Posted by Justin Golightly @secretmovesmma
Design wizard. MMA mathematician. Lifelong martial artiste. Justin Golightly is a lover of the fighting sports and writes for Middle Easy.
Justin Golightly

It's growing. It's learning. It's smarter and better at picking fights than you. It's only a matter of time before EA Sports UFC becomes self-aware. Is this #SkyNet?

Ever since #UFC175, the official fighting game of the UFC has quietly become the best hub for fight prediction on the planet. Releasing semi-regular pre-event simulations for our human entertainment, we would look past them and never go back after the physical violence to see if their virtual counterpoints were similar. Well, I did and they are.

Previously analyzing the "mystic" history of #EASportsUFC's fight predictions, they were proven to be 73% accurate throughout the inception of their simulations. That's almost as accurate as Conor McGregor. Full results can be seen here.

Graph depicting accuracy of EA Sports UFC before UFC 205
Graph depicting accuracy of EA Sports UFC before UFC 205

Now, after 20 events and 26 simulated fights (one of the fights not counted due to fighter replacement), #EASportsUFC accurately predicted 19 winners with only six incorrect victors chosen. Once again, the method of victory is rarely spot on, but as far as straight picks for winners? #UFC205 just improved their accuracy by 3% for fight predictions.


UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor

  • Conor McGregor def. Eddie Alvarez via KO in round 3
  • Actual result: McGregor def. Alvarez via TKO in round 2
  • Tyron Woodley def. Stephen Thompson via KO
  • Actual result: Woodley retained title in a majority draw
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via KO in round 2
  • Actual result: Jedrzejczyk def. Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision

EA Sports UFC is now 76% accurate


Trying to drive off on our own path, Champions ran our own simulations of #McGregor's main event fight with #Alvarez before the historical battle played out in real life.

In hindsight, the results were like that old person in your family who tells you about things before they happen — spooky. Out of 20 fights, McGregor knocked out Alvarez seven times and most of them were in the first and second rounds. The full results can be read here and you can watch the first eight simulated bouts below.

The game suggests that Conor has to finish the fight, and finish it early. Of his wins, 72% of them came by finish, with 88% of those being knockouts. Yes, the game is even giving Conor a chance to submit Alvarez. McGregor was sticking it to Alvarez early as well. 63% of his finishes came before the championship rounds, which Conor has only fought in once before, against Nate Diaz at #UFC202.

The moral at the core of all this nerdy, combat research is that everyone needs to pay more attention to EA Sports UFC. Not just for bets, but just in case this doesn't become stronger and a threat to our own civilization.

At this point, it wouldn't be surprising to hear about a muscular naked man appearing in a ball of light and asking to where is Conor McGregor. It's in the game.

They were only off by one round.