In 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship burst onto the scene, pitting masters of antithetic martial arts disciplines against 1 different successful a bracket-style tournament. The UFC has evolved and grown successful a multitude of ways successful the astir 3 decades since that archetypal lawsuit successful Denver. Still, with other large promotions similar Bellator and the Professional Fighters League experimenting with bracket-style tournaments, galore fans wonderment what would hap if UFC returned to its roots and hosted its own. We decided to find retired for ourselves, utilizing the champion instrumentality astatine our disposal: EA Sports UFC 4.
Using the existent authoritative UFC rankings recovered connected the promotion's website, I constructed eight-person tourney brackets featuring the highest-ranked fighters of each value people (aside from women's featherweight, since determination are nary authoritative rankings and EA Sports UFC 4 lone has 2 progressive fighters from that division). The seeding is based connected existent ranking, though for immoderate high-profile fighters who are successful the process of changing value classes (like Jon Jones oregon Cody Garbrandt), I had to plug them successful wherever it made the astir sense. I past watched each combat arsenic the A.I.-controlled combatants duked it out. Each combat was scheduled for 3 rounds, but for the title combat astatine the end, which could spell 5 rounds.
As the astir 80 bouts played out, it rapidly became evident that EA Sports UFC 4 skews heavy successful favour of third-round knockouts oregon method knockouts. In fact, adjacent with grappling specialists, I was shocked astatine however fewer submission attempts succeeded. It surely wasn't for deficiency of trying due to the fact that sometimes adjacent the astir striking-focused fighters jumped defender to effort guillotines in these simulations. Still, precise fewer submissions were successful, possibly a testament to the A.I. submission defense.
However, careless of the outcome, I noticed that precise fewer fights were wholly one-sided. This is apt an denotation that developer EA Canada balanced the fighters to make much competitory bouts adjacent with each combatant featuring antithetic attributes and tendencies. While this is simply a bully thought successful theory, erstwhile you're simulating fights to spot however the crippled predicts they'd play retired successful existent life, it results successful immoderate rather astonishing upsets.
Without immoderate further ado, let's get to the results of these tournaments.
Click immoderate bracket representation to spot its larger version.
Current Real-Life Champion: Rose Namajunas
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Rose Namajunas
Fight of the Tournament: Namajunas vs. Weili
The strawweight part is undoubtedly the astir breathtaking women's part successful the UFC, with the loop changing hands rapidly pursuing Joanna Jędrzejczyk's nonaccomplishment to Rose Namajunas successful 2017. In the clip since, Namajunas, Jessica Andrade (who has since moved up successful weight), and Zhang Weili person each held the belt. According to this simulation, the 4 erstwhile champions of the 115-pound part (Namajunas, Jędrzejczyk, Weili, and inaugural champ Carla Esparza) precocious past their opening-round matchups. Weili vs. Jędrzejczyk was 1 of the top fights of each time, truthful a rematch was exciting. Still, the champion combat successful this tourney came from Namajunas vs. Weili successful the finals, with Namajunas securing the triumph acknowledgment to a third-round armbar submission.
Current Real-Life Champion: Valentina Shevchenko
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian
Fight of the Tournament: Andrade vs. Calderwood
In opposition to the strawweight division, a azygous champion has dominated women's flyweight beauteous overmuch since its inception. Following inaugural champion Nicco Montaño's unceremonious relinquishing of the rubric successful 2018, Valentina Shevchenko has reigned supreme, facing small hardship successful her 5 rubric defenses. As such, she is 1 of conscionable 4 fighters to execute a five-star wide standing successful EA Sports UFC 4, making her the runaway favourite to triumph this tournament.
However, the video crippled had different plans, arsenic Lauren Murphy (who, interestingly enough, is scheduled to beryllium Shevchenko's adjacent rubric defence successful September) pulled disconnected the large upset successful the semifinals. Unfortunately, Murphy could not transportation that momentum into the title fight, and longtime contender Katlyn Chookagian took her retired with a fourth-round KO.
Current Real-Life Champion: Amanda Nunes
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Germaine de Randamie
Fight of the Tournament: De Randamie vs. Holm
As ascendant arsenic Shevchenko is successful the flyweight division, Amanda Nunes has been adjacent much ruthless. The top pistillate combatant of each clip has ruled the bantamweight part with an robust fist ever since taking the loop from Miesha Tate successful 2016. As such, she's different subordinate of the elite five-star wide standing nine successful EA Sports UFC 4. And conscionable similar Shevchenko earlier her, Nunes did not travel retired connected apical successful this simulation. Instead, Germaine de Randamie overcame a wild, back-and-forth combat against Holly Holm earlier toppling Nunes successful the title bout.
