In 1993, the Final Combating Championship burst onto the scene, pitting masters of various martial arts disciplines in opposition to each other in a bracket-style match. The UFC has developed and grown in a large number of how within the practically three a long time since that first occasion in Denver. Nonetheless, with different main promotions like Bellator and the Skilled Fighters League experimenting with bracket-style tournaments, many followers marvel what would occur if UFC returned to its roots and hosted its personal. We determined to seek out out for ourselves, utilizing one of the best instrument at our disposal: EA Sports UFC 4.
Utilizing the present official UFC rankings discovered on the promotion’s web site, I constructed eight-person match brackets that includes the highest-ranked fighters of every weight class (except for ladies’s featherweight, since there aren’t any official rankings and EA Sports activities UFC 4 solely has two energetic fighters from that division). The seeding relies on present rating, although for some high-profile fighters who’re within the course of of fixing weight lessons (like Jon Jones or Cody Garbrandt), I needed to plug them in the place it made essentially the most sense. I then watched each battle because the A.I.-controlled combatants duked it out. Every battle was scheduled for 3 rounds, apart from the championship battle on the finish, which may go 5 rounds.
Because the practically 80 bouts performed out, it rapidly grew to become obvious that EA Sports activities UFC 4 skews closely in favor of third-round knockouts or technical knockouts. In actual fact, even with grappling specialists, I used to be shocked at how few submission makes an attempt succeeded. It actually wasn’t for lack of making an attempt as a result of generally even essentially the most striking-focused fighters jumped guard to aim guillotines in these simulations. Nonetheless, only a few submissions had been profitable, maybe a testomony to the A.I. submission protection.
Nevertheless, whatever the final result, I seen that only a few fights had been fully one-sided. That is doubtless a sign that developer EA Canada balanced the fighters to create extra aggressive bouts even with every fighter that includes totally different attributes and tendencies. Whereas it is a good concept in idea, if you’re simulating fights to see how the sport predicts they’d play out in actual life, it ends in some fairly stunning upsets.
With none additional ado, let’s get to the outcomes of those tournaments.
Click on any bracket picture to see its bigger model.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Rose Namajunas
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Rose Namajunas
Struggle of the Event: Namajunas vs. Weili
The strawweight division is undoubtedly essentially the most thrilling ladies’s division within the UFC, with the belt altering arms quickly following Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s loss to Rose Namajunas in 2017. Within the time since, Namajunas, Jessica Andrade (who has since moved up in weight), and Zhang Weili have all held the belt. In accordance with this simulation, the 4 former champions of the 115-pound division (Namajunas, Jędrzejczyk, Weili, and inaugural champ Carla Esparza) superior previous their opening-round matchups. Weili vs. Jędrzejczyk was one of many best fights of all time, so a rematch was thrilling. Nonetheless, one of the best battle on this match got here from Namajunas vs. Weili within the finals, with Namajunas securing the victory due to a third-round armbar submission.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Valentina Shevchenko
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian
Struggle of the Event: Andrade vs. Calderwood
In distinction to the strawweight division, a single champion has dominated ladies’s flyweight just about since its inception. Following inaugural champion Nicco Montaño’s unceremonious relinquishing of the title in 2018, Valentina Shevchenko has reigned supreme, going through little hardship in her 5 title defenses. As such, she is one in every of simply 4 fighters to realize a five-star general ranking in EA Sports activities UFC 4, making her the runaway favourite to win this match.
Nevertheless, the online game had different plans, as Lauren Murphy (who, curiously sufficient, is scheduled to be Shevchenko’s subsequent title protection in September) pulled off the large upset within the semifinals. Sadly, Murphy couldn’t carry that momentum into the championship battle, and longtime contender Katlyn Chookagian took her out with a fourth-round KO.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Amanda Nunes
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Germaine de Randamie
Struggle of the Event: De Randamie vs. Holm
As dominant as Shevchenko is within the flyweight division, Amanda Nunes has been much more ruthless. The best feminine fighter of all time has dominated the bantamweight division with an iron fist ever since taking the belt from Miesha Tate in 2016. As such, she’s one other member of the elite five-star general ranking membership in EA Sports activities UFC 4. And similar to Shevchenko earlier than her, Nunes didn’t come out on high on this simulation. As an alternative, Germaine de Randamie overcame a wild, back-and-forth battle in opposition to Holly Holm earlier than toppling Nunes within the championship bout.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Brandon Moreno
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Cody Garbrandt
Struggle of the Event: Askarov vs. Benavidez
Former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt has had his sights set on flyweight for some time now. Whereas his unique plan of dropping all the way down to face then-champion Deiveson Figueiredo fell via on account of well being issues, Garbrandt is now scheduled to face Kai Kara-France later this 12 months. Kara-France is not in EA Sports activities UFC 4, so I plugged Garbrandt into the match the place Kara-France would have been primarily based on the UFC rankings – which simply so occurred to line him up in opposition to Figueiredo.
