Mat Fraser’s Career: By The Numbers

February 3, 2021 by
Photo courtesy of CrossFit LLC.
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Mat Fraser first registered for the CrossFit Open in 2013; he placed 192nd as a very raw athlete in the sport. It was good enough to qualify him for the North East Regional that year, where he placed 5th (at that time less than five athletes per region (typically) qualified for the Games, so he did not make the Games that year). 

Those who were present in 2013 at the North East Regional probably took notice of young Fraser though; he won the second event of the weekend, and closed the weekend with back-to-back second-place finishes; ultimately he only missed the Games that year by 5 points. 

It would seem that his failure to qualify in 2014 sparked a commitment in Fraser to never let that happen again; take a look at his Regional statistics from 2014-2018:

  • 33 total events
  • 19 event wins 
  • 6 additional top 3 finishes
  • 3 more top 5 finishes
  • 4 finishes between 6th and 9th
  • ZERO finishes of 10th or worse

Regionals is one thing, but ultimately his legacy is about what he’s done at the Games.

It’s well known that Fraser took second place his first two years at the Games; and then went on to win five consecutive titles of Fittest on Earth to solidify his claim as the current fittest man in history. However, a little deeper dive into the totality of his dominance in those years highlights just how impressive his performances at the CrossFit Games have been.

2014 and 2015 CrossFit Games

It’s important to realize that Fraser, as an athlete, was quite different in his first two Games seasons. But even as a raw athlete in the sport, he was making a significant impact. 

  • In these two years, Fraser had two event wins, seven second place finishes, and two third place finishes.
  • His average event finish across those two years was 10.5.

2016-2018 CrossFit Games

By the time the 2016 CrossFit Games season came around, a new Mat Fraser was lining up at the starting mats. He had eliminated many of the “bad” habits from his lifestyle, had applied many new tactics to his training, and was laser focused on never finishing second again. His performances at the Games reflect this:

  • In these three years, Fraser competed in a total of 42 events at the Games.
  • He took first place in seven of them, second place 13 times, and third place three times; that’s a top three finish on 23 out of 42 events (55%).
  • Over that three year span he only had two finishes worse than 11th; one of those was a 23rd on the Ranch Deadlift event (a specialty movement) and the other was a 20th place finish on the controversial Assault Banger workout in 2017. 

2019 and 2020 Games 

These two years will likely always be viewed as outliers in the history of the sport of CrossFit. However, despite all the changes that occurred in these two seasons, one thing that stayed consistent was Mat Fraser’s dominance. 

  • Although many view 2019 as a near loss for Fraser at the Games, he won half of the events that year (six out of 12) and took second on two other workouts.
  • 2020 brought the first-ever two-part Games format. 
    • In stage 1, Fraser swept the classic CrossFit events and took finishes of 2nd, 4th, and 8th in the niche specialty tests.
    • Stage 2 of the 2020 CrossFit Games was, and will likely always be, the most dominating individual performance this sport ever sees:
    • Out of 12 events, Fraser won ten of them
    • The two he lost? 
      • CrossFit Total: by seven pounds
      • Swim N Stuff: by eight seconds
    • As Fraser has pointed out, if you remove the required points to earn the top podium spot, he still would have had enough extra points to place fourth overall.

Staggering Career Statistics:

  • Fraser has won 29 individual events at the CrossFit Games in his career.
    • Rich Froning is in second (on the men’s side) with 16, Josh Bridges is third with eight.
    • Tia-Clair Toomey currently has 24 CrossFit Games event wins; Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir are tied for second amongst women with 13.
  • Fraser’s average margin of victory during his five-year reign was 242.6 points.
    • In order: (197, 216, 220, 35, 545 points)
  • In the seven years Fraser competed at the Games, his average event finish across all events was 5.73.
    • Notably in 2020, his average finishing place was 1.7. 
  • Across those seven years of Games competition, Fraser earned 83% of all possible points available to him.
    • In 2020, between stage 1 and stage 2, Fraser accumulated 95% of all available points.
    • Prior to that his career-best was in 2017 when he took 87% of all possible points.
  • If you only look at his five championship years:
    • He earned 86% of all possible points.
    • Only finished 20th or worse 3 times out of 73 total events.
    • He placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in 48 of those 73 events; or 66% of all Games events during that five-year stretch.

Mat’s dominance on the competition floor was not exclusively tied to the CrossFit Games season. With the introduction of Sanctionals in 2018, Fraser competed three times. It just so happens that two events he competed at were two of the most prestigious events on the calendar: the Dubai CrossFit Championship and the Rogue Invitational. He won both.

In the following season, which was ultimately cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, Fraser only competed once, at Strength in Depth, which he won. 

In fact, Fraser has not lost, to anyone, in any live, in-person, individual competition since the Games in 2015.

What about online competitions? The most notable online competition in our sport historically is the Open. Following his 192nd place finish in 2013, he’s won the Open a record four times (2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019), placed second once (2020), and seventh twice (2014 and 2016).

Stage 1 of the 2020 CrossFit Games was also online, he won that going away beating second-place finisher Noah Ohlsen by 168 points (or 24% of all points available).

One big thing: When Rich Froning won his fourth consecutive CrossFit Games title in 2014 and Sean Woodland infamously dubbed him the “Fittest Man in History,” no one expected to see someone challenge that moniker for a LONG time. 

Well, it didn’t take that long. At this point, whether by the good old eye test, the deepest statistical dive you want to take, or anything in between, there’s no way around it: Mat Fraser is the Fittest Man we’ve ever seen. And, something says that this time around, it will be a much longer time until we see someone exhibit the level of dominance he has in these past seven years.

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