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CagePotato Databomb #7: Breaking Down the UFC Light-Heavyweights by Striking Performance

(Click chart for full-size version. For previous Databombs, click here.) By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics With several fights among top contenders in the Light Heavyweight division over the next few events ”” including Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida at UFC 157 this weekend ”” I‘ve shifted focus to the bigger boys of the UFC. As a group, the 205‘ers have a lot more power than the lower weight divisions, and they‘ve recorded a total of 43 knockdowns between them during Zuffa competition. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post. For historical perspective, I‘ve also kept some familiar names who recently retired. So which fighters get the awards in this group of sluggers? The Winners Sniper Award: Another Rangy Southpaw tops the accuracy list for a division. This time it‘s Frenchman Cyrille Diabaté, who has landed 57% of his power head strikes. Unfortunately, the “Snake” might be on the shelf a while after tearing a calf muscle against Jimi Manuwa. At 6‘ 6” and with a ridiculous 81” reach, Diabaté has wins over Michael Bisping and Rick Roufus from back in his professional kickboxing days. Now competing in the UFC, the 39-year old striker‘s days may be numbered, though he‘s stated he wants to compete long enough to participate in a UFC event in Paris. Honorable mentions go to Fabio Maldonado, unsurprisingly a formerly undefeated professional boxer, and also new UFC contender Glover Teixeira. Energizer Bunny Award: Young Swede Alexander Gustafsson has more than doubled the standup striking pace of his opponents, a common characteristic of fighters successful at using their size to control the cage. The 6‘5” modern day Viking takes a six-fight win streak into his home turf showdown with top Strikeforce import Gegard Mousasi, in a fight that could have title implications. We‘ll see if he can push the pace against an opponent closer to his own age.

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