When present champ Brandon Moreno misplaced in stunning vogue to Tim Elliott within the first spherical, the stage appeared all however set for the once-dominant champion Figueiredo to reclaim his belt, however he additionally misplaced within the first spherical. After successful the unique battle he wished within the first spherical, Garbrandt went on to placed on arguably essentially the most dominant string of performances of any match I simulated, brutally knocking out former title challengers Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez to say the championship belt.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Aljamain Sterling
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Petr Yan
Struggle of the Event: Sandhagen vs. Font
The lads’s bantamweight division is as thrilling as ever but additionally as muddied as ever. After Petr Yan misplaced his belt to Aljamain Sterling earlier this 12 months due to a disqualification stemming from an unlawful knee, the queue of contenders has grown uncontrolled, with the likes of TJ Dillashaw, Cory Sandhagen, and Rob Font ready to see how the rematch between Sterling and Yan will play out. This makes the match format an ideal match for the division. Regardless of the way you match up these combatants, you are assured to get some wonderful fights. Even following the UFC rankings, I nonetheless received some absolute bangers within the match’s first spherical. Nevertheless, the semifinals consisted of killers solely, with Yan taking out Dillashaw, and Sandhagen avenging his 2020 loss to Sterling. On the finish of the day, Yan emerged victorious within the ultimate.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Alexander Volkanovski
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski
Struggle of the Event: Rodríguez vs. Jung
Generally, EA Sports activities UFC 4’s predictions go how many individuals suppose they could. Whereas a number of folks nonetheless think about Max Holloway one of the best fighter at featherweight, Alexander Volkanovski as soon as once more confirmed why he is the one who holds the belt at 145. Volkanovski defeated Holloway for what could be a 3rd time. Featherweight is one other division stacked from high to backside, with Brian Ortega, Yair Rodríguez, Calvin Kattar, and Chan Sung Jung filling the sphere. Nonetheless, as we have seen time and time once more, Volkanovski and Holloway are simply on one other degree.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Charles Oliveira
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Michael Chandler
Struggle of the Event: Gaethje vs. Chandler
As nice as males’s bantamweight and featherweight are, in all chance, light-weight is one of the best division within the UFC. The traditionally deep division is in transition because of the abrupt retirement of dominant, undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2020. Due to this, I used to be maybe most excited to see this match in motion. With newly topped champion Charles Oliveira taking the highest seed and killers like Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje (earlier than you ask, the ninth-ranked Conor McGregor barely missed the lower for inclusion) on the opposite aspect of the bracket, this match assured superior fights and stunning outcomes. And boy, did it ship on each fronts.
