The 42-year-old was one of the early watchers of the UFC when it was only available on pay-per-view (PPV) starting with the second televised card. Once Excel UFC-Fan became available he realized the potential of the software to organize the avalanche of statistics.
“I’ve always liked making lists ever since I was a kid,” Casselman told The Bulletin, while sitting in his living room with multiple shelves of DVDs carefully categorized. “With the advent of computers and discovering Excel I thought this was a great tool for making lists and most major sports are well developed in their statistics and dolling out those to fans who understand what they are and how to interpret them. I just applied myself to the UFC.”
Casselman’s list is updated on a daily basis. Keeping spreadsheet information helps him conceptualize who are the up-and-coming contenders on their win-loss ratio, which fighters will or will not, make it as champions, and what would be interesting matchups.
One thing this list is not used for is forecasting winners in a fight since the outcomes are “extremely unpredictable,” but for Casselman that makes each fight intriguing.
Surprisingly Casselman, who works for the not-for-profit organization Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario, has only attended one live fight, which was the first one at the Rogers Centre two years ago. The VIP ticket gained him access to a number of events in addition to going into the octagon, meeting UFC President, Dana White, and many of the fighters.
During the event he was sequestered to the concession level away from the action due to having a manual wheelchair, a result of an athletic injury at University of Toronto. After that day Casselman decided it was better for him to watch on television.
“I was restricted in my seat choice because I use a manual wheelchair,” stated Casselman. “A lot of the ground-level seats were actually elevated off the ground so even though I could afford to buy those seats I couldn’t buy them because the closest wheelchair seating was the concession level. From that level you spend little time watching the ring, which is a postage stamp off in the distance, but ultimately you get a much better view on the screen. I’ve decided since I’m watching the screens anyway, I’m going to have a much better view in my living room than I will at the venue.”
Casselman’s top fighter remains Jon Jones who held on to the title of light heavyweight champion after a punishing full five rounds against Alexander Gustafsson during the UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre.