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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: 780 (70%)
Southpaw: 190 (17%)

Fighters who switch stances: 137 (12%)
Switches (Mostly Orthodox): 75 (7%)
Switches (Mostly Southpaw): 24 (2%)
Switches (Equal Both): 38 (3%)

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: 9

Win Percentage in MMA for Orthodox, Southpaw and Switch Stances

Stance Fighters Fights Won Lost Win %
Orthodox 780 2538 1197 1341 47%
Southpaw 190 726 394 332 54%
Switches Stances (All) 137 628 353 275 56%
Switches (Mostly Orthodox) 75 338 200 138 59%
Switches (Mostly Southpaw) 24 129 61 68 47%
Switches (Equal both) 38 161 92 69 57%

*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 861 297 (34%) 158 (18%) 401 (47%)
Southpaw vs Southpaw 80 22 (28%) 10 (13%) 47 (59%)
Switch vs Switch 55 15 (27%) 12 (22%) 28 (51%)
Orthodox vs Southpaw 455 143 (31%) 89 (20%) 219 (48%)
Orthodox vs Switch 401 127 (32%) 74 (18%) 198 (49%)
Southpaw vs Switch 122 35 (29%) 28 (23%) 59 (48%)
1974 639 (32%) 371 (19%) 952 (48%)


Orthodox vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Southpaw 184 (40%) 58 (13%) 32 (7%) 94 (21%)
Southpaw beat Orthodox 262 (58%) 85 (19%) 57 (13%) 120 (26%)


Orthodox vs Switch Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Switch 167 (42%) 47 (12%) 27 (7%) 91 (23%)
Switch beat Orthodox 232 (58%) 80 (20%) 47 (12%) 105 (26%)


Switch vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Switch beat Southpaw 68 (56%) 20 (16%) 14 (11%) 34 (28%)
Southpaw beat Switch 54 (44%) 15 (12%) 14 (11%) 25 (20%)

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 54% of their fights, as opposed to 47% 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 56%
 
 
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