My evaluation of EA UFC 4 began a little more than a week ago. Originally, I thought receiving a review copy at the same time as EA Access customers would be less than ideal.
However, I’ve found that it has enabled me to evaluate the latest edition to the EA UFC franchise as much as I have any game over the past few years. That said, let’s take a deep dive into the good, the bad and the bottom line concerning EA UFC 4.
In EA UFC 3, gameplay was my favorite part of the experience. That explains why right up until the day I received the review code for EA UFC 4, I was still regularly playing its predecessor online.
Is the gameplay in EA UFC 4 as good as it is in EA UFC 3? It’s even better.
Striking is more fluid, and the new approach to the clinch is a real game-changer. During a pre-release live stream, executive producer Brian Hayes said the idea was to make the clinch game an extension of the stand-up battle, rather than a precursor to the ground game.
This was such a smart decision.
In real-life MMA, the battle in the clinch is far more like a stand-up exchange than grappling, though takedowns, trips and wrestling can still be a part of the equation. Thankfully, in EA UFC 4, you can use all of these things as weapons and defense in the revamped clinch game.
The movement back and forth while in the clinch, and the ability to chain together punches, knees, trips, and throws provide some serious layers for advanced fighters. There are multiple ways to do major damage, and several movements that you can use to avoid the clinch, and to fight out of it. This entire section of the game is one of the best aspects of gameplay.
Traditional stand-up is still as addictive as ever.
It has been augmented with some appropriate detours from TV-style presentation to let you know when you or your opponent has taken major damage. A big injury to the head generates a red glow on the screen, while similar damage to the leg brings up a blueish-green light.
If it sounds like you won’t like this effect, give it a try for a few fights to see. If you still hate it, you can turn it off and go with the presentation you had in EA UFC 3.
That’s a refreshing aspect about several parts of the game. You’re able to revert back to an old favorite if you’re not feeling one of the new features or elements. That’s a best practice for any annual or semi-annual release because it’s never a good idea to force something new on someone who was already satisfied.
Overall, I find the stand-up to be one of the many highlights of the game, and it remains pretty addictive.
On the downside of the stand-up component, there are still some moments where the game’s collision-detection system seems to have some issues. I’ve seen a few too many instances where it appears as though a strike should have landed, but there was either no visual event to represent the impact, and/or no damage was occurred by the person receiving the shot.
This seems to happen on some of the spinning attacks and side kicks, but not every time. It’s not enough to ruin the gameplay by a longshot, but it’s something that could use some post-release attention.
The ground game and submissions have always been the most difficult aspect of the game to get a handle on, and that goes for the users and developers. I can’t say that I ever got to the point where I loved that part of the game in EA UFC 3, but I’d arrived at a place of acceptance and average capabilities.
EA UFC 4 introduces a new system that seeks to simplify things. In some ways, it succeeds, but in other ways, which I think are more predominant, it falls a little short. Stopping takedowns is a little more difficult in this year’s game, but I don’t hate the change.
In real MMA, the top priority for guys who are facing Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, and the like, is to stop the takedown. If they lose that battle, they are likely to lose the fight. That element is somewhat present in the takedown game of EA UFC 4, and it forces you to get better at stopping takedowns if you don’t want to continue to lose from being pounded out or submitted.
On the flip side, the submission mechanic that replaced the one that was in the previous game makes it too easy to submit opponents. For chokes, there is a meter that is very similar to what you see in WWE 2K, and you essentially have to keep your color-coated portion from overlapping with the attacking fighter’s portion.
If you can spend enough time during the process evading the overlap, you escape. Your chances of escape or success is affected by both fighter’s stamina, the condition of the head of the fighter who is being choked, and the submission skills and defense of both guys or girls.
The formula isn’t flawed, but the size of a fighter’s color portion seems to be too big, especially before any damage has been done. This makes it very difficult to avoid being submitted.
The same issue exists with joint submissions. For this part of the game, there is a pendulum-like meter. You control your color portion with the triggers. Holding the left trigger swings your portion to the left, and the right trigger does the opposite. Again, the mechanic is based on a chase to overlap the shapes.
If you hold the triggers it will push the shape to the highest point of the pendulum and it slightly shrinks, but it’s still far too easy to overlap, and thus too difficult to escape submissions.
Obviously, super-advanced players will grasp this and perform better at this part of the game. However, that small percentage doesn’t represent the majority, and I believe many people may find escaping submissions in EA UFC 4 even harder than it was in EA UFC 3.
Thankfully, you can change the transition system to mirror what you used in EA UFC 3, but this new submission deal is still a bugaboo.
A slight change that shrinks the size of the defending fighter’s shape would do wonders for this part of the game. Obviously, the size of the shape should still be affected by stamina, skills, and damage, but a sweet spot might be found by making each of these stages a little smaller.
I still love the overall gameplay, but the ground game remains the most imperfect aspect of a nearly flawless victory in virtual pugilism.
