Data Scientist Previews More Fights for UFC 273

Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Vanderaa

These are two Heavyweight fighters who were not planning on fighting each other this weekend…. Now, they’re on one of the biggest cards in the UFC this year. Let’s go over the numbers for these fighters.

Jared Vanderaa is 1-3 against fighters with 7 or more Significant Strike Attempts per min. Aleksei Oleinik is 0-3 against fighters with 11 or more Total Strike Attempts per min. Both fighters struggle against output fighters, and that is why the odds are so even. 

See the comparison graph below to help identify who will win this fight. This graph shows how each fighter does across multiple statistics, which might help us see who has an edge. In the graph, I put a black dot next to Vanderaa’s takedown defense stat which is 10%. Yes, Vanderaa stops only 1 out of every 10 takedown attempts… This is an awful takedown defense. As you can see in the below graph, he also falls short in almost every other category shown when compared to Oleinik. 

Oleinik is 2-1 in fights when he gets above 50% takedown accuracy, which is what I expect in this fight. However, our models project this fight to be a standup fight. The biggest issue for Oleinik is his age. He might not be able to take the same kind of damage that he once could. However, striking accuracy, volume, and grappling skills all favor Oleinik. This fight seems like it may be more of a ‘puncher’s chance’ than a true pick’em fight. Aleksei Oleinik is going to win by decision by dominating control time.

Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres

This fight will be on the main card and, if you are paying for the other fights, then here are some stats you can dish out at your watch party.

Torres is 6-4 against fighters with 3 or more Sig. Str. Landed per min.
Torres is 3-4 against fighters with 2 or more Sig. Str. Head Landed per min.
Torres is 7-4 against fighters with 4 or more Total Strikes Landed per min.
Torres is 1-1 against fighters with 2 or more Reversals.
Torres is 2-1 against fighters with 21 or more for Control Time.
Torres is 1-2 against fighters with 6 or more Total Wins.

Dern’s reach is 63 inches. Torres is 6-4 against Womens’ Strawweights with a reach of 63″ or more.

Right now, nothing clearly indicates the outcome of the fight.

Dern is 1-2 against fighters with 10 or more Sig. Str. Attempts per min.
Dern is 2-1 against fighters with 7 or more Sig. Str. Head Attempts per min.
Dern is 2-1 against fighters with 12 or more Total Strikes Attempts per min.

Torres’s reach is 60 inches. Dern is 5-2 against Womens’ Strawweights with a reach of 60″ or more.

Stats are really not telling a sure tale right now. It will come down to Dern’s clinch work on the octagon cage. Dern will have to get this fight to the ground and maintain control. Torres will win this fight if it stays standing due to her quickness and cardio output strikes.

Using a Bayesian Simulation model, BCDC is 67% sure Dern is the better fighter, with a risk of being wrong at 13%.

Our model’s projection of the fight indicates this will be a striking fight. This should benefit Torres, but she is a huge underdog with a 1-4 record. Dern has historically done well as a favorite, and it seems that the Bayesian simulation also has Dern. The sportsbooks are usually accurate on these fighters’ pricing. It really will be a close fight, but Dern will win by submission in this fight.

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