In analyzing the fight between UFC welterweight champion St. Pierre and challenger Diaz, it could be a good idea to compare the percentage of success of each fighter when it comes to striking and grappling offense, as well as defense.
Continue reading on the following slides for the analysis.
If the fight remains on the feet, it is more likely that Diaz will pick St. Pierre apart using his boxing skills. According to fighter stats in UFC.com, the Stockton, CA native has landed 69 percent of his shots in the stand up position, while the Canadian had landed only 54 percent successful strikes in his last fight.
Nonetheless, St. Pierre can use his defensive techniques to nullify Diaz’s stand up game. The champ is not new in fighting stand up fighters in the past. Great strikers like Carlos Condit, Dan Hardy, and Thiago Alves are all witness to the Champ’s striking defense. St. Pierre has avoided 76 percent of total strikes from his previous opponents, according to UFC.com.
If the fight occurs mostly in the ground, St. Pierre can outscore Diaz easily in judges’ score cards. So far, based on UFC’s stats, the “Rush” has landed 409 (39 percent) strikes on the ground against his previous opponents.
This means that the champ can be active enough in the ground and avoid stand ups, en route to another unanimous decision victory.
This area could be the determining factor for this fight. The main question is could Diaz avoid St. Pierre’s ground game and utilize his striking skills by keeping the fight standing up? Or is St. Pierre’s ability to take his opponents on the ground too much for the challenger?
In this area, the numbers favor the champion who have 78 percent success rate in taking his opponents down. Diaz’s takedown defense is not bad enough, with 68 percent in total takedowns avoided, but Rush’s takedown accuracy may be too much for him to handle.
Both St. Pierre and Diaz have extraordinary skills in the ground. But for me, the grappling game in the ground should favor the fighter who has spent more time in that area in MMA fights. And the advantage belongs to the champ.
St. Pierre has taken down majority of his opponents in the past and has managed to maintain the fight at that area. Meanwhile, Diaz spent most of his fights in the stand up position.
Here are the grappling totals by type from UFC.com:
- St. Pierre – SUBM (22); PASSES (115); SWEEPS (5)
- Diaz – SUBM (12); PASSES (9); SWEEPS (4)