We asked AI to predict the winner of Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa (and it had the perfect answer)

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Sean Strickland (left) vs. Paulo Costa (right) gets its very own AI prediction [Image Courtesy: @UFCBrasil via Instagram]

The Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa will co-headline UFC 302, and Google's Gemini AI has offered a tentative prediction for the bout. While both men are strikers who favor fighting on the front foot, Strickland is a jabber with air-tight Philly Shell.

He keeps his feet narrow when moving forward, which enhances his cardio as he walks toward his opponent: a mechanical action that most people's bodies are well-accustomed to. Moreover, he sticks to a jab and follow-up right cross, so he never overextends to leave himself open to counters.

His Philly Shell allows him to roll with punches, causing blows to deflect off his shoulders and elbows. The Gemini AI has considered these points. However, it also claimed that Strickland is susceptible to knockouts, likely referencing his loss to Alex Pereira. This, however, is inaccurate.

The AI's thoughts on Sean Strickland's advantages
The AI's thoughts on Sean Strickland's advantages

Strickland has only been knocked out twice in 34 professional fights, with even known power-puncher Jared Cannonier failing to knock him out. Costa, meanwhile, is a swarmer. He moves laterally, cutting off his opponent's angles of escape by stepping across them as they try to circle away from him.

Once he traps his opponent against the fence, he uses a left hook to the body and a right round kick to both the head and body as barriers. Anyone who tries to circle away from him inevitably moves into either blow. With no other option, his opponent is forced to stand in front of him.

The AI's thoughts on Paulo Costa's advantages
The AI's thoughts on Paulo Costa's advantages

From here, Costa unloads brutal combinations of hooks and haymakers. While he is powerful, it is not in the one-shot knockout sense. Instead, his punches break his opponent down until they melt against the cage. Unfortunately, his high-volume work comes at the cost of his cardio.

This was noted by AI, which also curiously suggested that Costa has a questionable chin, despite there being just one knockout loss on his record.

The AI's tentative prediction
The AI's tentative prediction

Ultimately, the AI prediction slightly favored Strickland to win on points if he manages to control the tempo with his jab. However, it still recognized Costa's chances.


Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa are both coming off losses

Sean Strickland recently lost his middleweight title to Dricus du Plessis, a man he is eager to rematch as he feels he had done enough to beat him. Meanwhile, Paulo Costa recently lost to Robert Whittaker, a former middleweight champion himself.

Both men will be determined to get back into the win column come fight night and especially to work their way back into title contention. Thus, Saturday is of great importance to both men.

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