The idea of having leg reach measurements available for fighter stats and the UFC’s pre-fight “Tale of the Tape” has been toyed around by the Ultimate Fighting Championship for some time now. But, that’s all going to come to a stop as the promotion have revealed they are going to start showing the additional information.
Previously, information showing MMA fighters physical statistics have been limited to age, height, weight and wingspan reach. It will now also include the length of their legs UFC officials have confirmed.
FightMetric live statistics producer and research analyst Michael Carroll thinks the move is going to be a good thing for MMA:
“I think it’s a real positive for the sport,” Carroll told MMAjunkie. “It could be a really interesting measurable, and I think it’s long overdue. We know what arm reach is, we know what a sizeable discrepancy is in arm reach. Jon Jones with his 84.5 versus, say, Dan Henderson with 76. That’s a huge difference. But what’s a huge difference in leg reach? I have no idea.
It’s going to take a little while on the analytical side of things to figure out what’s a good length in proportion to what weight class you’re in and what’s a sizeable discrepancy. A sizeable discrepancy in leg reach might be much smaller than arm reach.”
UFC commentator Joe Rogan has been arguing that the information should be available for some time and it looks like his employers have took his advice. Fighters leg reach will be measured from the athletes hipbone to their heel.
“We’ll see if it makes a difference or not,” Carroll continued. “It’s far too early to tell, but if there’s a way a fighter can maximize the way that he lands kicks and minimize the way his opponent lands kicks in any way that has to do with their reach, they’re going to look like absolutely striking geniuses.
We know how fighters like to move and work to get out of someone’s arm reach or inside of their arm reach, but leg reach is totally different. I feel like now more than ever there are more fighters that are kick-based. You look at Edson Barboza and Daron Cruickshank. Kicks are becoming a larger part of the UFC, especially with finishes.”
It’s hard to tell at this moment in time how much of an effect the additional information will have for fighters but it’s still a step in the right direction for MMA. Do you think having leg reach will be beneficial?