This is the 1st installment in a series of snapshots taken from the analyses of what is likely the only ever census of MMA fights (enuMMA17). We will keep this table of contents up to date as we add installments.

The Dataset

In February of 2018 we set our polite (see aside) spiders loose. They crawled the web looking for data relating to professional MMA fights. What they returned was a census of professional MMA. After cleaning the data:

Polite Spiders

Our crawlers are built using Scrapy & Beautiful Soup. Scrapy's default settings are to obey robots.txt files. In addition we insert an email contact address into the bots header in case the property owners have any questions.

  • removed duplicates,
  • removed amateur fights / fighters,
  • trimmed fights:
    • before 1993 (the full data set starts in 1984) &
    • after 2017

we where left with:

tbl 01: Data Counts

Variable Count
Fights 229 892
Fighters 111 932
Events 38 574
Promotions 16 711

Since we acquired the data in order to analyse it... We started plotting some plots. Since fights are the fundamental unit of MMA that seemed the logical place to start.

fig 01: Total Fights per Year (1993 - 2017)

2013 was the peak of MMA fights per year.

Not exactly what we where expecting. After all we constantly hear about how "MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world". So whats going on? In our next snapshot we will take a deeper look into the historical growth trends of the MMA industry.

- mec