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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: 922 (71%)
Southpaw: 220 (17%)

Fighters who switch stances: 157 (12%)
Switches (Mostly Orthodox): 81 (6%)
Switches (Mostly Southpaw): 26 (2%)
Switches (Equal Both): 50 (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: 19

Win Percentage in MMA for Orthodox, Southpaw and Switch Stances

Stance Fighters Fights Won Lost Win %
Orthodox 922 3016 1433 1583 48%
Southpaw 220 862 458 404 53%
Switches Stances (All) 157 732 415 317 57%
Switches (Mostly Orthodox) 81 399 237 162 59%
Switches (Mostly Southpaw) 26 147 71 76 48%
Switches (Equal both) 50 186 107 79 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 1032 346 (34%) 185 (18%) 496 (48%)
Southpaw vs Southpaw 96 29 (30%) 12 (13%) 54 (56%)
Switch vs Switch 62 16 (26%) 16 (26%) 30 (48%)
Orthodox vs Southpaw 551 174 (32%) 108 (20%) 264 (48%)
Orthodox vs Switch 478 158 (33%) 89 (19%) 229 (48%)
Southpaw vs Switch 141 40 (28%) 34 (24%) 67 (48%)
2360 763 (32%) 444 (19%) 1140 (48%)


Orthodox vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Southpaw 236 (43%) 75 (14%) 47 (9%) 114 (21%)
Southpaw beat Orthodox 305 (55%) 99 (18%) 61 (11%) 145 (26%)


Orthodox vs Switch Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Switch 196 (41%) 54 (11%) 32 (7%) 108 (23%)
Switch beat Orthodox 280 (59%) 104 (22%) 57 (12%) 119 (25%)


Switch vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Switch beat Southpaw 79 (56%) 23 (16%) 18 (13%) 38 (27%)
Southpaw beat Switch 62 (44%) 17 (12%) 16 (11%) 29 (21%)

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 53% 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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