Current Real-Life Champion: Brandon Moreno
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Cody Garbrandt
Fight of the Tournament: Askarov vs. Benavidez
Former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt has had his sights acceptable connected flyweight for a portion now. While his archetypal program of dropping down to look then-champion Deiveson Figueiredo fell done owed to wellness complications, Garbrandt is present scheduled to look Kai Kara-France aboriginal this year. Kara-France isn't successful EA Sports UFC 4, truthful I plugged Garbrandt into the tourney wherever Kara-France would person been based connected the UFC rankings – which conscionable truthful happened to enactment him up against Figueiredo.
When existent champ Brandon Moreno mislaid successful shocking manner to Tim Elliott successful the archetypal round, the signifier seemed each but acceptable for the once-dominant champion Figueiredo to reclaim his belt, but helium besides mislaid successful the archetypal round. After winning the archetypal combat helium wanted successful the archetypal round, Garbrandt went connected to enactment connected arguably the astir ascendant drawstring of performances of immoderate tourney I simulated, brutally knocking retired erstwhile rubric challengers Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez to assertion the title belt.
Current Real-Life Champion: Aljamain Sterling
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Petr Yan
Fight of the Tournament: Sandhagen vs. Font
The men's bantamweight part is arsenic breathtaking arsenic ever but besides arsenic muddied arsenic ever. After Petr Yan mislaid his loop to Aljamain Sterling earlier this twelvemonth acknowledgment to a disqualification stemming from an amerciable knee, the queue of contenders has grown retired of control, with the likes of TJ Dillashaw, Cory Sandhagen, and Rob Font waiting to spot however the rematch betwixt Sterling and Yan volition play out. This makes the tourney format a cleanable acceptable for the division. No substance however you lucifer up these combatants, you're guaranteed to get immoderate astonishing fights. Even pursuing the UFC rankings, I inactive got immoderate implicit bangers successful the tournament's archetypal round. However, the semifinals consisted of killers only, with Yan taking retired Dillashaw, and Sandhagen avenging his 2020 nonaccomplishment to Sterling. At the extremity of the day, Yan emerged victorious successful the final.
Current Real-Life Champion: Alexander Volkanovski
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski
Fight of the Tournament: Rodríguez vs. Jung
Sometimes, EA Sports UFC 4's predictions spell however galore radical deliberation they might. While respective radical inactive see Max Holloway the champion combatant astatine featherweight, Alexander Volkanovski erstwhile again showed wherefore he's the 1 who holds the loop astatine 145. Volkanovski defeated Holloway for what would beryllium a 3rd time. Featherweight is different part stacked from apical to bottom, with Brian Ortega, Yair Rodríguez, Calvin Kattar, and Chan Sung Jung filling the field. Still, arsenic we've seen clip and clip again, Volkanovski and Holloway are conscionable connected different level.
Current Real-Life Champion: Charles Oliveira
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Michael Chandler
Fight of the Tournament: Gaethje vs. Chandler
As large arsenic men's bantamweight and featherweight are, successful each likelihood, lightweight is the champion part successful the UFC. The historically heavy part is successful modulation owed to the abrupt status of dominant, undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov successful 2020. Thanks to this, I was possibly astir excited to spot this tourney successful action. With recently crowned champion Charles Oliveira taking the apical effect and killers similar Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje (before you ask, the ninth-ranked Conor McGregor barely missed the chopped for inclusion) connected the different broadside of the bracket, this tourney guaranteed awesome fights and astonishing results. And boy, did it present connected some fronts.
Though Oliveira was capable to instrumentality attraction of concern successful the archetypal round, the real-life champ mislaid his rematch against erstwhile Bellator champ and caller UFC person Michael Chandler. That archetypal fight, which took spot astatine UFC 262 earlier this year, was a back-and-forth, Fight of the Year contender, truthful the alteration successful the effect isn't that astonishing successful this integer rematch. However, the biggest astonishment came connected the different broadside of the bracket erstwhile Rafael Dos Anjos won a adjacent determination against Dustin Poirier. Dos Anjos is simply a erstwhile champion, but galore see Poirier the champion combatant astatine 155. Still, the part is stacked; it's hard to reason against immoderate results. The title came down to Gaethje and Chandler, who delivered arguably the champion combat of immoderate tourney I simulated. This absurdly paced matchup didn't past long, but it was non-stop enactment until Chandler landed an uppercut from hellhole portion Gaethje tried to onshore 1 of his own. Watching it play retired successful EA Sports UFC 4 made maine each the much excited for the real-life match-up betwixt these two, which is targeted for UFC 268 successful November.
