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Pound for Pound - The Statistics (Playground exclusive)

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jjeans

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A question that will be thrown around till the end of time (or the end of combat sports), is who is the greatest fighter is pound for pound. In Mixed Martial Arts for as long as I can remember the debate has been between Fedor and Anderson Silva. But when Jon Jones burst into the scene it put a spanner in the works.

Pound for Pound is the idea if all fighters were the same weight class. Who would be the best. The following article does not answer the question, just attempts to evaluate what size fighters would be in this mystery weight class and when we get that answer we can work out... On a pound for pound scale just how big is Jon Jones.

To do this I took the top 5 fighters in each division from Heavyweight to Flyweight and took their height, reach and age. I then averaged the results to make “the average fighter” for each division.

In Heavyweight the five fighters were: Cain, Wedrum, JDS, Cormier and Bigfoot. This produced our figure for the average fighter, whom was 32 years old, was 188.8cm – 6’2 and his reach was 77 inches. For Flyweight this person was, 28 years old, 5’4, 65 inches.

So the first question we have to ask is, just how big is Jon Jones compared to the average in his own division. Jon is 193cm and has an 84.5 inch reach, add and average that to Machida, Rashad, Henderson and Gustaffson’s and our average Light-Heavyweight is 187cm (6’1.5) and has a 76.2 reach.

The difference between this and the average for the weight class is enormous. It means the average man in the division is 3.2% smaller and Jon has a reach advantage of 10.9%

This is all crucial when trying to work out how tall Jon would be if he were fighting at a different weight class. So now the fantasy can be imagined, in a P4P fight between Anderson Silva and Jon Jones at (X)weight, who would win. The first thing we would consider is Jon Jones is no longer a Light-Heavyweight and his size is shrunk, his power is weak for a light-heavyweight so his power for any other weight is going to be poor, however Rashad, Bader, Vladmir M, Hamill and Sonnen could not score one takedown on him, so it can be presumed nobody else will.

So let’s see how this match up looks at Middleweight. (Average 182cm – 74.5in Reach)
Jon is (188.8cm) 6’2 and 82.6 inch reach
Anderson... 187 and 77.5. (+2.7% and +4%)

So there we are... Anderson Silva would be facing Jon who is slightly taller than him (2 centimetres), but has 5 inches of reach on him.

Below is the 45 fighters listed and their height and reach.



This is the averages for each weight class.



Below is how they stack up with their division – So Jon Jones has the greatest reach and Hendricks has the worst.



Assuming Welterweight is an average weight class below is the height and reach of all fighters if they were to fight in Welterweight:



So there we have it... Zach Makovsky is the tallest P4P fighter in MMA and Cormier is the smallest. If a P4P fight between GSP and Cormier interested you, GSP has a 7 inch reach advantage on him and Cormier is only 5’6.

Feel free to comment with any P4P fights you’ve thought of in the past and tell us whether seeing their sizes changed your opinion on how they would turn out.

As sad as I am to admit it, when seeing all the fighters stacked up like this, seeing Jones has at least a 3 inch reach advantage on everyone P4P makes me fear that Jon Jones would find a way to beat everyone.

Big shout out to Ray from MMA Mental. This was first written for that site about 5 months ago but had a few hiccups so this is a PG first, done by yours truly Dirty Blue.

Last edited 1/16/14 4:58PM server time by jjeans
Edit note/reason: n/a

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Post #1   1/16/14 3:39:59PM   

hotrodttt

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Very very I interesting concept, and statistics. How does Mighty Mouse stack up heigh wise in the hw division?

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Post #2   1/16/14 5:49:55PM   

jjeans

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Posted by hotrodttt

Very very I interesting concept, and statistics. How does Mighty Mouse stack up heigh wise in the hw division?



Demetrious would be 184.4cm tall with a 78.4 inch reach

The average for the HW division is 188.8 and 77.1

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Post #3   1/16/14 6:07:50PM   

OnyxShadow

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Very interesting stuff. Looks like it took you a while.

+Props!

Post #4   1/16/14 6:56:33PM   

jjeans

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Posted by OnyxShadow

Very interesting stuff. Looks like it took you a while.

+Props!



Thanks man - it did, and it's been frustrating trying to get it published.

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Post #5   1/16/14 7:04:23PM   

frizzzlecake

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awesome statistics, I wish fighters got on a scale before the fight so we knew their fighting weight and could average that in.

Post #6   1/16/14 8:16:18PM   

TheShaman

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Very interesting. I like thorough stats like these. I've always decided P4P strictly by comparing their skills, as if they were physically identical. Admittedly, that isn't as definitive as pure stats.

If someone wanted to put even more work in, your stats could be one of three factors (on paper), combined with records/level of competition and fight stats (strike accuracy etc.), with each factor awarding a certain number of points and the total tallied at the end. Luckily the other two categories are readily available.

It seems even that would still leave an unmeasurable factor though, and people would still argue for their P4P choice.

Post #7   1/16/14 8:57:45PM   

tattflash

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Good write up Jay some interesting facts. The other thing that I noticed from your charts is that 26 is the optimum age for a champion to be, 6 of the 9 champions if you include Ronda are 26 years old

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Post #8   1/19/14 10:39:11AM   

State_Champ

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Posted by frizzzlecake

awesome statistics, I wish fighters got on a scale before the fight so we knew their fighting weight and could average that in.



Me too. I should be done. Would be very cool to have that information during the fight.

Post #9   1/19/14 11:28:49AM