This post is part of a series of snapshots taken from the analyses of what is likely the only ever census of MMA fights (enuMMA17). Please see the table of contents for an up to date list of available instalments.

In this post we look at the impact of the choice of that all import component, the Fight Name. Yes, this post is a little tongue in cheek, but we thought we'd better cover our bases.

Popular Names

To start off we will look at which names are most popular.

fig 01: Fight Names by Popularity (1993 - 2017)

Seems everyone wants to be a Pitbull.

For this analysis we did very little data 'cleaning'. We removed 'the' from the beginning of the name so that 'The Pitbull' = 'Pitbull'. We didn't however aggregate all the 'Pitbull' types so 'lil Pitbull' != 'Bony Pitbull' != 'Zeca Pitbull' etc. There are 42 different kinds of Pitbull listed, but not shown on the chart. We also didn't presume to translate names. Probably why we ended up with +11K fight names.

Does a Cool Fight Name Help You Win?

With the importance some people place on the Fight Name, we thought we'd see if it makes a difference. To do this we calculated the average win percentage (wins / fights) for each Fight Name.

fig 02: 'Best' Fight Names (1993 - 2017)

Well the popularity of the name obviously doesn't correlate with the success of those known by it. Since the average win percentage of all fighters in our data set is 17% & we only included names with >32 instances, we'd expect a distribution just like this one. The name really doesn't make a difference.

In our next snapshot we'll shift our focus to geography. Specifically, where fights have happened.

- mec