Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture has signed with Electronic Arts (EA) to appear as a digitized version of himself facing any and all challengers -- including Fedor Emelianenko -- in "EA Sports MMA," the company's first entry into mixed martial arts video games.
From "The Natural:"
"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. Like my fighting career, I look forward to taking on all comers in EA SPORTS MMA."
Couture joins Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko, Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi, Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Jay "The Thoroughbred" Hieron as playable characters in the upcoming game.
UFC President Dana White blasted the video game publisher last month for being a fair weather business partner. White alleges that EA wanted nothing to do with a UFC video game so he went to THQ, which put its business on the line to produce "UFC Undisputed 2009."
After a wildly successful launch, EA announced a mixed martial arts video game of its own — much to the chagrin of Dana White, who acknowledged that any UFC fighter under contract would be unemployed if they signed on to the still-in-development fighting game.
Couture is likely exempt from any repercussions following the signing because he retains control over his ancillary rights and has language in his contract that allows him more freedom to use his likeness outside of the UFC.
Furthermore, EA vehemently denies banging the video game bandwagon and claims its MMA title has been in the planning stages for two years.
Having more than one video game is no different than having more than one MMA promotion. Competition is a good thing because it forces a company to produce the very best product it can to outshine the other.
It will be interesting to see what EA has in mind to try and upstage the first offering from THQ earlier this year. EA Sports MMA is expected in 2010, as is the next version of UFC 'Undisputed.'
Let's get it on!
For more information on the upcoming game check out the official website here.