How MMA fights end: Submission victories way down

ByREED KUHN
January 31, 2018, 10:06 PM

— -- 2017 for the UFC was the first full year under new ownership, as the promotion implemented its new state of normal for the sport. And while plenty of interesting things happened inside the Octagon, victories from the UFC's biggest stars were not one of them. The absence of Ronda Rousey armbar victories and of Conor McGregor entirely slowed some of the momentum the promotion had built in years prior. In fact, the plateau of event pace in 2015 and 2016 took a downward turn in 2017, leading to the fewest UFC events and fights since 2013. The new normal is not quite so busy as it once was.

Perhaps the new controlled pace is intentional, or perhaps the new owners are still getting a feel for how to keep their moneymakers on stage and in the cage. Still, the UFC put on 39 events around the world, in some cases marking new territory, with a healthy 457 fights competed by its roster of fighters. The promotion also added two new women's divisions, and held inaugural title fights at women's featherweight and flyweight, upping the total divisions to 12 for the first time. Yet despite more champions on the roster, the 20 total title fights that occurred in 2017 didn't match the 22 that occurred in 2016. And that undoubtedly hurt the bottom line.

However, instead of diving into the implications of 2017 fights on the business, let's just try to get a handle on all the action that went down inside the Octagon. First, here's how every UFC fight ended in 2017, all in one graph. Fights are summarized by outcome method and weight class, with title fights individually noted.

Raw data is provided by Fight Metric, with graphics and analysis by Reed Kuhn.

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