UFC fans are accustomed to watching their favorite fighters clash in an eight-sided polygon cage. The standard size of The Octagon's canvas has a diameter of 30ft. (9.1m) with a 6ft. (1.8m) high fence.
However, due to the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, many major UFC events have been recoursed to the 25 ft. cage (at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada) instead of the staple 30-ft long UFC canvas.
On Tuesday, the UFC came out with a digital journal titled "A cross-sectional performance analysis and projection of the UFC athlete." The 482-page long volume claims to "represent the most contemporary and comprehensive collection of philosophical insights, performance data and training methodology for the sport of MMA."
The UFC PI (Performance Institute) study also briefly ponders the difference in knockout rates in the 25-ft long Octagon compared to the 30-ft Octagon. The smaller cage has witnessed a 5% more knockout rate and 8% more submission rate compared to the bigger Octagon. 12% lesser fights have gone the distance on the 25-ft long canvas.
The report also mentions that winning fighters attempted and landed more strikes than their opponents. The more strikes a fighter lands, the higher the chance one of those strikes could KO or TKO his or her opponent. This might very well be the reason why smaller Octagons have a higher KO/TKO rate.
The 30-ft Octagon saw an average strike rate of 8.56/minute, while fighters attempted 9.09/minute strikes in the 25-ft Octagon.
The UFC PI study clearly states that there is no research-based evidence that affirms these statistical variations. Moreover, the report relies on a mere 174 smaller cage fights compared to the 1,398 fights on the 30-ft long canvas.
Which win method is the most predominant one in UFC?
According to the report, decision wins continue to make up approximately 50% of win methods. Meanwhile, KO/TKO make up for 30% victories and 20% wins came by way of submissions.
Furthermore, heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions are the only weight brackets where the the bouts are majorly ended by KO or TKO. With the exception of women's flyweight and strawweight divisions, the rate of KO/TKO is higher than the rate of submission in all the weight categories. This, the report suggests, is due to their prolonged fight durations.