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Fighter Stance Analysis for MMA

This page analyses statistics for fighter stances in MMA (primarily in the UFC). We have not yet logged stances for all fighters in the UFC, so this page will grow with time (I add stances manually when watching fights). Win % statistics are based on fights logged in our system, starting November 2014. UFC Fighter Stance

Basic Stance Statistics - Number of fighters using each stance type

Orthodox: 992 (71%)
Southpaw: 234 (17%)

Fighters who switch stances: 163 (12%)
Switches (Mostly Orthodox): 84 (6%)
Switches (Mostly Southpaw): 26 (2%)
Switches (Equal Both): 53 (4%)

Note - fighters who switch stances but are predominantly one stance or the other are NOT included in the pure orthodox or southpaw tallies.
Total fighters whose stance we've not yet logged: 50

Win Percentage in MMA for Orthodox, Southpaw and Switch Stances

Stance Fighters Fights Won Lost Win %
Orthodox 992 3539 1693 1846 48%
Southpaw 234 999 519 480 52%
Switches Stances (All) 163 842 482 360 57%
Switches (Mostly Orthodox) 84 460 277 183 60%
Switches (Mostly Southpaw) 26 170 81 89 48%
Switches (Equal both) 53 212 124 88 58%

*Note. It might look weird that we have an overall win % way over 50%. That's because people in this list have beaten fighters we've not yet logged a stance for. Obviously I've watched more successful fighters than rubbish ones, so I've logged their stances more at this stage! :)

Detailed breakdown of stance vs stance win %

When we have both fighters' stances logged for a particular fight in our system, the results are as follows.

  Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox vs Orthodox 1199 389 (32%) 218 (18%) 586 (49%)
Southpaw vs Southpaw 108 35 (32%) 13 (12%) 59 (55%)
Switch vs Switch 71 20 (28%) 19 (27%) 32 (45%)
Orthodox vs Southpaw 639 196 (31%) 124 (19%) 311 (49%)
Orthodox vs Switch 543 190 (35%) 101 (19%) 250 (46%)
Southpaw vs Switch 161 48 (30%) 35 (22%) 78 (48%)
2721 878 (32%) 510 (19%) 1316 (48%)


Orthodox vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Southpaw 283 (44%) 87 (14%) 55 (9%) 139 (22%)
Southpaw beat Orthodox 345 (54%) 109 (17%) 69 (11%) 166 (26%)


Orthodox vs Switch Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Switch 222 (41%) 65 (12%) 39 (7%) 116 (21%)
Switch beat Orthodox 319 (59%) 125 (23%) 62 (11%) 132 (24%)


Switch vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Switch beat Southpaw 93 (58%) 27 (17%) 18 (11%) 48 (30%)
Southpaw beat Switch 68 (42%) 21 (13%) 17 (11%) 30 (19%)

Analysis of UFC / MMA fight stance statistics

As you might expect, most fighters in the UFC use an orthodox stance. That's no surprise. The main question you were probably wondering when you found this page: Does being a southpaw give you an advantage in MMA? Well, given that around 10% of the population is stated as being left handed (southpaw), the fact that the UFC has 17% southpaws would suggest it certainly helps! The stats also suggest that southpaws have a higher success rate, with southpaws winning 52% of their fights, as opposed to 48% for orthodox fighters. More interestingly, fighters who switch stances have an even higher success rate than both orthodox and southpaw fighters, with a combined win percentage of 57%
 
 
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