Why are left-handed people better fighters?

Left-handed people are better fighters than their right-handed counterparts because they are able to catch them off guard, according to new research.

Researchers at Manchester University found left-handed people are better at fighting, or rather right handed people aren't very good at fighting them.

During violent times in human history left-handed peoples' genes have survived, researchers said.

According to the "fighting hypothesis," right-handed people are more used to fighting fellow right-handers due to the relative rarity of left-handed people.

However left-handed people, also known as Southpaws, have a competitive advantage in combat because their opponents are likely to be disoriented by their fighting stance.

Thomas Richardson found left-handed fighters performed better than right handers. Credit: ITV News

Thomas Richardson, who is an evolutionary biologist and PhD student at the University of Manchester, analysed the performance of almost 10,000 boxers and mixed martial arts fighters.

He found left-handed people win a higher percentage of fights.

His findings could be the answer to a long-standing mystery of human evolution as to why some people are left-handed, when there shouldn't be many at all.

Mr Richardson said: "Left-handers tend to have a lower birth weight, a lower life expectancy, they might be at risk of mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia and because left handedness has a strong genetic influence you'd think that natural selection would weed out left-handers over time."

Researchers found left-handed males and females perform better in fights supporting the "fighter hypothesis", which suggests they have a greater chance of winning fights due to a "surprise effect".