Is the smaller UFC Octagon truly better than the original

Which size MMA cage is better
Which size MMA cage is better

There are some things in sports that through the generations have always kept the status quo. Some for no other reason than just tradition.

From Pop-Warner football to the NFL, the field is 100 yards long by 50 wide. The distance between the bases in Baseball is 90 feet. A Basketball court is 94 feet by 50 feet. That's just three small examples.

In the world of MMA, all across different regional organizations, they use not only different sizes but somewhat slightly different shapes. Not counting different rounds and minutes per. But the UFC has maintained the larger octagon size.

Theirs sits with a 30-foot diameter and an area of approximately 746 square feet. In that cage, there's roughly a 48% finish rate. That's not too bad. Once the coronavirus set in and the UFC knew they'd be able to use their smaller model; a decision would have to be made and made fast.

The smaller one takes away quite a chunk of real estate. It's 25 feet in diameter and roughly 518 square feet. That's what the UFC used for the Dana White Contender Series, and in The Ultimate Fighter House. The one number that jumps out at you is there's essentially a 60% finish rate.

Less room to maneuver means having to think and react faster. Now especially with no crowd the organization could have easily put in their larger cage but didn't because they want to press the issue about finishes.

The smaller Octagon at UFC Apex has resulted in

entertaining clashes

So far in Jacksonville they used the regular cage, at The UFC APEX, the Octagon was smaller, and Dana White hasn't announced yet which they will use in Abu Dhabi on UFC Fight Island. But with Dana preferring finishes it wouldn't be a shock to see the smaller one head to the other side of the planet.

There could also be a long term financial gain for the UFC in the future using it. With the much-saved space, in theory, it could add an extra row of seats. And seats that close to the cage cost the most. That's more dollars coming in that they would not have to share.

Fighters that are counter strikers might not like it, larger fighters also may be a bit claustrophobic in there. Those with solid takedown defense won't mind as they can use the cage to help not being taken down.

Both sides of the coin can make phenomenal arguments. That usually means whichever side brings in more money is where the answer will go. So no one should be shocked if the UFC determines once restrictions and regulations are lifted that the 25 footer is now the official cage of the company.

Quick Links

Edited by Anurag Mitra
Be the first one to comment