The career mode in EA’s Fight Night Champion, a game that was developed by the same core group that is responsible for EA UFC, set the bar for single-player, story-like experiences in a sports game. Champion Mode was a stellar achievement.
To put it plainly, EA may have redefined excellence in this space with EA UFC 4’s career mode.
When it comes to depth, variance, and immersion, this career mode hits almost every nail on the head. The best thing that I can say about it is that it makes every aspect of the preparation, the hype, and the fight feel necessary. The objective is to become the G.O.A.T.
This status can be attained by reaching specific benchmarks. You can monitor your progress as you ascend the legacy rankings. Aside from taking in a cool experience, your reward is unlocking Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Bruce Lee, if you haven’t already pre-ordered and received them anyway.
There is a ton for your fighter to get into throughout their career.
You can experience injuries during training/sparring and in actual fights. If the injury is severe enough, it can be called permanent, and you’ll be notified that you’ll be unable to recover that aspect of your skills or awareness for the rest of your career.
I was getting too relaxed in one of my early fights and suffered a one-shot KO via head kick, and as soon as my character’s body hit the canvas, an overlay hit the screen detailing three permanent consequences for my cavalier striking defense.
That might have been the coolest bad thing that ever happened to me in a video game.
There is something that partially circumvented the impact that I’ll get to in the section below, but this was one of those gaming moments I’ll probably always remember.
Similar to EA UFC 3, preparation for a fight is based on time allocation. You get to choose how you’ll spend your weeks ahead of the fight. There are multiple types of promotional activities including talking junk on social media, and actually live streaming a sparring session. You literally get a cellphone-like view while you attempt to destroy a sparring partner. The better you do, the more you drive interest in your fighter and their upcoming bout.
It’s great for immersion and it’s meaningful because you’re actually in control and there is a clear benefit for doing well.
You’re challenged to build hype for fights by being an amicable fan favorite or a maverick who looks to make enemies for the sake of becoming polarizing. You can do this by using social media, or you can even rough real fighters up in training sessions to create beef.
At the center of your journey are Evolution Points. You can use this in-game XP to improve the skills of your fighter, and to repair the “permanent” damage from previous injuries. EP can be earned from doing just about everything, and it’s the lifeblood of the career mode.
The entire thing feels like a real journey, and I stayed plugged in the entire way.
Coach Davis was introduced as an integral part of the career mode experience, but after about five fights, he’s barely noticeable in the whole thing. It would have been nice if he somehow impacted things with his own side story that had an impact on your career. Perhaps you might have even been able to switch trainers and gyms due to a conflict.
This would have made an already strong career mode even better.
The concept of a permanent injury in the game was refreshing, and I wish you couldn’t use EP to undo that aspect of the realism. On Legend difficulty, you cannot re-play matches, but I believe you can still use EP to repair things previously labeled irreparable.
It would have been better without that mulligan.
The only other issue I have with the mode is the somewhat unrealistic career lengths of some of the opposing fighters. In one lightweight journey, I saw Donald Cerrone and others fighting into their 50s. Cowboy is tough, but that seems improbable, and even if he is still active, he’s not likely to be fighting for titles as he was in this career mode experience.
Some new fighters are introduced into the mix, but it doesn’t happen quick enough. I’m sure the devs didn’t want to lose the attachment to the real UFC, but it would have been better if new fictional fighters were actually introduced with cinematic cut scenes, some voiceover work, highlights of their fights, etc.
These workable additions would have given those fictional fighters an identity. That would allow them to more seamlessly replace the licensed fighters during the latter part of the career mode experience.
EA UFC 4 has several ways to battle online. The Online World Championships return, but with some new wrinkles. When you win the championship, each successful defense is marked with a jewel on the actual belt that appears on the screen. This adds some prestige to the OWC.
A similar relegation system is in play, so you’re effectively trying to rise in divisions with every match as you’re rewarded points for wins and you are deducted points for losses.
The structure of the matchmaking and selectable fighters in OWC has changed. This year, you can use created fighters. In fact, your primary created fighter is available in all weight classes, and you’re able to choose their fighting style ahead of every match. It’s very similar to choosing a loadout in a first-person shooter.
The game uses a star system to rate all fighters, and all CAFs are 4 stars, so you won’t see the overpowered, maxed-out created guy or girl.
You’re also able to do quick match, head-to-head fights online in any weight class, and stipulations (Stand and Bang, KO Mode, MMA Rules). There is a leaderboard for this feature as well, and it offers a few less restrictions than OWC. Users who don’t want to have their weight classes chosen for them might find this to be a more desirable online option.
EA UFC 4 introduces a new mode called Blitz Battles. It’s essentially several small tournaments, but the matches are 1-minute fights with rotating stipulations ranging from SAB, KO, MMA, boxing only, and others. You have one minute to finish your opponent, or it goes to a decision based on the regular judging standards. The idea is to get you in and out of matches quickly.
Because the fights are so short, the strategy can be completely different, but it’s an overall blast to play.
