Differences by Ending Rounds and Other Rounds in Time-Motion Analysis of Mixed Martial Arts: Implications for Assessment and Training

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Miarka, B, Brito, CJ, Moreira, DG, and Amtmann, J. Differences by ending rounds and other rounds in time-motion analysis of mixed martial arts: implications for assessment and training. J Strength Cond Res 32(2): 534–544, 2018—This study aimed to support training program development through the comparison of performance analysis of professionals mixed martial art (MMA) athletes in the bouts that were not finished by points. Using digital recordings of each bout, we analyzed 1,564 rounds (678 bouts) which were separated by ending and other rounds. Our results indicated that knockout/technical knockout is the main outcome that defines the ending round (≈60%); however, there is a higher frequency of ending by submission on the first and second rounds (>30%). Bouts ending during the first or second rounds had shorter total time and standing combat with low intensity than ending in the third round (91.5 ± 71.4, 93.4 ± 67.5, and 143.2 ± 87.4; for low intensity in the first, second, and third rounds, respectively; p ≤ 0.05), whereas standing combat time with high intensity was longer in the last round in comparison to bouts that finished in the first or second rounds (7.4 ± 9.2, 9.7 ± 18.0, and 17.7 ± 29.1 for high intensity in the first, second, and third rounds, respectively; p ≤ 0.05). The lower time dedicated to low-intensity stand-up combat actions, regardless of round, and forcefulness of the actions in groundwork in the first and second rounds seem to be elements that increase the probability of success in professional MMA bouts; these factors have essential implications related to training program design.

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