If you thought the Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz fight was as absurdly close as it looked, well, you were right.
You aren't likely to find a lot of folks that will argue with that decision considering how even the fight was over three rounds.
However, what's strange here is that Fight Metric gives Maia a performance rating of 189 to Munoz's 142. Why is this odd?
Because the striking and grappling numbers don't seem to show that to be the case.
Thankfully, we've got Rami Genauer from Fight Metric to help us understand exactly why there is a discrepancy in the numbers. Let's take a look and hear what he has to say:
As you can see, Munoz was awarded 75 total strikes to just 40 for Maia. During the bout, it often seemed as though Maia was landing much cleaner with his power punches vis a vis significant strikes.
But as you can see, Munoz has the edge there, too, 44-32. He also leads in every other category in the striking department.
Let's look at the grappling:
Munoz was successful on three of seven takedown attempts while Maia laid an egg. Both fighters were credited with one pass to half guard while Maia attempted two submissions to Munoz's one.
Despite all of that, Fight Metric awarded the decision to Maia, 29-28.
Here's what Remi had to say regarding the disparity in numbers:
I can see where the confusion lies with regards to the Effectiveness Scores versus the raw stats. The answer lies in the most important category of strikes: power strikes to the head. If you look there, you'll see Maia with a five strike advantage. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it can make all the difference in the scores. I think it also comports with what people saw in the fight, that Maia was landing cleaner and harder to the head, while Munoz was landing a lot of strong punches to the body and thigh while on the ground. Those strikes, while significant, are not of the same caliber as head shots.
Moral of the story? Sheer statistics, while extremely helpful, don't always tell the tale.
What are your thoughts after seeing these scores? And did you agree with the judges decision to award the fight to Munoz?