Variance and subjectivity in MMA

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Break Brick, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Break Brick

    Break Brick Black Belt

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    It seems to me readily apparent that fans are quick to dismiss variance as a factor when it suits them, yet use it as an excuse when it does not.

    I'll use the most recent example we have:Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos.
    In the first fight Junior lands a punch which affects Cain in such a way that Junior was able to capitalise and finish the fight. Now this can subjectively viewed by one set of fans as either bad luck or negative variance. The opposing fanbase however would likely attribute this to skill or ability etc.

    In the 2nd fight however, Cain lands a shot which knocks down Dos Santos and capitalises on this opportunity, putting on an excellent performance and dominates the remainder of the fight. Again, if we were to ask one set of fans we would likely be given the conclusion that this victory/performance had little to do with luck or positive variance and had everything to do with skill and ability. Presumably(again) we would have the opposing argument from the fans of JDS.

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. Break Brick

    Break Brick Black Belt

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    My point is that in a sport as high variance as MMA can we not accept that the outcome of fights are determined by one punch? A zig instead of a zag? A bob instead of a weave? That all these factor in for every fighter every time they step into the octagon. Variance is a factor for everyone, it would be nice if more fans could view it objectively. It's not only luck involved when "your" fighter loses.

    Why can't we accept these things regardless of our subjective opinions of said fighters, and show some humility if our favourites win or lose?

    I guess I'm just saying can't we all just get along?


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    I know, I know TLDR!
     
  3. van1ty

    van1ty Banned Banned

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    It's incomprehensible to people that the better fighter can get finished.

    According to some people, a 10 second knockout is more decisive than a 25 minute beating.
     
  4. The Soothsayer

    The Soothsayer Purple Belt

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    A lot of people just go with the herd.

    This time yesterday, I was reading things like "JDS will finish him faster this time".

    Just slaves to the moment.

    2 things I've noticed. They think the fighters are video game characters where they never have a rough spot in life or never make a bad decision or never just have a bad night. They like to think they're 100% every fight when no fighter is ever 100%, and all someone can really judge from an upcoming fight is some relative, unscientific probability of what might happen based on past performances and the contrasts of styles.

    And 2, for some reason, the majority of people seem to believe rematches never go different from the first... despite seeing over and over again that rematches have no real consistency in outcome. They're different as often as they go the same way.
     
  5. Break Brick

    Break Brick Black Belt

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    I find debating the more impressive victory method fairly inane(only because I view it as opinion based). A better fighter can be finished but the better fighter could lose a lop sided decision.

    It just seems difficult to quantify who IS the better fighter when ability and skill level are within a certain scale. Unless you get similarly matched opponents to fight 100 times variance is always going to factor in.
     
  6. Break Brick

    Break Brick Black Belt

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    Good points, particularly on how fickle mma fans are. Dominating win seems to revise history.Fighter A was always better- Fighter B was overrated etc
     
  7. Happiness

    Happiness Silver Belt

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    Variance is a factor. However, a huge part of martial arts is removing variance as a factor. For example when I teach (or use to teach) kickboxing I try and install really early on that the "where" is more important that the "what" and the "when". By controlling where interaction takes place you control when and if interaction takes place and what can occur. For example, by controlling range and angles, you control not only what you can use as a technique but what your opponent can use and when those techniques can be used. Incidentally this is the major reason reach is important.

    As you become progressively more skilled and your opponents become progressively more skilled fighting for control of the where morphs into a series of traps. You try and trick or guide your opponent into where you want them.

    The takeaway here should be; good fighters control variance, it's a huge part of what makes them good.
     
  8. eXtv

    eXtv Red Belt

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    Is it your first day on the internet or something?
     
  9. Jopo

    Jopo Gold Belt

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    Of course Variance is a factor but I reject the notion a 10 second knockout means nothing. It still proves you were the better fighter ON THAT NIGHT. It's not a fluke. Its the other guys responsibility to not get "fluked".
     
  10. Jopo

    Jopo Gold Belt

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    Absolutely
     
  11. Break Brick

    Break Brick Black Belt

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    @Happiness Excellent points dude. Skill level definitely reduces variance as a factor, I deal with this in my profession too (poker). The better I get the less I allow variance to effect my winrate. However it is always a factor. I guess my main point is people use luck and variance to suit their subjective opinion.

    @extv Lol yeah you're right I should be use to this by now. I'm too much of a hippy at heart
     
  12. _Keyser_Soze_

    _Keyser_Soze_ Brown Belt

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    Or you could use logic to realize that JDS got ROCKED in the first round, and willed his way to finish the fight. Stating that Cain is clearly the better fighter after these two guys have split their first two fights is ... laughable. I like them both, and look forward to rubber match. But to say that Cain is better and got caught by a lucky punch or whatever ... come on man.
     
  13. eXtv

    eXtv Red Belt

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    every little helps I guess

    I try to be nice
     
  14. mraa1

    mraa1 Purple Belt

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    I don't see how this applies to JDS when the majority of his victories have come via knockout in the early rounds. When JDS knocks someone out (regardless of the caliber of the opponent) it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone and it can't be viewed as just dumb luck, the time it occurs makes no difference either.
     

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