Alaric, does your brother fight in the UFC or another organization?
I guess with any sport it helps to know the players, follow their careers etc, get to know their fighting styles. The Gracie family who had quite a lot of success in UFC using BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) brought a lot of fights to the ground because it was so effective. Then the athletes themselves starting becoming faster, stronger and developed their BJJ skills, it kind of stopped the fights from going there all the time. It still happens, especially if a grappler is fighting a striker, the striker will obviously want to keep it on their feet and the other will want to take it to the ground. A lot of people also developed good take down skills so its hard to get them to the ground, and when you do their back up in no time. George St. Pierre is a good example of this.
I just like it because its extremely technical, gone are the days when two overweight bikers would go in and just throw hay-makers. I would now bet that UFC fighters are some of the best trained athletes in the world.