EA has already taken a few international fighters over to their side of the fence since this issue broke out, today though the company announces they’ve picked up Randy Couture and Jay Hieron as well.
“I have been a part of MMA for over 10 years and I am excited about the global visibility that a game like EA SPORTS MMA will bring to the sport,” said Randy Couture. “Like my fighting career, I look forward to taking on all comers in EA SPORTS MMA.”
Randy Couture, a 6’1”, 220 pound heavyweight, who currently holds a 16-9 record and is a five-time MMA champion. Couture, a living legend in the MMA world, utilizes his wrestling expertise to take down and control opponents before finishing them off with ground and pound strikes. Couture is scheduled to fight at the end of this month against former Pride World Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In addition, this is not Couture’s first foray into the world of video games, as he was featured in EA’s Command & Conquer™: Red Alert™ 3 as Commander Warren Fuller.
Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron, a high-profile fighter, joins the EA SPORTS MMA roster and will be taking on Jesse Taylor in tonight’s STRIKEFORCE fight on in San Jose, California.
Hieron currently holds a 17-4 record and the Long Island native utilizes his wrestling prowess as his primary fighting style but has become a formidable striker as well. He fights out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and was the last Welterweight Champion of the International Fight League.
EA SPORTS is sponsoring three fighters in the STRIKEFORCE event, including Jay Hieron, Gegard Mousasi, and Renato Sobral.
How the UFC will respond? no one really knows but it is crazy to see things picking up steam after all the initial fire went down about kicking people out of the association.
Recent news from UGO is giving the community a heads up that Dana White is ready to clean house with those under his fighting franchise group the UFC, the reason being that he’s a bit miffed over EA apparently giving him the boot in the past with not very flattering remarks about what UFC is to them, as many know UFC games have come about over the years through other vendors, THQ has been vital in their latest venture and so they’re sticking close to that.
The reference to house cleaning though comes from the recent announcement of MMA from EA, a Mixed Martial Arts fighting game to use dynamics and graphics and so on from Fight Night Round 4 something that has been pretty widely recieved with praise as of late. Dana White notes this according to UGO
But, what’s to stop EA from signing licensed fighters to associate with their game? The answer: Dana White, natch. Besides Randy Couture, who struck a deal in court with the UFC. White said of fighters who deal with EA, “You won’t be in the UFC.”
Pretty hardcore I mean I know in WWE people are basically the property of the company, their likeness and all other such items basically get bought up at day 1 unless they copyright and protect themselves beforehand. Given that the UFC was a lot more free formed and independent and has top fighters alternating all the time it seemed like it would be hard to impose given how everyone seems to dabble in other competitions as well. Apparently not though, one would have wonder what would happen if EA bought up their top 10-15% of their talent though, would Dana White really kick off all those PPV earning seat stacking fighters?
I have to wonder this because EA likes to get what they want, and given the size of their company, money isn’t much of an issue when it comes to securing a dominant license. It’s a unique battle because it’s a battle of games and a battle of corporate figures as well, and even potentially the UFC fights if fighters do take “incentives” to be in the new MMA game and suddenly start vanishing out of key events.