In addition to traditional online H2H, OWB, and Blitz, there are also online tournaments as well. In totality, EA UFC 4 offers one of the most complete online experiences I’ve seen in a sports fighting game.
In OWC, the weight class is determined by EA at the beginning of each day. While your CAF is available in every weight class, this feels a bit too restrictive. Sometimes I want to participate in OWC fights, but I may be pretty tired of fighting men’s flyweight bouts.
Being forced to wait a day until I can fight in another weight class is less than ideal. Hopefully this is something that is changed in a future update.
This has now been changed, per Hayes. The OWC weight classes change every hour.
Presentation and Overall Depth
Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik offer far more as a commentary team than Joe Rogan and Anik did, and it’s because the two were able to record some of their lines together. These dual-recording session produced a conversational value that wasn’t there before.
The stat references and such are a nice touch as well. There is still some room for improvement, but the commentary doesn’t make you want to turn the sound off. The positives in audio extend to other parts of the title.
I’m usually not a person who cares much about the soundtrack of a game, but this one has some certified bangers that keep me nodding my head.
From a pure sound effect standpoint, I appreciate the sound differences between the fights that take place in an arena as well as the backyard, and Kumite environments. In fact, matches that are in the Kumite venue in KO mode feel just like a traditional fighting game.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that concept originally, but now I want EA to add some other venues via DLC in the coming months.
The EA UFC 4 roster is hefty with more than 220 fighters including legends and some novelty guys like Dana White, Lee, Fury and Joshua.
The roster did lose 58 fighters while adding 20, but the minus-38 isn’t really a big deal considering the most popular people are still in the game. Fighters like Pedro Munhoz, Askar Askarov, Jennifer Maia, and Augusto Sakai should be in, but their absence doesn’t break the roster.
It should also be noted, EA has roster additions and likeness updates on their schedule. In fact, they have already updated a handful of fighter likenesses, such as Donald Cerrone, Paulo Costa, TJ Dillashaw, Paul Felder, and Cody Garbrandt.
If there was one word to describe EA UFC 4, I’d say it is cohesive. This is perhaps most evident with the Universal Profile, which is a game-wide XP system that rewards you with points that turn into coins for every thing you do in the game, across all modes.
Daily challenges, mode-specific achievements, and several other things are a part of this concept, and it all comes together nicely.
The Bottom Line
There is no such thing as a perfect game, but there can be a perfect experience with a title because the slight issues you may experience don’t drastically hinder your enjoyment. The latest UFC game is very close to that rare benchmark. In this day and age where release day is just the beginning of the game’s journey through patches and tweaks, EA UFC 4 is perhaps an update away from its own brand of perfection.
- Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (Will be forward compatible with PS5 and Xbox Series X)
- Developer: EA
- Publisher: EA
- Released: August 14th, 2020
- Price: $59.99 for the standard edition
- Review Score: 9.5 out of 10
EA provided a review code for the Xbox One version of this game.
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I cover sports video games like NBA 2K, Madden, MLB The Show, FIFA, NHL, EA UFC, Fight Night, Super Mega Baseball, DIRT, F1, NASCAR, Forza, and everything in between. You…
I cover sports video games like NBA 2K, Madden, MLB The Show, FIFA, NHL, EA UFC, Fight Night, Super Mega Baseball, DIRT, F1, NASCAR, Forza, and everything in between. You can also find me previewing and recapping WWE PPV events.
The choke mechanic utilizes the left stick to smoothly move the colored bars around a ring-shaped overlay. The fact that the choke submission game converted my Career fighter from a kickboxer to a submission ace should speak volumes about how much I embraced it. The featherweight division knew to be wary of my array of unorthodox windshield chokes and Peruvian neck ties. As a gamer who has earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, I’ve been waiting for a grappling system I actually enjoyed playing. It’s here in UFC 4, and I’m glad to have it.
Chasing joint submissions, with their entirely separate mini-game, is a different story. It’s simple enough, with players using the left and right triggers to move those colored bars along a smile-shaped arc. At first, I really enjoyed it, even preferring its pressure-sensitive input execution to the choke attacks. But I eventually found that, even on lesser difficulties, AI fighters had little trouble escaping no matter how well I executed the mechanic. Mind you, Ogle’s submission attributes were maxed out, and opponents’ often were not. I hope the developers can patch this to make it a more viable option in Career fights. Fingers crossed.
It’s puzzling that there are two separate submission mechanics to begin with. Those who opt to play using the new, simplified Grapple Assist controls on the ground will have to pay attention to which submission the AI selects when they hit the sub input. You wouldn’t want to start using the triggers while going for a choke. Why not go with just one or the other? How about giving players the option to use their favorite mechanic for all submission types? It’s weird.
Release Date: August 14, 2020
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), XBO
Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
But enough about the ground game because, judging by online player tendencies during the pre-release EA Access and review window, UFC 4 bouts will usually resemble kickboxing contests. Turns out that real people just want to hit each other in this game, which is nothing new for EA’s series.
