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By The Numbers - Who had the best 2014

By Steve Mutzu | Special for Knuckle Junkies

With 2014 still in the rear view mirror, I wanted to take a look back and see which local pro had the best year. Not the best fighter, mind you, but the guy who had the single best year. To do this I created a formula that took into account not just wins and losses, but how these decisions came about. This formula considers how the fight was decided, whether it be via finish (KO, TKO, or Submission), Split or Unanimous Decisions, or by a draw. Opponents Winning Percentage, total number of fights, and the magnitude of those fights where also considered.

For instance, a fighter will get more points for beating a guy with a 10-2 record than he would if he beat a guy with a 5-5 record. Fighters get more points if they win a fight via KO than they would via unanimous decision, and less points still if the decision was a split. Fighters lose less points if they drop a close fight via split decision than they would have had they lost via KO. A fight in the UFC is weighted higher than a local fight, title fights where also considered to be worth more than non title fights.

1. Tyron Woodley – The top fighter from my list of local talent is "The Chosen One" Tyron Woodley with 17.39 points. Woodley went 2-1 in 2014, all in the UFC, where he fought only the best of the very best. Woodley beat both Carlos "The Natural Born killer" Condit, and "The Stun Gun" Dong Hyun Kim by TKO. His lone loss was to Rory MacDonald via unanimous decision. Woodleys three opponents combined for an outstanding 85% winning percentage, the third highest on our list. Woodley faces undefeated Kevin Gastlelum at UFC 183 later this month.

2. Vince Eazeele – Eazelle (17.19 points), went 3-0 in 2014 tying for the lead in wins. Vince KO'd the talented Chase Beebe, submitted Jeremy Mier, and took a unanimous decision win from Jimmy Kim. Eazelle's opponents only had a 56% winning percentage at the time of his fights and that hurt his ranking a bit but it was still a very memorable year.

3. Tonya Evinger – Evinger is the only female to crack the top ten of our poll with 17.06 points, and she did it spectacularly. Evinger beat two top flight opponents in Ediane "India" Gomes, and Cindy "Battlecat" Dandois, finishing both of these fighters for Invicta FC. Evinger did not have a loss in 2014, and her two opponents had a combined 88% winning percentage.

4. Malcolm Smith – Coming in with 16.20 points, Smith went 3-1 in 2014, beating Joe Perry (TKO), Jake Constant(TKO), and Matt Dukes(Rear Naked Choke). Smith was one of the few local fighters to win three fights in 2014, and the only local fighter to finish three opponents. His lone loss came by way of unanimous decision to Javon Wright. Malcolm had the raw numbers to finish number one on this list, but when we adjust for his opponents combined 48% win percentage he finishes a very respectable fourth on this year's list.

5. Alex White – “The Spartan” had mixed results in 2014 going 2-2. He beat Esteven Payan in the UFC via KO. Prior to that, he submitted Adam Rider to start the year off with a bang for Rumble Time. White then lost two tough fights in the UFC, losing once by KO and once by decision. His opponents had a respectable 77% win percentage and he had some big fights, that’s why he lands at number 5 despite the .500 record. He finished with 15.58 points.

6. Scott Futrell – The prolific Futrell went 3-2 in his five pro fights in 2014. His three wins tied multiple fighters for the lead. Futrell's opponents had a decent 67% win percentage and he recorded a TKO to go along with two unanimous decisions. He was stopped in both of his losses, but fighting a lot of good opponents, and winning three times did enough to land 14 points.

7. Rob Washington – The Beast went 2-1 in 2014. His two victories came in violent ways against good opposition, as his opponents had a 69% winning percentage. Washington made Jeremy Castro tap to strikes, and the doctor stepped in to give him a TKO victory over Blain Thomas. Washington, who finished with 12.94 points, did drop a very close decision to Gleristone Santos, a little help from the judges and he would be ranked near the top of this list.

8. Dan O’Connor – Johnny Irish split four fights going 2-2 in 2014 while fighting very tough opponents (75% winning percentage). None of O’Connor fights went the distance this year. He submitted Malshon Bell, TKO'ed Gary Becker, went the distance with Pedro Norbre, and was finished by Joey Diehl at XFO. O’Connor, who finished with 12.25 points, is an exciting fighter who always brings it, I expect to see him higher on this list next year.

9. Eric Irvin – Irvin Went 2-0 with two finishes in 2014. The reason he is not ranked higher on this list is simply the quality of his opponents. Irvin's opponents only had a 41% winning percentage and that really hurt him in the rankings. With that said, he fought outstanding against who they put in front of him. This ranking bothers me a bit, I feel he should be ranked higher, but the math says otherwise with 11.3 points.

10. Ken Porter – Bringing up the rear is veteran Ken Porter. His opponents had a 78% winning percentage when the stepped into the cage with Ken, and he beat two of the three. He rebounded from a submission loss to Bill Friday to start 2014. He then would go on to beat both Matthew Murphy and Albert Tapia and finish with 9.78 points.

Honorable mention:
11. Chris Heatherly (1-2, 1 NC) - OppW%: 0.8 - Points: 7.7
12. Jake Collier (1-1) - OppW%: 0.79 - Points: 7.3
13. Lance Benoist (1-0) - OppW%: 0.69 - Points: 6.1
14. Adam Cella (1-1) - OppW%: 0.47 - Points: 3.7