Does Location Affect Fight Times?
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
I was recently watching a video by MMA On Point (great YouTube channel by the way) where they recapped Cain Velasquez's loss to Fabrício Werdum in Mexico City, Mexico. Cain at the time was known for his cardio and intense fight pace but was uncharacteristically slower and more fatigued in this fight. It has been speculated that this was due to Velasquez not taking the correct amount of time to acclimate to Mexico City's altitude and air conditions. This had me asking- are fights shorter depending on the city? Below is a chart that maps out average fight times since 2000 by city. You can definitely see that Mexico City is towards the lower end of the fight time spectrum while interestingly enough the northwest USA/Canada region seems to have longer lasting contests.
The UFC has actually seen a gradual increase in fight time since the year 2000. This is more than likely a good indicator of the increasing talent levels over time. The visual below maps out fight time vs. the number of events per fighter and shows the overall fight time across the years.
Lastly, the chart below aggregates fight times over the years by weight class. Unsurprising to most, the lower weight classes tend to average longer fights.
Data provided by www.UFCStats.com