Also not all that new is the striking in UFC 4. It’s not untouched from the previous game, which was released about two and a half years ago, but it feels a bit too familiar given the amount of time that has passed since UFC 3’s release. Some of the most complex strike inputs have been simplified by a difference between pushing and holding, say, the X button. But the system is still dense, necessitated by the number of different strikes fighters have in their arsenal. As UFC president Dana White is wont to say: “It is what it is.”
Happy to report that the microtransaction farm known as Ultimate Team has been retired. Instead of using real-world cash to build a stable of fighters, UFC 4 has gone the trendy route of allowing players to buy coins to cop swag for your created fighter/avatar. And, because this game allows fighters to compete in the cage wearing masks, shirts, and other gear that doesn’t comply with the UFC’s Reebok uniform policy, there are plenty of ways to deck out your fighter in a way you like. Currency can be earned in-game as well, at a much slower rate, so it’s not a necessity to spend extra cash just to customize your fighter with Super Saiyan Green hair.
EA's UFC 4: The 15 Best Fighters In The Game
Now that the rankings system is complete for UFC 4, EA has published their list of the ten best fighters in the game. Even though the star rating system in-game gives every fighter in the game more than a puncher’s chance of a competitive fight, it’s hard to argue that the top ten are the best fighters in the game to choose from right now.
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However, it must be kept in mind these ratings are true at the time of this writing, and EA has always done a fantastic job of keeping the fighters up to date. It's always been one of the series' best features. As with the previous games, it’s very likely that new fighters will get added to the roster and statistics will get updated.
Updated January 13th, 2021 by Michael Llewellyn:Since its launch in August 2020, EA's UFC 4 has been the recipient of several patches and updates to improve gameplay mechanics, add fighters, and update existing fighter's statistics to match their real-life counterparts. As a result, several fighters on this list needed to be adjusted and additional combatants added to reflect their new stats and skillsets.
15 Tony Ferguson
Tony Ferguson is a former interim champion in the Lightweight division and had a 12 fight win streak in the UFC. Despite his recent losses, Ferguson is still one of the best characters to pick in the game.
Even though he lacks the stopping power of a power striker like Jorge Masvidal, Ferguson has fast hands, with an excellent jab and straight right. Both of which can counter and outstrike most fighters in the game simply by beating them to the punch. He is also great at submissions and fighting from his back which makes him the perfect fighter to choose against a good wrestler like Kamaru Usman.
14 Kamaru Usman
At number 10 in the game’s rankings is Kamaru Usman who is the current UFC Welterweight Champion. He’s one of the most powerful fighters in the division and looks more like a middleweight than a welterweight.
He has a strong ground game as shown by his manhandling of Tyron Woodley and has a lot of power in his hands as evidenced by knocking out Colby Covington in their 2019 "fight of the year" contender at UFC 245.
13 Brian Ortega
Since coming back with a dominant victory over Chan Sung Jung, Brian Ortega's vast improvements in his stand-up game have been reflected in a recent UFC 4 update too. Since the update, Ortega's star rating has jumped up to four and a half stars.
Ortega is primarily is a Jiu-Jitsu specialist which makes him perfect against wrestlers and he is also a very dangerous kickboxer too. He can land fast combinations with his hands and has the punching power to match. He also has excellent recovery stats which means he can come back from getting rocked fairly quickly.
12 George St-Pierre
George St-Pierre is a legend in the UFC and easily earns his spot as one of the greatest fighters of all time. GSP won the UFC Welterweight Championship twice and retired as the reigning champion in 2013 after successfully defending the belt 9 times.
He made a one-time come back to challenge the UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping and walked away with the win, making him a two-division champion. He’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game, has great stand-up, and is deadly on the ground.
11 Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic is a two-time and the current UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world. He successfully defended his belt against long-time rival Daniel Cormier in the final bout of their trilogy.
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Miocic has excellent knockout power, fast hands, and has good takedown defense. He’s the perfect fighter pick if players like to keep the fight standing and want to learn how to defend against wrestlers. Additionally, Miocic has great stamina and health and is capable of outlasting the rest of the heavyweight division which is reflected in the game too and he's a great choice for players that like to keep the pressure on.
10 Zhang Weili
Zhang Weili is the current Women’s UFC Strawweight Champion, she is officially rated as the number 2 in the women’s pound-for-pound UFC ranking. The Chinese native defeated Jessica Andrade in the first round by TKO to win the title and has a record of 21 wins and only 1 loss.
Weili is an amazingly fast striker with good grappling skills and has the stamina to go the distance without much trouble at all. Even novice players will be able to land fast combos with ease using Weili in UFC 4.
9 Henry Cejudo
Former Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo is a former UFC Flyweight Champion and UFC Bantamweight Champion and defended both titles simultaneously before retiring as the champion in May 2020.
