FanPost

Behind the records: Looking at opponents for Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey and more thanks to Yuta Sasaki!

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

This Fanpost has been edited and promoted to the front page.

So it's a New Year and I have very little to do.

I was making predictions of some events on Tapology (namely an upcoming Shooto Card) when I came across this young man: Yuta Sasaki

He's 14-1-2 with one technical knockout and six submissions. Sasaki, 24, is set to fight next fight on Jan. 13, 2014, in Japan against Keisuke Fujiwara (15-7-4). He's a tall bantamweight at 5'11'' and is a southpaw. This was the first video that I found:

Yuta ''Ulka'' Sasaki vs Kenji Yamamoto (via Атай Атанаев)

I initially thought that this a great prospect. And maybe with UFC's planned expansion into Asia it might sign him soon. Out of curiosity, I decided to check out his opponents' records to check his quality of opposition. We all know that a record doesn't always equate to the abilities of said fighter; however, it's usually a good measuring stick all the same.

I was not impressed. Here are his opponents in no particular order:

FIGHTER Wins Loss Draw NOTE
TETSU SUZUKI 13 11 3
MANABU INOUE 16 9 3 (DRAW)
TERUYUKI MATSUMOTO 7 6 0
KAZUHIRO ITO 5 11 2
SATOSHI WATANABE 3 6 2
GUY DELUMEAU 18 8 3 (LOSS)
KOSUKE KINDAICHI 5 2 2
YOSHIFUMI NAKAMURA 15 5 0
YUSUKE KAGIYAMA 16 9 2 (DRAW)
YO SAITO 13 8 3
MOTOHIRO TAKENAWA 7 10 1
KENJI SAKUTA 9 9 0
SHINJI MAEGUCHI 0 5 1
ATSUSHI MASUKURA 0 4 1
KENJI YAMAMOTO 6 2 1
KOTA ONOJIMA 8 2 1
GEUN DO PARK 0 1 0
TOTALS: 141 108 25
AVERAGE: 8.29 6.35 1.47

An overall record of 141-108-25 isn't bad for all his opponents I guess ... he is a prospect. But, the average record of those fighters is only 8-6-1, which is pretty dismal. Now that's MMA math; therefore, maybe it's not a good way to measure it.

So I decided to dig deeper ... for some odd reason.

I am also going to go off of the opponents current record instead of what it was at the time of the fight.

I'm going to show you Stephen Thompson ("Wonderboy"), Sergio Pettis, Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones to see what their opponents' records look like in comparison. Thompson is a sort of a hot prospect, Pettis is a prospect, Rousey is a champion (but really has the record of a prospect), while Jones has been fighting the best in the world for a few years now.

Stephen Thompson, 30: 8-1 with four (technical) knockouts and one submission.

FIGHTER Wins Loss Draw NOTES
JEREMY JOLES 1 4 0
DANNY FINZ 0 2 0
MARQUES WORRELL 5 2 0
WILLIAM KUHN 9 9 0
PATRICK MANDIO 3 5 0
DAN STITTGEN 7 4 0 UFC DEBUT
MATT BROWN 18 11 0 (LOSS)
NAH-SHON BURRELL 11 3 0
CHRIS CLEMENTS 11 5 1
TOTALS: 65 45 0
AVERAGE: 7.22 5 0

Mr. Thompson's opponents are barely above a .500 record.

Regardless, he had a pretty decent step up in competition once he entered UFC and he's currently 3-1 inside the Octagon, with his lone loss being to current Top 15-ranked Welterweight Matt Brown.

With an overall average of 7-5, however, it makes you wonder.

Sergio Pettis, 20: 10-0 with three (technical) knockouts and three submissions.

FIGHTER Wins Loss Draw NOTES
KYLE VIVIAN 0 8 0
TONY ZELINSKI 5 2 0
MIKE LINDQUIST 8 29 1 3NC
CHRIS HANEY 4 6 0
TOM MCKENNA 7 4 0
JIMMY JONES 4 2 0
JOSH ROBINSON 8 7 0
DILLARD PEGG 5 2 0
JAMES PORTER 5 2 0
WILL CAMPUZANO 13 5 0 UFC DEBUT
TOTALS: 59 67 1
AVERAGE: 5.9 6.7 0.1

This is one that's very interesting.

Surprisingly, the level of competition for Mr. Pettis actually hasn't been awful. His numbers suggest an under .500 fighter average, but it's been messed up by the dismal record of Mike Lindquist with his 29 losses against only eight victories. If you take away Lindquist, it becomes a 6-4 record.

Pettis hasn't fought the most experienced fighters on the planet, but that's to be expected.

Ronda Rousey, 26: 8-0 with eight submissions.

FIGHTER Wins Loss Draw NOTES
EDIANE GOMES 10 2 0
CHARMAINE TWEET 4 4 0
SARAH D'ALELIO 7 5 0 STRIKEFORCE DEBUT
JULIA BUDD 6 2 0
MIESHA TATE 13 5 0 TITLE WIN
SARAH KAUFMAN 16 3 0 TITLE DEFENSE
LIZ CARMOUCHE 9 4 0 UFC DEBUT/TITLE DEFENSE
MIESHA TATE 13 5 0 TITLE DEFENSE
TOTALS: 78 30 0
AVERAGE: 9.75 3.75 0

With eight victories in 8 fights, Rousey actually has the most impressive numbers ... even if they may be manipulated by her two victories over the same opponent. In fact, all but one of her foes has a winning record.

Jon Jones, 26: 19-1 with nine (technical) knockouts and six submissions.

FIGHTER Wins Loss Draw NOTES
BRAD BERNARD 0 1 0
CARLOS EDUARDO 11 2 0
ANTHONY PINA 0 1 0
RYAN VERRETT 3 4 0
PARKER PORTER 5 4 0
MOYSES GABIN 5 5 0
ANDRE GUSMAO 6 3 0 UFC DEBUT
STEPHAN BONNAR 15 8 0
JAKE O'BRIEN 15 4 0
MATT HAMILL 11 5 0 DQ LOSS
BRANDON VERA 12 7 0
VLADIMIR MATYUSHENKO 27 7 0
RYAN BADER 16 4 0
MAURICIO RUA 22 8 0 TITLE WIN
QUINTON JACKSON 33 11 0 TITLE DEFENSE
LYOTO MACHIDA 20 4 0 TITLE DEFENSE
RASHAD EVANS 19 3 0 TITLE DEFENSE
VITOR BELFORT 24 10 0 TITLE DEFENSE
CHAEL SONNEN 28 14 1 TITLE DEFENSE
ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON 15 2 0 TITLE DEFENSE
TOTALS: 287 107 1
AVERAGE: 14.35 5.35 0.05

Honestly, it's not surprising in the slightest how impressive, Jones' numbers are. His average opponents win-to-loss ratio blows the other fighters we examined out of the water. His fights with Jackson, Belfort and Sonnen also affect his opponents loss number a great deal, with 31 percent of the losses coming from those three fighters.

So back to Sasaki. After looking at the numbers: Do you think he's a worthy prospect to be signed by UFC? Are there any other fighters you'd want to be looked at such as Brandon Thatch ... Gustafsson? Let me know because I might not having anything else to do in 2014.

Sound off, Maniacs! And Happy New Year.

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