Although Oliveira was capable of care for enterprise within the first spherical, the real-life champ misplaced his rematch in opposition to former Bellator champ and up to date UFC convert Michael Chandler. That first battle, which happened at UFC 262 earlier this 12 months, was a back-and-forth, Struggle of the Yr contender, so the change within the consequence is not that stunning on this digital rematch. Nevertheless, the most important shock got here on the opposite aspect of the bracket when Rafael Dos Anjos gained an in depth determination in opposition to Dustin Poirier. Dos Anjos is a former champion, however many think about Poirier one of the best fighter at 155. Nonetheless, the division is stacked; it is onerous to argue in opposition to any outcomes. The championship got here all the way down to Gaethje and Chandler, who delivered arguably one of the best battle of any match I simulated. This absurdly paced matchup did not final lengthy, but it surely was continuous motion till Chandler landed an uppercut from hell whereas Gaethje tried to land one in every of his personal. Watching it play out in EA Sports activities UFC 4 made me all of the extra excited for the real-life match-up between these two, which is focused for UFC 268 in November.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Kamaru Usman
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Vicente Luque
Struggle of the Event: Edwards vs. Luque
Welterweight is the house of maybe essentially the most dominant males’s champion right now in Kamaru Usman, so naturally, he was the favourite getting into. Nevertheless, the division can be one of many deeper ones within the UFC, so if you see the all-action Vicente Luque take out the streaking Leon Edwards in his first battle, topple Usman within the semifinals, then beat Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson within the finals, it is tough to be too upset. Thompson getting previous Burns is perhaps essentially the most criticizable final result of this match since we simply noticed how Burns dealt with Thompson in July, however this recreation appears to favor strikers over grapplers when the A.I. faces itself. Curiously, utilizing my seeding methodology, the primary spherical gave followers a long-awaited grudge match in Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Israel Adesanya
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Israel Adesanya
Struggle of the Event: Adesanya vs. Until
If welterweight Kamaru Usman is not essentially the most dominant males’s champion, it is actually middleweight Israel Adesanya. The previous kickboxing champ blasted his manner via the middleweight ranks and has defeated practically each contender alongside the way in which. Everybody thinks they’ve the answer to the Adesanya puzzle, however no middleweight fighter has been capable of execute to date.
After a tiny scare within the first spherical in opposition to Darren Until, Adesanya cruised in his second rematch in opposition to Marvin Vettori, knocking him out within the first spherical, then taking up the person from whom he took the middleweight belt within the first place: Robert Whittaker. Whereas Adesanya vs. Whittaker featured a ton of motion and was pretty evenly matched, Adesanya as soon as once more completed Whittaker to verify his coronation via this EA Sports activities UFC 4 match.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Jan Błachowicz
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Jan Błachowicz
Struggle of the Event: Błachowicz vs. Teixeira
After Jon Jones left to go to heavyweight, the sunshine heavyweight division grew to become extra attention-grabbing. Although Dominick Reyes felt just like the uncrowned champ when he fought for the vacant title final 12 months, Jan Błachowicz emerged with the belt. Although Błachowicz has been on an absolute tear, successful 9 of his final ten fights, together with a win over middleweight champ Israel Adesanya earlier this 12 months, many are nonetheless ready to see if he is the form of fighter who can maintain the belt for an prolonged time frame. In accordance with EA Sports activities UFC 4, he very effectively is perhaps. Whereas it was stunning to see Reyes defeat Jiří Procházka in a rematch of their battle from earlier this 12 months, the remainder of the bracket performed out realistically, with the 2 fighters within the championship battle – Błachowicz and Glover Teixeira – serving as the subsequent real-life title battle within the division. If the true battle between these two is something like EA Sports activities UFC 4’s prediction, we’re in for a deal with when it happens in October.
Present Actual-Life Champion: Francis Ngannou
EA Sports activities UFC 4 Prediction: Derrick Lewis
Struggle of the Event: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik
The heavyweight division is in an odd place, with lately topped champion Francis Ngannou having his throne challenged by new interim champ Cyril Gane. In the meantime, one of many best fighters of all time lurks in Jon Jones, and the longest-reigning heavyweight champ in UFC historical past, Stipe Miocic, can by no means be counted out. After watching all of those fights play out throughout the totally different divisions, heavyweight’s outcomes had been those that shocked me essentially the most. Seeing Derrick Lewis knock out Jones within the first spherical was a giant shock, however perhaps not as massive of an upset as Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocking out Ngannou in a rematch of a battle that very a lot went a special manner in actual life. The appropriate aspect of the bracket went about as most individuals would predict. Nevertheless, the championship battle between Lewis and Gane was maybe the most important upset of the complete match, as we simply noticed how dominant Gane was when he fought Lewis two weeks in the past. I’ve a sense Lewis would vastly favor this consequence to the one he really received this month.
For extra on EA Sports activities UFC 4, take a look at our review here.
https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/08/20/using-ea-sports-ufc-4-to-predict-how-ufc-tournaments-would-play-out-in-2021 | Utilizing EA Sports activities UFC 4 To Predict How UFC Tournaments Would Play Out In 2021