Renan Barao will be stepping into the octagon for the eighth time this Saturday as he defends his UFC Bantamweight Championship against another Team Alpha Male challenger.
TJ Dillashaw earned a shot at the title after dominating Mike Easton at ‘UFC Fight Night 35’. Dillashaw controlled every aspect of the bout and when all was said and done, he had outstruck Easton 117 to 46. If you were to compare Renan Barao’s and TJ Dillashaw’s numbers side by side, a statistical projection would give the challenger the advantage!
Betting on TJ Dillashaw to dethrone the king would win you a hefty amount of money. Placing a wager of just $10 would win the bettor $55. Betting solely based on stats is the smartest way to gamble, however in fighting there are simply too many variables to ignore.
Compare Similar Fights, Not Overall Stats
Most of the statistics you see in the graphic above are affected by how long the fighter spends inside the octagon. While the graphics above are intriguing, they are not the only stats you should be taking into consideration if you want to bet on this fight. Breaking down Dillashaw’s and Barao’s latest three-round performances will help us better understand what I’m talking about.
TJ Dillashaw went up against Raphael Assuncao at ‘Fight Night 29’ and went the full fifteen minutes with him. (Author’s Note: I decided not to analyze his bout with Mike Easton because Dillashaw has never performed like this before, so it was likely to be a one-off ass kicking.) In the first round, Dillashaw landed 10 of his 25 attempted strikes and it gave him a 40% success rate. That is a great stat, however his accuracy and success rate fell drastically as the fight went on. He earned just a 24% success rate in round three, landing 11 of 45 attempted strikes. Comparing this to Renan Barao’s latest three-round performance will give you an idea of what Dillashaw is up against.
Renan Barao last fought three full rounds against Michael McDonald at ‘UFC on FUEL TV 7’. He was dominant throughout the fight and landed 10 of an attempted 26 strikes in the first round which gave him a 38% success rate. In the third round, he landed 11 of an attempted 31 strikes which led to a 35& success rate.
The biggest question here is: Can TJ Dillashaw put on as good of a performance against the champion as his stats says he can? While in the UFC, Renan Barao has never been knocked down or outstruck. TJ Dillashaw’s finishes have been impressive, but they should influence your final wagering decision if you have a lot of money to blow. For an intelligent bet, it is best to compare similar fights and analyze their stats. The numbers from ‘UFC on FUEL TV 7’ and ‘UFC Fight Night 29’ suggest that in a long-distance fight, Renan Barao will come out on top and earn a decision victory. If he wants the championship around his waist at the end of the night, TJ Dillashaw better hope he lands a submission or a knockout blow in the first ten minutes.
Fight Time Affects Overall Stats
It is likely that Dillashaw’s stats look more impressive because has not spent as long in the octagon as Renan Barao. Dillashaw’s total fight time in the octagon throughout his last five fights is 42 minutes and 11 seconds. Renan Barao, on the other hand, has nearly 70 minutes in fight time throughout his last five bouts (68 minutes, 14 seconds total)! Dillashaw has shown that his accuracy falls as he gets deeper into the fight and this will be his first venture into championship rounds. This should concern an underdog bettor.
@MMAKirschner’s Most Valuable Bet: Dillashaw def. Barao by way of KO in Round 2
@MMAKirschner’s Educated Prediction: Barao def. Dillashaw by way of Decision
Quick Underdog Picks for UFC 173: Jake Ellenberger, Francisco Rivera and James Krause.