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Paul Gift Shares MMA Research on Wharton Moneyball Podcast

March 25, 2020  | 1 min read

Paul Gift, a sports economist at Graziadio Business School and a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) aficionado, shares his recent analytics and research on the full-contact combat sport. Since the early 2000s, the MMA industry has changed quite a bit. Fighters are now studying strategy and improving their tactics, pushing for higher scores in fights.

Paul shares how he brings analytics and economics to the MMA world. Most recently, Paul is studying a new rule change -- how 10-8 rounds are scored -- and whether the implementation of the new rule has been effective. Unlike other sports industries such as NBA or NFL, rule changes are rare in the MMA industry. While analyzing fights, Paul looks for exogenous changes and sees whether the new rule is changing the structure of the fight and/or altering the fighter’s incentives while competing. Listen to the podcast.