UFC Leaders - Strikes Landed per Minute

Posted 11:00 AM
The sixth in our series going through the categories on our UFC Official Records page, this post deals with the record holders for the highest rate of significant strikes landed per minute.

What: This rate stat is one of the most important to understanding the sport of MMA. To calculate this number, simply add together all the significant strikes landed in a fighter's career, then add together the total amount of time the fighter has spent fighting. Divide the number of strikes by total time to get a per-second statistic. Multiply that number by 60 to get strikes landed per minute. Note that this number only includes significant strikes landed.

Why: Rate statistics are the first step to understanding MMA. Because fights last different amounts of time, a pure volume statistic cannot tell the full story of a fighter's career. The temptation is to go to a per-fight statistic, similar to points per game in sports like basketball. This approach is clearly wrong because it doesn't solve the problem of variable fight length. Instead, we use a per-minute statistic, so that every fighter can be evaluated on a level playing field, no matter the length of their career.

1Junior dos Santos7.12
2Cain Velasquez7.11
3Shane Carwin6.48
4Drew McFedries5.13
5Amir Sadollah4.98
6Nate Quarry4.96
7Luis Cane4.85
8Forrest Griffin4.61
9Brad Blackburn4.49
10Sam Stout4.35

Who's Next: Three fighters might make this list with one more fight to reach the five-fight eligibility requirement: Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione, and Ross Pearson.

The Breakdown: The fighters who make this list tend to fall into two groups. The first are the quick, powerful strikers who land enough shots in a short amount of time to run up gaudy numbers. The first four fighters on the list (dos Santos, Velasquez, Carwin, and McFedries) definitely fall into that group. The other group are the volume strikers, guys whose fights tend to take a lot longer, but who stay so busy during the fight that their rate remains very high. That is a pretty good description of fighters like Sadollah, Griffin, and Stout.

The Takeaway: While SLpM is a great place to start when evaluating a fighter, it is clearly not the right place to stop. Just because a fighter has a high SLpM does not mean he is necessarily that effective. A fighter who lands lots of strikes but gets knocked out or submitted is not fighting the most effective way he can. Hitting your opponent is only half of the striking game. The other half is avoiding him hitting you, as we'll see when talking about strikes absorbed per minute (SApM).

See reports for these fighters