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Cejudo has stated that he’s willing to come out of retirement to fight the current Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski in hopes of becoming the first-ever three-division champion. He’s a great all-rounder with no particular weaknesses in EA’s UFC 4 as his health, striking, and grappling all sit at 4.5 on the star rating.
8 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a former women's Flyweight champion in the UFC. She is considered to be one of the most dangerous kickboxers in the world and has a really polished stand-up game with very few flaws.
Her skills in life are matched by her videogame incarnation with almost perfect punching, speed, footwork, head movement, and accuracy. She does lack the power of Valentina Shevchenko but she has great reach can land very fast combinations.
7 Valentina Shevchenko
Current Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko is one of the most technically gifted fighters in the UFC and her striking game is in a league of its own. In addition, she has superb grappling and submission skills making her a problem for all fighters in any position.
Shevchenko, like Cejudo above, is an excellent character to select in the game if the player wants to select a balanced fighter that is proficient at everything.
6 Jon Jones
The second highest-rated fighter in the game has to go to none other than Jon Jones. He is undefeated with a No Contest and Disqualification as the only blemishes on his record. UFC President Dana White has gone on record several times to say he thinks that Jones is the GOAT (greatest of all time).
Jones has recently vacated the Light Heavyweight title and plans to move up to the heavyweight division and challenge for the title there. Jones is an incredible striker with excellent takedown skills and is capable of going the distance with anyone in the game. He does lack some of the power that the high-level kickboxers have in the game and he's probably slower than he was in UFC 3.
5 Max Holloway
Max Holloway is a former Featherweight champion in the UFC and has some of the best wars in the division. He has incredible hand speed and is capable of landing flurries of punches and combinations to knock his opponents out even though he lacks the power of Conor McGregor.
In the game, Holloway has amazing hand speed, footwork, head movement, and accuracy. This is why so many players will pick him when playing online even his lightweight version which has lower stats is a force to be reckoned with simply because of his hand speed.
4 Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson is often regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time. He is the former UFC Flyweight champion and current ONE Flyweight Champion holding an undefeated streak in that organization.
Even for a Flyweight, Johnson is a small fighter but he more than makes up for this in speed and skill. He is one of the faster punchers in the game with a 99 rating and his footwork is rated at 98 and he also has great takedown defense, offense, submissions, and clinch control. It really is like selecting a fighter on fast-forward when playing as him in the game.
3 Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes is the reigning and defending champion of two divisions in the UFC. She is the current holder of the UFC Featherweight Championship and the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Nunes has defeated everyone put in front of her even the seemingly invincible Chris Cyborg whom defeated by KO.
She has excellent power in her hands and is strong on the mat too with an overall star rating of 5 in the game she’s a great choice for players that are confident striking and wrestling.
2 Khabib Nurmagomedov
Current Welterweight UFC Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most dangerous fighters in the world right now. His wrestling and takedown skills are unmatched in the Octagon and even has decent power in his hands.
Khabib is capable of absolutely mauling his opponents on the ground as evidenced by his destruction of fighters like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Michael Johnson, Edson Barbosa, and more. Khabib isn’t the best character in the game to pick if players want to stand and bang because he's not as polished as some of the kickboxers in the game but he’s a destroyer for fighters that like to take the fight to the ground. His stats have also benefitted from a boost since the game's launch after defeating Justin Gaethjhe giving him better stand up and improved submissions on the ground.
1 Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya is this year's cover star and is one of the fastest rising stars in combat sports. He is the current UFC Middleweight Champion and has made short work of some of the most dangerous fighters in the division. His striking skills are unmatched in the Octagon and has had tremendous “Fight of the Night” performances against Anderson Silva and Kelvin Gastelum.
His striking in the game has a perfect star rating and he is great at keeping the distance and counter-punching. Since the game's release, Adesanya has defeated Middleweight powerhouse, Paulo Costa, with ease. To reflect this, his stats have been updated in the game which means his character hits harder and he has increased to a perfect 5-star rating. However, he can be vulnerable on his back in the game so players will really need to learn how to defend the takedown going up against powerful wrestlers.
NEXT: 10 Tips & Tricks To Be A Pro At EA's UFC 4
The playable characters are a bit uncanny valley, but here's why the rest of the game looks photorealistic.
Read NextAbout The Author
In 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship burst onto the scene, pitting masters of different martial arts disciplines against one another in a bracket-style tournament. The UFC has evolved and grown in a multitude of ways in the nearly three decades since that first event in Denver. Still, with other major promotions like Bellator and the Professional Fighters League experimenting with bracket-style tournaments, many fans wonder what would happen if UFC returned to its roots and hosted its own. We decided to find out for ourselves, using the best tool at our disposal: EA Sports UFC 4.
Using the current official UFC rankings found on the promotion's website, I constructed eight-person tournament brackets featuring the highest-ranked fighters of each weight class (aside from women's featherweight, since there are no official rankings and EA Sports UFC 4 only has two active fighters from that division). The seeding is based on current ranking, though for some high-profile fighters who are in the process of changing weight classes (like Jon Jones or Cody Garbrandt), I had to plug them in where it made the most sense. I then watched every fight as the A.I.-controlled combatants duked it out. Each fight was scheduled for three rounds, except for the championship fight at the end, which could go five rounds.
