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Old 01-27-2011, 05:45 PM
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UFC Leaders - Longest Avg. Fight Time

The second in our series going through the categories on our UFC Official Records page, this post deals with the record holders for the longest average fight time.

What: Like the last post, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Take all the fighters competing since UFC 28 (the start of the modern era of the UFC), and look who has averaged the longest fights among those with at least five UFC fights to their credit.

Why: There are a lot of different reasons why a fighter might appear on this list. Maybe they lack finishing power. Maybe they're more "strategic" and less likely to risk going for the kill. Or maybe they're just super-tough fighters who are impossible to put away. No matter the reason, if you see you're going to face one of these guys, prepare to be in the fight for a while.

Who (~minimum 5 UFC fights):
  1. Frank Edgar16:14
  2. Sean Sherk15:35
  3. Heath Herring15:00
  4. Nik Lentz15:00
  5. Jorge Gurgel14:58
  6. Dan Henderson14:38
  7. Dong Hyun Kim14:14
  8. Jens Pulver14:03
  9. Jon Fitch13:50
  10. Sam Stout13:41
Who's Next: Unless his next fight is a quick one, expect to see Mike Pierce (avg. fight time 14:33) on this list. And given the number of five-round decisions in his past, another three rounder will probably see BJ Penn join the top 10.

The Breakdown: The top two fighters on the list (Frank Edgar and Sean Sherk) have the distinction of being the only two fighters in modern history to average longer than a regulation MMA fight. The reason, of course, is title fights. Both Edgar and Sherk have been in three 25-minute fights, which goes a long way to upping the average past 15 minutes. The two fighters tied for third place are the only ones in UFC history to have at least five fights, all of which went to decision.

The Takeaway: One interesting point is seeing the diversity of styles that makeup the list. While some on the list could easily be branded as "lay and pray" artists, others like Gurgel, Pulver, and Stout are of the stand and bang variety. There is no one model of fighter that leads to long fights.

Interestingly, the win numbers for this group is almost the mirror image of fighters on the list of shortest average fight time. Where only two of those 10 fighters had a winning UFC record, only two fighters on this list (Herring and Gurgel) have a losing UFC record. Overall, the combined record for these fighters is a very respectable 55-22-2, or a 70% winning percentage. Compare that to the 45% winning percentage of the list of quick fighters. This may seem obvious, but if you're going to be a UFC fighter who takes his sweet time, you'd better be winning your fights. Fighters who take this long to compete keep their jobs by winning, however slowly.
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