EA Sports' UFC video game is so realistic, it's been able to predict the winner of some of the biggest fights nearly 75% of the time.
We at Champions decided to put this engine to the test, pitting Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez against each other over and over again inside of the game, and calculating the results.
Who wins the main event?
I sat down and simulated the main event for UFC 205 between #EddieAlvarez and #ConorMcGregor to see who the game thinks would win, and man was it close. In 55% of all matches, Conor McGregor wins the fight. But how does he win?
Much like many fighters and those in the MMA media, 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.
Does Conor win early or late?
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 UFC 202.
The most popular rounds for McGregor to find a finish were the first, second and fourth, with 25% of his finishes coming in each of those rounds.
Alvarez benefits from a 5-round fight.
Alvarez also put up a good showing, and his strength really showed in the later rounds. Of all the fights, 45% went to decision and Alvarez won 67% of those decisions.
How does Eddie Alvarez win?
He also wasn't just squeaking by either. 83% of his decision wins were unanimous. Alvarez was also most likely to win by decision, with 67% of his total wins going the distance. All of his finishes meanwhile came in the second and third round.
What this simulation shows us is that this fight is likely going to end in one of two ways:
- There is a 30% chance that Eddie Alvarez wins a decision.
- And a 25% chance that McGregor finishes the fight before the championship rounds.
Alvarez's game plan should reflect this, and he should look to have a war of attrition. On the other hand, McGregor will need to push the pace before he gasses out to get the quick stoppage.
What do you think? Did our simulation get it right and Conor wins, or is even a video game underestimating Eddie Alvarez? Let us know in the comments below.
The first eight games of our simulation were streamed on Facebook Live. You can see those fights below.