Does anthropometry influence technical factors in competitive mixed martial arts?

Journal article

Kirk, Christopher 2018. Does anthropometry influence technical factors in competitive mixed martial arts? Human Movement. 2018 (2), pp. 46-59.
AuthorsKirk, Christopher

Purpose. Previous research has found grappling and strikes to the head to be the determining factors for success in MMA, whilst anthropometry in the form of stature and wingspan has been found to have a negligible effect. The current study was designed to determine if a relationship between technique use and anthropometry exists in MMA. The in-competition technique data of 461 elite, professional MMA bouts were compared using Bayes factor t-tests (BF10) to determine which techniques display the highest likelihood of distinguishing between winners and losers. The differences in technique numbers between winners and losers was also compared to the anthropometric differences between winners and losers using either Bayesian Pearson’s r or Bayesian Kendall’s Tau. Simple linear regression (p < 0.05) was used to calculate predictive ability of anthropometrics on chosen fighting techniques. Heavyweight competitors were distinguished by striking only (BF10 = 399 – 10). Light heavyweight, middleweight, featherweight, bantamweight, women’s bantamweight and women’s straw weight competitors were distinguished predominately by striking (BF10 = 791661 – 7) and moderately by grappling (BF10 = 75 – 7). Welterweight, lightweight and flyweight competitors were distinguished by striking techniques (BF10 = 3.533e+6 – 221) to achieve dominant grappling positions (BF10 = 17100 – 50). In turn, it was found that stature and/or wingspan are correlated to and can predict key technique variables at heavyweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight. The results provide evidence of which techniques are influenced by the anthropometric differences between competitors, allowing coaches and competitors to make more informed tactical decisions in competition preparation.

KeywordsMMA, anthropometry, combat sports, Bayes factor, key performance variables
JournalHuman Movement
Journal citation2018 (2), pp. 46-59
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Publication dates05 Jun 2018
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Deposited14 Aug 2020, 13:58

Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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