As the nearly 80 bouts played out, it quickly became apparent that EA Sports UFC 4 skews heavily in favor of third-round knockouts or technical knockouts. In fact, even with grappling specialists, I was shocked at how few submission attempts succeeded. It certainly wasn't for lack of trying because sometimes even the most striking-focused fighters jumped guard to attempt guillotines in these simulations. Still, very few submissions were successful, perhaps a testament to the A.I. submission defense.
However, regardless of the outcome, I noticed that very few fights were completely one-sided. This is likely an indication that developer EA Canada balanced the fighters to create more competitive bouts even with each fighter featuring different attributes and tendencies. While this is a good idea in theory, when you're simulating fights to see how the game predicts they'd play out in real life, it results in some quite surprising upsets.
Without any further ado, let's get to the results of these tournaments.
Click any bracket image to see 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 division is undoubtedly the most exciting women's division in the UFC, with the belt changing hands rapidly following Joanna Jędrzejczyk's loss to Rose Namajunas in 2017. In the time since, Namajunas, Jessica Andrade (who has since moved up in weight), and Zhang Weili have all held the belt. According to this simulation, the four former champions of the 115-pound division (Namajunas, Jędrzejczyk, Weili, and inaugural champ Carla Esparza) advanced past their opening-round matchups. Weili vs. Jędrzejczyk was one of the greatest fights of all time, so a rematch was exciting. Still, the best fight in this tournament came from Namajunas vs. Weili in the finals, with Namajunas securing the victory thanks 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 contrast to the strawweight division, a single champion has dominated women's flyweight pretty much since its inception. Following inaugural champion Nicco Montaño's unceremonious relinquishing of the title in 2018, Valentina Shevchenko has reigned supreme, facing little hardship in her five title defenses. As such, she is one of just four fighters to achieve a five-star overall rating in EA Sports UFC 4, making her the runaway favorite to win this tournament.
However, the video game had other plans, as Lauren Murphy (who, interestingly enough, is scheduled to be Shevchenko's next title defense in September) pulled off the big upset in the semifinals. Unfortunately, Murphy could not carry that momentum into the championship fight, and longtime contender Katlyn Chookagian took her out 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 dominant as Shevchenko is in the flyweight division, Amanda Nunes has been even more ruthless. The greatest female fighter of all time has ruled the bantamweight division with an iron fist ever since taking the belt from Miesha Tate in 2016. As such, she's another member of the elite five-star overall rating club in EA Sports UFC 4. And just like Shevchenko before her, Nunes did not come out on top in this simulation. Instead, Germaine de Randamie overcame a wild, back-and-forth fight against Holly Holm before toppling Nunes in the championship 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 set on flyweight for a while now. While his original plan of dropping down to face then-champion Deiveson Figueiredo fell through due to health complications, Garbrandt is now scheduled to face Kai Kara-France later this year. Kara-France isn't in EA Sports UFC 4, so I plugged Garbrandt into the tournament where Kara-France would have been based on the UFC rankings – which just so happened to line him up against Figueiredo.
When current champ Brandon Moreno lost in shocking fashion to Tim Elliott in the first round, the stage seemed all but set for the once-dominant champion Figueiredo to reclaim his belt, but he also lost in the first round. After winning the original fight he wanted in the first round, Garbrandt went on to put on arguably the most dominant string of performances of any tournament I simulated, brutally knocking out former title challengers Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez to claim the championship 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 division is as exciting as ever but also as muddied as ever. After Petr Yan lost his belt to Aljamain Sterling earlier this year thanks to a disqualification stemming from an illegal knee, the queue of contenders has grown out of control, with the likes of TJ Dillashaw, Cory Sandhagen, and Rob Font waiting to see how the rematch between Sterling and Yan will play out. This makes the tournament format a perfect fit for the division. No matter how you match up these combatants, you're guaranteed to get some amazing fights. Even following the UFC rankings, I still got some absolute bangers in the tournament's first round. However, the semifinals consisted of killers only, with Yan taking out Dillashaw, and Sandhagen avenging his 2020 loss to Sterling. At the end of the day, Yan emerged victorious in 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 go how many people think they might. While several people still consider Max Holloway the best fighter at featherweight, Alexander Volkanovski once again showed why he's the one who holds the belt at 145. Volkanovski defeated Holloway for what would be a third time. Featherweight is another division stacked from top to bottom, with Brian Ortega, Yair Rodríguez, Calvin Kattar, and Chan Sung Jung filling the field. Still, as we've seen time and time again, Volkanovski and Holloway are just on another level.
