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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: 1118 (71%)
Southpaw: 265 (17%)

Fighters who switch stances: 199 (13%)
Switches (Mostly Orthodox): 107 (7%)
Switches (Mostly Southpaw): 30 (2%)
Switches (Equal Both): 62 (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: 1398

Win Percentage in MMA for Orthodox, Southpaw and Switch Stances

Stance Fighters Fights Won Lost Win %
Orthodox 1118 5947 2939 3008 49%
Southpaw 265 1649 856 793 52%
Switches Stances (All) 199 1377 782 595 57%
Switches (Mostly Orthodox) 107 767 455 312 59%
Switches (Mostly Southpaw) 30 261 122 139 47%
Switches (Equal both) 62 349 205 144 59%

*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 1835 571 (31%) 318 (17%) 930 (51%)
Southpaw vs Southpaw 146 44 (30%) 20 (14%) 81 (55%)
Switch vs Switch 111 38 (34%) 23 (21%) 48 (43%)
Orthodox vs Southpaw 989 303 (31%) 202 (20%) 471 (48%)
Orthodox vs Switch 827 296 (36%) 132 (16%) 397 (48%)
Southpaw vs Switch 243 62 (26%) 50 (21%) 131 (54%)
4151 1314 (32%) 745 (18%) 2058 (50%)


Orthodox vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Southpaw 450 (46%) 139 (14%) 94 (10%) 215 (22%)
Southpaw beat Orthodox 522 (53%) 164 (17%) 108 (11%) 248 (25%)


Orthodox vs Switch Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Switch 344 (42%) 104 (13%) 56 (7%) 182 (22%)
Switch beat Orthodox 477 (58%) 192 (23%) 76 (9%) 209 (25%)


Switch vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Switch beat Southpaw 137 (56%) 39 (16%) 28 (12%) 70 (29%)
Southpaw beat Switch 104 (43%) 23 (9%) 22 (9%) 59 (24%)

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 49% 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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