Current Real-Life Champion: Kamaru Usman
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Vicente Luque
Fight of the Tournament: Edwards vs. Luque
Welterweight is the location of possibly the astir ascendant men's champion contiguous successful Kamaru Usman, truthful naturally, helium was the favourite going in. However, the part is besides 1 of the deeper ones successful the UFC, truthful erstwhile you spot the all-action Vicente Luque instrumentality retired the streaking Leon Edwards successful his archetypal fight, topple Usman successful the semifinals, then bushed Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson successful the finals, it's hard to beryllium excessively upset. Thompson getting past Burns mightiness beryllium the astir criticizable result of this tourney since we conscionable saw however Burns handled Thompson successful July, but this crippled seems to favour strikers implicit grapplers erstwhile the A.I. faces itself. Interestingly, using my seeding methodology, the archetypal circular gave fans a long-awaited grudge lucifer successful Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal.
Current Real-Life Champion: Israel Adesanya
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Israel Adesanya
Fight of the Tournament: Adesanya vs. Till
If welterweight Kamaru Usman isn't the astir ascendant men's champion, it's surely middleweight Israel Adesanya. The erstwhile kickboxing champ blasted his mode done the middleweight ranks and has defeated astir each contender on the way. Everyone thinks they person the solution to the Adesanya puzzle, but nary middleweight combatant has been capable to execute truthful far.
After a tiny scare successful the archetypal circular against Darren Till, Adesanya cruised successful his 2nd rematch against Marvin Vettori, knocking him retired successful the archetypal round, past taking connected the antheral from whom helium took the middleweight loop successful the archetypal place: Robert Whittaker. While Adesanya vs. Whittaker featured a ton of enactment and was reasonably evenly matched, Adesanya erstwhile again finished Whittaker to corroborate his coronation done this EA Sports UFC 4 tournament.
Current Real-Life Champion: Jan Błachowicz
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Jan Błachowicz
Fight of the Tournament: Błachowicz vs. Teixeira
After Jon Jones near to spell to heavyweight, the airy heavyweight part became much interesting. Though Dominick Reyes felt similar the uncrowned champ erstwhile helium fought for the vacant rubric past year, Jan Błachowicz emerged with the belt. Though Błachowicz has been connected an implicit tear, winning 9 of his past 10 fights, including a triumph implicit middleweight champ Israel Adesanya earlier this year, galore are inactive waiting to spot if he's the benignant of combatant who tin clasp the loop for an extended play of time. According to EA Sports UFC 4, helium precise good mightiness be. While it was astonishing to spot Reyes decision Jiří Procházka successful a rematch of their combat from earlier this year, the remainder of the bracket played retired realistically, with the 2 fighters successful the title combat – Błachowicz and Glover Teixeira – serving arsenic the adjacent real-life rubric combat successful the division. If the existent combat betwixt those 2 is thing similar EA Sports UFC 4's prediction, we're successful for a dainty erstwhile it occurs successful October.
Current Real-Life Champion: Francis Ngannou
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Derrick Lewis
Fight of the Tournament: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik
The heavyweight part is successful an unusual place, with precocious crowned champion Francis Ngannou having his throne challenged by caller interim champ Cyril Gane. Meanwhile, 1 of the top fighters of each clip lurks in Jon Jones, and the longest-reigning heavyweight champ successful UFC history, Stipe Miocic, tin ne'er beryllium counted out. After watching each of these fights play retired crossed the antithetic divisions, heavyweight's results were the ones that shocked maine the most. Seeing Derrick Lewis sound retired Jones successful the archetypal circular was a large surprise, but possibly not arsenic large of an upset arsenic Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocking retired Ngannou successful a rematch of a combat that precise overmuch went a antithetic mode successful existent life. The close broadside of the bracket went astir arsenic astir radical would predict. However, the title combat betwixt Lewis and Gane was possibly the biggest upset of the full tournament, arsenic we conscionable saw however ascendant Gane was erstwhile helium fought Lewis 2 weeks ago. I person a feeling Lewis would vastly similar this effect to the 1 helium really got this month.
For much connected EA Sports UFC 4, cheque retired our reappraisal here.