With InvictaFC out for eight months and The Ultimate Fighter 20 keeping a lot of strawweights on a hiatus, you would have expected 2014 to be a slow year.
As it turns out, it was busier than ever with multiple promotions introducing women’s divisions and throwing their hat into the cage. Demand saw a lot of fresh new faces in the pro ranks, and more matches than ever before.
We compiled stats from multiple sources throughout the year and were able to get a nearly accurate accounting of the year that was 2014.
563 – The number of fights this year. This was a 24% increase from last year (415 in 2013). With Invicta doing more cards in 2015 and the UFC gaining a strawweight division, we expect a huge increase next year.
253 – Pro debuters this year, 72 more than last year. With the newly found demand and opportunity pressing for more pro debuts this past year, we actually suspect this number to go down due to the drain of amateur talent.
211 – Number of first round finishes. It more than doubles second round finishes. There was four finishes in championship rounds this year, two in both the 4th and 5th rounds.
211 – Number of fights that went the distance. 78% of that total were unanimous decisions. We saw 4 majority decisions and a record 6 draws.
202 – How many fights were in the U.S. a 22% increase from last year. It topped the list of countries who had female fights. Brazil (152) came in second and Japan (35) third. Brazil increased its total by 44%.
184 – Total submissions this year. It was the most popular way to win a fight edging TKOs by 34. More than half (109) happened in round 1. There was 4th and 5th round subs this year, which are rare.
165 – Fights at flyweight this most of any division. It edged out strawweight by 14 fights but with the 115ers busy with TUF 20, expect them to rebound. Bantamweight (120) came in third with atomweight (50) and featherweight (40) taking forth and fifth. For those interested, eight fights took place at the newly forming lightweight division.
150 – TKOs this year. This is a 32% increase from last year’s total. The first round remains the most popular round to get a TKO with 73% of them happening then.
83 – Armbars – the most popular submission. This increased by 75% from last year. Rear naked chokes came in second with 69. There was two bulldog choke submissions this year.
41 – Number of countries that had female fights this year. Although the actual number went up to 9, six countries didn’t have pro female fights this year but had them in 2013 – Scotland, Spain, India, Paraguay, Croatia, and Belgium. Several newcomers to the list are Moldova, Romania, and Thailand. If you include amateur fights, the number jumps to 47.
32 – Pro female fights in California, the most by a US state, smashing 2013’s mark of 9. It also nearly doubles the 2nd place finisher, Texas (18). In third was Nevada with 16 with all those fights happening in Las Vegas.
31 – Female fights in the UFC, the most by any organization. The UFC more than doubles their 2013 total (13). It only beat DEEP by one fight. Even though they came late to the party this year, Invicta managed to take the third spot with 27. With a new strawweight division in the UFC, it will be a horse race between them and Invicta in 2015.
15 – Recorded knockouts this year. Although several we didn’t consider “pure KOs”, this was less than last year’s total of 22.
6 – “Official” tournaments happened this year. Two XFC tournaments will crown season champions next year. There were 3 one night tournaments; two for MMA Super Heroes and the other was for Princesses of Pain. (TUF 20 was considered an exhibition tournament and only the finals were on the official records.)
6 – New world champions crowned this year. Two champions lost defending their title (DEEP-JEWELS 116 champion Emi Tomimastu and InvictaFC atomweight champion Michelle Waterson). Three won newly created titles – Carla Esparza (UFC strawweight); Pannie Kianzad (Cage Warriors bantamweight), and Takayo Hashi (Jewels 135 title).
1 – Heck of a historic year. UFC adds a new division, Invicta rises again, and Brazil grows its WMMA scene.
We look forward to continued growth in 2015.