Current Real-Life Champion: Charles Oliveira
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Michael Chandler
Fight of the Tournament: Gaethje vs. Chandler
As great as men's bantamweight and featherweight are, in all likelihood, lightweight is the best division in the UFC. The historically deep division is in transition due to the abrupt retirement of dominant, undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2020. Thanks to this, I was perhaps most excited to see this tournament in action. With newly crowned champion Charles Oliveira taking the top seed and killers like Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje (before you ask, the ninth-ranked Conor McGregor barely missed the cut for inclusion) on the other side of the bracket, this tournament guaranteed awesome fights and surprising results. And boy, did it deliver on both fronts.
Though Oliveira was able to take care of business in the first round, the real-life champ lost his rematch against former Bellator champ and recent UFC convert Michael Chandler. That first fight, which took place at UFC 262 earlier this year, was a back-and-forth, Fight of the Year contender, so the change in the result isn't that surprising in this digital rematch. However, the biggest surprise came on the other side of the bracket when Rafael Dos Anjos won a close decision against Dustin Poirier. Dos Anjos is a former champion, but many consider Poirier the best fighter at 155. Still, the division is stacked; it's hard to argue against any results. The championship came down to Gaethje and Chandler, who delivered arguably the best fight of any tournament I simulated. This absurdly paced matchup didn't last long, but it was non-stop action until Chandler landed an uppercut from hell while Gaethje tried to land one of his own. Watching it play out in EA Sports UFC 4 made me all the more excited for the real-life match-up between these two, which is targeted for UFC 268 in November.
Current Real-Life Champion: Kamaru Usman
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Vicente Luque
Fight of the Tournament: Edwards vs. Luque
Welterweight is the home of perhaps the most dominant men's champion today in Kamaru Usman, so naturally, he was the favorite going in. However, the division is also one of the deeper ones in the UFC, so when you see the all-action Vicente Luque take out the streaking Leon Edwards in his first fight, topple Usman in the semifinals, then beat Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson in the finals, it's difficult to be too upset. Thompson getting past Burns might be the most criticizable outcome of this tournament since we just saw how Burns handled Thompson in July, but this game seems to favor strikers over grapplers when the A.I. faces itself. Interestingly, using my seeding methodology, the first round gave fans a long-awaited grudge match in 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 most dominant men's champion, it's certainly middleweight Israel Adesanya. The former kickboxing champ blasted his way through the middleweight ranks and has defeated nearly every contender along the way. Everyone thinks they have the solution to the Adesanya puzzle, but no middleweight fighter has been able to execute so far.
After a tiny scare in the first round against Darren Till, Adesanya cruised in his second rematch against Marvin Vettori, knocking him out in the first round, then taking on the man from whom he took the middleweight belt in the first place: Robert Whittaker. While Adesanya vs. Whittaker featured a ton of action and was fairly evenly matched, Adesanya once again finished Whittaker to confirm his coronation through 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 left to go to heavyweight, the light heavyweight division became more interesting. Though Dominick Reyes felt like the uncrowned champ when he fought for the vacant title last year, Jan Błachowicz emerged with the belt. Though Błachowicz has been on an absolute tear, winning nine of his last ten fights, including a win over middleweight champ Israel Adesanya earlier this year, many are still waiting to see if he's the kind of fighter who can hold the belt for an extended period of time. According to EA Sports UFC 4, he very well might be. While it was surprising to see Reyes defeat Jiří Procházka in a rematch of their fight from earlier this year, the rest of the bracket played out realistically, with the two fighters in the championship fight – Błachowicz and Glover Teixeira – serving as the next real-life title fight in the division. If the real fight between those two is anything like EA Sports UFC 4's prediction, we're in for a treat when it occurs in October.
Current Real-Life Champion: Francis Ngannou
EA Sports UFC 4 Prediction: Derrick Lewis
Fight of the Tournament: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik
The heavyweight division is in an odd place, with recently crowned champion Francis Ngannou having his throne challenged by new interim champ Cyril Gane. Meanwhile, one of the greatest fighters of all time lurks in Jon Jones, and the longest-reigning heavyweight champ in UFC history, Stipe Miocic, can never be counted out. After watching all of these fights play out across the different divisions, heavyweight's results were the ones that shocked me the most. Seeing Derrick Lewis knock out Jones in the first round was a big surprise, but maybe not as big of an upset as Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocking out Ngannou in a rematch of a fight that very much went a different way in real life. The right side of the bracket went about as most people would predict. However, the championship fight between Lewis and Gane was perhaps the biggest upset of the entire tournament, as we just saw how dominant Gane was when he fought Lewis two weeks ago. I have a feeling Lewis would vastly prefer this result to the one he actually got this month.
For more on EA Sports UFC 4, check out our review here.
Champion ufc 4
UFC 4 "RISE THROUGH THE RANKS" NOW AVAILABLE
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 14, 2020 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) today launched the newest game in the UFC franchise, EA SPORTS UFC 4, that lets players shape their own UFC legacy or challenge the world in new Blitz Battles or Online World Championships to become the undisputed champion of the Octagon®. Players can jump into the game today on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One.
