Behind the UFC 137 numbers: Complete statistical breakdown for Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson fight


Two heavyweight veterans will take center stage on Saturday night (Oct. 29, 2011) at UFC 137 in Las Vegas, Nevada as Mirko Filipovic takes on Roy Nelson in what could be very well end up being "Cro Cop's" last stand.

Nelson is 35 years old and has seen mixed martial arts (MMA) combat 21 times. Filipovic is 37 and has fought professionally (in MMA, anyway) 39 times. He is also an experienced K-1 kickboxer.

"Cro Cop" has lost his last two fights, both by knockout. Nelson is also on a two-fight losing streak, having lost both by way of unanimous decision. 

Both fighters have seen better days, making this bout all the more meaningful

Let's roll up our sleeves and get elbow deep in the statistics behind two men looking to cement their legacies.

We all know Nelson is a high level jiu jitsu practitioner. With his belly bullying tactics and "heavy" top game, he has become MMA's version of "Kung Fu Panda." 

"Cro Cop" is renowned for his kicking abilities. If you need to get caught up to speed, just check the hospitals and cemeteries. They are full of evidence that confirms his legend. 

But enough with the superlatives. Let's talk specifics.

As always, CompuStrike was on top of their game and willing to let us reap the benefits of their vast field research. Here's what they came up with regarding the striking game of each fighter.

Total Strikes:

Cro Cop - 43 of 81
Nelson - 24 of 55


Cro Cop - 53%
Nelson - 44%

Total Power Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 28
Nelson - 15

Total Non-Power Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 15
Nelson - 9

Not surprisingly, "Cro Cop" leads the way in every striking statistic.

That's just the overall striking picture. If we put things under the magnifying glass, does "Cro Cop" also have the better punches and elbows? Here's the data:

Total Arm Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 14 of 37
Nelson - 16 of 44

Percentage of Arm Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 38%
Nelson - 36%

Power Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 10
Nelson - 10

Non-Power Strikes Landed

Cro Cop - 4
Nelson - 6

Interesting, no? In the arm strikes category, these guys are spitting images of each other.

It's the general perception that "Cro Cop" holds a sizable advantage over Nelson in the leg strikes category. Does the data support that assumption? Let's "kick" things up a notch and check the figures.

Total Leg Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 8 of 11
Nelson - 2 of 3

Percentage of Leg Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 73%
Nelson - 67%

Power Leg Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 5
Nelson - 1

Non-Power Leg Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 3
Nelson - 1

Suspicion confirmed.

One would think that this fight will not stay standing for long. Nelson has surprised fight watchers before, but most expect him to shoot for takedown early on in this fight.

Is "Big Country" really as far ahead with his ground game as we suspect?

Ground Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 21 of 33
Nelson - 6 of 8


Cro Cop - 64%
Nelson - 75%

Power Ground Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 13
Nelson - 4

Non-Power Ground Strikes Landed:

Cro Cop - 8
Nelson - 2


Cro Cop - 3 of 5 for 60% 
Nelson - 3 of 10 for 30%

Submission Attempts:

Cro Cop - 4
Nelson - 1

Dominant Positions:

Cro Cop - 6
Nelson - 5

I don't know if this surprises you Maniacs, but it's certainly not the disparity I expected to see. 

In their MMA careers, "Cro Cop" has recorded four submission victories, while Nelson has scored five. Again, probably not what you expected.

"Cro Cop" does possess 20 (technical) knockout victories during his ten-plus year MMA career. However, he's fighting a guy in Nelson who seems almost entirely incapable of being knocked out.

Do the numbers back up your initial feelings about this fight? Who do you Maniacs see emerging victorious in this epic battle of MMA pioneers? Fill up the comment section with your predictions and prognostications!  

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