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The Southpaw Advantage? - Lateral Preference in Mixed Martial Arts
Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Author: Joseph Baker et al.

by Joseph Baker, Jörg Schorer

Performers with a left-orientation have a greater likelihood of obtaining elite levels of performance in many interactive sports. This study examined whether combat stance orientation was related to skill and success in Mixed Martial Arts fighters. Data were extracted for 1468 mixed martial artists from a reliable and valid online data source. Measures included fighting stance, win percentage and an ordinal measure of skill based on number of fights. The overall analysis revealed that the fraction of fighters using a southpaw stance was greater than the fraction of left-handers in the general population, but the relationship between stance and hand-preference is not well-understood. Furthermore, t-tests found no statistically significant relationship between laterality and winning percentage, although there was a significant difference between stances for number of fights. Southpaw fighters had a greater number of fights than those using an orthodox stance. These results contribute to an expanding database on the influence of laterality on sport performance and a relatively limited database on variables associated with success in mixed martial arts.
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