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Jason’s Picks: Finding Predictive Patterns in MMA Fights

Para leer la traducción en español, oprimir aquí. (To read the Spanish translation, click here).

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of fight predictions by guest columnist Jason Noriega. Jason works as an analyst at a U.S. National Laboratory.  He has a keen interest in predictive modeling, and lectures at conferences around the United States.  Jason also participates in predictive modeling competitions.  He has placed in the top 10% in the following competitions using various machine learning algorithms,

Ford Motor Company – Predicting Driver Alertness


University of Melbourne – Predicting the Outcome of Grant Applications


The predictive model developed by Jason Noriega for Jason’s Picks is the copyrighted intellectual property of Jason Noriega, Nery Castillo-McIntyre, and Artes Marciales Mixtas en Español.

Wouldn’t it be incredible to have an automatic predictive model you can use to accurately predict the successful outcome of MMA fights?  To know, statistically, who you should put your money on in a match.  That is my New Year’s resolution for 2012: to develop a predictive model that can be used to make money in the MMA betting world.

How am I going to do this?  By using state of the art machine learning algorithms that can sift through large amounts of data and variables to find predictive patterns in MMA fights.  I will weigh numerous variables such as striking accuracy, submission skills, takedowns, takedown defense, reach, age, and many others.

Perfection will not come easy.  I will have to make many changes to the predictive model as time goes on and it becomes evident which variables deserve more weight and which deserve less.  For the first version of this model, I used a machine learning algorithm called CHAID with 12 different fighter variables.  The challenge for the time being is the lack of sufficient historical data that would allow me to have confidence on the patterns I have found.  However, as the year progresses, the model will only get better.

Below are my picks for this coming weekend’s UFC Rio main card based on the probability of winning. As the year progresses and I make more predictions based on the model, I shall provide an overall accuracy “rating”.

Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes: Jose Aldo

Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson: Anthony Johnson

Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio: Rousimar Palhares

Erick Silva vs. Carlo Prater: Erick Silva

Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim: Edson Barboza


Acerca de Nery Castillo-McIntyre

Soy un apasionado fanático del deporte de Artes Marciales Mixtas. Mi deseo es proveer noticias, educación, y comentario original al público hispano-hablante acerca de este excitante deporte que se postula a competir por popularidad mundial con gigantes como el balompié, el baloncesto, el béisbol, y el football americano. Espero que los lectores encuentren este espacio muy informativo, y que se contagien con mi misma fiebre de Artes Marciales Mixtas.


13 comentarios en “Jason’s Picks: Finding Predictive Patterns in MMA Fights

  1. I’d like to write like this too

    Publicado por whiplash injury claim | Martes, febrero 07, 2012, 11:50am
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    Publicado por Lewis Koria | Miércoles, febrero 08, 2012, 12:44pm
  3. Awesome post , I’m going to spend much more time researching this topic

    Publicado por Connie Edick | Jueves, febrero 09, 2012, 01:18am


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