“Ever-Rising Are Decisions in the UFC, Joe”

First written here.

The UFC merged the WEC into their system and with that the UFC finishing rate has dipped below 50% at essentially the halfway point of the calendar year for the first time ever. But is it because of the lighter weight classes that decisions continue to rise?



Results by Weight Class


9 decisions (69%)

2 TKO/KO (15%)

2 submissions (15%)



8 decisions (53%)

3 KO/TKO (20%)

4 submissions (27%)



14 decisions (54%)

7 KO/TKO (27%)

5 submissions (19%)



16 decisions (70%)

4 KO/TKO (17%)

3 submissions (13%)



6 decisions (32%)

9 KO/TKO (47%)

4 submissions (21%)


Light Heavyweight

7 decisions (44%)

6 KO/TKO  (38%)

3 submissions (18%)



3 decisions (27%)

7 KO/TKO (64%)

1 submission (9%)


Total (All Weight Classes)

63 decisions (51%)

38 KO/TKO (31%)

22 Submissions (18%)






I don’t have complete 2010 statistics but in 2009 the decision rate was 43% and pre-UFC 114 it was around the same mark in 2010.

For clarity, I put Penn/Fitch as a “decision” instead of a draw as it did go the distance. Let’s just call it an “inconclusive decision”.

Surprisingly welterweight is responsible for the most decisions, just ahead of bantamweight on percentage points — so yes I did rounding when applicable — and decisions were the majority result in 5 of the 7 weight classes. Given the finishing disparity from BW to LW I’d say it’s pretty evident that the lighter weight classes and the WEC acquisition are a big reason for decisions being on the rise. Of course heavyweight has only had 3 decisions this year (Barry vs. Beltran, Mir vs. Nelson, Carwin vs. JDS).

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the fights are boring, I think fights like Aldo vs. Hominick, McDonald vs. Figueroa, and Torres vs. Johnson can state otherwise. But as long as the little guys are in town you can expect decisions to continue to rise.

The big question that I’m not sure can be answered factually is of course whether or not all UFC fighters are resorting to “safer” fight tactics, fighting not to lose, looking to win a decision, etc.  I’m sure it always makes for great debate in these comment sections.


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