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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: 1023 (71%)
Southpaw: 243 (17%)

Fighters who switch stances: 179 (12%)
Switches (Mostly Orthodox): 94 (7%)
Switches (Mostly Southpaw): 29 (2%)
Switches (Equal Both): 56 (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: 700

Win Percentage in MMA for Orthodox, Southpaw and Switch Stances

Stance Fighters Fights Won Lost Win %
Orthodox 1023 4765 2326 2439 49%
Southpaw 243 1336 693 643 52%
Switches Stances (All) 179 1100 624 476 57%
Switches (Mostly Orthodox) 94 609 362 247 59%
Switches (Mostly Southpaw) 29 222 103 119 46%
Switches (Equal both) 56 269 159 110 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 1520 483 (32%) 266 (18%) 760 (50%)
Southpaw vs Southpaw 130 39 (30%) 17 (13%) 73 (56%)
Switch vs Switch 86 28 (33%) 19 (22%) 38 (44%)
Orthodox vs Southpaw 812 250 (31%) 164 (20%) 389 (48%)
Orthodox vs Switch 692 250 (36%) 121 (17%) 319 (46%)
Southpaw vs Switch 203 55 (27%) 44 (22%) 104 (51%)
3443 1105 (32%) 631 (18%) 1683 (49%)


Orthodox vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Southpaw 363 (45%) 115 (14%) 74 (9%) 172 (21%)
Southpaw beat Orthodox 437 (54%) 135 (17%) 90 (11%) 211 (26%)


Orthodox vs Switch Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Orthodox beat Switch 289 (42%) 92 (13%) 49 (7%) 146 (21%)
Switch beat Orthodox 399 (58%) 158 (23%) 72 (10%) 169 (24%)


Switch vs Southpaw Fights TKOs Subs Decisions
Switch beat Southpaw 114 (56%) 34 (17%) 24 (12%) 56 (28%)
Southpaw beat Switch 89 (44%) 21 (10%) 20 (10%) 48 (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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