Cucuy’ has incredibly won 5 bonuses in his last 4 bouts. A victory over former champion dos Anjos would undoubtedly be the biggest scalp in Ferguson’s collection.

Rashid Magomedov +4: Beneil Dariush undoubtedly represents a step up in quality for Magomedov, whose career record of 19-1 currently lacks the names of too many highly ranked victims. That said, a four-fight win streak in the UFC’s lightweight division is never to be sniffed at, and a couple more victories would see him hot on the heels of compatriot Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Sam Alvey +2: Alvey’s third fight in 4 months sees him looking for a third consecutive stoppage victory. All 5 of Alvey’s UFC victories have come by TKO/KO or submission, with all but 1 of those finishes coming inside the first round. This fight, originally scheduled for the canceled Philippines event, carries a little extra spice following Alex Nicholson’s recent UFC reprimand as well as Alvey’s twitter back and forth with Nicholson’s teammate, Mike Perry.


Last 5 Dwyer Scores

TUF-LA Finale dos Anjos vs. Ferguson +16

UFC 204 Bisping vs. Henderson II +17

UFC FN Dodson vs. Lineker +7

UFC FN Justino vs. Lansberg +8

UFC FN Poirier vs. Johnson: -2


Top 5 Dwyer Scores (all time)

UFC 194: +62

UFC 205 (upcoming): +47

UFC 165: +47

UFC 178: +44

UFC 198: +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 three fight win-streak contributes +3 to an event’s score. A fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. No Contests, Draws or bouts with other promotions reset your streak to 0. 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 combined momentum of fighters heading into a specific 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 Fight Night: Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos was a +4, whilst UFC 194: José Aldo vs. Conor 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 promotion. 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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