“For EA SPORTS UFC 4, we wanted to focus on creating authentic MMA gameplay for our fans. From the updates to the clinch game and takedown mechanics, to the new dynamic striking inputs and grapple assist controls, we’re delivering a deeper and more accessible gameplay experience for fans at all levels,” said EA SPORTS UFC 4 Creative Director, Brian Hayes. “We also built an all-new progression system centered on the Created Fighter that rewards players for every fight through the new Connected Fighter Profile to showcase their fighter’s personality and achievements.”
“EA has been an incredible partner to UFC for the past eight years,” UFC Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski said. “Collaborating with EA has provided UFC with new opportunities to grow our fan base and we believe the new content and features of UFC 4 make this the most thrilling and engaging UFC game play to date.”
Players can choose between a variety of modes and ways to play. Rise through the ranks in an enhanced Career Mode experience that includes an all-new fighter evolution system where every choice is integral to shaping their fighter’s skills. Compete to become a world champion in the all-new Blitz Battles or go up against the world’s best in Online World Championships to become the undisputed champion. In addition, take fights to four all-new environments that pay homage to fictional and historical styles of combat sports, including The Kumite and The Backyard.
Inside the Octagon, when players put opponents on the canvas, players will see, hear, and feel the impact of every decisive blow with high impact moments and face-rippling replays. EA SPORTS Real Player Motion Tech overhauls the art of the clinch and delivers more dynamic takedowns, while new submissions and devastating ground and pound make finishing the fight more exciting than ever. Grapple assist provides more accessible controls on the ground and a refined striking control scheme allows for better access to combinations and positioning.
This year for the commentary team, former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, Daniel “DC” Cormier, sits Octagon-side alongside UFC commentator Jon Anik to provide a fresh and entertaining
“Watching my career go from the Octagon to the booth and back again has been incredible,” Cormier said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun hearing me commentate fights when I’m playing UFC 4, especially when I step into the Octagon to fight as myself.”
EA SPORTS UFC 4 features an all-new fighter evolution in Career mode, which allows created characters to grow based on the disciplines used in training or bouts. Players can secure more than 1,600 new pieces of earnable gear and over 120 emotes that will allow their fighter’s personality to shine like never before as they climb the ranks to become a UFC superstar.
To celebrate the launch of EA SPORTS UFC 4, fans can tune in tonight to the EA SPORTS UFC Virtual Fight Card. Coverage kicks off at 4:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on ESPN2, the ESPN App, the UFC YouTube and Twitchchannels. Hosted by ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Dianna Russini, the virtual fight card will feature UFC 4 matches between WWE Hall of Famers the Bella twins, EA SPORTS UFC 4 cover star Jorge Masvidal and entertainer Action Bronson, along with additional fights featuring heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, comedian Spice Adams, popular streamer Lirik, and more.
EA Access* members can jump into the Octagon and try the game for up to 10 hours as part of their membership, plus enjoy a 10% off the purchase of the full game and UFC Points.
EA SPORTS UFC 4 is ESRB rated T and available worldwide on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One for $59.99 USD. For more information about EA SPORTS games, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit the official EA SPORTS UFC 4 webpage to connect, share and compete. EA SPORTS UFC 4 assets are available to download on the official EA press site at PRESS.EA.COM.
UFC mixed martial arts event in 1994
For the video game, see EA Sports UFC 4.
UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors was a mixed martial arts (MMA) event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on December 16, 1994, at the Expo Center Pavilion in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event was seen live on pay-per-view, and later released on home video. 
As usual, virtually all martial artists of any significance were contacted by the promoters of the event. The other way to address the opposition was what later to be known as the "Royce's challenge letters." Even Mike Tyson was "challenged" by Royce Gracie while in jail.
UFC 4 used an eight-man tournament format, with the winner receiving $64,000. The event also featured three alternate fights. All seven tournament fights were shown on the live pay-per-view broadcast, as well as the Jason Fairn vs. Guy Mezger alternate fight.
The tournament had no weight classes or weight limits. Each match had no time limit or rounds, therefore no judges were used for the night. The referee for the night was "Big" John McCarthy. Royce Gracie won the event by defeating Dan Severn with a triangle choke. The card also featured the notorious fight between Keith Hackney and Joe Son; Hackney won via submission after landing a series of unanswered strikes to the groin of Joe Son.
Play-by-play announcer Bruce Beck and color commentatorJeff Blatnick were paired together for the first time on the pay-per-view and became the regular commentary team on UFC broadcasts up to and including UFC 15. They were joined by regular contributor Jim Brown.
- ^ Steve Jennum was forced to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced by Marcus Bossett.
UFC 4 bracket
1Steve Jennum was forced to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced by Marcus Bossett.
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He pulled it out and reinserted it, leaned on me with his weight and began to tear hard. I involuntarily began to moan, the fire of passion consumed me. Then he pulled away from me, threw off my legs, laying me on my side, and again continued to use me.