UFC Leaders - Significant Strike Accuracy

Posted 11:00 AM
The fourth in our series going through the categories on our UFC Official Records page, this post deals with the record holders for the highest significant strike accuracy.

What: This percentage or "rate" stat is just like completion percentage in football or free throw percentage in basketball. It simply divides the number of significant strikes landed by the number attempted and produces an accuracy percentage. A reminder: significant strikes refer to all strikes at distance and power strikes in the clinch and on the ground. It does not include small, short strikes in the clinch and on the ground. Since nearly all of those small strikes land, the list becomes unfairly skewed to those that stay the busiest, but do the least damage.

Why: This is one of the easiest stats to grasp. Fighters who land a higher percentage of their strikes can be more efficient and waste less energy on missed techniques. The relatively high strike requirement of 350 attempts ensures that a fighter who makes this list must demonstrate high-percentage striking over a long enough period of time to smooth out variance caused by one or two bad fights.

1Anderson Silva68.4%
2Cheick Kongo61.3%
3Cain Velasquez60.9%
4Lyoto Machida60.1%
5Evan Tanner59.0%
6Randy Couture58.7%
7Georges St-Pierre56.2%
8Matt Hughes55.2%
9Mauricio Rua54.8%
10Caol Uno54.6%

Who's Next: Fighters like Dong Hyun Kim and Matt Brown would make the list, but don't yet meet the 350 strike attempt requirement. Both should make the list comfortably within a fight or two. Also look for Jorge Rivera or Ricardo Almeida to appear with another high percentage performance.

The Breakdown: Anderson Silva is the king of this category and for good reason. He has still never fought a fight where his significant striking accuracy was less than 50%. That said, his percentage today is not nearly as impressive as it was. Silva's accuracy has declined in each of his last four fights. Prior to fighting Thales Leites, Silva's accuracy percentage was a ridiculous 80.9%.

Like the list of significant strike volume leaders, this list contains seven current or former champions. In fact, Cheick Kongo is the only fighter here not to have fought in at least one title fight. But while these champions show high levels of accuracy, it is not a prerequisite for success. There exist other strategies that have proven successful that do not rely on efficiency at all. To wit, Chuck Liddell's striking accuracy is 37.3% and he knocked out people just fine.

The Takeaway: The most impressive thing about the presence of fighters like Silva and Machida on this list is that they are primarily distance strikers. The majority of the fighters here are either clinch strikers or ground fighters. Accuracy goes up quite a bit when the fighters' range gets closer. That they can maintain accuracy percentages over 60% while mainly striking at a range where average accuracy is just 32.6% is truly a remarkable feat.

See reports for these fighters